When it comes to losing fat, there are plenty of fad diets and “magic” fat-burning supplements that promise fast results. But if you’re looking to reduce body fat for the long-term, the best way to do it is to follow a sustainable diet and exercise routine.
It’s important to know that a healthy amount of body fat is necessary to keep your body healthy and functioning. While carrying too much body fat has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis and cancer, having too little body fat can be just as dangerous.
The ideal body fat percentage varies from person to person, and what works for one body may not work for the next. Your ideal number will depend on your age, gender, and fitness levels. You can learn your current body fat percentage by taking a DEXA scan for body fat, which will guide your fat loss plan.
Here are a few tips to promote long-term fat loss in a healthy and sustainable way.
1.) Incorporate Strength Training
Strength training involves creating resistance against your muscles, such as when you lift weights or support your body in a yoga pose. Strength training burns calories not only during the workout, but during the recovery period too. It is also effective in fighting off visceral fat and boosting your metabolism.
2.) Get Your Heart Pumping
Cardiovascular workouts are also important for fat loss. The general CDC guidelines suggest a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity a week. This could look like going for a long walk or a hike, running, cycling, dancing, or HIIT workouts. Anything that gets your heart rate up.
3.) Ditch Processed Food
Processed foods make up almost 70 percent of the U.S. diet. Ultra-processed foods typically contain high-fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, and artificial flavors that make them high in salt, sugar, and fat. This includes breakfast cereals, chips, instant soup, soft drinks, and frozen meals. These are essentially empty calories, which are easy to overeat. High levels of refined sugar and other processed ingredients also contribute to high blood sugar and insulin levels, which affects fat storage.
4.) But First, Coffee
Good news for coffee addicts–coffee can aid in fat loss. Research shows that caffeine stimulates the body’s nervous system, helping to rev your metabolism and break down fat. Drinking it before your workout can enhance fat burning and help you push through that final set. Try to drink it black or with a splash of milk, and avoid adding excess sugar or syrups.
5.) DEXA Scan For Body Fat
A DEXA scan is the most accurate way to measure body composition, which refers to the percentage of muscle, fat, and bone in your body. DEXA scans for body fat will show your percentage of lean muscle mass and body fat, as well as how they’re distributed throughout the body. It is also the only way to detect visceral fat, a dangerous type of body fat linked to chronic medical conditions.
DEXA scans for body fat are a valuable tool for weight loss because they allow you to track your progress over time. You can improve your training and exercise routine based on your results. Tracking your body composition over time with DEXA scans will reveal what is or isn’t working for your body. Scheduling a DEXA scan for body fat every 8-12 weeks will keep you on track to reach your fat loss goals.
Using a DEXA scan for body fat to achieve your fat loss goals will lead to long-term, sustainable results. If you’re ready to take your health into your own hands, schedule your initial DEXA scan today.