Men's Health Australia

Everything you Need Know About Burning Fat (Plus the Stuff That’s Worth Forgetting)

What Happens When I Lose Weight?

Think about it in terms of gains, not losses. Ditching fat can give your health a lift

1 Losing game

When your body requires more energy than you’re putting in, it breaks down the molecules in fat cells to burn them for fuel. Most of what you “lose” is exhaled as carbon dioxide, while the rest is lost as water.

2 The slow burn

Quick weight loss causes your metabolism to drop, as your body fights to conserve energy. But that doesn’t mean you’re doomed to a life of lentils. Try intermittent fasting: a study in Plos One noted an increase in kilojoule burn among men who ate larger meals, less frequently.

3 Seek small victories

Even men of a regular BMI with excess fat around their middles are at a higher risk of heart disease. Losing 5-10 per cent of your weight — say, from 89-83kg - lowers your odds. Losing just 3kg can have a similar effect on your blood pressure as a hypertensive tablet would.

4 Maintain your gains

If you’re not eating enough, it will be hard for your body to synthesise found that when people followed an extremely low-kJ diet, 18 per cent of their weight loss was actually from muscle. Keep your deficit at 2100kJ or fewer.

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