Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Managing body fat distribution

Yesterday I was reading articles on the Burn the Fat Inner Circle website that I belong to and came across an interesting article regarding body fat shifting. This is something I had suspected of going on in my body, but I had no information on the subject nor ever heard of it before. What I have experienced is that during my weightloss, some parts of my body have been slimming down faster than others, and my clothes have been getting looser overall, but some areas of my body, namely my midsection and inner thighs, at times, seem to have fat redistributed into them. My jeans are appreciably looser in the seat and outer thighs, but the inner thighs and midsection just aren't as loose. I've gone from a size 32 to a 26 overall, but body measurements in some areas haven't reduced much at all.

So then I was reading this article yesterday and there's some new research out about this. Basically, the process of losing fat is a matter of fat cells being released into the bloodstream to be converted into energy in the pancreas to be used for fuel. Keeping your carb intake to under 30% facilitates this more. So all that energy is floating around, ready to be used. But your body doesn't necessarily anticipate all your needs, so lets say you don't use all that accessed energy. Your body's got to put it back into storage. And that's where the redistribution comes in. The fat that was accessed may have been where, genetically speaking, fat comes off the easiest for your body. For me, it's my face and forearms. And breasts (damn it!). When it get's re-stored, it doesn't get back to where it was before. It goes to where your body is genetically more predisposed to store it now at this stage of life. And for perimenopausal women like me, that's the mid-section and legs.

Well, that just sucks!!! But it's another arguement for me to ramp up that cardio effort. In Tom Venuto's Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle, he states that if he were overweight, that he'd choose to do cardio workouts twice a day in order to burn it off. Combining that with the information I've read in Lyle McDondald's Rapid Fat Loss Handbook, to keep my carb intake 25% to 30% of my calories in order to convince fat cells more readily to be converted into energy, I need to use up that released energy as much as possible.

I think this is what my new routine while I'm in the US is going to have to look like in order to keep burning that fat:
  • Seven days of complete body stretching to improve my range of motion.
  • On six days during the week, in the mornings, alternate between upper body and lower body weight training, in a circuit training fashion, with five sets of three exercises that are comprised of weights and core exercises, starting with 10 minutes on the treadmill for warm up, three sets of five minutes on the elliptical cross trainer or bicycle/medicine ball combination, and end up with a ten minute cool down on the treadmill.
  • In the afternoons, work up to 45 minutes on the elliptical cross trainer. I know this will take some time to work up to, but it's a good goal.

I've been more than a little fearful of my body turning into the shape of a bottle of Drambuie, with excessively large hips and thighs in relation to my upper body. If I don't use up the released energy everyday, that's exactly what I'll look like! How's that for motivation?

Tomorrow I'm going into town to a shop with used and refurbished exercise equipment. I'm buying a commercial grade ellitical cross trainer, an adjustable weight bench, and I'm getting more dumbbells for my weight set - 8, 10 and 12 lbs. Perhaps a weight bar. And some medicine balls and an exercise ball. I'm turning my living room and back patio into a home gym. Jeez, I might need to get a job delivering newspapers for the summer! I wonder if I could be a mail carrier for a couple of months, just to walk all over town and deliver the mail.

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