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May 30, 2013

FIGHTING FAT - Most Common Misconceptions and HOPE to HELP!

I’m frequently being asked the question: “How do I lose my belly fat?” or “How do I flatten my tummy?” The biggest misconception that women have is that they can burn that belly fat away with a million crunches and core training – WRONG.  Sure, core training is going to help create a strong, sleek layer of ab muscles that you will want once the fat has gone, and it will certainly assist us in better overall fitness by giving us better core stability, balance, and posture – but we can’t “spot train” fat away from a particular area, just like we can’t eat it onto a certain area either.  A lot more goes into removing that fat that clings to those hated areas than certain exercises. Remember, we all store it differently – bottoms, underarms, bellies, etc…  but there is HOPE for getting rid of stubborn belly fat for better heart and overall health, as well as more self confidence in our day to day life!


READ BELOW - excerpts from an article that I like to use as a reminder of a few rules of thumb about burning body fat in general, which will help you burn that belly fat in a healthy way. Keep your eyes peeled for a sample “FAT BURNING” workout on the blog coming up soon.

Your MAC Fit trainer,

Reference: http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/drobson175.htm

Lose Body Fat Now: The Most Effective Methods Explained

Just how much body fat should be lost will depend on one's goals. Let's examine the most effective ways the severely overweight through advanced trainer can lose fat. Read on...


by David Robson May 10, 2006

Losing body fat is not the easiest of propositions; just ask anyone trying to lose that last ten pounds. It often seems the more persistent one is, the harder this stubborn body fat is to lose. Whether it is to get into top shape for a bodybuilding contest or to look good for the beach, fat loss is arguably the biggest incentive to train.

Let us examine the most effective ways the severely overweight through to the advanced trainer can lose unsightly body fat.

The Most Effective Fat Loss Methods

The following methods can be used together, or separately, depending on the goals one has, or the fat loss stage they are at. Guidelines will be given (see what to do and when section).

1. Exercise Moderately With Aerobics & Weights, Gradually Increasing The Intensity As Fat Is Lost ///

When one is severely overweight, it is probably best to start their fat burning phase with low intensity aerobics and weight training, to ensure that the body is not placed under undue stress at this early stage. For the significantly overweight (those over 25 percent body fat in males and 30 percent in females) it is best to work moderately as a way in which to gradually ease into a higher intensity program.

Moderate aerobics are likely to burn a greater amount of body fat if the intensity is kept at around 70 percent of maximum heart rate, and taken beyond the 30-minute mark (with one hour being the eventual goal).

With weight training, high repetitions with moderate weights would work best for an obese client during the initial stages of training. It is important to remember that lower intensity weight training and aerobics should both be done in the same program to maximise results.

Walking is a perfect, low impact aerobic activity for the obese. For weight training, all body parts should be targeted with basic exercises that work larger muscles.

2. Gradually Cut Back On All Bad Fats, While Strategically Cutting Back On Carbohydrates ///

It has been shown that fat intake of the wrong kind will result in increased fat gains. This stands to reason, as the body will typically burn carbohydrate for fuel and use protein for repair. Therefore it makes sense to cut back on bad fat while increasing the good type.

Good fats such as the omega three and six fatty acids will actually have a fat burning effect as they enhance metabolic function (the metabolic rate is an indicator of how the body uses stored energy). Their use as opposed to the saturated bad type (found in meats and hard at room temperature) should be encouraged.

Strategically cutting back on carbohydrates means to eat specific carbs at certain times to achieve a fat-burning effect. Complex carbohydrates will generally maximise the fat burning effect as they stimulate the metabolism without causing the outpouring of insulin, which causes greater fat storage.

These include brown rice, beans, oats and potatoes, and their use is to be encouraged. However, the short-burst simple-sugar carbohydrates are to be avoided during a fat loss phase as they can cause a large insulin spike and resultant fat gains.

They are also concentrated and generally higher in calories. A third type of carbohydrate, fiber, which can be found in high wheat foods and certain fruits and vegetables, is an important one for fat loss as it increases feelings of fullness and pushes fat through the system to be eliminated.

Best times to eat complex carbohydrates for fat loss are at all meals before 6:00pm. Simple carbohydrates can be eaten directly after training, as the body will more readily store them as glycogen, not fat, at this stage. For general health, the recommended intake for fiber is 30 grams per day. For fat loss an additional 10 grams is advised.

3. Mix Up Aerobic Sessions ///

For variety - to eliminate boredom and encourage adherence - it is worthwhile doing a range of aerobic activities. These different activities will also have differing fat burning effects, and these combined may stimulate the metabolism to greater heights, therefore enhancing fat loss on a larger scale.

4. Exercise Aerobically After Weight Training Or First Thing In The Morning ///

One school of thought has it that training aerobically directly after weight training, or first thing in the morning, will stimulate greater gains in fat loss. The idea is that glycogen stores will be depleted at this time and therefore fat will be used directly for fuel. In many cases this strategy has worked. However some feel it is not a valid method. It is worth trying though.

5. HIIT Training ///

HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is a form of aerobics designed to strip body fat at a faster rate.

As the name suggests, HIIT requires that one train at a high intensity (near maximal) for a series of intervals, before backing off to a lower work-rate. The interval can last anywhere from 10 to 30 seconds, and the entire session might last only 20 minutes, depending on the stage (both in terms of fat storage and fitness level) one is at.

An example of a HIIT session could be as follows:

Two minutes of walking followed by fast running for 30 seconds, for 20 minutes total.

6. Stagger Food Intake ///

At the smooth or in shape stage (someone at around six percent body fat) it is probably acceptable to stagger food intake to where high calories (1000 or so above normal) can be eaten for two days followed by lower calories for three days.

There are many variations on this practice, but the guiding principal stays the same: after a period of low calories the body will tend to hold onto fat; on this basis it is thought that upping the calories will up the metabolic rate to burn more adipose tissue.

Generally the extra calories will not be stored as fat as long as the high calorie days are limited to a certain period and are promptly followed by the lower calorie days. The higher calorie days are not open invitations to pig out on all manner of forbidden foods, but should be comprised of clean proteins, carbohydrates and fats.

This strategy is best practiced when aiming to lose that remaining five to ten pounds of fat and when one is in reasonably good shape to begin with. If one is overweight, the higher calorie days could exacerbate their current condition due to the more sluggish metabolic rate they may have.

A greater degree of excess fat would probably require consistency in terms of low fat, low calorie eating.

7. Drink At Least One Gallon Of Water Per Day ///

In most of the weight loss success stories I have read, one common theme emerges: a higher then normal water intake is crucial for fat loss. Water intake is important for fat metabolism as it helps the liver to perform the function of fat conversion for energy purposes.

Unfortunately the liver also has to work on behalf of the kidneys (if the kidneys are water deprived), therefore lowering total liver productivity, which has deleterious consequences for the fat conversion process. Therefore drinking enough water is an important step toward fat reduction. Drink at least a gallon of water per day, more if obese and/or living in a hot climate.

8. Weight Training ///

Weight training is a perfect activity for fat loss. Although it doesn't directly burn a greater number of fat stores than does aerobics, weights will build muscle, which in turn will increase the metabolic rate for 24 hours a day. The more muscle one is holding, the better their chances of losing body fat.

What To Do & When


Obese Stage ///

A combination of methods is needed for those who have a significant amount of weight to lose. These are the people who typically need to lose around 40lbs of fat before they even consider achieving muscle definition. The best strategy for these people would be to lose weight slowly with a realistic, longer-term approach.

Crash dieting and intense training probably would not be the best option. In the case of training, the amount of weight to be lost might present excessive strain on the vital organs and joints if the training is excessively intense and/or high impact.

Crash diets - where calories are severely restricted - will likely result in initial losses in water weight and a failure to stick to the diet due to the restriction these kinds of diets place on total nutrient balance. The better approach for the obese would probably be to:

  • Exercise moderately with aerobics (walking or cycling) and weights (12-15 repetitions) - gradually increasing the intensity, as weight is lost.
  • Gradually cut out all bad fats while strategically cutting back on carbohydrates.
  • Drink plenty of water to maintain feelings of fullness and help with fat mobilization.
  • Cut out junk foods.
  • Use a personal trainer for motivation.
  • Cut back on alcohol, or eliminate entirely.
  • Make a plan.
  • Be consistent.

Moderately Overweight Stage ///

At this stage one is visually overweight, but not obese. Typically they are holding around 20lbs of fat and have a body fat percentage of around 17-18 in males and 25 in females.

The best strategy would be to gradually drop excess body fat through a combination of low intensity and high intensity training coupled with a sensible eating approach. The following guidelines can be used:

  • Exercise moderately with aerobics (a combination of walking, cycling, and rowing) and weights (8-12 repetitions), while incorporating the occasional HIIT session after the first few pounds are lost.
  • Gradually cut out all bad fats while strategically cutting back on carbohydrates.
  • Drink plenty of water to maintain feelings of fullness and help with fat mobilization.
  • Cut out junk foods.
  • Use a personal trainer for motivation.
  • Cut back on alcohol, or eliminate entirely.
  • Make a plan.
  • Be consistent.

Smooth Stage ///

The smooth stage could be defined as a puffy appearance with a small amount of visible body fat (around 11 percent in men and 15 percent in women; about 10 total pounds to lose to become "in shape").

This look would probably be regarded as normal and healthy, but there is an absence of muscle definition due to a thin layer a fat - the off-season bodybuilder is usually at this stage. To drop these additional 10 pounds to reveal a muscular physique do the following:

  • Train aerobically with one moderate intensity session and four HIIT sessions per week.
  • Weight train all muscle groups using 8-12 repetitions.
  • Gradually cut out all bad fats while strategically cutting back on carbohydrates.
  • Stagger calories (three lower calorie days followed by two days higher calories).
  • Drink plenty of water to maintain feelings of fullness and help with fat mobilisation.
  • Cut out junk foods.
  • Use a personal trainer for motivation.
  • Cut back on alcohol, or eliminate entirely.
  • Make a plan.
  • Be consistent..

In Shape Stage ///

For those who only have a three or four pounds of fat to lose in order to reveal a ripped, muscular physique, it is probably also best to do HIIT, as this should more effectively rev the metabolic rate while one is at an advanced fat burning level.

For the out of shape beginner HIIT might be overkill, but for the in shape, advanced trainer, it could prove to be perfect as it is, as mentioned, an effective way of improving an already efficient metabolism. HIIT sessions can be done five times a week, independent from any other form of training. Other ways to burn remaining visible body fat include:

  • Train with weights using 8-12 repetitions.
  • Gradually cut out all bad fats while strategically cutting back on carbohydrates.
  • Stagger calories (three lower calorie days followed by two days higher calories).
  • Drink plenty of water to maintain feelings of fullness and help with fat mobilisation.
  • Cut out junk foods.
  • Use a personal trainer for motivation.
  • Cut back on alcohol, or eliminate entirely.
  • Make a plan.
  • Be consistent.
  • Use a fat burning supplement.

Additional Fat Loss Tips


1. Cut Alcohol ///

One of the worst practices when wanting to lose weight, drinking alcohol will not only add empty calories but will reduce appetite and lower testosterone levels for up to 24 hours (testosterone helps to burn fat). Alcohol will also reduce the number of fat calories burned for energy.

After alcohol is consumed it is converted into a substance called acetate, which is used in place of fat for energy thus helping the body to maintain its fat stores1. For the overweight person alcohol is a definite problem on this basis alone.

2. Make A Plan ///

Making a plan will ensure fat loss is achieved with greater certainty. Having pre-defined goals and a progress diary will help one stick to their plan, and allow for a greater degree of accountability. The first step is to determine exactly what ones goals are.

3. Be Consistent ///

The ability to do what is required every day without fail is the hallmark of a winner. For fat loss, all the right steps need to be taken at the right times to realise this goal. As will be shown in the following success stories, the individuals featured unwaveringly stuck to their plan and achieved their fat loss goals - they were consistent.

4. Use A Personal Trainer ///

A personal trainer can add help to motivate and inspire one to lose body fat. Having someone on hand to lend support and expertise can really make the difference for those who are struggling with their weight loss efforts. The best personal trainer is the one who has the right amount of knowledge and who knows how to plan a program for the specific needs of their client.
MAC Fit offers you the motivation and accountability on a weekly basis that you might need to get or keep yourself on track! We offer knowledgeable instruction, accompanied with honest and vulnerable women in the same boat you are... Our intentions are on becoming FIT women in our faith, and in our fitness - both of which will impact our lives for the better!  CHECK US OUT ON SATURDAY MORNINGS :)

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