When it comes to top fitness goals, fat loss often takes the cake. But we can’t talk about how to lower body fat percentage without touching on how to drop pounds in general. That’s because you can’t necessarily target fat loss in one specific area – say, just your arms or belly. You actually have to reduce fat all over, and that comes down to one main principle: calorie deficiency.
In other words, you have to burn more calories than you consume. While of course diet is involved in that, moving more – not just sessions at the gym, and sleep habits are extremely important. So, what should you be doing in those daily hours from dawn till dusk to help you drop that body fat percentage? Here, are four fitness must-dos to see results.
It may be small, familiar, and just a little too easy but get up on your feet more throughout the day. It is difficult to burn enough excess calories in an hour-long sweat session to make a difference. But frequently taking breaks from your desk at work could actually make or break your daily deficit. In fact, a recent study found that simply standing rather than sitting for six hours a day could help a 140-pound person burn more than 50 extra calories in a 24-hour period. And that doesn’t involve any movement, just static standing. Imagine all of the calorie-crushing possibilities if you took brisk walks daily.
Besides moving more, doing a more efficient workout means that you’ll blast more calories and burn more fat. For that, consider interval workouts. Metabolic conditioning workouts place a high-demand on the body by testing its different energy systems. Remember do interval training every other day, in order to give your body a day of rest in-between to properly recover. As you get in better shape, you will see more and more calories burn week after week.
Beyond the intervals, another way to increase your fat-burning and muscle building potential is resistance training. Strength training is a must, because it’s the only thing that preserves muscle tissue over time. Cardio can burn more calories, but does nothing to prevent muscle loss, and you’ll want more muscle to burn more daily calories long term.
Another benefit of resistance training: it preps your muscles to push even harder during tough interval sessions. When you improve your muscles’ metabolic conditioning, you’re building the capacity to go longer and harder. It is going to let you push yourself during your next workout. Think of it this way, the more your strength training – the harder you work in your next workout – the more calories you’ll burn overall.
Focus on the Calorie Burn
No matter which workouts you choose, keep in mind that if you want to burn fat, you don’t necessarily need to work in the fat-burning zone. Fat burn is on the lower end of the effort scale. We actually burn fat while sleeping, therefore it’s not necessarily the ideal training zone for fat loss.
It is your total caloric expenditure that’s the most important – not the type of fuel source you’re using. So, if you opt for that interval training, you’re burning more energy overall.
Remember, lowering your body fat percentage doesn’t happen overnight. Or even over seven nights. On average losing about one or two percent body fat per month is a realistic goal. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see results right away. Continue your interval and strength training workouts, focus on eating a clean diet and get ample rest in between. All good things come to those who wait… and get moving.