Before starting a diet to lose weight you probably didn’t took much note of what you ate. Fruit and veg were considered healthy and fat was, well just that, fat. Now that you’ve started your weight loss journey, it probably hasn’t turn out to be as simple as you thought it would be.
The complications of the diet have left you with many questions, and everywhere you turn to, there seems to be a different answer, especially on the topic fat.
To help clear up the confusion on fat and lay out the facts, Everydayhealth.com has compiled a selection of professional answers to the most common questions on fat.
The Facts About Fat
When you start to diet, you begin to hear the same things over and over: Remember, muscle weights more than fat! It’s all about calories in vs. calories out. Upping your cardio is the only way to burn fat!
But is there any science behind these sayings? Here, we investigate the answers behind your burning questions about burning fat. Read on for the real scoop.
Does Muscle Weigh More Than Fat?
This weight-loss cliché comes up over and over again, and the short answer is yes. “Muscle does weigh more than fat, but when answering this, it is important to remember that a pound is a pound, whether it is muscle or fat,” says John M. Kennedy, MD, director of preventative cardiology and wellness at Marina Del Rey Hospital in California and co-author of The 15 Minute Heart Cure: The Natural Way to Release Stress and Heal Your Heart in Just Minutes a Day. “The difference here is that muscle is much denser and more compact than fat. If you were to compare one cubic inch of muscle with one cubic inch of fat, the muscle would indeed be heavier.” Strength training and other weight-bearing exercises can help build muscle and keep you lean.
Does Muscle Actually Burn More Calories Than Fat?
This question sounds like a weight-loss myth, but it is in fact true. Muscle is designed for movement, so it burns energy at a higher rate than fat, which is used to store or conserve energy. That said, Kennedy notes that a pound of muscle burns about 7 to 10 calories a day when at rest, compared with 2 or 3 calories for fat, so don’t count on your new-found biceps to make or break your diet.
How Does Exercise Burn Fat?
“There really is no ‘best exercise’ for burning fat,” Brian Quebbemann, MD, director of The NEW Program, an integrated bariatric program in Orange County, Calif., says. “However, exercise that makes muscle work so hard that the muscle is struggling to find enough calories circulating in the bloodstream to continue performing the work will burn the most calories.” Jogging, circuit training, and running up stairs are all good examples of fat-blasting exercises. To burn fat, you should aim to exercise at 70 percent of your maximum heart rate. Try working out with a heart-rate monitor to watch your progress, and keep in mind that exercising too hard can overwork your muscles, and make them less efficient in burning calories.
Which Foods Help Burn Fat?
You can actually eat to beat fat, if you pick foods that help boost your metabolism. Foods that are high in protein, such as lean meats, eggs, nuts, and legumes, take more work to break down, so your body has to work harder (and burn more calories) to digest them. Spicy foods such as cayenne pepper might also have metabolism-boosting benefits. Purdue University researchers found that capsaicin, the compond that makes peppers hot, can actually up calorie burn in dieters, and for some, reduce cravings for unhealthy choices.
Foods with omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, can affect levels of the hormone leptin, and studies have associated lower levels of leptin with burning more calories and losing weight.
I hope this article has helped cleared up a lot of your questions on fat. Now take the tips you have learned here on burning fat and put them to good use. It’s one thing to have all this knowledge, but you’ll only get results when you put it to action.
Share this article if you are ready to burn some fat.