The Truths and Falsehoods About Fat Loss

The Truths and Falsehoods About Fat Loss

Before Embarking On a Fat Loss Programme You Should Read This:

Daily energy expenditure consists of 3 components:

1. Resting metabolic rate (energy required for basic living) total of 60-70%.

2. Diet induced Thermogenesis (energy required to breakdown food) 10% of total.

3. Energy cost of physical activity 20-30% of the total.

Question: If we create a caloric deficit of “X” amount – we will lose “Y” amount of fat? (i.e. the calorie deficit = fat loss, a 3500 calorie deficit = 1 pound)

True or False? False!

In a study of meal frequency, it has been shown that a group eating 6 meals per day lost more fat than a group eating 2 meals a day, despite the calories being equal. The study showed that adults who were accustomed to eating 4 meals per day switched to 3 meals a day actually gained body fat and weight despite the calories remaining the same.

Question: A calorie is a calorie. With the same meal frequency, as long as we adjust the “calories in v. the calories out” we will see the same fat loss; that is proteins, carbohydrates and fat (macronutrients) do not really matter.

True or False? False!

At the same calorie intake a low carbohydrate diet resulted in significantly greater fat loss than a low fat diet.

Summary: Low carbohydrate, high protein diets favourably affect mass and composition independent of energy intake

So what Should We Be Doing?

• Increase meal frequency

• Eat meals at regular times

• Lower carbohydrate intake/increase protein

• Moderately reduce calories.

Question: The addition of aerobic (jogging/gentle running) exercise to a caloric deficit (through diet) will increase calories burned and therefore increase fat lost.

True or False? False!

In a 6 month study of 2 groups: One on diet only and the other on diet plus aerobic exercise (50 minutes 5 days per week) there was no additional effect of aerobic exercise on body composition that is to say, adding aerobic exercise had no effect over dieting alone.

Question: If diet (total caloric and macronutrient intake) is a constant, then the more calories you burn during training, the more fat you will lose.

True or False? False!

A group was divided into 2 smaller groups:

• Group 1 exercised for 15 weeks doing 20 minutes of interval training per session 3 times per week

• Group 2 did 15 weeks of 40 minutes steady state aerobic (jogging) exercise per session 3 times per week

• Both groups burned the same calories over the 15 weeks and ate the same diet.

• The steady state group actually gained on average 1lb of fat.

• The interval training group lost 5.5lb of fat and increased lean mass.

• The interval group also increased aerobic capacity more than the steady state group.

So NOW What Should We Be Doing?

• Increase meal frequency.

• Reduced carbohydrate diet.

• Interval training – this should only become part of your training programme once you have developed a foundation of steady state running.

• Resistance training – introduce a controlled well planned weight training programme.

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