The most important thing to remember when losing body fat is your energy input (calories/kilojoules) should be less than energy output. In simple terms what that means is the amount of calories you eat per day should be less than the amount you have burned up in a day, due to exercise and physical activity.
There are many diets and fads out there, but the bottom line is if you want to lose body fat fast it is important to watch your calories and increase your exercise.
The Table below applies to people whose activity levels fall within a fairly narrow range, including such things as carrying out general household duties (including the care of small children) and light industrial work. It includes occasional activities such as gardening and non-strenuous sports.
Recommended daily food energy intake (kJ - kilojoules) - (1 calorie=0.004181 kilojoules)
||over 60 years|
||over 60 years|
Daily Kilojoule/calorie adjustment for different types of activity
There are lots of low carbohydrate diets around, but I tend to disagree with extreme low carb diets as they put your body into ketosis.
Ketosis is when the body releases ketones, which happens when the liver works to turn fats into fatty acids that can be used to provide energy to the body. This is a process that also happens when someone is starving.
The extreme low carb diets drain the dieter of energy; they often feel terrible while on the diet. Other complaints include bad breath, headache, depression and aches and pains. I believe these diets are not a good idea as they put your body and organs under extreme stress. Having been a Naturopath for well over 20 years I have found that these diets certainly drop weight, but in most cases over a period of time the weight goes back on.
So it is all about been moderate and decreasing your carb at a sensible level and increasing your exercise, which will keep the weight off.
Definition of percentage of body fat
Body weight can be divided into two categories – lean body weight and fat weight. Lean body weight is comprised primarily of muscle, bone, fluid and internal organs. Measuring body fat rather than just scale weight is a better predictor of optimal health. Scale weight does not take into account the fact that some individuals who carry excess weight as muscle may be at a healthy weight.
While it is obviously not true in all cases, women generally have a higher percentage of body fat than men.
There are many reasons why women have more body fat than men, one is biological, and body fat content is 25% for women at normal size compared to 15% for men. All other things being equal, such as age and exercise levels, women require fewer calories per kilo of body weight daily than do men.
Female hormones make it easier to convert food into fat. Estrogen-prone women, (birth control pills) cause the body to produce increased amounts of fat and water. Estrogen alone will cause increased deposition of fat. Anyone on the pill needs to decrease calorie intake by at least 10% in order to maintain the same weight.
Recommended Body Fat Levels for Men & Women:
Male’s healthy range:
Age 20 years to 40 years - 8% to 19%
Age 41 years to 50 years - 11% to 22%
Age 61 years & onward - 13% to 25%
Women’s healthy range:
Age 20 years to 40 years - 21% to 33%
Age 41 years to 60 years - 23% to 35%
Age 61 years & onward - 24% to 36%
What exercise should I do to burn up body fat faster?
Exercising the large muscles of the body (leg muscles) will burn body fat faster
Laps of the pool using a kickboard (also wearing flippers will work the leg muscle even harder)
Running up and down in a pool is also excellent.
Brisk walk and jogging
Squats, lunges and leg presses
Treadmill, stepper, rowing machine and cross trainer
You need to spend at least 45 minutes to 1 hour at least 3 times a week if not more, making sure you do different exercises each time, otherwise the body will get used to doing the same exercise and you will find it won’t work as effectively as it did in the beginning.
Don’t forget that aerobic exercise such as step classes, boxing, and aerobics classes are excellent as well. Then there are classes that use your own body resistance which also a good balance to your exercise regime, such as pilates, yoga, body balance and tai-chi.
The most important thing to remember is whichever combination of exercises you choose to do, it should be one that you enjoy doing, otherwise it will become a chore and you will find reasons to avoid exercising.
Water at work
We all need to drink 8-10 glasses (2.5 to 3 litres) of filtered water daily, especially if you want to lose weight.
The body uses water for virtually all its functions: from
Almost all of the body’s living cells need and depend on water to perform their function. Water carries nutritive elements to the cells and carries away waste materials and salts to the kidneys.
Water serves as an important constituent of lubricants, helping to cushion the joints and internal organs, keeping body tissues such as the eyes, lungs and air passages moist.
Water is needed in each step of the process of converting food to energy and tissues.
Digestion secretions are mostly water acting as a solvent for nutrients.
Water softens, dilutes and liquefies food in order to facilitate digestion. It also helps move food along the alimentary canal.
Differences in the fluid concentration on either side of the intestinal wall facilitates the absorption process
When trying to lose body fat fast I find that we need to look at the big picture, there is no such thing as something for nothing, so if you want a good weight loss you need to put everything into achieving that goal.