If you've recently done a Boditrax session with us and your reading suggested you need to reduce your body fat then this blog post is for you. We will just give you the absolute basics and then point you to some good articles if you want more information.
Firstly, well done for identifying that it's body FAT that you want to reduce - not body WEIGHT. There's an important difference. We want you to reduce body fat. Depending on your physique that may not necessarily mean losing weight. In fact you may even find yourself putting on weight as you lose size. You may have heard people refer to muscle weighing more than fat. This isn't strictly true - a pound is a pound is a pound.... However, muscle is far denser. It simply takes up less space than fat. Therefore you can absolutely lose size but maintain or even increase your total body weight.
The picture above indicates the difference in size between 5lbs of fat and 5lbs of muscle.
With that in mind, the two important aspects here are:
The reason we've bolted on the second point in a blog post about burning fat is that the two are closely linked. The more muscle you have (the leaner you are) the more calories you'll burn throughout the day.
Reducing body fat will be done through the obvious means; exercise and diet. Both of these topics needs to be addressed in a way suitable for your age, weight, experience and other factors so, as always, it's important to see a trainer for specific advice. For the purposes of this post we'll provide advice that's applicable in the majority of cases.
You may well need to increase your calorie intake, this sounds odd but you'll be exercising and as long as these calories are from the right food group(s) then its no problem. You need to eat the right food (normally high protein, low carb) so you have enough energy to exercise at the right intensities when you're in the gym (as well as other health reasons).
Foods that you need to watch closely aren't so much the fats, these are important but well come to that on a later blog post. What you need to look out for are the refined sugars, and this come from adding sugar to hot drinks, sugary soft drinks and fruits. We're not saying cut these out entirely! You still need 5-a-day but it is recommended that only two of these five come from fruit and the rest from vegetables. There is no need to add sugar to hot drinks or drink fizzy drinks and the recommended amount of sugar is 120g (men) and 90g (women). It's quite scary that the average apple contains 10g and an 100g serving of grapes contains 16g of sugar. Hopefully this puts into context how little we need the added in just the drinks we eat.
Anyhow the reason lowering sugar intake is important is because your body turns unused sugar into fat! Here's a video that explains it really simply!
The right type of exercise
Ideally you'll want to look into HIIT workouts (High Intensity Interval Training). Whether in a class or in the gym, these workouts have been proven many times to be more effective at burning calories. Hannah's Tabata circuits on a Thursday is based upon a very popular HIIT timing called Tabata, and insanity is also an extreme interval training class. But there's no reason why you cant come into the gym and do your own circuit in the gym.
Tabata is a simple timing of 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds rest and 8 lots of this makes up a single Tabata (4 minutes). A simple stopwatch timer makes it really simple, here's one you can use.Some good exercises to do are listed below. Alternatively book a programme with one of our instructors and they'll tailor it to you!