Day 10 of the 12 days of Christmas dieting
The turkey has gone and the crackers have been pulled. There is an anti-climactic feeling of malaise and the majority of the presents you received have little appeasement. You look down at your tummy and a soft pale hemispherical blob winks back at you. It is now time to do something about the state that you've got yourself in.
Day 10: Get moving to move the fat.
It is extremely hard to lose fat. Well actually it's not, but I would say that because I've been doing this and teaching fat loss for years. It is actually very simple. The reason most people don't manage to get going is because the first part is really hard physically, psychologically and physiologically.
This gets a bit sciencey but I'll try to keep it as straight forward as possible. You have to understand the process your body goes through in order to burn fat. Why, when it should and why yours doesn't: so here goes.
Our body needs energy to work. We get our energy from two major fuel sources; carbohydrates and fats. Both of these fuels are eventually broken down to create ATP. ATP is the universal currency for energy. How that is created is key. When you're born, your body is in a perfect state. It is lifestyle and eating habits that changes our internal physiology.
The general idea is that your body will use carbs for more moderate to high intensity activities and will use fats for low intensity activities. This is because they 'burn' at different rates. If you can understand cars a little bit, it's like a hybrid car. If you drive gently you'll use the electric motor (fats) but if you put your foot down the petrol engine will kick in as you need more energy faster (carbs).
The real problem presents itself with fitness. The fitter you are the harder your body is able to work and still use fat as its fuel source. Conversely, the less fit you are, the earlier along the intensity scale your body will stop using fat and will switch to carbs as your fuel source. This is a vicious circle as the less fit you get the less you tend to move. The less you move the more fat you gain and it's even harder to get moving. You see where I'm going with this.
You must break the cycle. This is the tough part. Every single part of you will scream 'I don't want to do this!' Your body's sugar stores are finite. When they have run out the idea is that your body can shift into burning body fat. As we have lots of body fat, our energy supply is theoretically endless, but this is no good if your body wont use it as you're too unfit.
There is no magic fix to this one unfortunately. You have to just get moving and don't give up. The silver lining is that our bodies are amazing and can adapt to anything. This means that if you are unfit, overweight, can't move very well, and totally relying on sugars, your body will reverse all of this if you ask it to. The trick is to start slow and just keep going and pushing forward. If you start walking, the activity level is low. This means your body will be able to use a little bit of fat alongside the sugars. As you drop a little weight get a little fitter, your metabolic enzymes adapt and change to favour using a slightly higher ratio of fat to sugars. Keep pushing forward, time, distance, speed etc. This is where the mental aspect comes in, you have to go to a place that feels uncomfortable. Expose yourself to a new level of exercise intensity. You will adapt to the new level. Then keep pushing onwards.
It is just a classic progressive overload system. The important factors to success is don't ask too much of yourself at the start and don't give up if it feels too hard. I cannot emphasise this more, consistency is everything and it won't happen overnight. Once the metabolic and enzymatic adaptations have started to take place, then it's like a pushing a boulder uphill. The first part is incredibly hard but when you get to the top it quickly gains momentum and speed.
Like I said. Fat loss is easy. You just need to train your body to use the correct fuel. No-one can do it for you. It won't happen immediately but if you start and keep asking a little more of yourself each time I promise you will succeed. Nothing worth having ever came easily.
So now you understand why you struggle to lose fat and there is no excuse. Get out, start training, don't quit, and shift the Christmas gut.
Look out for Day 11 of the 12 days of Christmas dieting.
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