10 Essential Facts About Targeting Fat Loss
In the never-ending pursuit of health and fitness, targeting fat loss has become a common goal. However, there is more to fat loss than meets the eye. As such, it becomes crucial to understand the complexities of the process in order to achieve sustainable and healthy results.
The truth is that there is a lot of misinformation online, shared by enthusiastic influencers and self-proclaimed nutritionists, which could put you at risk. So, if you have come across a new diet supplement that is guaranteed to target fat loss in a matter of a few days or weeks. You may want to think twice before buying it. Here are important facts about fat loss you need to know as you embark on your journey.
#1. You can't spot target fat
Regardless of what you might find online, no amount of workout is going to target specific areas. While exercises can strengthen specific muscles, they do not directly lead to localized fat loss. In fact, your body will shed fat in a systematic manner, which is influenced by a variety of factors, including hormones and genetics. So, the key lesson to learn is that you can't address stubborn pockets of fat at will with diet and exercise only. A healthy lifestyle will lead to gradual fat loss, but it won't be localized.
However, you can turn to specific methods, such as CoolSculpting at Element Body Lab, which allows you to decide precisely which areas you would like to reduce.
#2. You need to reduce your caloric intake for weight loss
There is no miracle formula. You need to create a calorie deficit if you wish to lose weight, including fat loss. However, you want to be careful about the type of reduction method you use. For example, while it may be tempting to skip meals to lose weight, in reality, this is more likely to be counterproductive. Your body needs nutrients to maintain its normal activities. Therefore, when you deprive your body of too much nutrition, it goes into starvation mode. This means storing more fat for protection, which is precisely the opposite of what you wanted to achieve.
Besides, we've all tried once to lose weight by skipping a meal. The reason why it doesn't work is because you end up over eating to make up for the missed meal. So, you want to consume smaller portions without reducing your food intake too excessively.
#3. Fasting will not target just fat cells
While fasting is growing in popularity, such as intermittent fasting, it is important to understand what happens to your body. Intermittent fasting doesn't target fat cells. During a fast, your body will break down a mix of fat and muscle to provide for the fuel it needs. This can end up slowly lowering your metabolism in the long term, especially if you lose a high amount of muscle mass.
Studies show that people who engage in intermittent fasting accompanied by resistance training can see positive improvements in their body composition. Indeed, both the duration of the fast and the training ensures the body could preserve its muscle mass.
#4. Building muscle mass for effective fat loss
Muscles are metabolically active tissues, which means they can play an active role in fat loss. As such, by increasing your muscle mass through strength and resistance training, you can naturally elevate your resting metabolic rate. This refers to the calories your body needs at rest to maintain its essential functions. The higher the metabolic rate, the more calories you burn. Consequently, targeting muscle mass will help reduce fat composition.
#5. You can't build muscle in a specific area for fat targeting
You can target muscle development through exercise. For example, you can focus your workout on legs or arms. This is a common practice for regular gym-goers who have leg days, arm days, etc. However, there are two important things to note about it:
- Increasing your muscle mass requires not only exercises but also a specific diet.
- Increased muscle mass may help reduce fat, but your body will reduce fat composition as a whole rather than focus on any area.
#6. You need good quality sleep
Can lack of sleep cause weight gain? The answer is yes. Sleep deprivation disrupts the hormones involved in regulating hunger and metabolism, which lead to increased appetite and decreased fat utilization. Sleep deprivation can lead to consuming an extra 383 calories the next day. Additionally, the body is prone to store fat cells when you are sleep-deprived, which makes it harder to get lean when your sleep schedule is all over the place.
#7. Weight gain is not an age-related issue
Does weight gain happen only in old age? Most people tend to assume that putting on a little weight with age is inevitable. In reality, weight gain occurs as a result of your lifestyle, such as unhealthy food choices and lack of physical activities. Over time, the body becomes less effective at managing unhealthy choices, leading to weight gain.
#8. Your metabolism does slow down with age
A caveat to age-related weight gain: Your metabolic rate tends to decrease with age. However, this doesn't have to be a fatality. Regular exercise and weight training can help preserve your metabolism by building more muscle mass. This will not only prevent risks of weight gain getting older, but it will also protect your body's functions and overall composition.
#9. Your body needs fat
Your body composition refers to the proportion of fat compared to lean tissues. It is important to understand that your body needs fat cells in order to remain healthy. Therefore, your body composition should never show 0% fat. Besides, men and women have different fat requirements. The female body needs more fat to function properly.
#10. Be cautious about fat-burning diets
Of course, everybody would want an effective fat burning diet to get rid of excess fat cells. But diets that target only fat, such as keto, can also have devastating effects. The keto diet, for example, can threaten your kidneys' health as they need to work a lot harder to process all the protein you consume.
Similarly, metabolism-enhancing supplements can be just as harmful too. As a rule of thumb, a healthy diet will drive slow fat loss. So stay away from crash diets and pills!
As you embark on your fat loss journey, arming yourself with accurate information is paramount. The better you understand your body, the easier it is to keep it healthy and strong.