Why Diet Is More Important Than Exercise In Burning Fat

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Why Diet Is More Important Than Exercise In Burning Fat

In a recent study, I was reminded about something that I have known for many years, running on a treadmill or even a 5 mile run may not be burning the calories that you think.

Unfortunately, a common notion persists that steady state cardio exercise is preeminent for body fat loss.

In fact, the researchers found, moderate exercise the equivalent of walking a couple of miles per day may be the best way to burn fat & the extra calories.

Beyond that the body seems to adapt its metabolism so that the calorie burning plateaus no matter how hard you work out.

“The predominant view is that the more active you are, the more calories you burn every day,” said lead researcher Herman Pontzer, an associate professor of anthropology at City University of New York’s Hunter College.

This study, according to Pontzer, supports a different view: “It’s really not a simple dose-response relationship,” he said. “The body adapts to exercise, and it begins adapting at a moderate level of activity.”

His team arrived at that conclusion after studying 332 adults, aged 25 to 45, from the United States, Ghana, Jamaica, Seychelles and South Africa.

All of the participants wore a device that recorded their activity levels for a week, and the researchers used standard tests to measure each person’s total calorie-burning for the week.

Predictably, people with moderate activity levels burned somewhat more daily calories than sedentary people did, an extra 200 per day, on average.

But more intense activity brought no additional benefit, at least as far as calories.

Pontzer stressed that exercise has many benefits for a person’s health in general. “There’s nothing in this study that suggests exercise is anything but good for you,” he said.

But if your goal is weight loss, exercise alone is unlikely to cut it. And that message, Pontzer noted, is not new.

“We know that diet changes are the most effective way to lose weight,” he said. “This study adds another piece of evidence to support that.”

Two researchers, who were not involved in the study, agreed that exercise alone isn’t enough.

“The reality is, exercise by itself is not great for weight loss,” said Dr. Timothy Church, a professor of preventative medicine at Pennington Biomedical Research Center, in Baton Rouge, La.

Mind you, exercise does boost weight loss, provided it is combined with dietary changes. The big problem is most gymnasiums focus on cardio as a form of fat loss. This is why just focusing on a workout around the treadmill or some similar device don’t work.

And I often see people struggling in the gym slogging away at a sub optimal steady-state pace for 45 minutes gaining a bit of a sweat and then topping off at the cafeteria and because diet hasn’t been part of the plan putting on more calories and they burnt.

Cardio certainly has its place in every fitness program, but it should be a part of a balanced program including cardio, strength training, and a healthy diet.

The key to losing body fat and keeping it off is changing one’s diet and lifestyle and embracing strength training.

Lean muscle is the driving force behind your metabolism and the only way to increase your metabolism or burn more calories at rest, is to increase lean muscle through strength training. For the women that are afraid to get “too bulky” from strength training that is simply a myth.

Research shows that building and maintaining muscle can speed up metabolism. This research goes on to say that “muscle burns ten to twelve times the calories per pound each day that fat does. You’re boosting your metabolism not just during exercise but all day.”

The key to fat burning is adopting the correct diet preferably a ketogenic one coupled with resistance training. The benefits of a ketogenic diet is that not only will it burn fat on its own but it will lead to total body reshaping. A ketogenic diet targets fat deposits.

Carbohydrate intake on a ketogenic diet is low, which allows the cells to retain their sensitivity to insulin.  Your hormones stay in balance, hunger is diminished, and the cells can burn fat for fuel, which provides more energy.

The key to fat burning is adopting the correct diet preferably a ketogenic one coupled with resistance training. The benefits of a ketogenic diet is that not only will it burn fat on its own but it will lead to total body reshaping. A ketogenic diet targets fat deposits

The best weight loss program for most people is one which they can maintain long term, and which addresses the root cause of the weight gain. This is where a ketogenic diet is most helpful.  The diet addresses, and in most cases, fixes the underlying cause of weight gain:  a hormonal imbalance.

Why Chose A Ketogenic Diet

Notice that I did NOT say that people gain weight because they don’t exercise and they eat too much.  Instead, the lack of energy to exercise and overeating are symptoms of an underlying hormonal imbalance in the way the body uses insulin.

In other words, if your hormones, and specifically your blood sugar and insulin, are out of whack, you will be more likely to experience extreme hunger and overeat.  You’ll gain weight, and energy levels will be lower, which will make exercising seem more of a chore.

As the ongoing arguments in the various “best weight loss program” camps can attest, yes, other factors are involved, but the primary fat storage hormone in the body is insulin, and I think it’s the best place to start to address a weight problem.

To put it simply, the best weight loss program is one that manages insulin. Let’s see how insulin works and why it’s so important to control it.

Insulin is a hormone which is released in the body in response to blood sugar fluctuations. (Blood sugar is also called blood glucose, as glucose is the primary sugar used in the body).

When blood glucose increases, insulin is released by the pancreas to move the glucose from the bloodstream into the cells where it can be burned for cellular fuel.

More importantly, if glucose is available for the cells to burn, they will burn it first, before they burn stored fat.  Keep that in mind. If the body cells are already full of glucose and can’t take in any more, the body converts any excess energy into fatty acids, and stores them in the fat cells.

Now, normally, the body would later access this stored fat for fuel when food becomes unavailable. However, if insulin levels have become chronically high, the fat stored in the cells can’t be broken down for fuel.

In other words, high insulin levels will keep the fat stored, and the body will be dependent on glucose only for fuel.

Since the body can’t store much glycogen (glucose stored as groups of molecules) and it can’t get to its fat stores because of high insulin, it becomes very dependent on the glucose energy coming in from food.

Carbohydrate intake on a ketogenic diet is low, which allows the cells to retain their sensitivity to insulin.  Your hormones stay in balance, hunger is diminished, and the cells can burn fat for fuel, which provides more energy.

The body can access its stored fat, you lose weight, and you have lots of fuel for activity. Exercising becomes fun, instead of being a chore.

So if you are intent on reshaping your body, in other words getting rid of the surplus adipose tissue or fat and have enrolled at your gym without making the lifestyle changes to your diet you probably won’t reach your goals.

90% of people who go to a gym these days fail to achieve their goals and give up, hence why the churn factor is so high in gymnasiums today.

It is a sad reflection on what could be such positive outcome, so make sure that if your intention is to lose weight, understand it’s all down to burning fat. Adopt a ketogenic diet and focus on resistance training.

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ketogenicMalcolm McLean – Ketosis Specialist

Why Diet Is More Important Than Exercise In Burning Fat

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