How body composition changes and what you shouldn’t do
As we’ve learned so far the best method for changing body composition is by increasing the quality of both your exercise and dietary intake.
You’ll you may have guessed there is a little more involved than just decrease the amount of calories you eat , increase your physical activity or simply sleeping more. Be aware of low fat, no sugar and diet products advertised in the media and super market which manipulate our calorie intake.
Do’s and Don’ts
Despite the fact that artificial sweeteners were for people with diabetes, it has become a top selling product for those looking to lose weight and fat. While some research shows that using low-calorie sweeteners can improve weight loss, there have been some claims that the use of artificial sweeteners can actually increase body weight and might cause negative health effects.
The best solution is to limit added sugars and artificial sweeteners whenever possible.
Usually detox diets only provide short-term results as they focus on serious calorie restrictions through fruits and vegetables (juices) consumption. As a result weight loss is achieved by depleting glycogen and water stores in the body, and it might even decrease muscle mass, which is definitely not desirable.
With a healthy liver, you have all the detox power that you need.
Eating Out versus at Home
The easiest way to control your calorie intake and create a negative energy balance is to prepare your own meals at home.
With fast food or full service restaurant food you likely increase your overall calories as well as saturated fat and sodium intake.
The important thing is to be conscious of portion sizes, regardless of whether you are eating out or cooking at home; eat slowly and chew well, stop when you’re not hungry anymore. Remember, it takes up to 20min until the brain realises that you had enough.
Try to get as much physical activity into your day as you can. If you have a desk job, set up a timer every 90min as a reminder to get up and move. Sitting for an extended amount of time per day has been related to the development of cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
Walk in lunch breaks and do phone calls standing up.
Continuous lack of sleep is not only hurting your health, sleep debt can have negative effect on metabolic control, insulin sensitivity, food cravings, muscle recovery, body composition, hormone profile and performance.
Try to get at least 7hours of sleep every day. Catch up over the weekend is not the best option for several reasons.
Why and how you want to increase and maintain your muscle mass especially as you age?
You will learn about the type, volume, frequency, and intensity of exercises that induce muscle growth as we go along.
Healthy Muscle Mass
As we grow older we lose muscle mass. Even if most people think it is a natural occurrence, we can prevent it and reduce body fat at the same time with a long-term exercise program and some lifestyle changes.
Research data shows show that as you age, the importance of strength is critical; so much so being stronger in your chest and legs is associated with the least risk of premature death.
- It has to be a balance between strength, endurance and low-intensity/steady-state aerobic exercise and HIIT training.
- With help of a personal trainer/coach you can try new exercises, avoid injury, learn about your exercise options, and figure out how to work out safely while also working around past injuries.
- In order to achieve your health and fitness goals in the shortest amount of time you need an individualised exercise program which keeps you on the right track; in particular if you have any special needs like surgery, sore joints or any known muscle unbalances.
- As you advance with your program and your goals become even more specific and better defined, and you’ll want to follow a specific plan tailored to help you meet those goals.
- The chances of you continuing a resistance/aerobic program are probably far greater if it’s fun and you like it as well as you can do it at a time which fits in your lifestyle.
Exercise for Fat Loss
It is important that you exercise for fat loss and muscle gain or/and muscle maintenance. Muscles in the body are like a bellow to a fireplace. More muscles equals more bellow power which means your metabolism can handle more and perhaps not so healthy food better. You should combine aerobic and resistance exercise to attack your fat stores and increase muscle mass.
Aerobic Exercise versus Resistance Exercise
Aerobic exercise such as walking, running, swimming, or cycling is repetitive and relies on the continuous activation of the heart and lungs, often called cardiovascular (cardio) exercise. Most people think it is the key to fat loss.
Resistance exercise involves moving or lifting weights with forceful muscle contractions. Even though resistance exercise is typically related to gains in muscle mass, there is plenty of evidence that it is actually excellent for fat loss and body composition improvements.
To maximise aerobic exercise you should alter between mode, duration, intensity and frequency; the more and intense the movement the better. In general running is excellent as it involves large muscle groups and you can easily change intensity and duration; combined with good nutritional choices and lifestyle habits, it can result in significant body composition improvement.
Duration and Intensity
The longer the exercise the more calories you burn. However, you can burn the same amount of calories, burn more fat and improve your body composition in a fraction of the time by varying the intensity.
With (HIIT) High-Intensity Interval Training you simply intermix rest periods with very high-intensity work. Run fast for 1 minute and then “recover” at a slow jog pace for 1 minute and repeat this for 20 minutes.
Depending on duration and intensity of the workout, you will burn energy during and after the exercise, too.
If you are short on time for exercise break your exercise session into segments of high intensity and easy recovery as well as include jumping jacks, lunges or body-weight squats in your morning workout.
Research not only shows that interval training is more effective than continuous lower-intensity exercise, it also shows that combined with resistance training is incredibly effective for reducing body fat levels and improving heart health.
For best results exercise for fat loss 3-5 times a week and follow the guide lines above.
Resistance Exercise for Fat Loss
With only aerobic exercise it might be easy to change your overall size but not the way it looks physically. By adding lean mass from resistance training you add definition to your physic and increase your metabolic output.
A combination of aerobic and resistance exercise also helps in combating certain types of chronic disease, including muscle wasting, osteoporosis, and perhaps even type 2 diabetes.
Let’s explore how different types of exercise, from small adjustments, such as taking the stairs, walking around more to a full-blown structured exercise program can help you to achieve your health and fitness goals.
Ease ways to burn calories at home
Various types of exercises demand varying amounts of energy, for example —walking versus running. If you want to manipulate your body composition, it is important to know the quality and quantity of calories you are eating and drinking, and how many calories you are expending.
Calories are the fuel for body composition as well as mental and physical performance. Our body is remarkable consist of intricate systems from muscles and enzymes to atoms that work in complete unison, and require good-quality fuel to do so.
Exercise and Metabolism
Depending on duration and intensity of any exercise your energy expenditure does remain elevated
(over resting metabolic rate) for some time. Vigorous weight training can increase your metabolic rate for hours after exercise.
If your goal is fat loss, don’t waste too much time on traditional aerobic exercise 3-4 times a week. Research has shown that HIIT exercises result in significant fat loss. Even though high-intensity exercise burns more carbohydrates and lower-intensity exercise burns more fat, it is all about the total number of calories burned.
In other words, higher-intensity exercise might be much more time efficient for weight loss and in body composition improvement.
Non-Exercise Calorie Burn
Small acts of physical activity throughout the day can burn many calories, make you healthier and improve body composition. Simple daily habits such as taking the stairs and carrying shopping bags to your car at the far side of the car park can consciously be altered to improve your health.
Can you adapt your daily routine to add a short walk and taking the stairs as well as a 5-10min exercise routine before breakfast and after work?
Weight loss Exercise – Does it work?
Weight loss or weight gain? – This is the equation: Calories in verses calories out.
If you’ve lost weight or want to lose weight, exercise can also help with weight maintenance, or achieve your weight goal faster when you watch your calorie intake.
Here are some facts:
- You work hard on that treadmill for an hour, and that work can be erased with five minutes of eating or drinking afterwards.
- A single slice of pizza, for example, could undo the benefit of an hour’s workout. So could a cappuccino or an ice cream.
- Adding a couple of gym sessions a week, has mathematically, a very modest effect on weight loss.
- A pound of human fat represents about 3,500 calories; therefore cutting 500 calories per day, through diet or physical activity, results in about a pound of weight loss per week. Similarly, adding 500 calories a day results in a weight gain of about the same.
- For weight loss, calorie restriction seems to work better than exercise, and calorie restriction plus exercise can work a little better than calorie restriction alone.
- It’s hard to create a significant calorie deficit through exercise.
A fact about exercise is that, even when you work out, those extra calories burned only account for a tiny part of your total energy expenditure.
There are three main components to energy expenditure:
- Basal metabolic rate – the amount of energy expressed in calories that a person needs to keep the body functioning at rest.
- The energy used to break down food.
- Energy used in physical activity.
The bad news is that we have no control over our basal metabolic rate, but it’s our biggest energy expenditure.
What have we learned?
- The more active we are, the more calories we burn. Period, full stop.
- Don’t overeat to manage your weight.
- You cannot outrun a bad diet.
- Joining a gym as a sole strategy to lose weight is often an exercise in futility.
- Restrict their calorie intake
- Stay away from high-fat foods.
- Watch their portion sizes.
Weight loss exercise program and F.I.T.T. Principle
I can understand that some feel overwhelmed about starting a new fitness routine. An easy way to get started is by following the F.I.T.T. principle.
This acronym stands for Frequency, Intensity, Time and Type.
Aerobic activities use the large muscles of the body in continuous, rhythmical, sustained movement. Examples are walking, swimming, cycling and running.
The benefits not only include increased fitness of the heart, lungs, and blood vessels, improved glucose control, and better weight management, they also help reduce your risk of cardiovascular problems.
For optimal results, perform your aerobic activity 3 to 5 times a week, preferably every other day. Make sure you have at least one day each week to prevent any injuries from overuse!
Intensity – 1 to 10 Scale – On a scale of 1 to 10, with one being resting and ten being as hard as you can exercise, be sure to exercise at a level equal to a 5, 6, or 7. This can easily be monitored with the Talk Test. You should be able to easily talk to a partner at all times.
Time – The recommended duration of aerobic exercise is 20 to 45 minutes, with additional warm up and cool down.
Type – For all-round fitness you may expand your fitness routine with…
Resistance Training is used to develop muscular strength and endurance. Resistance training makes you stronger and gives you more energy and, if done properly it can be useful in injury prevention, increased muscle and decreased body fat.
Flexibility Exercises – can give you increased freedom of movement, decreased stress and muscular tension, and help you move freely without pain.