For staying fit, exercising is surely a necessary activity. But when it comes to losing ‘fat’, there are a few discrepancies. On one hand, exercise makes you burn calories, which is the primary and the most important requirement in order to burn fat. On the other hand, exercise tends to increase hunger in some people which makes them eat more than the body’s requirement.
One important thing to know is the difference between “weight loss” and “fat loss”.
When people reduce their diets, without exercising, the results are a loss in weight (with some loss in muscle) and not fat loss. When you begin exercising, there is a shift from losing muscle to losing fat. Even if you are not losing any ‘weight’, you may still be losing fat as well as building more muscle, when you exercise.
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Mechanism when exercise helps in reducing fat.
The body requires fuel (energy) to carry out the physiological functions and perform other works. This fuel or energy is derived from the food you eat. The food contains 3 macronutrients namely- carbohydrates, fats, and protein. Carbohydrates and fats are burnt to obtain energy, with carbohydrates being the primary source. After carbohydrates, the body’ next choice is to burn fat.
When you exercise, the body requires more energy and hence burns more carbohydrates. Once all the carbohydrates are burnt, the body switches to burn fat. Hence, maintaining a low carbohydrate level in the body is said to be important to lose fat.
Another reason is the increased rate of oxygen supply to the cells. When the oxygen supply is less, the body is not able to burn fat. So when it is sufficient, fat burns when you exercise.
Cardio exercises and Fat-loss.
Cardio exercises have been observed to reduce body-fat, along with weight loss. Especially, when it comes to the stubborn belly fat, cardio is good. However, the best type of aerobic workout which will be the most effective in doing so is still debatable.
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Discrepancy when exercising seems ineffective in fat loss.
Exercising not only affects the calories but also the appetite.
When some people exercise, they find that their hunger has increased. This makes them eat more than they did when they were sedentary. Eating more means more calories, which will require even more rigorous exercise. Hence, it becomes a loop of exercising and eating, which some people find hard to break. This happens when the extra calories are not burned, they are stored for future purposes. Hence, increasing the fat reserves in the body.
It has also been observed that people overestimate the number of calories they have burned while working out and consequently, ‘reward’ themselves with an equivalent amount of calories. People try to compensate for the calories they have thought to have burnt and this compensation takes them away from losing fat as well as weight. Yet, you can afford to reward yourself with the fat-free milkshake- Dybesweet Strawberry Milkshake, without causing any harm to your diet and exercise regime.
- Physical activity is observed to have a relationship with the hunger hormone – Ghrelin (said so because it drives your appetite). Intense exercise routines are said to suppress appetite. This phenomenon is known as “exercise anorexia” and is a result of decreased Ghrelin secretion for about 1⁄2 hours of working out. However, Ghrelin levels are balanced again within half an hour post-workout.
- After knowing both the effects of exercising, it can be concluded that effects on appetite and food intake after exercising are very individual and vary for different kinds of people.
- Exercise is therefore known to help in- building muscle, minimizing muscle loss, burning fat, and increasing appetite (sometimes). A diet along with an exercise routine helps you discard the counter effects of an increased appetite. While an exercise routine along with an appetite ensures that whatever you are losing is not muscle but fat.