Fat Burner Training – Lose Fat Without Losing Muscle
We all know that carrying excessive amount of body fat is unhealthy. The safe and healthy approach to lose weight is through proper nutrition and regular exercise regimen.
Balance stress and hormone, diet, workout
Cortisol – stress hormone
Cortisol and exercise
Cortisol and overeating
Cortisol and insulin resistance
Food portion awareness and control
Too Much Sugar
Sugar, refined carbs and insulin resistance
Everyone has fat cells
Can glucose (sugar) convert to fat?
Fat burner needs water
Tips on how to lose body fat fast
Fat Burner program
Good Quality Sleep
Body fat reduction can be frustrating for some people. People who are busy, with high stress, low physical activity lifestyles may find reducing body fat challenging. Other factors are age, gender, body types especially those who are genetically predisposed to accumulate fat easily.
The human body is generally classified into 3 main body types: mesomorph, endomorph, and ectomorph. Genetic blueprint determines the physical appearances of the body.
: typically gifted with athletic build features. The characteristics of mesomorphs are hard, rugged, rectangular, well-developed muscles, good posture. Mesomorphs gain muscle mass easily.
: usually have rounded body features, thick, and short limbs. Endomorphs accumulate fat easily with very little or no muscle definition.
: thin, flat chested, light build with small joints and lean muscle. Ectomorphs usually have long thin, slender limbs with stringy muscles. Their fast metabolism makes it hard for them to gain muscle mass.
(“MONW” – metabolically obese normal weight)
Believe it or not, even skinny individuals who neglect their health can gain high enough body fat percentage that is unhealthy. The most dangerous fat is the “metabolically active” intra-abdominal or visceral fat. Visceral fat sits between organs and produces substances that increase the risk of heart disease and diabetes. However, it is easier to burn off visceral fat than subcutaneous fat with dieting and physical exercise. Subcutaneous fat is the layer of fat underneath the skin.
Balancing stress & hormones (a.k.a. life), diet, workout
Obesity is generally the result of overeating and lack of physical activity. The excess calories from food intake are stored as fat. Restrict calories intake through dieting, burn off more calories with exercise to lose fat. Easier said than done! With the constant stress in our busy lifestyles, even the most easily “muscular-ed” mesomorph (the muscular built type) can get fat.
The abundance of high sugar content and carbs in our North American diet makes it more challenging for all of us to keep our weight in check. So, the million dollar questions are
what are the ways to lose weight?
how to lose body fat fast?
what is the best fat burning workout?
Here’s the spoiler, there is no fast way to lose fat. It is dependent upon your level of physical fitness, body type, and lifestyle. The easier way to lose body fat is through managing stress (or cortisol), diet and be physically active. You may need to take gradual steps to change habits so that your body fat reduction plan is successful. The plan should be suitable for your lifestyle.
Cortisol – stress hormone
What is cortisol? Cortisol is a “stress” hormone released from the adrenal glands. It is a hormone that is very important for our survival from threats. When threatened, the body releases high concentrations of cortisol to cause the release of body’s sugar and fat stores to meet the demands of stress. When the threat is no longer present, cortisol levels return to baseline again. Short term cortisol increase is healthy but not when cortisol levels are chronically elevated.
Cortisol and exercise
The physical stress from working out elevates cortisol levels. Cortisol together with other hormones i.e. growth hormone and adrenaline increase fat burning. At this time, insulin levels are at a minimum which is an ideal environment for fat burning. So, it is a good idea to keep exercise sessions to an hour in order to maintain optimum cortisol levels. Extended durations of elevated cortisol has fat storage properties.
Cortisol and overeating
Cortisol affects a part of the brain function in an area called the hypothalamus. The hormones from the hypothalamus regulate the body’s temperature, thirst, hunger, sleep, mood, sex drive, and signal the release of other hormones within the body. After a meal, the hypothalamus produces hormones to signal the feeling of fullness and satiety. However, when cortisol is chronically elevated in the body, it irritates the hypothalamus. So, the hypothalamus becomes de-sensitize and the signaling system response is impaired. You will become dissatisfied after meals and tend to overeat even more so when stressed.
Cortisol and Insulin Resistance
Cortisol causes insulin resistance. Cortisol and insulin block each others action by decreasing the sensitivity of each others receptors.
It is imperative to normalize cortisol levels in order to beat emotional eating. That means reducing stress and getting good quality sleep. Some stress relieving activities are dancing to the beat of your favourite music, spending leisure time with family, massage, stretching based activity i.e. vinyasa yoga (more yin-based yoga), laughter, time with pets, leisure walking in the park or beach, sauna, hot baths, meditation, be social, do something fun or something you enjoy like hobbies. Don’t discount physical affection with the significant other.
Food Portion Awareness and Control
You walk into your neighbourhood coffee shop and ask for normal morning coffee and muffin for breakfast. Little did you know, if you had ordered the same coffee and muffin 20 years ago, the portion size most likely had been smaller. Twenty years ago, the muffin weighed 2.1 oz. with 210 calories compared to muffin today which weighs 4 oz. with up to 500 calories.
Overeating is prevalent in our society. Food portion today is much greater than the portion of 20 years ago. What is perceived as the normal serving size or the right amount of food today was over portioned 20 years ago. Our food portion paradigm has shifted or been distorted.
Another reason people overeat is probably the savoury taste of food. Artificial flavour enhancers added to processed foods and fast foods make them more palatable and preferred. A lot the fast food items have processed carbs content, from the white hamburger buns, the breading of the fried chicken, french fries. Similarly, people usually choose soft drinks or milkshakes over water because of the extreme sweet taste of the added enormous content of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) which is in the beverage. What about dessert, what about the sugar and carb content in the apple pie or ice cream?
Sugar and refined carbs are comfort food. They feed the brain and produces serotonin, natural mood booster so sugar can be addictive!
If you grew up with the calories-packed fast foods and high sugar content beverage culture, you may need to wean your taste buds in little baby steps and learn to accept the taste of Brussel sprouts, spinach, broccoli. Perhaps add some cheese, spices, mildly hot pepper to the nutrient-dense food choices. Maybe, add honey as sweetener to your unsweetened ice tea.
Too Much Sugar
Overeating is not the only bad thing. Consuming excessive amounts of high sugary foods and refined carbs has a damaging effect on the body’s insulin balance and increases fat storage.
What is surprising is what you consider as healthy, granola bars, instant oatmeal, some fruit juices contain high amount of added sugar.
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada recommended average Canadians who consume 2000 calories daily should only have about 48 grams of sugar (12 teaspoons). A can of pop contains 85% of daily sugar limit.
If you want to lose weight, your sugar intake should be less than the recommended amount.
Latest update – Oct 2016 : Cancer cells feed on sugar to grow. Reducing sugar intake will help to slow down cancer growth and in some cases eliminate it entirely.
Sugar, Refined Carbs and Insulin Resistance
How do sugar and carbs cause insulin resistance?
When we eat food the body’s pancreas releases insulin to store nutrients. The nutrients are carbs, fats, protein, vitamins, minerals, water. When insulin level is high, glucose is stored as glycogen in the liver, and muscles while fat metabolism is inhibited.
Insulin, itself, does not convert nutrients into storage form. Insulin is like a salesperson who knocks on the doors of the cells convincing the cells to let glucose be stored away in the cells’ “house” as glycogen.
Everything is fine, we have calorie supply that matches calorie demand. The problem becomes an issue when calorie supply exceeds calorie demand. As obesity researcher, Stephan Guyenet, stated, “…. just as chronic energy excess is toxic to a whole person, it is toxic to the cell. ….”
When the cells’ glycogen storage sites are full, the excess glucose converts to fat to be stored away, again inside the cell … (In the muscle cells the stored fat is known as intra-myocellular lipids) ~ ~ Whew!! As the cells’ internal storage sites become full, they will have to turn away more insulin and more glucose that want to come in. So, the cells now become insulin resistant. The cells are basically saying, “ I have too much calorie packs, I have no space to store them! ”
Everyone has fat cells
This phenomenon is not only happening in cells of muscle tissue but also happens to fat tissues. The technical term for fat tissue is adipose tissue and it is made up of fat cells. We are born with a pre-determined number of fat cells. Each fat cell can grow to 6 times its original size. The more fat droplets it stores the bigger it gets. When all the fat cells reach their maximum size, the body will create new fat cells to avail itself for more fat storage.
As the skeletal muscle cells resist insulin the body will have to store the glucose somewhere but not in the blood stream. Having chronic high blood glucose is dangerous. Anyone who is diabetic will let you know how bad it can get. So, the body will have to remove the glucose from the blood stream and store it away somewhere or convert it into inert or less toxic form.
Heightened blood glucose levels continue to signal the pancreas to release more insulin hormone. Unknown to the pancreas, it pumps out more insulin to get glucose off the bloodstream. Irrespective of how much insulin hormone is present, the cells are still resistant to insulin.
Can glucose (sugar) convert to fat? Yes, it can.
After a long period of secreting insulin, and continuous feeding of high amounts of glucose, the pancreas’ insulin production machinery becomes fatigue. Now, the insulin production capacity is negatively affected. Since glucose is not allowed into cells because the cells are insulin-resistant, and the pancreas insulin production is compromised, the body has to convert it fat. So as more fat droplets are stored in the fat cells and they grow bigger. As the fat cells increase in size they too become more insulin resistant.
Upon exhausting all avenues of removing glucose from the bloodstream, a person is considered diabetic if the blood glucose reading is 126 ml/dL.
Once the body calls for energy (especially calories expenditure through exercise), the stored glycogen and fat convert to energy. As the energy stores become depleted, the cells will begin to accept the energy packs of glycogen and fat again. This restores insulin sensitivity.
Fat burner needs water
Two-thirds of the human body is made up of water. Water helps regulate body temperature, helps with blood flow. With good blood flow, the nutrients and waste material are easily transported to muscles and organs and the brain.
Water also suppresses appetite and carbs cravings. Since muscles are mostly water, hydration promotes muscle growth. Having more muscle means higher metabolism, more fat burners.
Fat burning fact: the body needs water in its chemical reaction to convert fat (triglycerides) to free fatty acids. Free fatty acids, the usable form of energy sources are then delivered into cells to be converted into energy.
Therefore, water is vital in the fat burner processes in the body.
Tips on how to lose body fat fast:
1) Use smaller serving plates:
You eat more food if you get food served to you on bigger dinner plates. Use smaller luncheon plates, the plate looks more full and you tend to eat less.
2) Eat at slower rate
If you eat at a slower rate, your stomach will have more time to communicate the feeling of satiety and fullness to your brain before you overeat. Chew your food and enjoy taste of the food. Then you will eat less.
3) Low carb high protein, high fat diet
Reduce carbohydrates, eat more protein, and good fats. Carbohydrates are quick sources energy. The body can burn off calories derived from carbohydrates faster than from fat or protein. Naturally, the body will choose the easier source of energy, which is from carbohydrates.
The body operates on continuum basis. As the body exhaust the carbohydrate energy stores, the next alternative choice is either to harness calories from fat or protein. When carbohydrates become available more again, it will dial itself back to burning more carbs, burn less fat.
Everyone has different inclination towards carbohydrates-fat metabolism. Everyone has different fat burning capacity, some can burn fat easier than others. Low carb diet will affect those who has lower fat burning inclinations. They will feel lethargic, moody, lacking in attention span.
Vary the amount of carbohydrates intake until you find an amount that you feel comfortable with. Then, train your body’s fat burning machinery to burn more fat by gradually dialing down carb content in your diet.
Dietitian consultation available:
If you have a pre-existing medical condition and with a doctor’s note, our Registered Dietitian is available for consultation.
Dietitian’s consultation fees are extra, which are usually covered under workplace insurance benefits.
Personal Trainer Toronto’s dietitian can help determine the optimum amount of carbs, fat, protein in your diet plan. An effective nutrition and workout plan are the key features of the Fat Burner program to help you to lose fat effectively.
4) Eat complex carbs – whole grain foods, fruits, vegetables.
Carbohydrates (including sugar) in most natural form prevent blood sugar spikes. Natural complex carbs metabolism goes through several extra steps before it can be broken down into its simple, usable form, glucose.
Additional benefit, fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants. Some examples of natural complex carbs are, oats, unprocessed wheat, brown rice, vegetables, fruits.
5) Time your carbs intake
You should also consume carbs about 10 – 15 mins after your workout to replenish the empty glycogen stores in the muscles and liver. This provides an environment of low stress for muscle building because the fed energy system is not stressed for energy. Some immediate post-workout replenishment sources are peanut butter sandwich, chocolate milk, bananas, healthy home-made cookies (no trans fat), or good quality protein drink. Make sure you have enough protein during your next meal after your workout.
6) Avoid simple sugars, soda pop, processed white flour pastries
The sugar, including fructose or high fructose corn syrup, is a high calorie food that causes high blood sugar spikes and promotes fat accumulation in the body. Fructose which is present in sugar and fruits is directly converted into fat, uric acid and free radicals in the liver. Excessive amounts fructose over long term can damage the liver, artery walls, cell structures.
7) Fat is Good, if it is omega-3 fat
Sources of omega-3 fats are cold water fish like salmon, shellfish, nuts and seeds like walnuts, flaxseeds, avocado. Omega 3 fat improves insulin sensitivity, has protective effect against heart diseases, cancer. It is anti-inflammatory, helps improve brain functions, better nervous system transmission, improve cellular structure for better gene expression
Avoid manufactured trans fat – eliminate fast foods, no margarine, commercial baked pastries. They increase heart attack risks.
Trans fat is also found naturally in meat, milk, and butter in small amounts. However, the trans fat found naturally in foods does not increase your risk of heart disease.
8) Increase protein
Protein is the building blocks of muscles, tendons, ligaments. So, having adequate amount of protein preserve muscle mass, hence, maintaining higher metabolism. From the fat loss perspective, protein metabolism requires more calories expenditure. Protein increases insulin sensitivity which is important in any shred fat gain muscle plans.
Protein metabolism creates acid and oxidative stress in the body. In addition to feeding on protein, eating recommended portions of fruits, vegetables and legumes are recommended. Vegetables, fruits, legumes are rich in anti-oxidants. The anti-oxidants can balance the oxidative stress from protein metabolism.
9) Fibre (fiber) in your diet is good
Fibre is calorie free and it helps you to feel full longer so, you will eat less. Having fibre in your diet is good for gastrointestinal health and healthy bowel movement.
10) Exercise regularly
You can lose weight just by making changes in your diet alone. However, without any exercise (however, it needs to be the correct type of exercise), you will not build muscle. Muscle needs energy to sustain itself. The more muscles you have, the more energy is needed to sustain the muscles. When you are sitting down, sleeping, reading, your body will burn more calories in comparison to someone who has higher body fat percentage. By having more muscles, you have higher metabolism.
Many research studies have proven that exercise improves insulin sensitivity and metabolic flexibility. A good variety mix of weight training, cardio training restore the function of the insulin system.
Fat Burner program – Customized workout plan to shred fat gain muscle
At Personal Trainer Toronto, the Fat Burner program is customizable in home personal training program that helps you to build muscle and lose fat fast. Each training session is an hour long.
Weight training, build muscles, burn fat with HIIT
It is a program which involves a combination of weight training to build strength and muscles, high-intensity interval training (HIIT). HIIT will increase fat loss after the workout session when your body is repairing the muscles, the post-workout afterburn.
Train big muscle groups for maximum fat burn
The program works on teaching you various exercise which includes learning basic weight training exercises, interval training exercises, functional training protocols. All exercises will focus on training the big muscle groups to result in maximum calories burn.
Exercises will target the muscles in legs, buttocks, abdomen, lower back, upper back, chest. Some of the exercises will include lunges, various squats, deadlift, various chest presses, rows, chin ups, lat pulls, dips, core training i.e. back extensions, Russian twist, various kettlebell training.
Safety and Technique for Effectiveness
The program teaches you proper training technique to prevent injury and maximize effectiveness of the training. It is a program that customizable to novice, not so novice, intermediate trainees alike. The personal trainers at Personal Trainer Toronto will provide motivation to keep you engaged in your training.
On with your journey to lose fat and better health
Together with the knowledge of hormone balancing, nutrition, the Fat Burner will prove to be an effective program. The program length – 12 weeks, 3 – 4 sessions per week.
The journey towards leaner body does not stop after the Fat Burner program is over. The aim of the program is to give you the necessary tools and knowledge to help get started in your effort to lose fat.
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Our personal trainers can provide in-home personal training. The benefits of in home personal training are convenience, privacy and you get complete attention of the personal trainer.
Good Quality Sleep
Sleep! Good quality sleep is essential for the body to rejuvenate. The body repairs tissues, replenishes energy stores, reinstate balance to hormonal system, build muscles while you are sleeping.
Finally, losing fat and maintain a healthy weight requires a holistic approach. Adequate nutrition is dependent upon your activity level. Undernourishment can cause muscle loss while overeating will push the body towards fat storage mode.
Finding your balance in good quality diet, managing stress levels (which will affect hormone levels), exercise and relaxation i.e. sleep are the important factors in leading a healthy and high quality of life.
Contact info: Personal Trainer Toronto – in home personal training
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