The Science of Fat Loss: Your Body’s Metabolism

Sep 7, 2023 | Blog | 0 comments

Today, we’re diving deep into the science behind fat loss, demystifying the process so you can make informed choices on your wellness journey. Steer clear of the quick fixes and stay on track with what counts in the long term.

Please note that body fat loss and weight loss is NOT the be all and end all to a healthy body. I encourage you to always look at your health, mind and body holistically. Feeling strong, mobile and full of vitality with a clear mind is the priority of many women I work with. Fat loss is a part of this nor priority or necessity for some. Do read on if you feel you want to delve into this, however and learn to focus on what matters here.

  • Understanding Fat Loss: Your Body’s Marvelous Metabolism

You’ve probably heard about metabolism, the body’s intricate system that fuels your energy needs. But what happens when we talk about fat loss? Let’s break it down.

1. The Basics of Energy Balance

Fat loss is fundamentally about energy balance. It’s a matter of calories in versus calories out. When you consume fewer calories than your body needs for daily functions, it turns to stored fat for energy. Sounds simple, right?

2. The Role of Your Metabolism

Your metabolism is like a furnace. It burns calories to keep your body functioning – from breathing to digesting food. Two primary components influence your metabolism:

  • Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR): This is the energy your body expends at rest. It accounts for about 60-75% of your daily calorie expenditure.
  • Physical Activity: The energy burned during exercise and daily activities.

3. The Science of Fat Cells

Fat cells, or adipocytes, are where your body stores excess energy in the form of fat. They expand when you consume more calories than you burn and shrink when you create a calorie deficit.

  • Fat Loss and Nutrition: Fueling Your Transformation

Now, let’s delve into the role of nutrition in fat loss. It’s crucial to nourish your body with the right foods to optimize fat loss and support your overall health.

1. The Power of Macronutrients

Your diet should strike a balance between macronutrients – carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Also see the general recommended ratios of these macros for fat loss to occur.

  • Carbohydrates: These provide quick energy but should come from complex sources like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. (50%)
  • Proteins: They’re essential for muscle maintenance and can help control your appetite. (35%)
  • Fats: Opt for healthy fats from sources like avocados, nuts, and olive oil. They aid in nutrient absorption and satiety. (15%)

2. The Science of Caloric Deficit

To lose fat, you need to consume fewer calories than your body burns – creating a caloric deficit. A reasonable goal is to aim for a deficit of 500 to 1000 calories per day, which can result in a safe and sustainable rate of fat loss (about 1-2 pounds per week).

  • Exercise: Sculpting Your Body and Boosting Fat Loss

Now, let’s talk exercise – a potent tool for accelerating fat loss and sculpting your body.

1. The Power of Resistance Training

Lifting weights or doing bodyweight exercises isn’t just for bodybuilders. It increases muscle mass, which elevates your BMR and boosts fat loss. The result? A leaner, more toned physique. Strong resistance bands with good technique are great if you are starting out or do not like weights. And then using dumbbells for home use or barbells and pulley systems if you have access are great.

This needs to be incrementally increased over time for your body to keep adapting.

2. Cardiovascular Exercise

Cardio workouts like running, cycling, or swimming can help create a calorie deficit. They burn calories during the activity and can elevate your BMR, leading to more significant fat loss.

3. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

HIIT involves short bursts of intense exercise followed by brief recovery periods. It’s incredibly efficient, burning calories during and after the workout (thanks to the “afterburn” effect). NOTE – Engage in this when you are generally healthy, not going through an extreme bout of exhaustion or diagnosed conditions like fatigue or extreme burnout and are suffering from low energy. Book a consultation if you need help specifically related to exercising safely during these condtions.

  •  Fat Loss Supplements: Separating Fact from Fiction

The supplement industry is vast, with claims of magic pills and powders promising rapid fat loss. But what does science say about these supplements?

1. Caffeine

Caffeine can temporarily boost metabolism and enhance fat oxidation. It’s a common ingredient in fat loss supplements, but its effects diminish over time.

2. Green Tea Extract

Green tea contains compounds that can enhance fat loss. However, the effect is modest, and you’ll still need to focus on diet and exercise.

3. Garcinia Cambogia

Despite its popularity, scientific evidence on this supplement’s effectiveness for fat loss is limited and inconclusive.

4. Forskolin

While some studies suggest it may promote fat loss, more research is needed to confirm its efficacy.

  • Mindfulness and Stress Management

Here’s a vital aspect of fat loss that often gets overlooked – your mindset and stress levels.

1. Stress and Cortisol

Chronic stress can elevate cortisol levels, a hormone linked to fat storage, especially around the abdominal area. Incorporate stress-reduction techniques like meditation, yoga, or deep breathing to support your fat loss journey. Having said this, cortisol is NOT the only factor and should not be demonised. There are certain situations in individuals where they need medical treatment from imbalanced cortisol. But this aside, if you healthily manage stress and do not have any diagnosed conditions to do with cortisol, then diet and exercise are your main factors for fat loss here and should be what you are paying attention to.

2. Mindful Eating

Practicing mindful eating can help you tune into your body’s hunger and fullness cues, making it easier to control your calorie intake and make healthier food choices. Try to eat when you are present. Take a breath, then eat as calmly as you can. In addition, food prep and planning meals ahead will always serve you well for food choices.

  • The Takeaway: Empower Your Fat Loss Journey

So, remember that fat loss is a dynamic process influenced by various factors, including diet, exercise, and your unique metabolism. Science-backed strategies, combined with your consistency, will lead you towards a healthier, more vibrant you.

Please always remember to listen to your body and exercise and eat appropriately for where you are at. Focusing on nourishing your body and getting moving is a great place to start, then you can delve deeper into these different elements as you have the capacity to do so. 

Let this journey be always a positive one for you.

Let me know if you need any help on this! 

Power To Your Core,

Vanessa Bartlett  xx

(Vanessa B Health)

Holistic Online Personal Trainer & Lifestyle Coach 

Top 15 Finalist Australian Women’s Business Awards

Join me on socials! @vanessabhealth

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