Exercise and nutrition both play a very important role in the amount of fat stored in your body. 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.
The most important rule you have to remember when trying to lower your body fat percentage, is that you don’t choose where the fat comes off from, your genetics do. If you’re trying to get a killer set of abs, doing sit ups and crunches when you have a high body fat content isn’t going to burn the fat that is covering your abs.
To get rid of excess body fat, you need to participate in activities that burn a lot of calories. Running, biking, swimming and most sports will do this very well. In addition to cardio, you also need to have a good strength training routine. Muscle burns more calories than fat so one of your top priorities needs to be building more muscle mass.
Fat Burning Zone Myth
A common misconception is that to get rid of fat, you need to workout at a low intensity. While its true that activities at low intensities burn more fat, those at high intensities will burn more calories and at the end of the day, the amount of calories you burn is more important than the amount of fat you burn even if you’re trying to get rid of fat.
Running at a high intensity will burn more calories than walking at a slow intensity. Remember, to lose body fat, you need to burn more calories than you eat. Exercising harder will burn more calories and help you get to your goal quicker.
If you burn 400 calories (of mostly fat) at a low intensity versus 500 calories (of mostly non-fat) at a higher intensity, what happens to that extra 100 calories at the end of the day? The answer is that it gets converted to fat. You are better off burning it by working at a high intensity.
The Bottom Line
Exercising alone can only go so far. Remember to include a healthy diet that includes calorie restriction until you reach your body fat percentage goal.