How do you lose fat quickly rather than just weight? Today, we will discuss how to calculate your body fat percentage and understand its significance, different types of body fat and how to lose fat fast.
Understanding Body Fat Percentage
Put simply, your body fat percentage is the percentage of your body weight that is adipose tissue. Healthy body fat percentages for women is 15 to 24% and for men is 8 to 17%.
Women carry their extra essential fat in their butt, thighs, hips, and breasts. Your body fat percentage can be measured in medical centers and research clinics using a bod pod or DEXA scan, but for most people, using body composition scales or handheld devices is adequate. Some people prefer to use body fat calipers and skinfold testing.
To track your progress, take weekly caliper and waist circumference measurements and pictures. A few months from now, you will be amazed at how your body changed from week to week. Do not obsess over a number on the scale.
It is important to understand you cannot calculate your body fat percentage from your BMI. The body mass index is great at analyzing large populations, but cannot accurately assess individual fitness. This is because it only factors in height and weight. It does not account for body composition at all.
Body Fat Calipers and Skinfold Testing
To track how fast you are losing body fat, you can test by using calipers to measure how thick your skin is at various parts of your body. Plug these numbers into an online calculator, and it will calculate your body fat percentage for you. Research has shown this method can produce results 5% too low or 3% too high, meaning if you had a body fat percentage of 18, your results could range between 13 and 21.
This is because if you do not pinch enough skin, your numbers will be low and if you pinch too much skin, your numbers will be artificially high. However, if you track your body fat percentage over time, you get a clear picture of your consistent fat loss even if the rates are a little off.
Different Types of Body Fat
The three major types of body fat are visceral, white and brown. Visceral, or deep, fat is the dangerous fat that sits in and around your organs such as your heart. Children have high levels of brown fat, and it is more active and burns more calories than white fat.
It is responsible for keeping children warm in the winter and is more common in lean individuals. White fat stores glucose to be used later for fuel for the body and produces hormones which are later transported into the bloodstream. White fat puts you at risk for diseases.
Subcutaneous fat is the fat lies directly beneath the skin. It does not cause as many health risks as visceral fat which is responsible for increasing your risk of dementia, stroke, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. The exception to this is subcutaneous belly fat may cause as much of a health risk as visceral fat.
How to Lose Fat Fast and More
If your weight puts you at risk for serious health conditions such as Type 2 diabetes or heart disease, it is paramount you learn how to lose weight fast for the sake of your health.
Start Strength Training
When looking for how to lose fat fast, look at strength training. Research has proven that it is more effective than cardiovascular exercises for burning fat and keeping it off. Start off simple with bodyweight exercises and then start incorporating weights into your workout routine. Make sure you allow each muscle group adequate rest before working it again.
Eat Plenty of Protein
A key part of how to lose fat fast is to eat plenty of protein. Look for HBV (high biologic value) protein such as that coming from eggs, milk, and yogurt. This high-quality protein is more easily broken down by your body, providing you with plenty of nutrition and fuel and keeps you fuller for longer than protein coming from plant sources.
Catch Some Z's
Studies show sleeping for at least seven hours nightly resulted in more successful weight loss and maintenance while if you slept fewer than five hours nightly, you have higher levels of the hunger hormone leptin and lower levels of the satiety hormone ghrelin.
To help you sleep, try to avoid caffeine after three o'clock and spend some time away from electronic devices such as televisions, phones, monitors, and tablets for a while before you want to sleep. Try to get to bed at the same time every night.
Try Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is a brilliant method of how to lose fat fast. The two most popular types of this method are the 16/8 and 5:2 methods. Under the 16/8 method, eat all or almost all your calories within an eight-hour window. This method helps you to burn fat while maintaining your muscle mass.
Following the 5:2 diet, you eat five days out of the week and do not eat two days out of the week. Other popular methods include the Warrior Diet and Eat Stop Eat. Talk to a licensed nutritionist for how to best go about this method.
Eat More Iron
Iron is crucial for many essential bodily functions. You may purchase iron supplements, daily multivitamin and mineral supplements which include iron and natural sources. Find iron abundantly in poultry such as chicken, meat such as stoke, legumes such as black beans, leafy green vegetables like kale and spinach, dried fruits and fortified cereals and grains.
If you have an iron deficiency and treat it, you may find fat melting off much easier. Women who overcame their iron deficiencies experienced decreased BMI, waist circumference and body weight. Those at high risk for iron deficiency include women, children, infants, vegetarians, and vegans.
Cardiovascular, or aerobic, exercise trains your lungs and heart. To benefit from this weight loss method, try to get between 150 and 300 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise each week.
Examples of cardio include swimming, cycling, speed walking and running. This works out to about 20 to 40 minutes of cardio daily. Furthermore, cardio can increase muscle mass which raises your basal metabolic rate and is great for reducing belly fat and the circumference of your waist.
Eat More Fiber
Adding just 10 grams of soluble fiber to your diet can result in a 3.7% reduction of belly fat without intentionally changing any part of your exercise routine or diet. Both soluble and insoluble fiber help you feel full.
Increasing your daily fiber intake by 14 grams results in a 10% decrease in caloric intake. This translates into effortless weight loss. High-fiber foods include legumes like black beans, whole grains, seeds, nuts, vegetables, and fruits.
Eat Healthy Fats
Healthy fats, or monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, keep you full for longer periods of time, so you consume fewer calories daily. Good sources of monounsaturated fat include olives, avocados, oils such as peanut, canola, olive and sesame oil, nut butter and nuts including cashews, pecans, hazelnuts, peanuts, almonds, and macadamia nuts.
Good sources of polyunsaturated fat include fish oil, walnuts, soybean and safflower oil, soy milk, tofu, flaxseed, seeds such as pumpkin, sesame and sunflower seeds and fatty fish like sardines, tuna, mackerel, herring, trout, and salmon.
Add Vinegar to Your Diet
Consuming vinegar is one of the easiest methods of how to lose fat fast. It makes you feel full, so you eat less, reducing the amount of self-control you need to exert to lose weight. It not only helps you to lose bodyweight. It also reduces belly fat and the circumference of your waist.
Make a solution of water and one to two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar a few times daily. You can also add diluted vinegar to your cooking in marinades, sauces or dressings.
Choose Healthier Drinks
Avoid alcoholic beverages with carbohydrates such as beer, wine, and cocktails. Remember, alcohol contains seven calories per gram, so do not over-imbibe and make sure your drinks fit into your calorie budget.
Also, avoid soda and fruit juices. Soda contains no nutritional value and fruit juice lacks the fiber to make you feel satiated after you consume it.
Consuming calorie-free caffeinated drinks such as coffee and green tea boost your metabolism temporarily which results in effortless additional calories burned. Caffeine also aids the fat breakdown process.
How to Lose Fat Fast - Conclusion
Many people including athletes, extremely overweight individuals and those who live near beaches want to know how to lose weight fast. It takes a little willpower, but given the right information, it is not hard.
To measure your health accurately, calculate your body fat percentage. This is more accurate on an individual level than the body mass index because it accounts for body composition and not just height and weight. Track it using pictures, smart scales or calipers to keep you motivated when your progress slows.
Eat healthy fats, plenty of protein and fiber to keep you full, so you consume fewer calories without thinking about it. Lift weights and perform cardio to rev your metabolism, even after your workouts. Get adequate nutrients to keep your body running smoothly, and enjoy your svelte new figure.