The Chase’s Mark Labbett opens up on his weight loss

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Weight loss occurs when eating in a calorie deficit, which means eating less than the body is burning. While you cannot target fat loss, there are ways you can help the process.

Steven Virtue, Fitness Development Manager at Total Fitness explained: “Before establishing what will help you to burn stubborn fat, it is important to debunk several common myths surrounding fat loss.

“First and foremost, you cannot spot reduce fat. Although some parts of your body may take longer than others to slim down, depending on factors such as body shape and composition, if you workout to lose fat then you will lose fat across your entire body.

“While exercise is undeniably important and offers many fantastic benefits to overall health, research shows us that losing fat cannot be achieved by exercise alone. You cannot ‘out-train’ a bad diet and increasing your level of exercise while still eating junk food will not facilitate fat loss. 

“Therefore, it is essential to create a diet plan and exercise routine that compliment one another.”

Steven explained that combining cardio with strength training has been shown to be “particularly effective” for losing body fat.

“Adding resistance to your workout with weight training can help the body to preserve fat-free mass, which has been shown to increase the number of calories your body burns while resting,” he said.

Regular exercise is extremely important in maintaining a healthy lifestyle and the NHS recommends adults do around 150 minutes of activity each week.

This includes moderate-intensity and high-intensity exercises such as running, climbing a hill or cycling.

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The fitness expert recommended adding high-intensity interval training into a routine to help shift body fat.

He said: “Not only is HIIT a great way to boost your mood, but research shows that the increased metabolic rate, caused by strenuous and high intensity exercise, can last up to 38 hours, meaning your body will burn significantly more calories in a resting state.

“HIIT, particularly the longer circuits or more complex combinations, can be intimidating to beginners. However, there are simple and short HIIT exercises that you can start with; squats, sit ups, burpees and mountain climbers are all fantastic exercises to try for 30-second intervals with a 20-second rest.”

While exercise can help to create a larger calorie deficit, it does not have a direct link to weight loss.

This is when a healthy, balanced diet comes into play and Steven explained that your diet is “fundamental” when it comes to shifting fat.

He explained: “In fact, the latest research suggests that 80 percent of your fat loss is dependent on a good diet, which shows why many people struggle to lose fat despite frequent exercise.

“If your goal is to lose fat, then you need to be in a calorie deficit – this is when you consume slightly fewer calories than you are burning which in turn makes your body tap into stored body fat for extra energy.

“To ensure you are still consuming the nutrients your body needs while in a calorie deficit, it’s a good idea to work with a personal trainer to create a healthy and balanced diet plan.”

As well as exercising in the gym, it is important to increase activity outside of it too.

This can be in the form of a daily walk to reach a particular step goal.

Steven continued: “Increase your daily activity levels with simple lifestyle changes; avoid driving short distances and try walking instead, use stairs instead of lifts, or take up hobbies that involve movement.”

The expert also recommends allowing time to rest as well as making sure you are getting enough sleep, at least seven hours each night.

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