If your body fat percentage exceeds the healthy range, or you’re simply looking to tone up your physique in time for summer, you might be searching for a plan to reduce body fat. There is a lot of misinformation and fad diets, with fitness influencers pushing chalky protein powders or other products that don’t actually benefit your health. So how do you approach body fat loss in a safe and healthy way?
DEXA Scan for Body Fat
The first step to losing body fat is to find out exactly how much you have at the beginning of your journey. Getting a DEXA scan for body fat is the best method of measuring your body composition. Your DEXA scan results will highlight your total body fat percentage, fat mass index, and muscle mass. DEXA scans are the most accurate way to assess your body fat measurements and provide a more in-depth perspective to your health than simply weighing yourself or calculating BMI alone.
Once you have your body fat measurement, you can set a realistic goal and create a plan for reducing it. Here are a few tips to get started:
1.) Ramp Up Your Workouts with Weights
Strength training involves working your muscles with resistance, including bodyweight exercise, lifting weights, or using gym equipment. Strength training increases how many calories your body burns when you’re resting. It is proven to reduce body fat mass and visceral fat, a dangerous type of fat that surrounds the organs in your belly.
2.) Increase Your Heart Rate with Cardio
While the cardio vs. weight lifting debate has raged on for years, studies have found that balancing a mix of both will yield the greatest results. Cardiovascular exercises, such as walking, running, climbing stairs, swimming, and cycling, burn calories quickly and aid with fat loss.
3.) Get to Bed On Time
Losing just an hour of sleep can significantly impact your fitness goals. Lack of sleep can contribute to changes in hunger hormones and increased appetite. Sleep also regulates cortisol levels, the stress hormone, which affects your ability to lose fat.
4.) Focus On Fats, Fiber, and Protein
Think about the way you build your plate at every meal. Protein will help build lean muscle and speed up your metabolic rate. Incorporate healthy fats like olive oil, avocados, nuts, and fish, which reduce blood sugar spikes and curb cravings. Soluble fiber from plant foods helps you feel full for longer—find it in oats, legumes, fruits, and beans.
5.) Use DEXA Scans for Body Fat
Use multiple DEXA scans to track changes in your body fat over time. You can use each result as a guide to adjust your fitness and nutrition plan if you’re not achieving your desired results. Using DEXA scans to understand your body fat will lead to sustainable, long-term results. Schedule an appointment at a DEXA location near you to embark on the journey to your healthiest self.