Diet and exercise is commonly espoused as the go to method of losing body fat rather than just one over the other.
The claims that exercise is all you need to help control, prevent and lose body fat is a modern age fitness industry fallacy…. Sorry folks, but exercise alone will not lose fat very effectively!
The energy deficit from exercise is rather insignificant compared to a ham and cheese sandwich!
Two slices of bread alone are worth roughly 150 calories or 15 minutes running or 20 minutes weightlifting or 45 minutes of walking. That’s a lot of activity for just two slices of bread!
Why exercise at all then you may wonder, if it yields such little return?
EPOC for a start and no, that’s not a new wonder drug. Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC) is an increased uptake of oxygen after exercise to help recovery, energy substrate replenishment, hormone rebalancing and generally a return to a normal resting state. This process of recovery uses more fat lipids in the presence of the increased oxygen uptake.
Depending on the exercise type and specifically the level of exertion, the affects of the excess oxygen uptake varies considerably. Low levels of exercise such as steady state (easily sustainable) exercise requires the least amount of recovery despite its hourly ‘burn’ of around 200 calories. At the opposite end of the exertion spectrum, the HIIT (high intensity interval training) and exertive resistance training requires the greatest amount of post exercise oxygen consumption despite using an average of 450 calories over an hour although this kind of training session normally lasts 20-30minutes in reality.
Many studies have demonstrated that HIIT type training does increase the metabolic rate to varying degrees post exercise compared to steady state exercise but overall, the HIIT training comes out on top.
The exception to the rule in regards to low levels exercise and successful fat loss is seen in those individuals who are able to commit to longer training sessions, sessions lasting in the region of 90-120 mins a few times a week! How many of us actually have the time for that however? The downside to this is a general lack of functional, practical strength training… do you actually want to be weak and skinny or leaner and stronger?
If you answered yes to the first question, please do not bother to ask to train with me.
Getting back to the matter of significant fat loss, food and what food we are eating is the largest influencing factor. If you didn’t know that then please excuse me for calling you an idiot!
People sit too much, fail to move as much, stay up too late, depend on emotion kicks and energy kicks and just plain eat way too much… We know that of course, if we are to be totally honest with ourselves.
Most of us know we should consume a balanced diet of fats, proteins and carbohydrates. The ratio of each does get hazy and confusing especially in light of all the media attention ‘extreme’ diet fads receive.
Essentially, the key to healthy eating for normal living and weight control requires us to consume natural foods with as little human meddling as possible; that is to say, with as little added chemicals, hormones or factory processes.
We should fill our daily diet with meats, vegetables and a few naturally occurring carbohydrates.
These do not include bread, pasta, biscuits, cakes and such… you know that of course, don’t you?
Carbohydrates are not the enemy but we should realise that carbs are just fuels. Sitting around on our backsides doesn’t elicit much of a calorie demand and does not justify the consumption of carbs more than 50 grams a day to be honest. Exercise activities burn fuel and require fuel for recovery so we therefore need carbs post exercise.
Look for your carb intake from this list:
- Whole vegetables
- Whole fruits
- Legumes and beans (non GM)
- Nuts and seeds (non GM)
A professional dietician can suggest all of this in a nice little package of detailed meal plans, but it really isn’t hard.
Eat veg, eat meat and fuel sensibly.
Control your portions, and on that note, here are the two best, most effective and sustainable exercises for fat control.
Yeah, I know, I’m taking the micky in the video, but in reality, ‘pushing away the plate’ when you know you are not hungry any more and ‘closing the dam fridge door’ are two sure ways to control what goes into your mouth.
Stay healthy, keep sensible, always be a student.