Author: Troy Theodosiou
Maintaining a low level of body fat involves your overall body composition; that is, not only how much adipose tissue you carry but also your proportion of lean body mass to it. You can maintain or make adjustments to your body composition through both diet and exercise. The key is finding a system that allows you to easily drop and maintain lower levels of body fat.
One aspect of maintaining a low level of body fat is the number of calories you consume compared to how many you burn. If you are in caloric balance, calories in are roughly equal to calories out, and in this state you maintain your weight over time. To reduce your overall body fat, you need to be in a caloric deficit, eating fewer calories each day than you use, so your body burns your fat stores for energy. On the other hand, if your body fat is too low, your goal is to consume more calories than you burn each day, allowing excess calories to get stored as fat tissue.
The type of foods you take in each day are as important as the total number of calories you consume from those foods. Stick to whole foods that keep you full and satisfied throughout the day.
It may sound strange, but sometimes it’s what you’re not eating that makes you overeat. Protein seems to be more satisfying and leaves us feeling fuller longer than other nutrients.
Calories that sneak in through beverages are usually forgotten. This is especially true when we are talking about alcoholic or sugary drinks, including fruit juices and soda.
The optimal way to build and maintain muscle tissue is through a strength-training workout program. In addition to burning calories during exercise, which can keep your fat stores in check, your muscle mass burns calories even while you are at rest because muscle tissue is metabolically active. Working out with barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, resistance machines or your own body weight allows you to control the number of calories you burn both while you exercise and in between workout sessions by varying the intensity, duration and frequency of your workouts. It also helps ensure that your body composition remains where you want it to be.
Aerobic, or cardiovascular, exercise can also help you increase the number of calories you burn each day. In addition, this type of exercise – especially high-intensity workouts – improves your heart and lung health and can reduce your amount of visceral fat, a type of unhealthy fat that surrounds your internal organs and is associated with heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Incorporating aerobic workouts, along with strength-training sessions, not only helps you maintain a desirable level of body fat but also improves your overall health.