Although the only thing that obsesses us is getting rid of it, it should be remembered that we have

two types of fat

distributed throughout our anatomy:

essential

, necessary for normal physiological functioning (around 3% in men and 12% in women);

and the

stored

energy reserve that accumulates under the skin and around the internal organs.

The accumulation of the latter, the one that really worries us when it gets out of hand, depends on genetic inheritance and, as is known, differs by sex: there is the

android

-apple-shaped-, predominant in males and located in the thoracoabdominal area;

and the pear-shaped

gynecoid

, more common among women and concentrated on the thighs and buttocks.

Why does it occur?

Basically (we also know this), for something as basic as

giving the body 'more gasoline than it needs' to carry out its daily activities

.

And this, instead of disposing of that excess fuel, accumulates it in case it had to throw it away at some point.

But, be careful, as we told you recently in ZEN, this

basic law of energy expenditure

of 'what goes in for what goes out', if you eat much more than you need during a sustained period of time, you can lead us to a

point of no return

in which our metabolism can no longer go back and our fat cells 'mutate' until they control our body.

But let's not get dramatic.

Eliminating

it (before reaching that critical moment of 'no return'), is quite complicated, but not impossible.

To try it, obviously,

there is no other option than to 'spend' more than we 'income' over a long period of time.

In other words, follow a diet adapted to our circumstances and do more exercise, combining aerobic exercise and strength in an appropriate way.

Only in this way will we be able to make our body use its reserves to obtain the energy it needs

without weakening muscle tissue.

"Here the main factor to take into account will be

nutrition

, which, when combined with

exercise

and other types of habits, such as

rest

and control of

emotions

, will bring about the greatest benefits," explains Sonsoles Hernández, a personal trainer (member of the Official College of Graduates of PE and Sciences of Physical Activity and Sport of the Community of Madrid number 53725).

How do we do it?

"Although there is no single answer to this question here, we must bear in mind that, beyond the time we spend exercising, the priority is

to stay active for as long as possible in our daily lives

, avoiding sedentary behaviors. How? For example, for every hour we spend sitting, get up to walk for a few minutes, climb stairs or do ten sit-ups."

In this same sense, Martín Giacchetta, CEO of Boutique Gym (Madrid), warns us that "taking a beating in the gym two or three days a week is of little use if we spend the rest of the time sitting down. We have to adopt

a more active lifestyle

, walk more, climb all the stairs we can, etc. In this way, we will be able to take full advantage of our

NEAT

(Not Exercise Activity Thermogenesis) which is the caloric expenditure that our body produces carrying out all the activities -physical- daily that we do not have scheduled, that is, those that do not fall within sports practice ".

NEAT, or how to lose weight without going to the gym |

THE WORLD

At this point, it is assumed that we are already clear that, to burn fat,

it is not worth 'killing' ourselves by doing cardio and, much less, covering ourselves with plastic or girdles

that the only thing they will do to us, in addition to reducing our physical performance, is sweat like a beast, running the risk of dehydrating.

"Success lies in

combining aerobic sessions with strength routines,

" says Sonsoles Hernández.

Building solid muscle mass should be one of our top priorities, especially considering one of the inescapable milestones in our biological clock: between the ages of 30 and 40, muscle tone begins to decrease, which leads to a

drop in metabolism. baseline of 2% per decade.

What does this mean?

That our ability to burn calories is reduced and, or we put on batteries, we gain weight.

What does muscle mass have to do with metabolism?

All.

Because, as we have already told you before, the

muscle

not only has a

structural function

(facilitating movement and sustaining, both bone and visceral, among many other things) and another

aesthetic

one (which allows us to remain upright and be 'tough' and marked ), but also develops a very important

endocrine activity

.

It is, we already know, a powerful metabolic oven that participates in the release of certain hormones into the bloodstream that affect caloric expenditure.

That is, the more muscular we are, the more calories we will consume, even at rest (sitting or sleeping).

"Muscle is a tissue that

consumes a large amount of energy

, that is, the greater the amount of muscle mass, the greater the energy expenditure that we will have, even at rest (what we call basal metabolism) and, therefore,

the easier it will be that we lose fat

In addition, muscle is an endocrine organ that, when it contracts, releases certain substances into the blood which affect different organs and regulate certain processes in the body An example could be the pancreas, where exercise helps reduce blood glucose levels," says Hernández.

But, taking all this information to the real scenario and always starting from the basis that, to start a training program, we should put ourselves in the hands of a qualified professional, what can we do to combat body fat?

Sonsoles Hernández gives us some advice: "The ideal would be to start with the minimums dictated by the World Health Organization, that is,

two days of strength training and 150 minutes of cardio at moderate-vigorous intensity weekly.

.

Specifically, a good starting point would be to start with your favorite cardio activity (walking, stationary bike, elliptical...) for about 10 minutes at an intensity that we can carry on a conversation.

With regard to strength, we can do exercises with elastic bands, always at an intensity that leaves four or five repetitions in the chamber, approximately".

Elastic bands, the best accessory to train at home

And, finally, a curiosity: where do we eliminate the fat that we burn?

The endocrinologist Carlos Rodríguez Jiménez.

He clears up our doubts: "Fat -composed fundamentally of fatty acids and triglycerides- is metabolized in the liver, giving rise to ketone bodies that

are excreted fundamentally by breathing and urine

. For this reason, when you are losing weight, you usually have a strong breath, like when children are with acetone.


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