All activities matter. But if it comes to losing body fat the intensity and duration are two predominant factors. Recent studies published in Journal of Obesity indicated that high intensity exercises are way more effective at reducing subcutaneous and abdominal fat.
Hormones that have been shown to increase are:*
especially epinephrine which is responsible for fat release from both your subcutaneous and intramuscular fat stores
more beta adrenergic receptors have been found in abdominal than subcutaneous fat
Even though cortisol appeared to be a catabolic hormone - which results in reduction of protein synthesis and facilitation in converting amino acids to glucose (for energy). Short period of elevated cortisol level though helps to burn fat as its increases activity of the major fat burning enzyme - Hormone Sensitive Lipase. However this is the reason why high intensity activities should not last more than 45-60 minutes.
How to lower Your cortisol level after exercise and save lean muscle tissue:
- hot bath
- FOOD; basically anything that raise insulin will decrease cortisol level. However the most effective are products with high GL like fruits (some of them) or white rice (simple carbohydrates)
- whey protein / BCAA
Now You understand why after an intense exercise food and recovery are so important! If You try all You can but still feel overwhelmed by Your fitness routine try natural adaptogens like: Ginseng, Rhodiola Rosea, Maca, Tulsi or Ashwagandha - all of them will help to balance cortisol level within Your body.
- growth hormone
I think that everyone who is trying to build muscles will automatically recognize this hormone. If You try to build muscle and lose fat at the same time HIET may help You! Burn fat and prevent lean body muscle! Doing prolonged exercise like endurance training Your body may start using protein to generate energy when other sources are inefficient. In contrast this activities will maximize Your energy expenditure saving Your muscles relying mainly on glycogen (-glucose) and free fatty acids.
Find out Your maximum HR:
220 - your age = Max HREnergy efficient / recovery zone 60-70% of Max HR
Aerobic zone 70-80% of Max HR
Lactate threshold 76-80% of Max HRAnaerobic zone 80-90% of Max HR
Red line zone 90-100% of Max HR
To monitor Your intensity You can simply use Your own heart rate monitor or the one available on certain machines.
What about other proved benefits?
- lower insulin resistance
- enhanced skeletal muscle fat oxidation
- improved glucose tolerance
- improved both aerobic and anaerobic fitness
- better tolerance of lactic acid
- better mood!
Enhancing mood and improving self-image
Interestingly obesity may cause stress! Not because someone is stressed by his image looking into mirror. 11-Beta Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenase Type 1 is an enzyme presents mainly in fat tissue which converts inactive cortisone into its active form known as cortisol. This means that fat tissue is able to produce via convertion its own stress hormone! Curcumin showed to be a powerful inhibitor of 11-HSD 1 having at the same time antioxidant capacity prevents fat from oxidazing itself. This amazing spice may add not only colour and flavour but also other value to Your diet.
Even though throughout the training our body produce stress hormones right after finishing it happiness hormones are released. That is why You feel good and satisfied.
Prolonged stress may affect the body distribution of fat and make it accumulate around waist.
High intensity exercises do not need to be boring!
Try different equipment, classes, training methods and have fun!
Researches indicate that exercise training above LT may be an effective exercise intensity for inducing weight lost in obese woman.**
With regard to total body fat loss total energy expenditure is one of the key factor.
*J Obes 2011; 2011: 868305
**Med Sci Sports Exerc.2008 Nov; 40 (11):1863-1872