How To Burn More Body Fat

How To Burn More Body Fat

Forget fat burning smoothies and miracle supplements – when it comes to reducing your body fat percentage, a sensible approach is best. From why protein matters to the reasons to prioritise strength training, we went to two of London’s leading nutritionists to learn more.

Understand Fat Burning Foods Don’t Exist

“Avoid falling into the trap of looking for miracle fat loss foods. Fat loss is the result of consuming fewer calories in your diet relative to the amount of calories you burn through daily activity and exercise. With this in mind, ‘fat burning foods’ really become the foods that best help you decrease calorie intake and potentially increase calorie expenditure. In this regard, top of the list would be high fibre foods such as leafy greens, beans, legumes, fruits and whole grains. Non-digestible fibre doesn’t contribute to calorie intake but can still be very filling and stave off hunger later in the day. In addition, these foods are also dense in micronutrients which support our overall health and energy levels. This nutrient quality also has a knock-on effect to our overall calorie expenditure. Feeling healthy and energised is far more conducive with fuelling high quality training sessions compared to feeling sluggish and tired all the time.” – Dan Price, head of nutrition at SIX3NINE

Fill Up On Protein

“Protein can be a useful tool for promoting fat loss. Protein tends to be more filling than carbohydrates and fats and also takes more energy to digest. Put simply this means the calories you burn breaking down protein is higher than that of carbs and fats. So, swapping high-carb and high-fat foods for more protein dense foods is not only going to fill you up and help reduce calorie intake but also marginally increase the number of calories you burn.” – Dan 

Consider Lowering Your Carb Intake

“The main foods to avoid are those that are highly processed and high in sugars and starchy carbohydrates (which break down into simple sugars in the digestion process). These foods provide easy energy for the body so it will prioritise burning these for fuel over burning stored body fat. As for starchy carbohydrates, we’re talking about things like bread, pasta and other white flour-based products, rice and cereals – even the wholegrain versions. While these are more nutrient dense and will be broken down and converted into usable energy more slowly, they’re still providing carbohydrates which the body will prioritise for fuel before it turns to fat. This explains why low-carb diets can be so effective for fat loss. However, that’s not to say that you have to cut out carbohydrates completely to lose weight but watching your sugar intake is always a good idea from both a health and weight loss perspective.” – Kim Pearson, nutritionist and weight loss expert 

Burn Fat Without Losing Muscle

“While consuming less calories than you burn will result in weight loss, the degree to which weight is lost from either muscle or fat is very significant for the overall change to your body composition. Losing fat and muscle in equal measure may result in a change to the weight on the scales, but your body fat percentage and general composition will be very similar. Losing fat while preserving muscle mass, on the other hand, will decrease body fat percentage and improve body composition. To do this, it’s important to eat adequate amounts of protein alongside regular resistance training. Aim for around 1.6g of protein per kg of your bodyweight.” – Dan 

Beware Of Calorie Traps

“When it comes to staying on top of your calories, restaurant and takeaway food is a problem area. While these kinds of foods are delicious, what makes them so tasty is the amount of oils, fats and carbs used. We also tend to overindulge more when eating out, ordering starters and desserts in addition to a main course. Most restaurant main dishes are likely to be between 800-1,200 calories with starters or desserts easily adding an additional 400-600 calories. Alcohol is also a common barrier – remember a large glass of wine contains the equivalent in calories to a chocolate bar. When cooking at home, watch out for oils, which contain 120 calories per tablespoon and the portions you’re using on the likes of pasta, rice and bread. While these foods are not inherently fattening, it’s very easy to overeat them.” – Dan

The biggest problem women make when it comes to fat loss is overly restricting calorie intake during the week, leading to overconsumption at the weekend, the net result being zero weight loss and a miserable cycle of hunger and guilt.
Dan Price

Forget Calorie Restriction

“The biggest problem women make when it comes to fat loss is overly restricting calorie intake during the week, leading to overconsumption at the weekend, the net result being zero weight loss and a miserable cycle of hunger and guilt. A much better approach would be to eat more in the week (even if that includes some chocolate here and there) to better fuel your training and working week, and avoid the need for the ‘off track weekend’ because you haven’t been so overly restrictive in the week. This would create a moderate calorie deficit across the whole seven days resulting in sustainable weight loss, rather than having a large calorie deficit in the week and an even larger calorie surplus at the weekend resulting in zero change overall.” – Dan 

Consider Fasting

“When you haven’t eaten for an extended period of time, your body will likely have used up most of the sugar in your blood stream provided by your last meal. It will then turn to using the stored glycogen in your liver and muscles cells for energy. Once these stores start to deplete, your body will increasingly turn to body fat for fuel. Restricting your eating window can help tip the balance in favour of burning more fat. However, it’s important to understand we are all different, and different fasting approaches and eating windows suit different people. One way to identify your ideal eating window is to use a device like Lumen, which can measure your metabolism and tell you the extent to which you are burning carbs or fat. As well as giving advice on what to eat, it helps you identify the ideal times to eat in order to promote fat loss.” – Kim 

Be Wary Of Working Out On An Empty Stomach

“When you haven’t eaten for a period of time, your body is more likely to turn to stored body fat for fuel, hence why fasted training can help with fat loss. However, the answer to whether fasted exercise is better for fat loss is not quite so straightforward. Exercising on an empty stomach first thing in the morning, when cortisol (i.e. stress) levels are already at their peak, can cause a further spike. For anyone who is affected by increased stress levels, further triggering the release of cortisol is not advisable. In fact, science shows that consistently raised cortisol levels lead to weight gain around the tummy area.” – Kim 

Get Moving

“The best exercise for weight loss is the one you’ll actually do. All exercise – whether it’s HIIT classes, cycling, yoga, running, walking or resistance training – increases caloric expenditure. Your own lifestyle plays a part here – if you can fit a one-hour walk in every day of the week, this will burn more calories than doing three or four HIIT classes across the week. This doesn’t mean that one is better than the other, it just means you should pick one that’s most achievable and enjoyable for you, or use a combination of both. Where HIIT and resistance training has the edge in terms of fat loss is that it can help maintain or even increase muscle mass, which is key to improving body composition. However, if you are overweight to begin with, this is far less a priority. Instead, simply focus on increasing calorie expenditure in whatever way you can and decreasing calorie intake.” – Dan 

Approach Supplements With Caution

“There is a small handful of supplements that has been shown to promote fat loss. However, don’t expect miracles. In most studies, fat loss as a result of taking these supplements has been modest. These supplements include ProVen Probiotics ShapeLine, a probiotic supplement for weight loss (a nine month study of 70 overweight participants who took ShapeLine resulted in losses of 3.2kg); conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which has been shown to help prevent weight gain over periods of excess such as Christmas and holidays; and thermogenics, which includes the likes of green tea, coffee bean extract and capsaicin supplements.” – Kim 


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DISCLAIMER: Features published by SheerLuxe are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. Always seek the advice of your GP or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health-related programme.

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