CREATING A DEFICIT
Creating a deficit is pretty basic. Body fat is stored energy. Remember, energy can only change forms ...it can’t disappear …law of conservation of energy. To drop body fat, your body needs a reason to reach for stored fat, and it won’t if there is another readily available energy source.
Creating a Caloric deficit is the only way to lose weight. The biological process that results in fat burning requires that your fuel tank is empty. So, you have two choices; burn more energy (Calories) than you consume or consume less energy than you burn (sure does sound like the same thing). We like to say it this way to help explain the difference between dieting to decrease body fat and increasing energy output to get the same result.
Why is exercise a powerful tool in the body fat burning arsenal?
A Caloric deficit is uncomfortable. You will be hungry, there is no question. Making a lifestyle change is great once you get the results you want, maintenance is easier than loss. When you reach the point of maintaining weight, you still need will power to avoid the foods that packed on the extra pounds to begin with, but you get to eat the amount of food that you need each day, instead of purposely shorting yourself.
There are a number of tools available to assist in the fat loss process. Drinking water when you are thirsty instead of sugary drinks, eating more often and considering macros in your diet are all helpful. Exercise, however, benefits the process in a number of ways. You get stronger... great little side effect. You help keep your body focused on burning fat while maintaining muscle, after all, you want to lose body fat, not weight. You increase cardiovascular and respiratory health and you get to take advantage of EPOC (the afterburn effect).
In addition to the above mentioned benefits, there is my favorite aspect of incorporating exercise into a weight loss plan; you get to take the frustration and discomfort out on something! The time that passes between meals will sometimes seem like an eternity, use it to your advantage. You can burn 300 Calories between meals by way of basal metabolic process, or you can burn 600 by adding workout time. Get lost in exercise when you can. Run, jump, yell, lift, do pushups, punch and kick a bag, yell some more; you will burn additional Calories, you will get your mind off your diet, and you will feel better.