If you’re having trouble shedding off that last few pounds of fat around your waist then you’re not alone. For men, generally, we have the hardest time losing fat in our waist, also known as “love handles”.
What people may not know is that the fat sitting in our waist area is all biological as well as genetics. We hold fat as stored energy. When we don’t use up those carbohydrates we consume our body turns those into triglycerides, or “fatty cells”. Do this repeatedly over and over then you get that fat covering your midsection and abs.
So what is the best way to go about lowering your fat percentage?
This is a bit of a complex problem, but with a help from a personal trainer from Sacramento at sacfitnesstrainer.com we can simply it for you so that even a 5th grader can understand.
Losing fat is completely different than losing weight. A person standing at 5’10 weighing at 160 lbs can look entirely different than another person with those same statistics. While genetics is a huge factor, we will just ignore this for this section. We will just call these people person “A” and person “B”.
Person A has a body fat of 8% while person B has a body fat of 15%. The obvious result is that person A will have a leaner (muscular) physique. And person B having an average type look.
What does this mean?
Person A has incorporated various techniques to their workout regiment and nutrition needs. This can range from doing more cardio (high heart rate) exercises while carefully watching their macro-nutrient intake. To get to this low level of body fat. Extensive knowledge on the subject is important. For more guides, check out this guide from sacfitness.
While person B is active this person might not be doing as much cardio and probably not accurately watching their macro-nutrient intake. They are probably working out 3-4x a week and performing exercises that are not heart-intensive (an exercise/workout that is not raising the heart rate high enough to burn fat).
Which brings me to my main point. Burning fat. The proper steps to lose fat is going to be a combination of proper exercises/workouts and an accurate record of your food intake.
There are various programs available that help tracks the foods you eat. The one I recommend most is “my fitness pal”. Which is available on most smartphones. Otherwise, you can just simply search for a food tracker. But what you want to do with the tracker is find out your maintenance calories, which is how much calories you need to consume a day to maintain your current weight. Once you get this number figured out then you have the formula you need to lose weight.
That is just one formula for part of the equation. Remember, we are not necessarily trying to lose weight, but body fat. In order to burn that body fat, you will have to incorporate a heart-intensive exercise. Like in my previous post, I recommend doing HIIT. Perform HIIT 3-4x a week after progressively working your way up. To add a boost to your fat burning exercises, do HIIT in the morning on an empty stomach.
Here is why: On an empty morning stomach, your body carbohydrate levels, or glycogen levels, are at its lowest levels. You will get the best fat burning while your glycogen levels are depleted. This is because your body burns through glycogen levels while you are at sleep (your body uses calories to help your organs do its job). So while glycogen is depleted, your body is going to need an energy source, and that source is going to be fat. While being on a fasted exercise, it’s important not to over do it, and by this I mean don’t thrash your body. Because you’re in a fasted state, going overboard will mean you could lose muscle mass. So the trick is to find a proper balance. Which is why I recommend doing no more than 20 minutes of HIIT on an empty stomach. If you’re doing HIIT later in the day after you had a meal, then you can shoot for up to 30 and no more than 40 minutes of HIIT.
Credit for this article goes out to Tim G., a certified fitness trainer and physique competitor in Sacramento CA.