Hermogenics and Metabolic Rate

Fat Essentials for Bodybuilding Weight loss - Fat as fuel!

Less is more when it comes to bodybuilding weight loss. Fat is fuel, but think of it as a reserve tank! Your body’s fuel of choice is the glucose in your blood and glycogen in your muscles – which comes from carbohydrates. Fat can be burned off under the right conditions. Aerobic exercise like swimming or running will stimulate fat to be mobilised as fuel.

This does take between 20-40 minutes of exercise to kick-in as Oxygen has to be present for your body to use fat as fuel.

Here is the good news… More exercise and better aerobic fitness means fat is used more easily as fuel. The reason is aerobic exercise – any exercise where you get out of breath – encourages production of these two molecular helpers:

(1) Myoglobin – which gets oxygen into your muscles and (2) Hormone Sensitive Lipase – which breaks down fat for fuel.

The low down on fat

Fats in your diet should only count for 15-30% of total calories. The more fat you eat the more you keep, it's that simple. Its so much more easy for your body to convert dietary fat into body fat that convert carbs or protein to body fat. So, your first goal is identifying the main source of dietary fats and reducing them. The goal you should aim for is ‘no added fat’. You might want to start with cutting down on or preferably eliminating dairy products (except maybe skimmed milk).
Not all fats are created equal though, the following are seen as 'good fats':

Mono-unsaturated Fats

Sources are olive oil, nuts and seeds. They have great general health benefits and can reduce cholesterol.

Essential Fatty Acids – Omega-3 and Omega-6

Omega-3 fatty acids can help to increase strength and performance by improving aerobic metabolism. They are “essential” because the body cannot make them itself. Lots has been written about the all round health benefits of omega-3s including clearing up mild depression and even reducing anti-social behaviour. But we’re interested in bodybuilding, no problem – omega-3 are your best friend. Here’s why…

Reduced blood viscosity for more nutrients and oxygen to muscles allows increased exercise intensity. They are anti-inflammatory and assist post work-out healing.

Saving the best ‘til last…Improved Growth Hormone release and the maintenance of an anabolic environment in your muscles. All round, omega-3s need to be in your diet.

We’re talking oily fish here, sardines, mackerel or herrings. If you’re a vegetarian… then there’s flaxseed oil, green leafy vegetables like spinach, nuts and tofu. But if that doesn’t get you excited why not try a supplement? There are plenty of supplement makers out there who would love to sell you a stack of omega-3 caps.

But proceed with caution. What you will not hear is that occasionally they could be from impure sources or contain heavy metals like cadmium or lead. So what to do? Eat the fresh foods above and if you must supplement, use them occasionally.

The dangers of too little fat!

Around the 5% body fat level bad things start to happen. If you are trying to ‘make your weight’ for competition or are dieting for a contest here are some things you need to know.

For the fellas, testosterone levels fall off leading to loss of libido and ultimately muscle mass. For the ladies, there is a risk of a hormonal imbalance that can cause amenorrhoea (absence of periods), this is triggered by low body fat levels, usually below 15% and ultimately this can lead to loss of bone minerals which can weaken bones and leave them vulnerable to stress fractures. The results of very low fat diets are not pretty. The lack of essential fatty acids leaves the way open for poor hormonal balance and skin conditions. Very low fat diets will lead to a lack of the fat soluble vitamins A, D and E. The muscles glycogen stores will become run down leading to fatigue, poor recovery and worst of all, muscle breakdown.

All of the above mean that if you are a serious about getting really lean a sound bodybuilding weight loss supplement program is necessary, together with periodicity.

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