Category Archives: Exercise and fat burn

Best Exercise for Fat Loss

Best-exercise-for-fat-lossWhat is the best exercise for fat loss: Exercise is not the key to fat loss, diet and the right nutrition are. However if you’re on one of the Paleo Works programs or consuming a similar caveman style diet, high intensity intermittent exercise is the best exercise for fat burn, to improve fitness and can accelerate weight loss, though only when associated with the correct nutrition. This point is key.

What is high intensity intermittent exercise?  Periods of brief intensive exercise interspersed with periods of relative rest.  Not for the faint-hearted true but take a look at this study on the effects of high-intensity intermittent exercise training on fat loss and fasting insulin levels of young women..impressive !

And what we are looking for is the best exercise for fat loss: a method of exercise that delivers.

Cycling, rowing , running, swimming all adapt well to this form of training and all can take place outdoors away from the gym however if you are not fit, very overweight but generally well, it makes sense to build up a basic level of fitness before you start.

Walking is great and gets you out doors, you can build on that, resistance training will strengthen and tone your body.  Build up the intensity to include some light jogging, cycling and soon you will know you ‘[e ready to do more and then work with your body – it’s not rocket science!

How does it work?

It’s simple..intersperse relative rest periods with intense “sprint” periods.  The length of these sprint periods can be built up over time but a  programme might look like this:

Running:

Warm-Up: jog for a couple of minutes then…

Sprint: long and hard at high intensity: push hard for ten seconds

Jog in relative rest for 30 seconds

Pick up the pace again and sprint: long and hard for ten seconds

Back down again gentle jog for 30 seconds

And repeat this cycle for between 6 and 10 sprints

Cool Down with some gentle jogging.

Audrey-HepburnExercising in this way is truly exhilarating.  Try it and see.  Start with one of these sessions per week the build upon the number of sessions and then build up and vary the intensity of the sessions:  How?

Increase the number of sprints, extending the time of the sprints, putting more effort into the sprints, shortening your rest time lengthening the session times – the beauty of this exercise is it is free and it works with you, (outdoors, fresh air) and it is amazing fun with the kids (who love to operate the stop watch and challenge us)

Feel free to adapt this to cycling and rowing: warm up sprint hard on your bike, relative rest, pick up the pace again, sprint hard (12-15 seconds to start) relative rest  (45 seconds) and don’t forget to cool down at the other end.  There are endless variations.  Play with it and see.  And the good news?  You are shredding more fat in less time than any other exercise.  And best of all, anecdotal evidence suggests that this type of exercise does not cause an increase in appetite.

In this way we feel we are moving like our ancestors connecting with our past, tuning into our bodies, working our bodies naturally and feeling alive.

And the science?  A review of High-intensity intermittent exercise and fat loss concludes that:

“the effect of regular aerobic exercise on body fat is negligible, read The Truth About Exercise; however, other forms of exercise may have a greater impact on body composition. For example, emerging research examining high-intensity intermittent exercise (HIIE) indicates that it may be more effective at reducing subcutaneous and abdominal body fat than other types of exercise. The mechanisms underlying the fat reduction induced by HIIE, however, are undetermined. Regular HIIE has been shown to significantly increase both aerobic and anaerobic fitness. HIIE also significantly lowers insulin resistance and results in a number of skeletal muscle adaptations that result in enhanced skeletal muscle fat oxidation and improved glucose tolerance.”

This then is the best exercise for fat loss.

Try it and see, tell us what you feel exercising in this way?  We welcome your feedback and to hear of your experiences.

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Best Exercise for Fat Burn

Best-exercise-for-fat-burn

Burning fat the wrong way will never last.

Exercise and fat burn go hand in hand right? Well that’s what is commonly believed… So what’s the best exercise for fat burn? Well experience has taught us that, in the end, exercise doesn’t have that much to do with fat loss or fat burn (and yes, you may wish to rewind and re-read that sentence)!  We watched a show last night on television “Fat Families” (read: Fat Families review) have you seen it?  Shows like this and the biggest loser (do you remember that one – yes the one where Anne Diamond snuck off and had a gastric band fitted) convince us that the way to fat loss is to exercise more and eat less also known as starvation.  Exercise is used to create an even larger deficit in calories combined with a diet where calorie intake has been reduced to minimal levels.  This is starvation (and yes I wrote this twice).

Our bodies panic when we starve them causing STRESS: that is, elevated cortisol levels.  Our bodies wants us in balance (homeostasis) and are genetically programmed to achieve this.  When stress levels rise our bodies throw everything at the stressors to bring it back into balance.  Er…..sugary drink anyone?

So, it you want temporary fat burn with lot of stress and starvation, don’t go paleo! If you want temporary fat loss with lots of stress and starvation, eat less and exercise more (conventional wisdom). If you still believe in the calories in calories out rubbish then go visit your local dietician or sign up to weight watchers, slimming world and the like who will be happy to place you on one of their programs. It is likely you will also be advised about the best exercise for fat burn. Then sit back and watch the fat bounce back making all that restriction utterly pointless…

Exercise has this fantastic potential to improve our health and wellbeing and our mental and emotional health but in the end, poor diet will always win because of the stress factor and the consequences. For example: exercise might help you fight your depression but your fantastic potential is compromised if you are eating a low fat diet. You see natural dietary fat along with protein are the fundamental building blocks of optimal health. Exercise might help you feel alive and connected but this will be temporary if massive swings in your blood sugar levels are knocking you down between meals.

Nutrition is the key.  Choose well as if your quality of  life and your future depended on it….because it does!

“I don’t believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive” 

Joseph-Cambell

Joseph Campbell 1904-1987

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