Reduce Body Fat

There are plenty of gimmicks, pills and wacky diets that promise to help you burn fat and lose weight. Though it can be difficult to separate junk from plans that work, there is only one way to burn fat: eat less and move more. Plans based on any other principle will fail.

Body Fat

The body stores fat in times of energy abundance. Eating more than you burn results in a calorie surplus. Your body stores this surplus of energy as fat for later use. Over time, fat storage causes unwanted and unsightly weight gain.

Burning the Fat

Lowering your body fat percentage requires a calorie deficit (the opposite of a calorie surplus); a state in which you burn more calories than you eat. When your body is faced with a deficit of energy, it turns to stored fat to make up the difference. Over time, this lowers your body fat percentage, improving your overall health and appearance.

The Bottom Line

A low body fat percentage is the ultimate goal for most gym-goers. Excess body fat increases your risk of heart disease, strokes, type 2 diabetes and cancer; it is also unsightly. Lowering your body fat percentage requires a disciplined diet and exercise routine.

How To's

How to Burn Fat Creating a more toned, defined and ripped look is the pinnacle of fitness. Companies have created pills, creams and even electro-shocking ab belts to help you reach your potential. Burning fat to create a better looking body is easy and involves proper diet and exercise. Stop wasting money on solutions that don't work and start using methods that are effective.

Articles

Body Fat Percentage vs. Body Mass Index (BMI) Body weight gives us a very broad picture of diet and fitness progress. If we want more specific measures of how well our exercise routines and diets are working, we turn to other gauges, specifically body fat percentage and body mass index (BMI). These tools provide a more in depth analysis of the exercise we perform, amount of calories we eat and whether or not we are meeting our goals. Body fat percentage and BMI provide similar, but different pictures of our overall health and fitness & diet progress.

I Want to Gain Muscle and Burn Fat Gaining muscle and burning fat at the same time is pretty much everyone's fitness goal. How awesome would it be to get stronger, watch your muscles grow and reduce your body fat percentage all at the same time? Unfortunately, these two goals aren't compatible with each other.

The Body Fat Diet Countless misconceptions exist on why the body stores fat: eating too much fat, eating too many carbs, not enough protein, not enough green tea or eating too late. The correct explanation is that the body stores fat when you combine an abundance of calories with physical inactivity. Eating too much and exercising too little creates an environment in which your body is forced to store fat causing unwanted and unsightly weight gain. This process however, is reversible.

Spot Reducing Achieving a toned and chiseled look is pretty much everyone's dream. Who doesn't want to have a perfect beach body all year round? Getting this look requires a low body fat percentage which is too often a misunderstood process. Hours spent doing sit ups, using topical creams and taking pills are all great examples of how not to get toned.

The Fat Burning Zone If you use any of the cardio equipment at the gym, you've probably used its built in fat burning program. Before you get too excited about all the fat you're going to lose, you should know why these types of programs aren't the best idea for getting toned or even losing weight.

Toning Toning is simply increasing muscle definition by burning fat. Exercise and diet play an important role and ignoring either will delay any results.

Diet for Turning Fat into Muscle Turning fat into muscle requires going on a calorie restricted diet to burn the fat and also giving your body the proper nutrients it needs to build muscle in its place.

Exercise for Turning Fat into Muscle Infomercials can lead us to believe that turning fat into muscle is as easy as taking a pill. Unfortunately turning fat into muscle is a myth and doesn't actually work like that in real life.

Reduce Body Fat Through Exercise Not all exercising will reduce your body fat equally. The type, duration and intensity of your routine will determine how effectively you lower your body fat percentage.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to eat less to burn fat? There's a common misconception of what the phrases, "losing weight", "burning fat" and "increasing muscle tone" mean. While many treat these three phrases as separate goals, the truth is that they're different ways of saying the same thing. Weight loss is a reduction in body fat; burning fat causes a decrease in body weight and increase in muscle tone. Regardless of what you want to call it, the same steps lead to weight loss, decreased body fat and increased muscle tone.

Is there a difference between losing weight and burning fat? Losing weight and burning fat are sometimes seen as two different goals but the steps needed to accomplish either are identical. At the core of both is calorie balance; the relationship between how many calories you burn and eat. During positive calorie balance, the body stores fat while a negative calorie balance forces the body to burn fat leading to weight loss. This calories in versus calories out relationship dictates whether the body stores fat causing weight gain or burns fat causing weight loss.

How do I get ripped? The word 'ripped' refers to the look you get when you have a low body fat percentage. This word is commonly used on pill bottles, sports drinks and other supplements, but getting ripped requires none of the above.

How can I get rid of my arm flab? 'Arm flab' is the buildup of fat that many women and men get on the back of the arm. It covers any definition from your tricep muscle and hangs down in an unsightly manner.

How can I lose weight without losing muscle? Losing weight requires that you reduce your intake of calories and increase the amount of exercise you do. Usually, the exercise used to burn the most calories is a cardiovascular workout. Combining high intensity aerobics with a calorie restricted diet will lead to some muscle loss.

How do I get rid of body fat if I'm already skinny? Even though you may be at a normal weight, you can still have excessive body fat in some problem areas such as your abs, thighs and arms.

What is spot reducing? The term spot reducing refers to burning fat stores from a specific area of the body (for example: abs, hips or arms). The body stores fat in response to a combination of too many calories and not enough physical activity. It begins to burn fat when the opposite happens. The only question is, will the body help you get rid of your problem areas or will it burn fat from wherever it chooses?

How do I turn fat into muscle? Turning fat into muscle is a two step process that requires you to lose weight and build muscle at the same time.

How can I measure my body fat percentage? Knowing your body fat percentage is important in determining whether your exercise routine is producing positive results.

How do I reduce my body fat percentage? When you eat more calories than you burn, your body stores the excess energy as fat for later use. To reverse this process, all you need to do is eat less than you burn.

How can I tone a certain area of my body? Everyone has problem areas (stomach, arms, legs...) they want to improve and exercising & dieting are the only ways to do it.

Top 5 Lists

Top 5 Ways to Get Toned Body fat obscures muscle tone and definition. Though plenty of products promise to rid you of excess fat, the only way to achieve a defined physique is through a strategy built around exercising more and eating less.

Top 5 Fat Burning Myths After hours of research, you finally have a plan to tone up. Before you hurry off to the gym and do hundreds of sit ups while avoiding all forms of fat in your diet, take a look at some myths you need to avoid.

Top 5 Ways to Lose Your Gut When you eat more calories than you burn, you create a calorie surplus and your body is forced to store that extra energy as body fat (or build muscle if you're involved in a strength training routine). Where your body stores extra body fat is determined by genetics and out of your control. When you burn body fat for energy, you don't get to decide where that fat comes from (spot reducing). All you can do is combine a calorie restricted diet with exercise to force your body to burn fat from all over and everything, including your gut, will become toned.

Top 5 Ways of Turning Fat into Muscle Turning fat into muscle is actually a two step process that requires you to go on a calorie restricted diet and build muscle through a strength training routine.

Top 5 Ways to Reduce Body Fat Reducing body fat requires a calorie restricted diet mixed in with exercise to build muscle.

Tools

Free Diet Plans This tool will provide you with a daily meal program that is personalized for your own needs. Whether you're looking to gain, lose or maintain weight, the SH Trainer can help you reach your goals.

Free Workout Routine This tool will provide you with a daily workout routine tailored to your goals and schedule. Whether you want to tone up or build muscle, the SH Trainer has a plan for you.

Calorie Calculator The calorie calculator uses physical characteristics (weight, height, age, gender), activity level and weight goals (gain, lose or maintain weight) to estimate daily calorie needs. In addition to calorie estimations, the calculator provides: BMR, BMI, healthy weight range, macronutrient distribution and meal & snack size examples.

Body Fat & Body Density Calculator This tool will calculate your body fat percentage using measurements you obtained with a skinfold caliper.