Nov - Dec 2018

Gradual Fat Loss Workout

By Patricia Cherasard, PA-C, MBA


By now you’ve all heard that the key to maintaining successful weight loss is through diet and exercise. That said, the best way to boost your weight loss efforts may actually be through adjusting your expectations. With the right frame of mind there’s no need for starving yourself or doubling up on workouts to get results.


As far as diets are concerned it’s important to get your mind into thinking that healthy food choices is a way of living, not just a quick weight loss fix. It is also important to understand that your body uses food for energy, and will store any excess energy as fat. As a result, if you eat more food than your body needs for daily activity and cell maintenance, it will store it as fat resulting in weight gain.

That being said many people make the mistake of skipping meals (starving themselves) when they want to lose weight. This only causes you to be hungry, resulting in overeating or making poor food choices. Starvation will only lead to your body going into defense mode and storing fat because it believes you do not have enough food to provide it with the necessary energy it may need later.


So how do you achieve gradual fat loss without putting our body in a starvation state? The answer is eating a diet consisting of low-calorie, healthy fats, complex (high fiber) carbohydrates, and proteins. You should incorporate three healthy low calorie meals in your day along with 2 healthy snacks. Try to avoid alcohol. And remember to drink plenty of water throughout your day.


When it comes down to losing fat through exercise, an effective workout that includes cardiovascular exercise (walking, swimming, cycling, dancing etc.) and weight training.  Exercise for at least an hour a day. Remember that cardio exercise burns more calories while you’re exercising, but strength training increases your muscle mass, so you burn more calories at rest.


High intensity interval training (HIT) is one of the best ways to help with gradual fat burning and obtaining weight loss. This workout alternates between intense bouts of exercise (cardio) and low intensity exercise (weights). There are a number of significant benefits to HIT besides serious fat burn that include: 1) Increased aerobic capacity, which is the amount of oxygen your body consumes. 2) An increase in your lactate threshold, which allows your body to handle increased lactic acid buildup in your muscles. 3) Improved insulin sensitivity, which allows your muscles to suck up more of the glucose instead it going to your fat stores. 4) Increases the anabolic effect that helps build lean muscles.


Here’s an example of a HIT workout after a 3 to 5 min warm up with a heart rate monitor: 60 sec sprint/fast jog, 120sec walk/slow jog, at rest ten reps of a moderate to light weight in a target area of your choosing (ex: 10 bicep curls with 10lbs dumbbell).


Remember, try to make your fitness journey fun. Invite a friend, switch up your work out from indoors to outdoors, take classes when you find yourself getting bored.  Plan some make-ahead meals so you can enjoy a picnic after your workout.  Make a plan and stick to it. Keep a journal to help you keep track of your goals and progress.