In the battle against the bulge, the right information, good planning and executing them wisely goes a long way in successfully keeping off those undesirable pounds of fat. In this section, common topics about fat loss will be addressed. With this arsenal of knowledge, you will be well on your way to achieving your iconic gymnast physique, improved quality of life and keeping it pressive 24/7.
Target Fat Loss
Caloric restriction through diet has been used in studies to induce weight loss in obese patients by increasing the ratio of caloric expenditure to caloric intake. Diet modification alone has been shown to significantly improve risk markers of cardiovascular disease along with blood lipid profiles. However with weight loss, it is difficult to quantify the loss of fat mass (FM) as opposed to fat-free mass (FFM) (ie muscle).
Growing evidence is supporting the combination of exercise and diet (Duhhh!) to be most effective in specifically targeting fat loss. One study showed that very low calorie diet (VLCD) was only effective in inducing fat loss only in the early stages and failed to produce favourable changes in body fat distribution as fat would be conserved as an energy source in a very energy restricted environment. The initial loss in weight tends to also include loss in muscle which is responsible for maintaining a high resting metabolic rate (RMR). Both these factors negate the body’s ability to lose. As such, it could be also be explained why most FAD diets FAIL to work long term.
The combination of diet and exercise, both aerobic and resistance training (Rings and such..) was found to produce only modest weight loss but was most effective long term in preserving lean mass whilst beneficially affecting body fat distribution by reducing visceral adipose tissue (VAT) and subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) (cf. Visceral and Subcutaneous Fat). A proper training regime and a well-balanced diet is the way to go.
High intensity interval exercise (HIIE) has been shown to be effective in losing excess fat. One study demonstrated numerous benefits in improving overall fitness capacity, enhancing skeletal muscle adaptation to training, increased insulin sensitivity (minimising risk of Type 2 diabetes) and time savvy suitable for hectic lifestyles ( Busy?....do some MUSCLE UPS !)
Where food allergies are absent, a well-balanced diet would consist of a variety of unrefined carbohydrates, low-fat dairy products, adequate lean protein from animal meats and fish, fruit, vegetables and moderate amounts of good fats (e.g. avocados, non-rancid nuts and seeds) and fresh oils.
Redefine your Fat
It would be best to have an idea of your body fat percentage. Weigh scales and body mass indices are least reliable (non-specific to fat mass). Waist circumference and skin-fold measurements require clinical skills (your medical doctor) but provide a good and reliable estimate. Various gadgets such as body fat scales and digital callipers have also been designed nowadays to provide a convenient and accurate means of measuring body fat percentage.
No ideal body fat percentage exists given that individuals vary in their genetic background. A range of body fat percentages are as follows (modified from guidelines):
Having some body fat is crucial for the optimal functioning of the body. Storage fats help insulate and protect vital organs whilst essential fats have important functions such as hormonal (Testosterone!), neurological (brain, eyes) and dermatological systems (skin, hair and nails)
In summary, achieving the recommended range of body fat percentage whilst pursuing your RF goals will ultimately benefit overall performance, health and wellbeing.
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