IF I LOSE WEIGHT, AM I LOSING FAT?
Weight loss just means that the number on the scale is going down. It does not always mean that you are losing fat! Fat loss is the amount of body fat that is lost. Sometimes, weight loss is not due to losing fat, but due to losing water mass or muscle mass.
However, fat is not entirely bad! Fat is used in many different body processes, from keeping your skin healthy to helping your brain work. It is an essential part of your body. So eating fat does not necessarily make you fat, unless you eat too much. To lose body fat, it is all about burning more calories than you eat. Through exercise and a good diet high in fiber, fruits, and vegetables, you will be able to manage your weight and fat loss more effectively.
CAN I TURN MY FAT INTO MUSCLE?
Many people go to the gym with the idea of turning their fat into muscle. Unfortunately, that is impossible. Fat is fat, and muscle is muscle—they are two entirely different types of body tissues, and there is no way for one to turn into the other. When you start eating healthier and exercising, you experience changes in your body, and it is easy to assume your body is turning fat into muscle. In reality, two things are happening at the same time—you are losing fat mass and gaining muscle mass. It is hitting two birds with one stone by getting healthier and looking better!
WHAT HAPPENS TO MY FAT WHEN I LOSE WEIGHT?
Many people assume that fat is “burned” away in the form of energy, heat, or turned into muscle. This is a misconception. To correct it, let’s start by learning how cells store fat. Adipose cells specialize in storing fat. These fat cells store the fat inside them and get bigger and bigger. When you lose the fat, they shrink, but they do not go away. Your body creates these cells very easily, but does not tend to eliminate them. All that happens is that the fat inside the cells goes away, quite literally, into thin air. This is part of the reason why people tend to regain weight so easily after they have lost it—because the fat cells are all still there!
WHERE DOES THE FAT GO WHEN I LOSE WEIGHT?
As fat is broken down, about 80% of the fat you lose is exhaled as carbon dioxide. The remainder becomes water and is excreted from your body through urine, feces, sweat, and other bodily fluids. However, it does not mean you can get rid of fat just by hyperventilating! For real, lasting results, you still need to eat healthy and exercise regularly.
HOW DO I GET RID OF FAT IN MY ARMS OR GET A FLAT STOMACH?
There are many articles written about targeting those problem areas that we want to get rid of. After all, it seems perfectly reasonable to assume that the fat you burn while exercising comes from the area around the muscles you are using.
Unfortunately, there is no way to spot target your fat loss. When the fat in your fat cells is broken down, it then enters your bloodstream to be used as fuel. Which means that the fuel the muscles are getting can come from anywhere in the body, not just the part that is being worked the most.
If you want that flat bikini-ready stomach, you will still have to exercise, since only through exercise will you achieve that toned lean look. However, keep in mind that a pound (0.45 kg) of fat is about 3,500 calories. That is difficult to burn off, but not at all difficult to eat. Ultimately, fat loss comes down to the basic principle of calories in and calories out. To lose fat, you have to eat fewer calories than you burn, and that comes down to a healthy diet and exercise. Doing 100 sit-ups a day might give you great abs, but no one can see them unless the fat is lost too.
IF I LIFT WEIGHTS, WILL I GET BULKY MUSCLES?
For men, yes! As men will be happy to hear, the heavier the weights they can lift, the stronger their bodies become. The stronger they are, the larger their muscles will be. With weight training, they will gain muscle mass naturally. It is not an overnight process, but with dedication and hard work, it can be done.
But for women, it is actually very difficult to build bulky muscles. Men have seven to 10 times more testosterone (a male sex hormone that promotes muscle growth) than women have, and even for them it can be difficult. So unless a women dedicates years to intense training, they do not have to worry about accidentally getting bulky muscles. In fact, weight training will give women an athletic body, toned in all the right places. What will make anyone look blocky is fat. Fat will go on top of muscles and gather in muscles. It will hide defined muscles and make anyone look flabby. The key is both building muscle and losing fat mass. Exercise well, and have a healthy diet—this way, all the hard work that has been done will shine.
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