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Fat Loss Truths: Part One

With all the misconeptions and myths out there about how to lose weight I figured it would be a good idea to do a series on “fat loss truths.”

In today’s post I’m going to share four facts about fat loss to get things started. Feel free to leave me a question you’d like answered in the comments section and I’ll look to cover it in a future post within this series.

Fat Loss Truth #1

If you want a slimmer waistline you MUST exercise your entire body and not just do cardio and work your abs!

I see this mistake quite often with new exercisers working out on their own at health clubs. They look at the placards on the equipment showing which muscle groups are worked by that machine then attempt to isolate that area in order to reduce it.

An example would be someone who wants to flatten their stomach and goes about it by doing something like that worthless “seated ab crunch machine.” I won’t get on my soapbox right now about this machine but trust me this is NOT very effective at reducing your waistline.

Let me explain… If your goal is to have a flat stomach then the first thing you need to do is remove the layer of fat that’s covering up the abdominal muscles. The best way to do that is by exercising your entire body. When you do that the results will be dramatically different.

Sometimes this is hard for people to understand but let me try to simplify it for you. When you work your abs you’re not using a lot of energy (calories) and therefore won’t need to release a lot of body fat for fuel. But when you work the much larger muscle groups like the ones in your legs, back, and chest you’ll burn twice the calories.

The fact of the matter is you’ll do more to have a flat stomach by doing a total body exercise like a squat then you will by doing crunches! It makes me laugh when I see an infomercial where they show someone who went from flabby to six-pack by using some new ab crunch device. Believe me they changed their shape through vigorous total body exercise and supportive nutrition, not by simply using some ab gadget.

Fat Loss Truth #2
Skipping meals only increases the chances you’ll store body fat at your midsection!

You may already know this but it bears repeating. When you go without eating you slow down your metabolism. When you slow down your metabolism you tell your body to store fat. You can’t burn fat when you’re telling your body to preserve it! When you see how your body works it all makes perfect sense.

Your body is designed by the grace of God with a magnificent self-preservation system. When you go without food your body takes measures to protect itself from starvation. It doesn’t know if you’re enduring a famine or that you just simply decided to skip breakfast. Your metabolism slows down and you get real efficient at using very little energy. Hence you get stingy with releasing body fat.

Here’s the real kicker, when you go that long without eating your blood sugar levels drop dramatically. When you finally eat the resulting surge in blood sugar causes a spike in insulin. The next step will be your body attempting to protect itself by storing that energy in fat cells. Guess where your body typically stores fat in these situations. You got it, in your midsection! Bottom line, when you miss meals you make yourself fatter.

Fat Loss Truth #3
Deep breathing helps you lose fat at your waistline better than abdominal crunches!

Here’s a little known secret you may never have heard before. Deep breathing exercises can do more for your waistline than any number of crunches. Deep breathing exercises provide numerous benefits for the body namely the functioning of internal organs and the strengthening of abdominal muscles.

Learn how to do deep breathing exercises while walking and the results will amaze you. These techniques were commonly taught for years as lessons in physical fitness. Somewhere along the line this information got lost by individuals trying to sell you quick fix products. Such a shame but it’s so true.

You can’t sell deep breathing exercises so nobody talks about it. Well I will… so listen up. The benefits of deep breathing exercises are numerous with increased oxygen consumption, improved digestion, stronger core muscles, and more energy. I encourage you to practice this simple yet effective technique.

While you walk take deep breaths in through your nose and exhale through your mouth. This can also be done during walks, with meditation, tai-chi, etc. See what works for you but remember oxygen MUST be present in the Krebs cycle for fat to be used for fuel so look to get better at bringing it in your body.

Doesn’t it make sense if you want your body to turn up the heat in the “fat burning furnace” that you’ll need to pump in plenty of oxygen?

Fat Loss Truth #4
Drinking alcohol stops the fat burning process cold and provides useless calories often resulting in more fat stored at your waistline!

We’re going to have some unhappy people here but hey my job is to just share the truth. I didn’t make the rules, just sharing the info. Did you know that there are times when your body is completely unable to burn fat for fuel?

beer

It’s true and one of the ways might surprise you. People ask me all the time if it’s ok to drink alcohol. My response is normally sure it’s “ok.” But does that mean it’s in your best interest?

Look I have no problem with alcohol. I’ll drink a few beers on the weekend but then again I’m not trying to lose weight. You have to ask yourself if having alcohol will help or hinder your weight loss goals. Moderation is the key but don’t be mislead, alcohol will not help you lose weight. Here’s why…

Alcohol is a sugar plain and simple, but no ordinary sugar. It’s the ONLY sugar that can be absorbed directly through your stomach lining and into the bloodstream. When you drink alcohol your liver quickly gets busy trying to break down the sugar alcohols.

In doing so your liver produces something called “acetate” which your body will preferentially use for energy (blocking fat being used for energy completely) until the acetate is used up. Think of it this way…your body sees alcohol as a toxin plain and simple, so it works on breaking it down and getting rid of it as soon as possible.

Through the process of alcohol sugar breakdown and conversion to acetate your fat burning process get completely shut down. But guess what happens if you have excess energy from fat after the acetate is burned up…you guessed it…it gets stored.

Ok, so there we have it, four fat loss truths to start off our series. Once again leave me any of your questions you’d like me to cover in a future series in the comments section. I’ll do my best to get them addressed or reply back to you.

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Shane Doll is a certified Charleston personal trainer, fat loss expert, speaker, and founder of Shaping Concepts personal training studios. You can receive a FREE no-obligations trial of his Charleston personal training program and experience the Shaping Concepts difference for yourself.

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Category: Fat Loss.