A lower body fat percentage comes from sensible, healthy and steady weight loss of no more than 3 pounds per week. Slowly lowering body fat levels results in permanent, manageable weight control for years limiting weight regain.
Why fast weight loss cannot lower body fat percentage!
Anyone can lose weight quickly but losing weight does not necessarily mean a lower body fat percentage, in fact people who lose weight too fast may actually increase the fat percentage. With rapid weight loss a large percentage will come from fluid losses which are easily regained after a diet. Fluid is simply lost from cells as the body burns off the remaining stores of carbohydrates (glycogen in muscles) and then starts to metabolize muscle protein to supply the body’s energy needs.
The body simply cannot use stored fat to provide all the energy because carbohydrates are the body’s preferred energy source, and many years of burning carbs means cells cannot just switch to using fat alone for all energy provision. Fat also requires oxygen to burn completely and an unconditioned energy and cardiovascular system cannot supply sufficient quantities to allow body fat to be burned constantly, especially when a less-fit individual decides to become active.
Now more protein is used for energy which causes weight loss through water, plus loss of protein also lowers lean body weight and the metabolism. The result is pounds of weight loss but only a few ounces of body fat actually burned!
An athlete’s body has the opposite effect, it can burn more fat because the energy system has adapted to supplying enough oxygen to the working muscles, the training has helped develop many more capillaries that innervate the muscles so more oxygen can be carried to the cells .Its the main reason why athletes are often very lean with a much lower body fat percentage than the average person!
Remember however, athletes don’t become lean within weeks it takes time to decrease the fat percentage!
When trying to lose weight its good practice to measure body fat percentage at regular intervals. Slower weight loss should produce a permanently low fat percentage over time!