Fitness for Body, Mind and Spirit

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Fitness for the body, mind & spirit

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3 more simple steps to burn fat…


Last week we discussed the first, simple way to burn fat. You can learn about Simple Step #1 here. This week we are looking at three more simple ways that we can loose that unwanted fat that we have been carry around. Make sure you have this first step mastered before moving on to these next steps. Crucial step. Crucial. Ready to burn more fat?

Simple Step #2 - Lift weights That’s right. Lifting weights can help you burn fat. A study done by the Journal of American College of Nutrition studied obese individuals by placing them all on a low calorie diet and divided them in one of two groups. One group did an aerobic form of exercise i.e. walking, bicycling, jogging, etc. four times per week. The second group did resistance training three times per week and no aerobic training.

The results:

  • Both groups lost weight: the Aerobic group lost 37 lbs (but 10 lbs came from lost muscle); and the Resistance group lost 32 lbs with no loss of muscle

  • The Aerobic group burned 210 fewer calories per day; they slowed down their metabolism

  • The Resistance group burned 63 more calories per day. Their bodies were still burning at a higher rate after the completion of training each day because they added on more muscle

Muscle advantages:

  • Muscle increases your basal metabolic rate; you burn more energy, you burn more calories at rest

  • Muscle is a reservoir for anti-aging hormones. One can better withstand extreme stress and aging. Recovery is faster and can bounce back faster after a fall, for example. As we get older, it decreases our ability to recover. More fit individuals can recover faster

Number of times per week you should lift weights?

  • Lift weights three times per week for best results. Ensure that your training isn’t all or nothing; if you are getting one or two times per week then celebrate that

Keep in mind:

  • Weight lifting doesn’t make you bulky; food makes you bulky

  • Be mindful of constant cardio which can actually have the opposite effect of loosing fat. It’s important to incorporate resistance training into your movement practice.

  • Shortly after you jog or do some other aerobic training, your energy burn stops, where as after resistance training, it stays elevated for a much longer time post-exercise i.e. 24 hours later

Simple Step #3 - Be micronutrient rich What are micronutrients? Think of vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals. They are chemicals found in trace amounts of foods. Micronutrients enable the body to produce enzymes, hormones, and other substances for proper growth and development. They are essential components that help all the systems of your body run at full capacity. They ensure your brain, heart, kidney, liver, lungs, bone density, joints, and ligaments each have the vital resources they need to operate at full capacity. Important stuff. A study done by the International Journal of Obesity found that micronutrients are critical in up-regulating fat loss. They looked at 96 obese woman ages 18 to 55 in a 26-week, double-blind, randomized study looking at the effects of adding supplemental micronutrients to their diet.

The results: The Supplemental group had significantly lower body weight, lower BMI (body mass index), lower fat mass, lower LDL or “bad” cholesterol, and lower triglycerides. They had significantly higher resting energy expenditure and lower waist circumference.

More reasons micronutrients are important:

  • Without the proper micronutrients, you macronutrients (protein, fat, and carbohydrates) will not be utilized effectively

  • Required for proper hormone production and cellular communication

  • They protect our bodies from disease, slow the aging process, and help every system in our body function

  • They keep us energized, produce enzymes and hormones, and prevent deficiencies

  • Helps keep a strong metabolism

Low levels of specific micronutrients can result in problems such as:

  • Mental impairment

  • Poor digestion

  • Bone loss

  • Thyroid problems

Keep in mind:

  • Make sure the micronutrients are bioavailable (natural in form), not synthetic

  • Micronutrients are found in whole foods found in nature, not processed

  • Examples of nutrient-dense foods include vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, legumes, and quality animal products.

Simple Step #4 - Stress Less You can over stress your way to fat. Stress increases our cortisol levels which can cause us to gain fat. Cortisol has a rhythm; it peaks in the morning around 6:00 - 8:00 AM and levels off during the day. Too much cortisol and at the wrong time can lead to gluconeogenesis. It can break down our muscle tissue and turn it into glucose. Stress can also lead to abnormal brain chemistry that can drive food cravings and an expansive appetite.

Researchers at the University of Vanderbilt School of Medicine found mindful meditation beneficial to the prevention and treatment of obesity in children. Meditation was found to reduce stimulation in the part of the brain linked to impulsive overeating. Researchers at Brown University found that people who pay more attention to their thoughts and feelings in the present moment, have lower levels of abdominal fat and less likely to become obese. Those with low levels of mindfulness are 34% more likely to be obese if not aware of the present moment. Those last two studies are very significant. We have more obese adults and children than ever before. Now would be a great time to start daily brain training or a meditation practice. Along with the other simple steps to burning fat, implement a mindfulness practice. There are apps that I use i.e. Headspace with guided meditation, some with relaxing music or nature sounds i.e. Brain.fm. I’ve written about meditation here. There you have it. Simple steps that you can use to burn more fat this year. You can do it. Now is the time to be more mindful of body, mind, and spirit and take steps to nurture ourselves. That is what this all is - taking care of ourselves, being grateful for this gift we have been given. To your journey, Lisa Schaffer GreenNote Fitness P.S. Check out my Facebook page for inspiration. P.P.S. Discover GreenNote Fitness recommendations for recovery, supplements, protein bars & powders, nutrition, equipment, books and more in the GreenNote Fitness eStore. **Do you have a friend that would benefit from this information? Please forward it to them!**

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