The recommended percentage for body fat for optimum health is between 20-29 percent for women and 15 to 19 percent for men. Women tend to store more fat for reproductive reasons. A low body fat doesn’t always mean that you are very healthy, it’s where the fat is placed on the body. Having a lot of body fat around your belly seriously increases your risk of getting cardiovascular disease. In general, low body fat cuts the risk of developing CVD. More info here.

Exercising regularly and eating a balanced diet, helps the body utilise fats. Exercising a minimum of three times a week is recommended; twice at a high intensity and at least once at medium intensity. This can be achieved by exercising with a heart rate over 80%MHR for a short duration, as well as longer, but more steady state aerobic activity. We shall have a look at the weight loss tips below to find out how to lose weight quickly, but most importantly, safely.

Weight Loss Tips

  • Exercise everyday, this counts even if you walk to the shop to get your paper
  • Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, more the latter.
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Prepare your kitchen with healthy food and don’t buy snacks that linger around the house
  • Build lean muscle to burn calories at rest
  • Choose low fat complete proteins to help with weight loss. Combine the protein with carbohydrates such as vegetables, salad, black rice, quinoa etc
  • Training at certain heart rates can aid fat loss and body composition change
  • Sleep helps your body recover from strenuous exercise, which subsequently helps you lose weight. I definitely recommend reading Matthew Walker: Why we sleep – if you are struggling with sleep
  • Sleep also affects fat metabolism. More info here
  • Focus on fat loss not weight loss, this is a huge psychological barrier that is a very important component

A Personal Trainers Exercise Weight Loss Tips

Having just completed my tenth year as a full-time personal trainer. I am happy to share with you what I do in my personal training sessions when I focus specifically on fat loss with the individual. First and foremost the more units you can get into a session the better. It’s important to do a high intensity unit followed by a short steady state unit before repeating a high intensity unit again. Examples high intensity units that work effectively:

  • Kettlebell Workout – 2*5* hip extension exercises (20-secs/20-secs)
  • Tabata workout – 3*8 exercises (20-secs/10-secs) – <2-mins
  • Longer circuits – 2*8 exercises (40-secs/20-secs) – <90-secs
  • Boxing repetitions long – 4*100 jabs (30-secs)
  • Boxing repetitions short – 5*30 jabs (<10-secs)
  • Short fast runs: 2*2*200m (100m cone) (60/15-mins)/2*3*150m (75m cone) (60/15-mins) & 2*4*100m (50m cone) (60/15-mins). Reducing the recoveries each week by 10-secs after the three week block has been completed.
  • Plyometrics – once the client has lost some weight: Drop Jumps, Depth Jumps, Countermovement Jumps, Vertical Jumps & Bound to Hop. Principles can start at 2*12 reps at the beginning of a block and end with 3*5-reps 12 weeks down the line.

Benefits of Weight Loss

  • Less excess body fat reduces the risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease
  • Improved mood and reduced feelings of depression
  • Increased energy levels
  • Metabolic health and appearance
  • Cardiovascular health benefits
  • Improved sports performance
  • Can help with your brain health and memory
  • Improved sleep quality

Selected Weight Loss Articles

  • Why people gain weight as they get older. Article found at Karolinska Institute.
  • Protein controls fat metabolism. More information found at Science Daily.
  • Eating later in the day may be associated with obesity. More information available at The Harvard Gazette. A similar study found at Northwestern Now.
  • Increase health benefits of exercise by working out before breakfast. Full article at The University of Birmingham.
  • Inefficient fat metabolism a possible cause of overweight. Major lifestyle changes could be needed. Article found at Science Daily.
  • Meal timing strategies appear to lower appetite, improve fat burning. Full article found at Science Daily.
  • People who are ‘night owls’ could have greater risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease than those who are ‘early birds’, The Physiological Society.
  • Lack of sleep increases unhealthy abdominal fat. Article found at Fox6.
  • New study offers insight on how resistance training burns fat. Article found at Very Well Fit.
  • New details linking stress, fat metabolism revealed. More information at Science Daily.
  • Internal body clock regulates fat metabolism. Article found at Science Daily.

External Links

Physical Activity Guidelines – ACSM

British Nutrition Foundation

The Eatwell Guide – NHS