vineri, 19 aprilie 2013

12 Laws of Fat-Burning part 6

11. Train Until You're Beat, Not Dead

It's the age-old question: How many sets do you need, and how much time should you spend in the gym each day? The answer varies from person to person, but when burning fat is the primary goal, a good rule of thumb is to train until you're pretty beat up, but not to the point where you're flattened and thoroughly exhausted. That type of kamikaze training may satisfy your pysche, but it does a number on your anabolic hormones.

Serious fat loss requires you to retain muscle mass, the body's primary metabolic driver. If you go overboard in the gym, testosterone and growth hormone go into free fall, and your metabolism follows suit.

Do This: Go ahead, train as intensely as you like, just don't go longer than 75 minutes in any one workout. Do as many sets and reps as you can during this time, using shorter rest periods (60 seconds max), but when your 60-75 minutes end, finish up and go drink your protein/carb shake.
12. Do Cardio at the Right Time

Cardio exerts two benefits: it burns calories and affects hormone levels in the body. Specifically, cardio helps raise levels of norepinephrine. Yet when you do cardio makes a big difference in how your body handles the hormonal changes. Cardio on an empty stomach allows norepinephrine to readily target fat cells, which triggers maximal fat-burning. On the flip side, if you eat before doing cardio, and particularly if you eat carbs, the fat-blocking hormone insulin rises, making your body less effective at burning fat.

Do This: To ensure that your body is in optimal fat-burning mode, do 30-60 minutes of cardio first thing in the morning before breakfast 4-6 days per week. Feel free, however, to drink your morning coffee (without cream or sugar) and take 6-10 grams of mixed amino acids or a small amount of whey protein powder mixed in water beforehand. The caffeine will help you burn more fat, as will the amino acids (whether from a supplement or whey protein), as research from Kanazawa University in Japan has found. The aminos will also help prevent muscle breakdown during cardio.

12 Laws of Fat-Burning part 5

9. Avoid Fast Carbs Pre-Workout

When you hit the gym, the body releases a fat-liberating messenger called epinephrine, which attaches itself to fat cells and allows fat to be burned as fuel. And, you guessed it, carbohydrates come into play here. Refined carbs consumed before training suppress the exercise- and supplement-induced rise in epinephrine compared to eating the same amount of slower-digesting carbs. Refined carbs also boost insulin levels, further hampering fat-burning during the workout. Bottom line, avoid refined carbs altogether before training.

Do This: Fifteen to 30 minutes (or less) before training, consume 20 grams of protein powder in a whey shake or other protein powder source and 30-40 grams of carbohydrates to help you train hard all the way through your workout. Stick with slow-digesting carbs here, such as oat bran, oatmeal, rye or whole-wheat bread, fruit or sweet potatoes. On nonworkout days, eat that meal as a snack and drop your postworkout feeding.
10. Empty Your Glycogen Stores Once Every Two Weeks

Glycogen is the unused and stored form of carbohydrates in muscles. When glycogen stores begin to peak from eating plenty of carbs, the body upgrades its fat-storing ability. Conversely, as glycogen stores are depleted, fat-burning increases. One way to kick-start the fat-burning process is to go extremely low-carb on two consecutive days every couple of weeks. This ensures that you tap into your glycogen stores for fuel, which signals the body to burn more fat.

Do This: Limit your total carbs on two consecutive days every two weeks or so to less than 100 grams per day. This will require you to know how many grams of carbohydrates are in the foods you eat and have the discipline to be very strict on your intake. Your diligence will be rewarded with a noticeable difference in bodyfat. After two days, you can return to a more normal, though not excessive, carb intake.

12 Laws of Fat-Burning part 4

7. Eat More Meals Per Day

Sure, calories and hormones can determine whether your body deposits food into muscle or as bodyfat, but meal frequency, or how many times you eat each day, affects your overall metabolism. Every time you eat, the body's calorie-burning engine, also known as metabolism, slightly increases. This is especially true for meals that contain protein. So if you eat six times a day, you'll experience six metabolic surges a day, rather than just four if you eat only four times a day. And, of course, eating seven or eight times per day would be even better than six. This is one way to lean out without having to drastically reduce calories. Frequent feedings tend to increase the chance that what you eat will make its way into muscle tissue rather than being packed away as bodyfat.

Do This: Eat 6-8 small meals per day, spaced 2-3 hours apart. Don't go longer than three hours without eating - your body will go into starvation mode, which can cause you to store bodyfat and makes it more likely that you'll overeat at your next meal. Speaking of overeating, just because you're consuming more meals doesn't mean you should be taking in more total calories. Determine your ideal daily caloric intake for fat-burning (see Rule I) and divide that more or less evenly between your 6-8 meals.
8. Prioritize the Post-Training Meal

After you train, it's difficult to gain bodyfat. Why? Depleted, broken-down muscles soak up both protein and carbohydrates for growth and recovery. If you eat too little at this time, you may actually set yourself back by impeding recovery; supporting recovery and growth actually increases metabolism while impeding it slows metabolism. In terms of spurring recovery and growth, just about the most counterproductive thing you can do after a hard workout is starve yourself.

Do This: Consume 30-40 grams of protein powder such as whey powder and casein along with 60-80 grams of fast-digesting carbs (a large baked potato, 4-5 slices of white bread or a large sports drink such as Gatorade) as soon as possible within an hour after training.

12 Laws of Fat-Burning part 3

 5. Never Eat Carbs Before Bed

Once again, it's about hormones. At night your insulin sensitivity decreases, meaning your body must release more insulin than usual to put any carbohydrates you eat at night to use in the body. And by now you know that higher insulin levels can decrease fat-burning and enhance fat storage. In addition, the body naturally produces a fat-liberating hormone called growth hormone (GH) within the initial 90 minutes of sleep.

GH not only increases fat-burning but is required to build mass and strengthen the immune system. Yet carbs put a damper on GH release, so it's ideal to go to bed under one of two scenarios: on an empty stomach or, even better, having consumed only protein, no carbs. This allows blood glucose - the high-tech name for digested carbs circulating in the blood - to remain low, which facilitates the rise in nocturnal GH production.

Do This: Don't eat anything about three hours before bed. A better option is to eat only protein meals the final four hours before bed, with one protein meal immediately before bedtime that includes only protein, such as a casein shake, low-fat cottage cheese or chicken breast. You can, however, eat a small serving of vegetables here if you wish.
6. Use Nitric Oxide at Night

Nitric oxide (no) is the compound that opens everything up and, not surprisingly, it's one of the best fat-burning products on the market. NO supports "the pump" when taken before training, enhancing blood flow to muscles by allowing more blood to make its way to tissues, including muscles, which can help maximize hypertrophy and boost metabolism. This arginine-based supplement is also effective when taken before bed, when it can exert a profound surge in GH levels and support fat-burning.

Do This: Within 30-60 minutes of bedtime every night, take a 5-10-gram dose of a nitric-oxide supplement that doesn't contain caffeine on an empty stomach.

12 Laws of Fat-Burning part 2

3. Stress Protein

Is a calorie truly a calorie? Not always, because different types of calories can affect your body and your results differently. Dietary fat, for example, is more "fattening" than protein or carbs because it's less likely to be used to build your body. Granted, carbs can potentially make you fat, but they also directly fuel your training. Protein? That's a no-brainer: It builds muscle. Fat does neither, but it isn't useless; moderate amounts of it support vitamin absorption and help manufacture hormones.

But if you're trying to get ripped, you must minimize your consumption of fat. Protein, on the other hand, not only adds to your muscle - key in boosting the metabolism - but actually increases your metabolism more directly. The body burns more calories processing protein than it burns to process carbs or fat, known as the thermic effect of food. That's the main reason diets that include a lot of protein result in greater fat loss than low-protein diets, even when both diets contain the same amount of calories.

Do This: We can't harp on this advice too much: Eat at least 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight every day. Your major protein sources should be lean meats (chicken, steak, turkey breast, tuna), egg whites (the yolks contain the fat, so discard most of them when you're trying to lose fat), protein powder (whey or casein) and low-fat cottage cheese. As for fat, limit it to 20%-30% of your total daily caloric intake.
4. Never Eat Carbs by Themselves

When attempting to lose bodyfat, insulin control is crucial. The total amount of insulin released by the body isn't related to just how many carbohydrates you eat but how fast those carbs are digested. Refined carbs digest quickly, raising insulin levels substantially, which is why you should avoid them. But if you do happen to eat, say, a bowl of cold cereal (typically a fast-digesting carb), you can still take measures to ensure those carbs digest more slowly. This will cause less insulin to be released and therefore have less of an impact on your ability to burn fat.

Do This: One way to slow digestion is to eat carbs with protein and small amounts of fat. Never eat carbs alone. Accompany that bowl of cereal, for example, with scrambled egg whites or cottage cheese. Alternatively, you could eat plenty of vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, green beans and green salads, with your meals. These foods actually slow the breakdown and digestion rate of all carbohydrates.

12 Laws of Fat-Burning

Want to see your six-pack again - or for the first time ever? You'll find all you need to know to get superlean in a dozen simple rules.

No question about it, burning fat is a 24/7 endeavor. To keep the fires hot, you need to eat every 2-3 hours throughout the day. Not only that, but you must choose the right foods in the right amounts to keep your metabolism revved up so your six-pack will be ready for its close-up. The way we see it, there are 12 fundamentals - laws, if you will - that are all you need to shed that unwanted blubber from your midsection and elsewhere. Most of them are nutrition-driven, but training comes into play as well. Your mass-gaining phase is over for the time being; now it's time to get lean. These 12 laws of fat-burning will help get you there.
1. Slash (Calories) and Burn

Step 1 revolves around simple math: You must eat fewer calories than your body is accustomed to in order to drop bodyfat. When a calorie shortfall is created, the body responds by digging into bodyfat reserves to make up the difference. And presto, you grow leaner. All other laws aside, this one heads the list every time, no matter what dietary approach you take.

Do This: Most guys who are fairly active and exercise regularly burn about 18 calories per pound of bodyweight or more per day. On that basis, a 200-pounder would consume 3,600 calories daily. To start dropping bodyfat, reduce your calories to between 14 and 16 per pound of bodyweight per day on workout days, or 2,800-3,200 calories daily. On nonworkout days, drop to about 12 calories per pound per day (2,400 calories for the guy who's 200 pounds).

The easiest way to cut calories? Eliminate excess dietary fat - meaning no butter, oils, salad dressings (low-fat or fat-free dressings are okay); remove the skin from chicken; substitute egg whites for most of your whole eggs; avoid whole-milk dairy products; and ditch marbled red meats such as rib-eye for lean cuts such as flank. Keep some healthy fats in your diet, such as salmon, mixed nuts, peanut butter and avocados.
2. Curtail Carbohydrates

Though calorie control is a must, hormonal control is nearly as important. Coupled with calories, hormones govern fat-burning. Suppress fat-storing hormones and you can expect a significant amount of bodyfat to melt away. The ideal way to control these hormones is to keep your carbohydrate intake in check, since carbs kick up insulin, a hormone that inhibits fat breakdown and drives fat storage. Eat fewer carbs and insulin levels tend to moderate, leading to fat loss.

Of course, not all carbohydrates are equal. In short, fast-digesting carbs tend to create a large insulin burst, leading to more potential fat gain. These carbs include white bread, most cold cereals, any sweets, rice cakes, white rice and white potatoes. Conversely, slow-digesting carbs (found in whole-grain breads, oatmeal, sweet potatoes and legumes) don't cause much of an insulin rise, so these should make up the vast majority of your carb consumption.

Do This: The commonsense approach is to halve your carbohydrate portions. If you tend to eat a large bagel for breakfast, eat only half and save the rest for tomorrow, or simply eat a smaller bagel. If you typically eat 2 cups of pasta at dinner, eat just one. In time, you'll see the effects of insulin control.

As for carb choices, the aforementioned bagel should be 100% whole wheat, not white. At all times during the day, in fact, choose whole-grain foods over refined ones, the only exception being immediately after a workout, when fast-digesting carbs reign supreme for boosting insulin and replenishing muscle glycogen stores (see Law 8). Keep carbs to less than 2 grams per pound of bodyweight per day.

21 Ways to Burn Fat Faster part 6

Eat more bananas
They're full of potassium, which revs up your metabolism by regulating your body's water balance, says vitamin expert Susan Lark, M.D., author of The Lark Letter. If you're dehydrated, you'll burn fewer calories. Make sure you're getting at least 2,000 mg: a banana has 450 mg, a cup of milk has 370 mg and an orange has 250 mg.

Get enough z's
Yeah, Russell Crowe may be on Letterman, but it's way more important for your waistline if you don't stay up. A study at the University of Chicago Medical Center found that people who got only four hours of sleep had much more difficulty processing carbs. The culprit? Increased levels of insulin and the stress hormone cortisol. "When you're exhausted, your body lacks the energy to do its normal day-to-day functions, which includes burning calories efficiently," says Talbott. So the best way to make sure your metabolism runs smoothly is to get six to eight hours of shut-eye each night.

Read more: 21 Ways to Burn Fat Faster - Redbook

21 Ways to Burn Fat Faster part 5

Snack away during the day
Grazing is a surprisingly good idea because it helps you avoid metabolic slowdown. "Your body will be tricked into thinking it's constantly eating, so it will never slow your metabolism down," explains Bauer. Aim for five small meals (200 to 500 calories) a day rather than three large ones. Also try not to go more than four hours without eating -- if you eat breakfast at 7am, for example, have a snack at 10am, lunch at noon, another snack at 3pm and dinner at 7pm.

Skip the starch
Carb crazy? Consider this: Refined carbohydrates, such as bread, potatoes and rice, create a surge in insulin that in turn drives down your resting metabolic rate, explains Aronne. "It's important to keep carbohydrates in your diet, but really focus on fruits, vegetables and whole grains, which have less of an effect on insulin levels," he explains. And when buying whole-grain breads and cereals, make sure the first ingredient listed is whole wheat, whole oat or cracked wheat.

Break up your workouts
Try dividing your workouts into two shorter 20-minute sessions. You'll rev up your metabolism for an hour or two after each workout, which means you'll burn more calories than if you did one longer session. Don't have time? Even small bursts of activity will get your metabolism chugging again, according to a study in Nature. "Just a five-minute walk around the house every hour translates into an extra 200 to 300 calories burned every day," says Peeke.

Pace while you're on the phone
People who are constantly in motion -- crossing and uncrossing their legs, stretching and pacing -- burn more calories. When researchers at the Mayo Clinic asked subjects to eat an additional 1,000 calories a day for eight weeks, they found that only the nonfidgeters stored the calories as fat.

Read more: 21 Ways to Burn Fat Faster - Redbook

21 Ways to Burn Fat Faster part 4

Have a PB & J
Think peanut butter is only for pint-sized palates? Think again. PB is rich in magnesium, a mineral that motors up your metabolism by giving your cells energy. Aim for 320 mg a day of magnesium: Good food sources include a peanut butter sandwich made with whole-wheat bread (100 mg) or spinach (1/2 cup has 80 mg).

Exercise off that PMS
You could lose more weight exercising during the later phase of your menstrual cycle than at any other time in your cycle, according to a recent study from the University of Adelaide in Australia. Hormones estrogen and progesterone fire up your fat-burning furnace: They promote your body's use of fat as an energy supply, so more is burned off when you exercise. "Women burned about 30 percent more fat for the two weeks following ovulation to about two days before menstruation," explains study author Leanne Redman.

Don't blow off breakfast
Studies show that eating breakfast plays a part in successful weight loss -- almost 80 percent of people who successfully keep weight off chow down on this meal, according to a study published in Obesity Research. "Your metabolism slows as you sleep, and the process of digesting food revs it up again," explains Heller. Aim for a 300- to 400-calorie breakfast, such as a high-fiber cereal (another metabolism booster) with skim milk and fruit.

Pump up protein
Not in an extreme, Atkins sort of way, but having a little protein at every meal fires up your metabolism. "Your digestive system uses more energy to break it down, so you burn more calories," explains Lisa Dorfman, R.D. However, keep protein levels to between 20 and 35 percent of your diet; eating too much of it can cause kidney strain and may cause your body to store too much fat.

Read more: 21 Ways to Burn Fat Faster - Redbook

21 Ways to Burn Fat Faster part 3

Do more dairy
Women who ate low-fat dairy products, such as nonfat yogurt and low-fat cheese, three to four times a day lost 70 percent more fat than low-dairy dieters, according to a study published in the journal Obesity Research. "Calcium serves as a switch that tells your body to burn excess fat faster," explains study author Michael Zemel, M.D., director of the Nutrition Institute at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Sorry, but you won't reap the same benefits from calcium-fortified O.J. Research shows that you get the best results from dairy products themselves, not fortified foods. Aim for 1,200 mg, which includes about three servings of dairy a day.

Take up a new sport
Are you like Old Faithful when it comes to your morning walk or evening jog? Know this: The more you do an activity, the more your body adapts to it, so you burn fewer calories. If you want to light a fire under your metabolism, consider cross-training. For example, if you normally walk, try biking instead. "Since you're not used to working all those different muscles, it's a more intense workout, which can translate into a greater metabolic after-burn because your body is working harder to recover and get oxygen to all your tissues," says Carol Espel, M.S., an exercise physiologist for Equinox Fitness Clubs in New York City.

Go fish
Break out the lemon wedges: Regular fish eaters tend to have lower levels of the hormone leptin -- good because high levels of leptin have been linked to low metabolism and obesity, says Louis Aronne, M.D., an obesity specialist at the New York Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center. Try to consume three to four servings of a fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna or mackerel, each week.

Say ommm
Stress may contribute to abdominal fat, according to several studies, including a recent one at the University of California, San Francisco. "When you're stressed, hormones like cortisol stimulate your appetite, slow your metabolism down and encourage fat storage inside your abdomen," explains Shawn Talbott, Ph.D., director of the Nutrition Clinic at the University of Utah. So what's a frazzled girl to do? "Find an activity that reduces stress for you, whether it's listening to soothing music or taking yoga, and do it daily," advises Talbott.

Read more: 21 Ways to Burn Fat Faster - Redbook

21 Ways to Burn Fat Faster part 2

Order water -- and ask for a refill
A new German study found that when you drink 17 ounces of water (about two glasses) within a certain time frame, your metabolic rate shoots up by about 30 percent. Using these results, they estimate that by increasing your current water intake by 1.5 liters a day, a person would burn an extra 17,400 calories a year, resulting in about a five-pound weight loss.

Get your thyroid checked
Suspect you have a sluggish metabolism? You might have hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid gland, which afflicts about 25 percent of American women -- many of whom don't know they have the condition, according to the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. "The thyroid gland controls your body's metabolism, so one of the first signs that it may be off is an inability to lose weight," explains Peeke. Your doctor can determine if you're suffering from hypothyroidism by running a blood test. If you do have an underactive thyroid, you'll be treated with a synthetic thyroid supplement, which you will need to take for the rest of your life (it will return your metabolism to normal, so it should be easier to lose weight).

Avoid alcohol
Want to keep your favorite meals from going straight to your hips (thighs, belly)? Wash them down with water, not wine. Alcohol slows your metabolism by depressing the central nervous system. A British study found that when alcohol was added to a high-fat, high-calorie meal, less dietary fat was burned off and more was stored as body fat.

Rev up your workouts
Interval training -- in which you add bursts of high-intensity moves into your workout -- is a surefire metabolism booster, says Glenn Gaesser, Ph.D., director of the Kinesiology Program at the University of Virginia and author of The Spark. Researchers at Laval University in Quebec found that high-intensity interval training burns more fat than regular, consistent aerobic exercise. If you usually jog at a 10-minute-mile pace, for example, add a 30-second sprint every five minutes. Or add a one-minute incline to your treadmill workout every five minutes. "Even if you just have 10 minutes for a quick workout, you can walk at a normal pace and then add in a 30-second bout of speed-walking every three minutes," recommends Gaesser.

Read more: 21 Ways to Burn Fat Faster - Redbook

21 Ways to Burn Fat Faster

Wouldn't it be nice if you could eat whatever you wanted, blow off working out and still fit in your skinny jeans? While that's unlikely, it is possible to speed up your metabolism, that little engine in your body that burns calories. As you age, your metabolism slows down, chiefly because you lose around a half pound of muscle each year. "If you don't use the muscle, it atrophies," explains Pamela Peeke, M.D., professor of medicine at the University of Maryland and author of Fight Fat After Forty. That translates into burning about 400 fewer calories each day, which could mean gaining a pound a week. But there's plenty you can do to rev your fat-burning furnace back up again, says Peeke. Here's the skinny:

Stock up on green tea
Green tea isn't known only for its cancer-fighting benefits: It may help boost your metabolism, too. People who took green-tea extract three times a day saw their metabolic rate increase by about 4 percent, according to a study published in the December 1999 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. (Translation: You could burn an extra 60 calories a day, which equals about six pounds a year!) It may be because green tea contains catechins, which increase levels of the metabolism-speeding brain chemical norepinephrine, says Joy Bauer, a New York City nutritionist and author of Cooking with Joy.

Pump iron
Weight training is the ultimate way to burn calories fast. "A pound of muscle burns up to nine times the calories of a pound of fat," explains Richard Cotton, M.A., chief exercise physiologist for Weight training increases your resting metabolic rate, which is the number of calories you burn while sitting on your butt. What's more, it gives your metabolism an added boost after you exercise: It remains in overdrive for up to two hours after the last bench press, according to a study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. Strapped for time? Try these quick moves: squats, bench step-ups, lunges, push-ups, pull-ups and crunches. In a pinch, just do single sets of 10 for each exercise -- you'll get optimal results for the time invested.

Eat iron
Yeah, we just told you to pump iron, but you also need to eat it. "If you don't have enough of this mineral, your body can't get enough oxygen to your cells, which slows down your metabolism," explains Samantha Heller, R.D., a nutritionist at the New York University Medical Center. Most multivitamins contain around 18 mg (the RDA for adults); you can also get your fill by eating three to four daily servings of foods rich in iron, such as lean red meat, chicken, fortified cereal and soy nuts. If you are feeling symptoms such as fatigue and weakness, ask your doctor to test you for anemia (it's a simple blood test) at your next physical.

Read more: How to Burn Fat - 21 Ways to Burn Fat Faster - Redbook

Busting the Great Myths of Fat Burning part 2

It boils — not burns — down to this: During the same amount of time you don't use more calories at lower exercise intensities. If you're trying to lose weight and you have only 30 minutes to work out, you would burn fewer calories walking at a moderate pace compared to walking at a fast pace.

Working out at higher intensities may cause you to burn a lower percentage of fat, but since you burn more total calories, you still use more fat calories. (See Following a Cardio Plan for Weight Loss to get tips on what exercises can help you shed pounds.)

Low- to moderate-intensity exercise can burn a significant number of calories over a period of time. If you aren't fit enough to push yourself to work at a high intensity, or you have a physical weakness that prevents you from doing so, you can still burn a lot of calories by doing low-intensity workouts for a longer period of time.

Myth: Running, cycling, or other cardio activities are more fat burning once you've been doing them for more than 15 or 20 minutes.

The Truth: Technically, once you've been exercising for 15 or 20 minutes, your body has made the shift to using a higher percentage of fat for fuel. But again, if you're trying to lose weight, it's about the total number of calories burned, not necessarily the fuel source.

For example, say that at rest you burn up to 60 percent fat. When you enter the initial phases of intense exercise, the ratio changes. You may now burn only 30 percent fat because your body is using quick-energy carbohydrates. Once the exercise is sustained, the body switches back to using a higher percentage of fat to fuel the movement (up to 75 percent fat).

In this aerobic phase of exercise, a higher percentage of fat is being used for energy. But if you aren't working out for a very long period, you may still burn more total calories and, therefore, more fat calories working out harder.

Put another way, if burning as many calories as you can is the best way to lose weight, even a dummy can figure out which activity of the following is going to give the best results (answer: jogging and sprinting), even though their fat-burning quota is on the low end of the ratio.Activity Calories Burned Fat Percentage Calories from Fat
Watching TV for 20 minutes 40 calories 60 percent 24 calories
Walking for 20 minutes 100 calories 65 percent 65 calories
Jogging & sprinting for 20 minutes 250 calories 40 percent 100 calories

Busting the Great Myths of Fat Burning

Your body burns either fat or carbs depending on the intensity of your activity. But when it comes to losing weight, calories are calories. You burn fat even when you're in couch-potato mode. Yet, a lot of misunderstanding prevails.

Get ready to break down some of the myths people have about burning fat:

Myth: The body completely shuts off one fuel source when it turns on the other.

The Truth: What has often been misunderstood by both exercisers and exercise instructors alike is that the body relies on both fat and carbs for energy all the time, albeit in different ratios. In fact, as you sit here reading, you may be burning about 50-60 percent fat and 50-40 percent carbohydrates. (Figure out how your metabolism is working in How to Measure Your Metabolic Rate.)

You're not using much of either, however, because the amount of calories you need probably amounts to about one or two calories a minute. If you were to get up and start jogging in place, your body would need to supply you with some quick energy to do so, so the metabolism ratio might shift to drawing upon more carbohydrates, say 70 percent, and less fat, say 30 percent.

If you were to continue jogging, then, in order to preserve the carbs (which can run out since you have limited stores in the body), your body would gradually shift its metabolism ratio again to say, 60 percent fat and 40 percent carbohydrates. From an energy efficiency point of view, it pays to be fit. The endurance athlete would be able to make the shift sooner, and his fat-burning percentage might be 65-75 percent.

However, in practical terms this is purely technotalk, and these ratios don't make a big difference when it comes to losing weight and decreasing your body fat. For the most part, athletes are often leaner not because they might rely on slightly more fat for fuel, but because they practice their sport two to three, or more, hours a day — this burns a lot of calories.

If you had the time, energy, and fitness level to work out three hours a day, being overweight would probably not be an issue. To lose weight, you need to burn more calories than your body consumes and uses every day. Exercise is one main way to burn a lot of calories. But when it comes to weight loss, what matters is how many calories you burn, not so much whether they are fat or carbohydrate calories.

Myth: Exercise done at a low intensity, such as walking, is better at fat burning than other high-intensity activities, like running or cardio activities where you push yourself very hard.

The Truth: In a strict scientific sense, these claims are true because working at a lower intensity requires less quick energy and a higher percentage of fat is burned. But you'll also burn fewer calories than you would if, for the same amount of time, you work out at a harder intensity (running versus walking). If you're trying to lose weight, even though a higher percentage of fat is being used, a lower total amount of fat is lost.

Whether increased fat burning will result in actual weight loss is dependent upon several variables, including the total calories burned (which include both fat and carbohydrate calories) and the total fat calories burned. If you do work at a low intensity, you need to increase the time spent exercising to burn more calories.

What matters most is the total number of calories burned. If you burned 250 calories every day from a short, fast jog, you'd see a bigger difference in weight and fat loss than if you walked every day for the same amount of time.

The number of fat calories you burn isn't that important, because even if you burn a lot of carb calories, these need to be replaced both by the carbs you eat in your diet and also within your body. Your fat stores will be broken down and transformed into carbohydrates when you need fuel. Even if you're burning lots of carb calories and less fat calories through exercise, your fat still inevitably gets used.

joi, 18 aprilie 2013

8 Ways to Burn Calories and Fight Fat part 3

6. Eat Low-Fat Dairy

The calcium from low-fat dairy doesn't specifically help burn more calories, but it may do a couple of things to help discourage body fat. Results from a recent Danish study suggest that we might absorb fewer fat calories from a meal when we consume calcium from low-fat dairy.

In another recent study, eating more calcium-rich foods -- including low-fat dairy products -- appeared to be linked to lower amounts of belly fat, particularly in young adult white males.

7. Drink 8 Cups of Water a Day

"Just about everything you call on your body to do burns calories, including absorbing and utilizing water while maintaining fluid balance (sometimes by excreting excess)," says Pope.

Drinking almost eight cups of water (2 liters) may help burn nearly 100 extra calories a day, according to findings of a small study from Germany, notes Pope.

That may not sound like much, but it could add up to 700 calories a week or 2,800 calories a month. And that's by doing something we should do anyway to keep our intestines and kidneys happy, and to help keep us from confusing thirst with hunger. (Pope does add a caution not to overdo it; it is possible to drink dangerous amounts of water.)
8. Fidget

Any type of movement requires energy, and fidgeting definitely qualifies as movement.

"Older studies suggest additional calories can be burned each day with fidgeting," says Pope.

One study even found that informal movement such as fidgeting may be more important than formal workouts in determining who is lean and who is obese.

Diet and exercise are good topics to discuss with your doctor. Before starting a new exercise regimen or supplementing your diet, it would be good to talk it over with your doctor. If you have certain medical conditions or are taking certain medications, there may be activities or dietary supplements that you should avoid.

8 Ways to Burn Calories and Fight Fat part 2

3. Drink Caffeinated Green or Black Tea

Caffeine is a stimulant, and stimulants tend to increase the calories you burn. One likely reason is that they give you the short-term impression that you have more energy, which could mean you move more. Caffeine may also cause metabolic changes in the body that can result in more calories burned.

"Even older studies have suggested that 250 milligrams of caffeine consumed with a meal can increase the calories spent metabolizing the meal by 10%," says Jamie Pope, MS, RD, LDN, a nutrition lecturer at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing. Over time, this could be significant, Pope says in an email interview: "About 75 calories per day translates to over 2,100 calories in a month’s time."

Over the past few years, some studies have hinted that green or black tea may have benefits beyond the caffeine they contain.

One study noted a reduction in food intake in rats that were given a polyphenol found in green tea. Another study, in humans, concluded green tea had heat-producing and calorie-burning properties beyond what can be explained by caffeine. When 31 healthy young men and women were given three servings of a beverage containing green tea catechins, caffeine, and calcium for three days, their 24-hour energy expenditure increased by 4.6%, according to the research from Lausanne University in Switzerland.

Drinking tea with meals may have another fat-fighting effect. Tea extract may interfere with the body's absorption of carbohydrate when consumed in the same meal, according to a study published in the September 2006 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

While all these possible effects are slight, there is yet another bonus to drinking tea. Having a zero-calorie cup of tea instead of a beverage with calories (like a soda) will certainly reduce the number of calories you take in.
4. Eat Smaller, More Frequent Meals

Every time you eat a meal or snack, your gastrointestinal tract turns on, so to speak, and starts digesting food and absorbing nutrients. It costs calories to fire up the human digestion machine, so it makes sense that the more small meals or snacks you eat through the day, the more calories you'd burn.

There isn't much solid evidence for this effect, McCrory notes in an email interview. But many experts believe that, compared to eating one or two very large meals, this is a more healthful way of eating anyway. And if it leads to even a few extra calories being burned, even better!
5. Don't Skip Breakfast

Evidence supporting a link between skipping breakfast and increased body weight is growing, according to a recent editorial in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

Some research has shown that when people skip breakfast, they tend to eat more calories by the end of the day. Other studies have suggested that skipping breakfast is associated with a higher body mass index in teens.

While we could use more research in this area, eating a healthy breakfast certainly makes sense as a lifestyle habit. 

8 Ways to Burn Calories and Fight Fat part 1

1. Exercise to Burn Calories

Christopher Wharton, PhD, a certified personal trainer and researcher with the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University, put it simply: "The more time spent exercising and the more vigorous the exercise, the more calories will be burned."

Indeed, obesity expert George Bray, MD, with the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, La., believes that taking a brisk walk every day is probably the single most important piece of advice for anyone wanting to burn more calories.

Obviously, when you exercise, your body burns calories to fuel your activity. But exercise is the gift that keeps on giving. That's because even after your workout has ended, your body is still burning more calories.

While it's hard to pinpoint just how long this effect lasts (it varies depending on body composition and level of training), "it’s safe to say metabolic rate can be elevated with aerobic exercise for at least 24 hours," says Wharton.

If you want to prolong this calorie-burning effect, Wharton advises exercising for longer periods.

"Studies have shown that with increases in exercise time, the elevation in resting metabolic rate is prolonged," he says.

2. Do Strength Training to Build Muscle

When you exercise, you use muscle. This helps build muscle mass, and muscle tissue burns more calories -- even when you're at rest -- than body fat. According to Wharton, 10 pounds of muscle would burn 50 calories in a day spent at rest, while 10 pounds of fat would burn 20 calories.

"The most effective way to increase metabolism and burn more calories is by aerobic exercise and strength training. Both are important," Megan A. McCrory, PhD, a researcher with the School of Nutrition and Exercise Science at Bastyr University, says in an email interview.

Strength training becomes especially important as we get older, when our metabolisms tend to slow down. One way to stop this is to add some strength training to your workout at least a couple of times a week. The largest muscles (and therefore the largest calorie burners) are in the thighs, abdomen, chest, and arms. 

6 Ways to Burn Your Belly Fat Fast

   6 Ways to Burn Your Belly Fat Fast

One of the most common questions I get is how to lose belly fat. Belly fat is actually the most dangerous type of fat – besides aesthetics, large waist lines are indicators of –disease-disease-disease.

It takes more than just crunches! We start to gain weight in our midsection when our cortisol levels spike. Stress is one of the primary culprits for high levels of cortisol secretion. When this happens cortisol breaks downs lean muscle (the type of tissue that burns calories most efficiently) and also holds on to fat storage in the abdominal region. That stress can even get WORSE with bad dieting; studies show that the stress caused by dieting can increase cortisol levels, making no change in belly fat even with calorie restriction. So how do you shape up? Incorporate these 6 things below and you will be on your way to a flatter belly in no time flat!

1. Sleep

If you want to work late at night, think again. When your biorhythms are off, you end up eating more. When you’re tired you produce more ghrelin, which triggers cravings for sugar and other fat-building foods. Losing sleep can also alter your hormone production, affecting your cortisol levels that cause insulin sensitivity, prime reasons for belly fat! Getting about 7 hours of sleep a night is one of the best things you can do for your body shaping goals.

2. Short bursts of exercises

1000 crunches a night may get you strong abdominal muscles, but with a full layer of fat on top, you will not get the results you really want. Instead of all those crunches, do exercises that engage multiple muscle groups and work your cardiovascular system. Try planking, where you hold yourself in a push-up position, resting your forearms on the ground. Try 3 or 4 sets of holding for 30 seconds each. Getting up and moving throughout the day by going for walks will also help.

3. Sugar is your Enemy

Fighting belly fat is 80% healthy diet. Reduce calories by filling yourself up with protein, vegetables, whole grains, and replacing bad habit snacks with good ones. For example, if you have a sugar craving, replace your calorie laden latte with a Muscle Milk lite, one of my favorites, because it has zero sugar and a ton of protein that will satiate while also torching my sugar craving! Another great trick is a sprinkle of cinnamon in your morning coffee or oatmeal- the spice has been shown to help stabilize blood sugar. It also slows the rate at which food exits the stomach, which helps you feel fuller longer.

4. Vitamin C

When you’re under extreme stress, you secret more cortisol hormone. Vitamin C helps balance the cortisol spikes that happen to you under this stress. Besides being a good way to counteract a cold, Vitamin C is also essential for making carnitine, a compound used by the body to turn fat into fuel, making this vitamin your fat burning friend.

If you’re going through an emotional crisis, stress from work, or a bad eating splurge, increase your vitamin C – it’ll help counteract the negative side effects. Try bell peppers, kale or kiwi fruits. These have even more Vitamin C than the famous Orange!

5. Eat Fat

Yup, you heard me! It takes fat to burn fat. Like I said above, it’s sugar that gets you fat, not fat. Good fats include foods rich in Omega 3′s, like salmon, avocados & walnuts. These foods are full of nutrients that help keep you satiated throughout the day.

6. Slowing down your breath

This is a very simple method that you can use even when you’re in the midst of doing something else. Whenever you notice you’re feeling tense and uptight check and see how you’re breathing. Most people under stress either alternate holding their breath with short breaths, or take rapid shallow breaths. After you become aware of your own breathing, consciously relax your belly and slow down the breathing. This works best if you focus on slowing down the exhalation rather than your inhalation. With each exhalation you can say to yourself “slow down”. That is all there is to it- Simple but surprisingly effective!!!


How to Burn Fat and Stay Healthy


Avoid fad diets. There’s no magic bullet when it comes to weight gain. In particular, avoid diets that eliminate any one food group; you should be consuming carbohydrates, protein, and fat at every meal to stay balanced.

Remember that fat is not as important as calories for controlling weight. To lose weight, you must burn more calories than you consume. It’s as simple as that. The reason we’re taught to be wary of fatty foods is that they tend to have high calories; however, this often causes us to eliminate healthy fatty foods, like avocados, oils, and salmon,from our diet unnecessarily. Just make sure you’re eating healthy monounsaturated and poly-unsaturated fats instead of saturated and trans fat.

Strength train. This means lifting weights at home or in the gym for at least 30 minutes at a time twice a week. Muscle helps speed your metabolism, as the bodies of muscular people burn more calories even while they’re at rest

Cut down on processed foods. Stick with all-natural foods, which have little added preservatives and chemicals. If you can’t find it in nature, think twice before you eat it.

Do cardio exercise. For example, interval training, which means alternating between low- and high-intensity activity, is a quick and extremely effective way to improve heart health and endurance. Note that anyone over the age of 60 or who has heart disease, high blood pressure, or arthritis should consult a doctor before attempting interval training.

Carefully consider eating more frequently. Instead of having 3 square meals a day, many go for 6 micro meals to sustain their energy and steady their blood-sugar levels while on a low-calorie diet. There is, however, a tendency for people to justify turning “micro meals” into junk food sessions; research has indicated that people often consume not just more calories, but emptier ones when taking the snacking approach. Know yourself well enough to make this choice.

Aim for least 3 to 4 exercise sessions per week in the beginning. Once you get into the habit of exercising, work up to 4 to 5 sessions per week (or more).

Control your portions by eating low energy-density foods. For example, vegetables and fruits are packed with not only healthful vitamins and minerals, but also a lot of water, giving them a low energy density (i.e. more substance, fewer calories). They also tend to have a high fiber content, which is not only good for you, but also take longer to digest and make you feel full for longer.

Drink more water. Water is a major player in weight control. Besides being a major part of your body, water helps flush metabolic wastes keeping your metabolism charged.It can also help you feel fuller, so don't wait until you feel thirsty. Start by drinking at least a half-gallon (2 liters) of water every day. People who are active, live in hot climates, experience fluid loss through fever or diarrhea, etc. should increase their intake.

Eat more fiber. A high-fiber diet can improve bowel health, lower blood cholesterol, control your blood-sugar level, and make you less likely to overeat. The recommended fiber intake is 30 grams a day for men and 21 for women; after the age of 50, this jumps up to 38 for men and 25 for women. Some good sources of fiber include fruits and vegetables (with the skin), whole grains, and legumes. One way to start is instead of drinking orange juice for breakfast, eat an orange; it will make you feel fuller.