Updated: Nov 18
Incidental activity is very important in the process of losing weight as you can burn more calories than relying on dietary means alone. Fat is burned from the body when cells oxidize to release energy in the form of exercise or movement. When the exercise is done slowly to moderately then the majority of energy is taken from the fat stores.
The loss of fat comes from fat cells all over the body, not from one or more specific area’s so spot reduction of a certain area is not possible. The main priority of this article is to show you the quickest and safest way to lose fat from the body.
"spot reduction of a certain area is not possible"
With this in mind however, it is worth noting that certain hormones play a key role in where fat can accumulate more than other areas. For example if you spike your insulin hormone too often through excesss consumption of refined carbohydrates / sugars, you will accummulate more body fat around your sides (love handles).
If you are highly stressed with high cortisol levels, you will tend to store more body fat around your stomach area. Too much estrogen can cause fat storage around the thighs in particular for women, whilst men see a lot of fat storage in the chest areas.
With this in mind, although you can't spot reduce / burn fat from certain areas, what you can do to lose more fat in your stomach area is to massively reduce your cortisol levels (stress hormone) by reducing your stress levels, and getting more good quality sleep and more of it.
"excess estrogen, insulin and cortisol are examples of how hormones can cause fat storage more in certain areas of the body"
The key to effective aerobic training that burns off the maximum amount of fat is long-term consistency. Although you can lose weight from aerobic training alone, I would strongly recommend some form of resistance / weight training too, to help maintain and increase your lean fat-burning muscle mass. This will help you lose your weight faster, but just as importantly, keep it off afterwards, and have more energy from being stronger.
The best exercise by far for the purpose of fat-loss is fast walking either indoors on the treadmill or outdoors. What many don't know is that walking produces a greater percentage of fat loss as opposed to jogging or running. Other aerobic activities are the treadmill, bike, climber or any other training gear found in or out of the gym.
If your looking for a tougher more challenging workout, with greater benefits on cardiovascular fitness, and more calories burned, you can then start looking into training such as High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) style workouts. Although initially, your goal is to simply get out and move more, and be consistent with it.
Walk or exercise until you are mildly puffing and hold that rate until the allotted time. If your aerobic activities leave you panting or breathless, your going too hard, your energy is coming from your carbohydrate reserves and not from your fat stores. Try fast walking for one hour a day every day of the week if you are able.
Here are some of the benefits of Fast Walking...
Easy to Perform
All Natural Body Movement
Doesn't Cause Injuries
Can Be Done Anywhere
The Best Minimal Effort Exercise for Fat Loss
Research shows that regular, brisk walking is one of the best exercises we can do for overall fitness. It suits people of all ages and fitness levels, it’s easy to get started and there's no complicated technique to learn or equipment to buy.
Walking is an excellent way to get fit because it uses nearly all the muscles and, as you have to carry your body weight, you can get a good workout from it.
It’s also safer on the joints and the back than most other forms of exercise because you're not jumping up and down, so the impact is low.
Studies have shown that taking a daily 20-minute walk can reduce the risk of heart attack as much as 50%, it also reduces high blood pressure and helps to burn fat to keep weight under control.
"Taking a daily 20-minute talk can reduce the risk of heart attack as much as 50%"
Walking and other weight bearing exercises (Strength training) helps to increase bone mass, which protects against osteoporosis and bone fractures.
In the first two weeks, go for a 20-minute walk every other day and then increase this to 40 minutes. At first try to do five 20-minute walks per week totalling 100 minutes a week. Once you get used to the regular exercise, increase this to 40 minutes for five times a week.
You can then gradually increase this as you see fit, if you want to walk every day for 40 minutes or even an hour so be it. Remember the more you walk the more fat that will be burned off. The best pace for fitness training will make you slightly breathless, but you should still be comfortable and be able to carry on a conversation.
"Remember the more you walk, the more fat that will be burned off"
As you get fitter, you'll want to stretch a little harder to keep your heart rate up. Try lengthening your strides, increasing your pace. Keep your shoulders back, your chest lifted and your tummy pulled in when you walk, hold your head up for open, easy breathing.
If you're feeling stressed, try counting your steps repeatedly from one to ten as you walk, this helps some people achieve a meditative effect and can be a great tension reliever when practiced over a full 40 minutes.
Time yourself, measure the distance or increase the gradient to make the workout more challenging. Drink plenty of fluids during and after your walk.
Make safety your first consideration. Don't walk after dark except in well-lit, busy places. Start the walk slowly, and then gradually increase the pace.
In all other activities try to move, move, move. Try parking the car further away from your destination so you can walk the extra distance, hide all your remote controls so you have to get up and change the channels manually. These all help burn those extra calories and body fat from your frame.
I've written this article to focus on moving more to burn body fat and burn calories. However it goes without saying, you need to also be mindful of your current eating habits. Are you making healthy choices?
If you have recently been gaining unwanted body fat weight, then you will be overconsuming on your calories. Your perception of what you should be eating is more than what your body actually needs. Sometimes just getting into a regular routine of walking daily or every other day can be enough to tip the scales in your favour without any changes to your diet.
"Sometimes just getting into a regular routine of walking daily or every other day can be enough to tip the scales in your favour without any changes to your diet"
However for most people, if there are any obvious junk foods, takeeaways and highly processed foods in your diet, especially those you already know are junk foods, along with high sugar drinks, then let's start cutting them out, as that will be the first place to start, and also aim to drink at least 2 litres of water per day so your body has the ability ability to burn body fat can function correctly. Without enough water your body will have a hard time burning body fat!
Nutrition is a whole new and lengthly topic. So let's focus on simply moving more, eating less and staying well hydrated. It takes on average 21 days to create new positive habits on a daily basis. So let's get you started and on track today!