Reducing Body Fat Percentage
If your body fat/waist measurement is too high there are two methods which can be used to reduce it –
increasing energy expenditure (activity) and reducing energy intake (calories). A combination of these
is most effective.
When increasing energy expenditure, the total volume of activity is important therefore it is sensible to
choose a mode of exercise that you can maintain for a reasonable period of time (40-60mins). It’s OK to
accumulate this volume of activity throughout the day and performing 4 x 15mins of continuous
exercise will be almost as effective as doing 60mins in one go.
In terms of intensity, the exercise should be ‘aerobic’ in nature. If you have a heart rate monitor you
should aim to work between 70-85% of your maximum heart rate. If you do not have a monitor, try to
work at a level that is not too easy but not overly strenuous – a good guideline is to work at a level at
which you can still hold a conversation. Alternatively, imagine a 1-10 scale, where 1 is very easy and 10
is maximal, and aim to work between 5 and 7. Once you can easily manage this, you will have a base-
level of fitness and you can look to improve your fitness as detailed in the Aerobic Capacity section.
When decreasing your energy intake, don’t do this to a drastic extent! In terms of calories, the
restriction should be 300-500 calories per day. Counting calories isn’t always practical or desirable so it
is easier to make swaps that save you at least 100 calories, some simple ones are detailed here:
SWAP FROM SWAP TO
Sugar free muesli & whole milk All-Bran & semi skimmed milk
2 scrambled eggs with milk & butter 2 poached eggs
2 grilled pork sausages 2 grilled rashers of lean bacon
1 croissant 2 slices of wholegrain toast
2 pats butter 2 tbsp raspberry jam
Egg mayonnaise sandwich Egg salad sandwich
Spaghetti carbonara Spaghetti Arrabiata
1 chicken breast with skin 1 lean turkey breast
Chicken korma Chicken piri-piri
1 Mars bar 1 Flake bar
3 chocolate digestives 3 Jaffa Cakes
50g salted peanuts 50g Twiglets
3 cups tea, 1 sugar & semi-skimmed milk 3 cups tea, sweetener & skimmed milk
1 shot Baileys 1 shot Whisky
1 glass of whole milk 1 glass of semi-skimmed milk
1 can Coca-Cola 1 can diet Coca-Cola
Reducing the amount of fat in your diet, particularly saturated fat, will also aid you in cutting calories.
The following tips are helpful when attempting to reduce your fat intake.
circle4 Try to cut out margarine and butter and replace them with marmite, jam or honey.
circle4 When eating dairy products such as cheese and yoghurts try to eat low-fat/fat-free products.
circle4 Grill, poach, bake, steam or casserole food instead of frying it and avoid adding fat when cooking.
circle4 Choose lean cuts of meat and cut off any visible fat, also skim off any visible fat when cooking.
circle4 Remove the skin from poultry.
circle4 Reduce intake of burgers and pre-prepared food, try to eat fresh products which contain less fat.
circle4 Keep intake of pastry products to a minimum.
circle4 Reduce intake of chips to a minimum, eat jacket or boiled potatoes instead
circle4 Avoid butter or margarine on jacket potatoes, go for beans, low calorie coleslaw or cottage cheese.
circle4 Be aware when eating biscuits, cakes and chocolate as these are high in fat.
circle4 Make custards and sauces with skimmed milk
BlueSkies Health, Fitness & Well-Being
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