This may seem counter-intuitive, but try doing a lot of strength work there. The more muscle mass you have, the more calories you burn at rest, so it should help burn that fat off. If you’re worried about getting bulky, don’t be! Women don’t bulk like guys do because we lack the testosterone levels they have. But if you want slim, muscular legs, try yoga or pilates! It gives you strength while elongating your muscles. :) It may also help if you reduce your intake of fat and increase your protein intake a little.
Hi :) I have been working out consistently for the past few months and originally I wanted to lose 10-15 pounds but I'm slowly realizing that it's probably not going to happen. I'm 21, 5'4", and 133lbs. I know that's healthy so I'm not concerned about the # anymore. What I'm really hoping for is to decrease my body fat percentage. I have a lot of fat mostly on my legs that I want to disappear but I'm worried it will never happen since my mom and sisters have big calves too... What do you think?
Digestion of Fat in the Body (Click for larger image)
(Deidre sent me the link to this, so I thought I would share!)
Do you know what happens when your favorite cooking oil set to boil at higher temperature? The answer is simple; it converts in to trans fats (trans fatty acids).
Now, what are these Trans-fats?
How do they form?
Why all of us are so concerned about trans-fats?
When the oil is set to boil at higher temperatures, a kind of chemical reaction occurs resulting in change in the configuration
of the oil from its natural cis-form to trans-form.
A lot of people figure that just running tons of miles and dieting low calorie diets would ensure them weight loss. Sure, you might lose some weight, HOWEVER, there are many factors in losing weight the right and best way for you .
First of all, the human population varies in many different…
If you’re not following this guy, you should be! He’s awesome.
Five Reasons Your Body Needs Fat
- Reduces Cravings: Who here has ever finished a meal, and left the kitchen only to return a half hour later opening and closing the refrigerator door? Eating healthy fats helps regulate you keep cravings in check. What’s more, a meal with fat added to it will take longer to break down than a fat-free meal.
- Vitamin Sponges: Without dietary fat, your body would not be able to absorb vitamins A, D, K and E! If you’re good about taking your vitamins, but not good at adding healthy fat, these nutrients might not be as effective as you think.
- Fat Burner: As contradictory as it may sound, adding healthy fats like extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, omega 3s (fish and flax seed oil) and many others, actually turn your metabolism on. While some people need more fat than others, we all need healthy fats. If you’re relying on residual fats found in processed foods to fuel your body, don’t be surprised if you’re having a hard time shedding excess weight.
- Wrinkle Fighter: Omega 3s and extra virgin olive oil play a role in keeping our skin vibrant and supple. In fact, extra virgin olive oil is rich in oleic acid, which is great for your skin on a cellular level.
- Brain Power Enhancer: Omega 3s, in particular, have been shown to play a critical role in brain function. Again, omega 3 fatty acids can be found in abundance in fish oil (in supplement form), salmon, walnuts, flax seeds and flax seed oil. For more information on plant sources of omega 3s, go here.
Everything really adds up! If you think losing only one pound is a failure, it’s actually a pretty great feat! Of course, you have to consider the reason why it doesn’t seem like much on your body. Fat is distributed fairly evenly in your body. For example, the fat on your thighs bulges when you sit down (yes, even if you’re my body type) because the fat on the thighs is evenly distributed in a sort of cylindrical shape around your femur. Pretend you have a flimsy cylindrical object and you squish it down. It bulges at the sides. It didn’t gain any volume, it just changed shape. If you could just naturally slice out a 10 lbs chunk from your stomach (sounds weird, but stay with me on this, haha) you would clearly see a difference, like the second one. However, you can’t target fat-loss, so it happens very subtly.
Excuse me, I’m in a really analytical mood haha. Feel free to delete this text if you reblog. :P
(This is me making it more concise for you all while simultaneously reiterating this to myself and adding my own tidbits of knowledge!)
The common assumption about losing weight tends to be that in order to lose fat, you must diet in order to use up all that energy. That may be true, but the process is much more complex than that as there are alternate stores of energy that can interfere with fat burning. These other sources include glycogen (carbs) and protein (muscle). Here you’ll learn just how the body uses each form of energy in weight loss.
Glycogen is the storage form of carbohydrates just as fat is the storage form of lipids. It’s primarily stored within muscles, and the liver to some extent, and is the most common energy source. Each molecule of glycogen is pretty big; it contains millions of glucose (sugar) units and the process of storing these molecules causes the body to hold 3 times its own weight in water. (Which is what people mean by “you’re 80% water!”) Depending on nutritional status, an individual can hold up to 500g of glycogen. Based on this alone an individual will only have 2000 calories stored up through glycogen at any given time. Or simply, if you stop eating for one day most of these stores would be used up.
What does that have to do with weight loss?
As I just told you, storage of glycogen causes the body to hold 3 times that weight in water which means that if you started out with 500g of glycogen in your body, there are 1500g of water on top of that totaling to about 4 1/2 lbs. So basically if you cut 90% of these stores, which is typically done when restricting for weight loss, you could lose about 4 lbs. But cutting the carbs isn’t always such a good idea because you’re only losing fluid weight. This is why the first few days or so of weight loss seem awesome, but a plateau quickly approaches, especially if one “goes back to normal” after a diet. That’s because there was only fluid loss, not fat loss. Understand now that slow steady weight loss (about 1-2 lbs a week) is the best and most permanent solution.
Think about it this way. How much of your body is muscle? Well all of that has potential stores of protein-based energy, and each time you work out some of that protein is broken down for energy. (Which is why you should always eat protein after a workout to replenish that muscle.) In fact, some protein is always used to supply energy, about 5% on average out of total energy expenditure which can increase up to 15% if you do high intensity workouts or have a period of demanding physical labor. Also, if glycogen stores are low, the liver converts protein into glucose to maintain blood-glucose levels.
What does that have to do with weight loss?
All of this means that if you’re on a carb-restricted diet the majority of your energy consumption will most likely be through the breaking down and conversion of protein to glucose. And you know how muscle weighs a lot? Well that’s because it holds up to four times it’s weight in water. So this compounds the problem of losing water-weight from depleted glycogen stores. Adding up weight lost from glycogen and protein stores together can result in losing 10-30 lbs of water weight. Obviously decrease in overall caloric intake will mean decreased protein intake as well, but this is one reason why it’s important to take protein after working out, so you’re not fooling yourself.
Fat is stored in basically every area of the body, both under the skin (subcutaneous, about 80% of body fat) and surrounding your organs (visceral). Now although “fat” people have big bellies and thunder thighs, the biggest damage comes from the fat surrounding their organs. That’s the stuff that causes overweight/obesity-related disease. We can’t target where fat loss occurs, but the primary goal should be to lose fat in general.
What does that have to do with weight loss?
Well here an obvious one for you. People wouldn’t feel the need to lose weight if fat accumulation wasn’t a problem. So in order to become thin, fit, and toned one must lose that excess.
How can I do it?
- Reduce caloric intake by 15% and no more
For example, if you generally eat 2200 calories a day, you should reduce your caloric intake to about 1900. Research has shown that reducing caloric intake any lower than that causes the body to burn more protein for energy and supply of amino acids that are not as consistent with the decreased intake of food. However, if you reduce caloric intake in a healthy way your body can still receive the macro-nutrients, vitamins, and minerals for proper bodily function.
- Exercise for longer but at a lower intensity
I know this can seem hard to do considering the busy modern lifestyle, but this is the most efficient way for less-fit individuals to lose weight. Fat requires oxygen in order to burned off, but oxygen can only be delivered to the working muscle cells at a steady rate. I’m sure you can tell considering that although your heart rate will be raised during exercise, you can only breath so fast and still get the proper amount of oxygen to your cells. If you’re looking for constant fat burning during exercise, work at a moderate pace. If you can hold a conversation during your exercise then you’re doing it right, but it shouldn’t be so easy that you’re barely doing anything. It’s important to find balance here.
- Rebalance your macronutrient intake
Try around 60% carbohydrates, 25% protein and 15% fats out of your total daily caloric intake. Surely carbs are the easiest energy source to get; they come from fruits, veggies, and grains. A tip here would be to split up your plate each meal into these approximate percentages so you’re sure to get the right amount each day. Still, it’s important to remember that fat is a super concentrated source of energy, so the less fat you eat, the more food you can eat overall without going over your daily limit.
- Maintain or increase muscle tissue
It’s important to increase (or at least maintain) muscle during weight loss, so be sure you’re working out on a good schedule. Skipping a week or two reduces your muscle mass significantly, so be sure to keep up with your workouts and protein intake. The more muscle mass you have, the more you burn at rest (your basal metabolic rate). Thus, the higher one’s metabolic rate the higher one’s energy and fat-burning capabilities will be.
I hope you enjoyed this. It should be very helpful to you all, not just those of you trying to lose weight. :)
So don’t worry that the protein you’re taking after a workout has x amount of calories. In fact, don’t worry about the exact number of calories… EVER! Work hard, be happy, and everything will fall into place.
And you know what? Those extra calories can creep up on you out of nowhere! Now I know I’m a person who doesn’t like to concern herself with caloric intake much, but in gaining a few lbs from my new bc I’ve become a bit more smart about it all. Let’s take this quote for example:
“What you don’t know can’t hurt you.”
In some cases, yes. Not knowing could be a good thing depending on the context. However, when you take it as “lack of knowledge” rather than just being “unaware”, then it starts to hit home a bit more.
Think about it. How many times have you been in a situation where you say, “Oh, there’s only a little bit left… Might as well finish it off, right?” Wrong! All those little extra calories creep up on you and before you know it you could start gaining weight! Eek! Going over your caloric intake for the day on occasion is fine, but remember… Just as sleep debt accumulates to make you increasingly fatigued, excess calories add up and once you hit 3500 excess calories… You gain a pound.
I would suggest that everyone print out a proper portion chart and memorize it, or at least get the jist of it. (You can find one here.) You could also imagine there’s a plate inside of your plate and keep the food inside the smaller one… Or even separate your foods like the picture below! You don’t need to be overweight to learn about this stuff, either. It’s good to have background knowledge on this even if you are fit and healthy in order to be sure you stay that way.
Another tip would be to just slow down. Everyone has heard about the French women who seem to never gain weight, right? Well, it’s because their culture is so much different than the culture in America. Here in the US we’re always running, always busy, fast everything, no time for anything. People here don’t sit down and enjoy food anymore, which is probably yet another reason fast food is so popular. Anyways, just taking the extra few minutes to savor that delicious flavor… Have a nice chat with your friend… Take drinks in between bites… Another good idea is to eat oranges as a snack. Eating them requires that you to carefully peel it, so it takes longer and you’re more likely to eat it at a more relaxed pace. But whatever you have to do, just slow down. In fact, it can also help you manage some stress, as well!
Perhaps speed doesn’t seem to be an issue for you and your problem lies in food volume. If you’re used to eating a lot of food, it can be hard to lower your caloric intake, especially if you eat the same food that made you overweight in the first place! The key to this is to choose bigger volumes of nutrient-dense foods and decrease volumes of calorie-dense foods. An example of this would be to choose a big salad over a big pasta dinner. Next time you go to an Italian restaurant ask for a large salad and a half order of the pasta you want. This way you can still maintain the volume, but with fewer calories, and without making you go nuts for restricting from your favorites! If you love chocolate and always crave it after a meal… Eat it. But let it be a small square and dark chocolate. Through my own experience and the experience of others I’ve found that eating a little piece of dark chocolate after a meal satisfies my craving enough to where I don’t crave it later. So try it chocolate lovers!
Well, I think that should be sufficient. But before I finish off I’d like to remind you all that exercise and proper sleep habits are imperative to your health, and that includes the weight loss process. Be sure you’re working out at least every other day for 30 minutes (even if you have to do it in small chunks, that counts!) and sleeping approximately 8 hours a night, give or take.
And don’t forget… If you lost one lb you just burned off 3500 calories.
- If you have too much of that toxic goop surrounding your organs it increases inflammation in the body via chemical messengers and other junk that you reeaally don’t want going on such as increased blood pressure, fatty liver, plaque build up, arthritis, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, heart attack… It can cause A LOT of problems, including those with body image and even impaired sexual function.
- If you don’t have enough belly fat… Your brain tells your body to store even MORE fat when you eat! Complications include decreased immune function, amenorrhea, vision impairment, heart attack, severely decreased muscle strength, hypothermia, seizures…
What a vicious cycle! The solution: Eat well and exercise often. Though it may seem like starving can help you, it actually makes the problem much much worse!
And if you get rid of body fat (the healthy way) and get a nice lean belly… You can reap the benefits of increased cognitive function, better sleep, a healthier heart, and better sex… Even more money since you probably won’t need to see the doctor as often! (And you can spend it on organic food! Jk! Sorta…)
If you wanna do that it would be a fantastic idea to keep track of it along with weight loss! Don’t let the scale discourage you!
But I found out something interesting.
The average woman has a BF% of 32%, ideal is 22%, 10-15% for athletes, and <10% could mean an eating disorder. My body fat percentage is 8.97%.
Now, I don’t feel too concerned at this point. Mostly because my eating habits do not line up with those of the typical ED, and neither does my picture of the ideal me. My BMI is 17.9, damnit! It’s practically normal, which, I’ve been hoping it would be for so long. I’m happy about it.
I’ve also noticed that out of curiosity (not obsession) since I started the workout I’ve stepped on the scale daily. I was interested in knowing how fast I would burn fat and whatnot. And to my noobish surprise, it hasn’t changed. 117.5 for the last 6 days or so. I thought that was odd, but then I realized,
“If I’m burning fat then it’s immediately being replaced and maintained by muscle and the protein shakes I’m drinking post workout.”
So Jillian wasn’t lying! Haha. I mean, I’m at least aware of that now. I think it’s good to be aware, but I’m not taking it as law. I wonder if my lack of body fat has anything to do with my migraines… Interesting concept. I may look into that.
I hope this was helpful and informative for you guys. (I wanted to be concise.)
But now I eat bell peppers plain for a snack instead of going through the trouble of making hummus or finding a [probably unhealthy] dip for it. Not that hummus is bad. I love hummus. And it’s really healthy.
But it’s nice that I don’t feel like I need to slather extra calories onto something just to eat it. Ya know?
Although… When I’m cooking eggs in a bell pepper ring I use about 2~3 tbsp of olive oil to cook it. (Along with some hot sauce, season salt, and paprika.) My mom always tells me that frying is bad but I think it’s okay because it’s extra virgin olive oil. The good fat.