Colson Smith discusses motivation behind weight loss



Losing weight can be an uphill battle for many with some not knowing where to start. To lose weight, it is important to be in a calorie deficit which means consuming less calories than the body is burning. One expert has shared top tips for those looking to shift the pounds.

Steven Virtue, Fitness Development Manager at Total Fitness explained: “Before establishing what will help you to burn stubborn fat, it is important to debunk several common myths surrounding fat loss.

“First and foremost, you cannot spot reduce fat. Although some parts of your body may take longer than others to slim down, depending on factors such as body shape and composition, if you workout to lose fat then you will lose fat across your entire body.

“You can focus your weight training on building certain muscles so that they appear particularly defined once fat is lost, however it is not possible to lose fat in one body part by exercising that specific area alone.

“Furthermore, whilst exercise is undeniably important and offers many fantastic benefits to our overall health, research shows us that losing fat cannot be achieved by exercise alone. You cannot ‘out-train’ a bad diet and increasing your level of exercise whilst still eating junk food will not facilitate fat loss.

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a woman holding a plate of food: Weight loss: ‘Fundamental' tip for shifting ‘stubborn fat' - ‘it is essential'

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Weight loss: ‘Fundamental’ tip for shifting ‘stubborn fat’ – ‘it is essential’

a close up of a person holding a cup of coffee on a table: A healthy diet is

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A healthy diet is

“Therefore, it is essential to create a diet plan and exercise routine that will complement one another.”

The expert explained that although it may be tempting to do cardio-based workouts, it is also important to weight train.

He said: “Adding resistance to your workout with weight training can help the body preserve fat-free mass, which has been shown to increase the number of calories your body burns whilst resting.

“Consistent weight training, that is safe yet challenging for your body, will also help you to build lean muscle – this, combined with the fat loss, helps to create a more toned and sculpted physique.”

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While exercising does not directly contribute to weight loss, it can help provide the body with a bigger calorie deficit.

Adding regular high-intensity interval training is also great for those looking to increase their fitness levels and shift body fat.

Steven explained: “High Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT for short, is a fantastic form of exercise to incorporate into your fitness routine.

“Not only is HIIT a great way to boost your mood, but research shows that the increased metabolic rate, caused by strenuous and high intensity exercise, can last up to 38 hours, meaning your body will burn significantly more calories in a resting state.

a person sitting at a table using a laptop computer: Exercising regularly can have both short-term and long-term benefits

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Exercising regularly can have both short-term and long-term benefits

“HIIT, particularly the longer circuits or more complex combinations, can be intimidating to beginners. However, there are simple and short HIIT exercises that you can start with: squats, sit ups, burpees and mountain climbers are all fantastic exercises to try for 30 second intervals with a 20 second rest.”

Although exercising regularly can have short-term and long-term benefits, the expert explained that a good, healthy diet is “fundamental” when it comes to losing weight.

He said: “In fact, latest research suggests that 80 percent of your fat loss is dependent on a good diet, which shows why many people struggle to lose fat despite frequent exercise.

“If your goal is to lose fat, then you need to be in a calorie deficit – this is when you consume slightly fewer calories than you are burning which in turn makes your body tap into the stored body fat for extra energy.

text, calendar: Weight loss: Calorie burning exercises

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Weight loss: Calorie burning exercises

“To ensure you are still consuming the nutrients your body needs whilst in a calorie deficit, it’s a good idea to work with a personal trainer to create a healthy and balanced diet plan.”

Steven added: “When trying to meet fitness goals, it can be tempting to try to push your body to its limits with a rigorous and relentless training schedule. However, this is not the most effective way to lose body fat or maintain a healthy exercise routine.

“Too much vigorous exercise without enough recovery days can lead to overtraining which actually causes your body to store more fat, due to an increase in the stress hormone cortisol.

“Listen to how your body feels and what it needs – if you feel particularly lethargic or achy then vigorous exercise is probably not the best idea. Instead, consider an activity that will allow you to rest whilst also benefiting your mood, such as reading or meditation.

“Sleep is also crucial to the fat burning process – aim for at least seven hours of quality sleep per night and ensure that you have an optimum environment for falling into a deep state of sleep.”

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