You must exercise in order to shed body fat… Actually, to drop body fat you must create a calorie deficit. You can generate that deficit by simply eating fewer calories, for example, sick people with no appetite commonly shed body fat, without any exercise. Similarly, injured athletes can also experience a dive in body fat, despite lack of exercise. Having said that, including exercise in your weight-loss efforts will create many additional health benefits, lead to you being toned rather than just thin and will ensure you maintain your new shape, avoiding the yo-yo dieting trap.
The more you exercise, the more fat you lose… Often, the more you exercise, the hungrier you get, so you might end up eating bigger portions. Or, you might believe you deserve to indulge in that extra biscuit after breakfast or double helping of dinner as a reward for having survived the exercise session. Remember, you have to eat according to your whole day’s activity level, not simply according to how hard you’ve exercised that day. You may fail to lose fat because all your energy goes into exercising, but then you might be quite sedentary the rest of the day as you recover from the tough workouts. Create a sensible fitness routine, but don’t sit on your laurels!
Couples who exercise together, burn fat together… Sorry ladies, but a man who exercises is likely to lose more weight than his female partner because he’s likely to be heftier, and because of that, burns more calories during exactly the same workout. Plus, Mother Nature seems protective of women’s role as child bearer, wanting women to maintain adequate body fat for nourishing healthy babies, which is why women are more energy efficient. Obesity researchers at New York’s Columbia University suggest 1lb of weight-loss in men equates to a deficit of about 2,500 calories, while women need a 3,500 calorie deficit to achieve the same results. No wonder we girls often have a tougher time losing weight then men do! Exercise will help change your shape, but you should also focus on working out for health, fitness, stress relief and most importantly, for enjoyment, as exercising solely to burn off calories makes it feel like punishment for having excess body fat. When exercise is something you do to your body, rather than do for your body, there’s a great danger you’ll eventually quit.
It’s okay to eat fast food in moderation… A 15-year study reported in the medical journal The Lancet, found that people who ate fast food just once a week gained significantly more weight than those who didn’t. It’s vital to be aware of how calorie dense and lacking in nutrition most fast foods are, and to understand that each one will be a dent in your efforts to lose weight and shape up. So, next time you’re in the supermarket, buy some healthy preprepared meals that you can keep ready for when you need something quick, say, after a long day at work or a tiring gym session.
What’s the best exercise for fat-loss? Try Dean’s favourite: “Do a Tabata session on the rower – eight sets of 20 seconds at full intensity with 10 seconds rest between each. That’s just four minutes in total!”}