‘Eat this and do that and you will lose weight.’ Heard that before? Just do a quick Google search and you will find many an ‘expert’ telling you what to do to ‘lose weight’. Sometimes the tips can be useful but often they can be sabotaging and taking too much of a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. There’s a real problem with that. For one, scientists have discovered a metabolic pathway that appears to exert overall control over whether our fat cells store or burn calories (published in The New England Journal of Medicine). What does that mean? The way we burn fat can be different for everyone! Your genes play a major role! (Don’t fall over with the shock of that news).
The authors of this recent study discovered evidence of a major gene control ‘switchboard’ in immature fat cells (that then go on to become fat cells). According to these experts (real experts, not just someone with 3 minutes experience in the fitness and health industry) this evidence supports the idea that genetic differences between us control how our bodies store and burn fat.
While this doesn’t seem like ‘new news’ to me it’s interesting to consider why this evidence has not been discovered earlier. Well, did you know that a lot of earlier studies on fat loss have been done on the brown fat in mice but this fat is virtually non-existent in adult humans? Instead, this discovery shows that the way we store fat in our white fat cells (we tend to have lots) can be a major influence on fat storage and usage.
Anyway, the point is, we are all different and that means we burn fat differently and so you may need to try different approaches to your fat loss regime before you succeed! The fundamentals are the same for all of us – move more and eat healthy. However finding the right combination of exercise and food will be a little challenge for you. Plus, it can change! Be ready to spice things up a bit and vary your approaches every 1-3 months.
Here are 5 ways to promote fat loss, not just a loss of weight on the scales:
- Eat enough, and eat from a variety of nutritious foods regularly. If you don’t fuel your body your body will lose weight – it will just be muscle.
- Incorporate resistance training 2-3 times into your week. This is a must to promote a lean, healthy body that is efficient at burning fat even while you sleep.
- Incorporate HIIT (high intensity interval training) 1-3 times per week to give your body a kick in the butt. This type of training increases the EPOC (excessive post exercise oxygen consumption) meaning that you continue to burn more energy after the session as your body tries to ‘catch up’.
- Include moderate intensity exercise for at least 30 minutes per day on most if not all days of the week. This is equivalent to a decent power walk. Not too hard, hey?
- Get up off your butt regularly during the day. Prolonged sitting is literally killing us and making us fatter. You still need to get up regularly even if you have trained earlier that day.