Most people struggle to lose fat while also gaining muscle, while many others believe that getting lean is the toughest part of achieving their perfect body.
However, the truth is, it is really quite simple to burn fat effectively. In order lose fat it is essential that your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) exceeds how many calories you consume—creating a calorie deficit.
There are 3 main points to this:
The energy your body uses to digest nutrients is the TEF, or the increase in metabolic rate after ingestion of a meal. This thermic breakdown of a meal is produced by the energy required for the consumption, digestion, metabolism, and storage of food.
There are 3 macro nutrients in foods (proteins, fats, carbs), and all 3 have different thermic rates. Your body uses the most energy to break down protein, followed by carbs, and then by fats. That’s why during a fat loss phase, a relatively high protein diet is effective to help you lean down while preserving muscle mass.
Macro ratios are important and necessary considerations to burn fat, followed by the total calories you consume.
AEE can be divided into Physical Activity (PA) and Spontaneous Physical Activity (SPA). PA includes forms of exercising both anaerobic (weight training) and aerobic (cardio).
Weight training/resistance training has been proven to increase Excess Post-Exercise Energy Consumption (EPOC), or the “after-burn”, more than simply doing cardio.
This basically means your body burns more calories after a heavy lifting session for up to a day or more. You might burn more calories in 1 hour of cardio vs 1 hour of strength training but it doesn’t mean that overall you will burn more fat/calories.
Keep in mind that there is no need to super-set every single one of your exercises during a lifting session just to burn a few extra calories.
If you get a better output by giving yourself more recovery to lift heavier—remember that this alone has tons of muscle building, strength developing, and fat burning benefits as well.
Skeletal muscles require calories to maintain and rebuild itself. If you increase your muscle mass then your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) will improve too—meaning you can eat more and stay at the same level of body fat compared to when you had less muscle.
Simply put, in order to burn fat you must: control your diet, be more active, and lift some weights!
However, it is also important not to overlook doing spontaneous physical activity. Sitting in an office all day will burn a lot less calories than working on your feet.
Just remember that all things need to be considered. So if you find that you are very sedentary outside of the gym then think of adding in some extra cardio to supplement your weight training.
by: Rishi Haria, Lab Trainer