Busting the myths around adipose

It's not really possible to lose fat with exercise alone

By Author  |  Mohd Abdul Latheef  |  Published: 10th Dec 2019  5:22 pmUpdated: 10th Dec 2019  6:34 pm
Expert talk

Most of us fall pray to the commercial ads and infomercials in our pursuit of losing fat. Let us take a detour of some of them: “Lose fat now, tell me how, 5 kgs of body weight loss in a week for a meagre sum of Rs 5,000, specialised and personalised exercises to make a new you!” and so on. Being gullible, we end up falling prey to these undaunting predators who have their eyes set on our pocket and not on our reservoir of adipose.

Fat is the only tissue that stores the maximum amount of calories. Each gram of fat comprises nine calories, twice the amount of carbohydrates or proteins. The survival mechanism of the human body has evolved on the principle of conserving energy through whatever means possible, and since fat is the only tissue where energy can be stored maximally, losing fat or wishing it away remains a dream.

The worst cases are seen when people in their pursuit of losing fat and looking attractive end up looking a smaller version of their obese selves, i.e., though the legs and arms become thin, the abdominal fat looks a smaller version with the pot belly contours remaining the same. In case of women, their abdominal fat reduces but the hip and the thigh remain a smaller version of their previous selves.

Expert talk

Exercise does not help much in the way of losing fat, but helps in toning of the muscles and making it more efficient in the process of burning fat. The reason: no matter what one does as a medium of exercise, the maximum that a person metabolises in the form of calories falls short in comparison to his/her ability to consume.

For instance, a good hard workout would allow you to burn 800 to 1,000 calories but when it is compared to the food consumed, it may differ by a 1,000 to 1,500 calories in excess. The factor that decides this variability is the factor of fatigue. Though you can think and eat to infinity, you cannot think of training alike. It is just not a natural physiological possibility.

Hard work is a cultivated habit and not an overnight achievement. People need to put exercise into practice at a young age and make it a lifestyle. The human body is a very complex and integrated organism, and to rely on a single technique to evaluate it is just not accountable.

Losing fat requires a fool-proof plan and the plan should be realistic, incorporating within itself a commitment to make exercise a lifestyle, eat good nutrition and not fancy diet plans vis-a-vis, keto, paleo, Atkins, GM diet, ford diet, etc. Have patience to realise the goals, work relentlessly and understand the fact that fat cannot be wished away, no matter what.

Survival is more important for the body than anything else, for which energy in loads is required and to unload the burden of fat, one has to trick the body into believing that energy is available in plentiful and this is possible by a process of stimulation happening through exercise and eating intelligently.


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