Updated: Feb 28, 2022
It's that time of the year again #summertime #summerbody. Many of us may be considering “burning some fat” so we feel better in our bathing suits out on the beach or at the pool. What does that actually mean, though? But before we get into the true meaning of the “fat loss process”, there is an importance in covering what has drawn us to this topic.
An increase in unhealthy living has been a plague to the human race. This includes but is not limited to an increase in drugs usage (this includes pharmaceutical and under-the-counter drugs), an increase in unhealthy dietary (eating protocols), a decrease in physical activity, unhealthy media, associated friends etc. An increase to all this have been a foundation of many chronic diseases that plague the human race.
Society has increasingly engineered physical activity out of our lives, and have made unhealthy food (high in fat and calories) easily accessible. Many jobs nowadays, promote sedentary lifestyle due to the exhaustion of the job without any actual moderate-to-vigorous physical movement required. From the long hours to the unhealthy mental strain. Most of us after a long day of work are looking forward to that relaxing session at home with some good food that we’ve ordered out of our new fast-food app.
The accessibility, affordability and convenience of fast-food has made us more and more reliant on this source for fuel for our existence that is ironically diminishing our existence too. There is so much popularity in fast food, with millennials alone spending over 45% if of their budgets on eating out, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The increase in this sedentary lifestyle is associated with a 56% increase risk of heart diseases and a 35% increase risk of Alzheimer’s dementia. It is estimated that physical inactivity accounts for 1 in 10 deaths worldwide. Though this number might seem low to you, take this into account, if physical inactivity could be reduced to merely 25%, 1.3 million deaths could be averted each year.
In South Africa alone, almost 70% of South African women are either overweight or obese. This being the highest rate for women in Africa, with 31% of South African men also being over overweight or obese. To perpetuate the situation, we have a growing unhealthy worldwide spread of body acceptance movement that preaches that you can be healthy at any size. This completely contradicting their current health state. This movement has become more and more popular by Instagram fitness influencers whom tend to sometimes push false information for their own personal gain. Don’t trust all fitness influencers! #factsoverfeelings
Despite the compelling evidence of the risk associated with unhealthy dietary and a sedentary lifestyle, our society still struggles with these behaviors and perhaps one way to explain these behaviors would be through a socioecological perspective with firm biological underpinning.
There is no doubt that genetics certainly plays a role in behavior and behavioral consequences, but what could be arguably as important would be where we live and with whom we live. In the past decade the importance of our surrounding have becoming more and more apparent, where we have come to understand that people who associate with healthy friends (who eat better and are more physically active), are in fact more likely to be healthy themselves. The converse also holds true, such that people who overweight or obese tend to have obese friends. You are who you surround yourself with!
There are many components that play a role in an individual’s physiological state and this can be routed all the way to their first meal. This, however, does not mean we cannot take control of it. It is well recommended to develop healthy habits at an early stage of your life, this is because when we form and repeat habits, the chemical dopamine is released to the brain, which causes a feeling of pleasure which later strengthens the habit. Begin developing healthier habits!
Developing healthier eating habits:
· Start cooking at home
o Start planning your meals weekly. This will give you an overall picture of what you consume daily and will assist you in making healthier choices which are often more cost efficient.
· Monitor your calorie intake
o Due to you cooking home you will be able to monitor your calorie intake easier. This helps you make adjustments in your quantity intake of certain nutrients accordingly. This is crucial because as you as your physiological needs will differ due to your body’s adaptation.
· Pre-eat before eating out
o Because you’re not in control of what is served to you (in terms of calories and nutrients), we’d recommend pre-eating at home in order to restrict yourself from consuming above your set calorie intake for the day.
· Set a calorie limit for the day
o It is important to set a calorie limit intake for the day in order for your body to remain at a healthy weight for you. Set a calorie limit just as you set your bank account’s daily withdrawal limit.
· Strategize on your calorie limit
o Restricting yourself can sometimes be hard and we can sometimes overeat on a specific day (Christmas). Learn the art of sacrifice in that case. Think of it the same you as you would about over-spending money on a weekend way before pay day. You would need to adjust your expenditure per day for the next couple of days until you get paid again.
Develop a more active habit. Physical activities such as resistance training or cardiovascular activities helps you in your daily activities through the day and assists in burning fat in order to maintain a healthy amount of fat in your body.
Avoid shortcuts that promises you an exponential rate change in a short period of time. Those types of promises are usually attached to a large sum of money and a model that has never used that process.
FAT LOSS PROCESS
There are two types of fat. Subcutaneous fat, which is the jiggly fat visible just under the skin. The other is Visceral fat, which is the unseen fat that surrounds the organs. Losing both subcutaneous and visceral fat is possible. Despite the fact that subcutaneous fat isn’t associated with any diseases, visceral fat is. However, subcutaneous fat can be a sign of visceral fat. An excess amount of subcutaneous fat often means an excess of visceral fat.
The truth of the actual fat loss process is as follow:
We all have fat cells in our body. It is a necessity for our body to function.
· Fat cells functionality – Fat cells (Adipose cell) provide triglycerides to fuel much of the body’s internal work and physical activity.
The process by which stored fats become energy sources begins with how fat is released from the adipose tissue. Fats are digested through conversion into free fatty acids, which are stored in a form known as triglycerides in the adipose tissue.
Step 1, triglycerides in the adipose tissue then undergoes the lipolysis process - the breakdown of stored fat. Through this process, there’s a separation of the Triglyceride into glycerol (which is processed by the liver for further use) and fatty acid (which are released into the bloodstream).
Step 2, involves the travelling of these fatty acids in the blood stream. The fatty acids are transported to the mitochondria, the portion of a cell that produces power within each cell.
Step 3, involves fat oxidation. In the mitochondria, the fatty acids are oxidized in the process that creates adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the energy-producing fuel.
Various studies have considered whether greater amount of fatty acids could be oxidized if carnitine levels were elevated through supplements. Such increases were determined to have no discernible effect of fatty acid oxidization as fatty acid oxidization only takes place on a per-need basis. This meaning if there is a greater need to produce fuel (as such would be through regular exercises), then would oxidization take place and thus leading to fat loss.
Remember that Fats have their uses as a fuel source because they are capable of virtually unlimited storage in the body. They are your body’s go to for energy do to its excess amount.
In conclusion, be careful of your source of information when it comes to matter of your health. Ensure that your source of information has your best interest in mind. Such goes to your immediate surrounding as well, this includes your friends and family. If they aren’t able to point the errors in your ways, they aren’t really on your side. Be careful to not follow their habits too, what might work for one does not necessarily mean it would work for another. Develop healthier habits, healthy eating and regularly exercising. The earlier, the better.