I don’t know how many of my female friends struggle from the age-old problem of extra flab along their inner thighs. While exercise videos about toning the thighs fill the infomercials ad infinitum, there’s really no such thing as spot-reducing fat in specific areas of your body. According to fitness experts, another misconception is that fat can be conveniently replaced with muscle. Actually, by adulthood, we have a fixed number of fat cells and muscle fibers, and about the only thing we can really do is influence their size. That means that when you reduce body fat, you’re not shaving off fat cellsâ€”you’re just making them smaller.
So how to reduce the size of fat cells in general? Decrease the number of calories you eat each day. Do this by multiplying your weight by 11â€”that number is the number of calories you need to maintain your current weight. Just reduce this by about 200 calories a day, and there’ll be a gap between the calories you consume and those you expend, which will help you reduce fat.
Cutting fat to about 20% of your total intake would also be wise, as a gram of fat has nine calories, whereas a gram of a protein or carb only has four.
Burning calories through cardio (walking, skating, swimming, cycling) three to five times a week for 30-60 minutes helps a great deal, too, to increase your daily calorie deficit. When you start burning more calories than what you take in, your body gets energy by burning fat that’s already in your body.
Finally, lifting weights will help you become more muscular as your resting metabolism increases. You’ll burn way more calories while resting than you would if a higher percentage of your body weight comes from fat.
Wow!!!! That formula (multiply weight by 11, minus 200 a day) is really helpful! Thanks! I've been trying to be more conscious of the calories I consume, but I never knew exactly how much is too much to avoid and how much is too little so that I'm still healthy and energetic. I'm going to give this a try!
This is great information! It really is getting back to basics of fitness and diet.
I remember when I read a booklet from the YMCA on physical fitness. The same formula was described. That was about 30 years ago.
Today, like you said there are all these fad or quick fixes or spot reducing -- short lived.
Basics last forever because they work.
Thanks so much for posting this formula. I've always thought that one size fits all 1200 calorie diet couldn't be right. I know it's never been my ideal calorie intake for a diet. Now I know how to figure it out.
Also, thanks mentioning spot reducing. I'm a big believer in loving your shape. No matter what your weight there are certain things you can't change.
I always kind of wondered why some people around me were keeping record of their caloric intake and never really figured out what it was that they were doing. Thanks for your post - it really explains concisely how reducing fat works. I'm definitely going to be incorporating this formula into my daily intake!
Everything that I read is saying that you are much more likely to lose weight and feel great if you cut way down on carbohydrates instead of fat. We actually really need a lot of good fat in the diet. Cutting out red meat and cow's milk is probably the best way to cut down on fat.