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Best Ways to Burn Fat



 Photo credit: 6 Week Body Fat Burn Week 5 via photopin (license)

 Tina Horwood – Personal Trainer

Jiggly arms, wobbly belly, dimply thighs… These are just a few signs that you are carrying excess body fat.

Wouldn’t you just love to be able to do a single exercise and know that you are going to target that fat? Will doing a million crunches before bed every night really give you the flat tummy that you are after? We’d all love to hear that it was easy to burn body fat, and that there was some magic pill or wonder exercise that would give us the body we dream of.

Reality check… It takes commitment, focus, perseverance and time, but it can be done!

Burning Fat 101

Educate – so often, women particularly, believe that if they do lots of cardio, eat very little and follow crazy diet fads, that they will lose the excess body fat that they may be carrying. Educating yourself on the affect that nutrition has on your body will go a long way in assisting you to eliminate foods that may be causing you to retain body fat. Often people who diet, miss out on important nutrients such as fats and oils, and carbs even, because they are miss informed and believe a low fat, low carb diet is the answer.

Ditch the Gym membership – if it is not serving your goals! Don’t get me wrong, I love the gym and am not suggesting that you shouldn’t go. I see so many people who go just to walk on the treadmill; they will have a great conversation with their buddy next door, 45 mins later, and they go home. A gym is a fully equipped power house, that when utilised, will help you to achieve your goals. But if you are not seeing results…why?

Mindset and Diet – Burning body fat is not just about the exercise you do. A major part of it is what you eat. Eat to be lean and you will drop body fat. Eat to be skinny, and you will always jiggle! What does eating to be lean look like? It include a balance of protein, carbs and fats in your daily diet.

The Best Way to Burn Fat

Cardio and Strength Training Combined – while cardio alone will help you to burn fat, adding in strength training will accelerate the fat loss and will tone your body as you drop the fat. HIIT training is the current trend in the health and fitness industry. If you have never tried it, it is High Intensity Interval Training, it gets your heart rate up and burns fat. When you add in some resistance, you will burn fat quicker. Strength training combined with cardio will ignite your metabolism and you will continue to burn fat for 1-2hrs post workout. If you do only cardio, the fat burning benefits stop as soon as you do.

The Secret Element to Burning Fat

Is effort! To burn fat, you need to work at short intervals at 80 percent effort and then rest to recover, and repeat. What does 80% effort look like? For everyone it is different, essentially it is putting in your best effort with a just enough energy left at the end to recover before the next burst.

15 Minute @Home Fat Burning Workout

Try this @home workout that will burn fat and give you great results:

  • Spend 3-5 minutes warming up then set your timer to :30 work :20 rest;
  • Squat Jacks with weight (bag of books, potatoes etc);
  • Push ups;
  • Forward lunge with Lateral raise (use a resistance band or dumbbells if you have the);
  • Thrusters; then
  • Rest for a minute, and repeat 3 times.


A past fatty, mum of two and a personal trainer Tina Horwood’s passion for fitness and making her goals a reality has inspired many women. Tina has built a successful fitness coaching business called ‘FIIT MUMMA‘ and motivates women across Australia.

Having struggled with her weight for most of her life, Tina is using her personal experience, empathy and understanding of being mum to help other mummas achieve their ultimate body goal.

Tina competed in the INBA bodybuilding fitness model contest in 2013 and placed 6th. She is fun engaging and full of encouragement.


Justyna Kalka – Zak Australia Nutritionist and Brand Ambassador

There are several nutritional strategies to enhance fat oxidation, often referred to as ‘fat burning’. It has been a subject of much scientific interest, especially in the sports nutrition arena as part of the never-ending search for ways to improve athletic performance.


Our bodies, muscles, and brain all use carbohydrates as the main source of fuel. However, our carbohydrates stores are very limited. Adipose tissue (fat) is by far the largest store of energy in the human body. In fact, there is enough of stored energy as fat, to sustain skeletal muscle contraction for about 120 hours of running at a marathon runners pace! On the other hand, if we were to use our bodily carbohydrate reserves as fuel, we would only make it through 90 minutes of running. The exact amount of energy stored as fuel in a person is difficult to establish and will largely depend on individual fat mass, however it is likely to range between 50 000 to 100 000 kcal in men and women with an average 10-30% body fat. Quite an impressive energy reserve, if only we can get it burning! For our body to be able to use fat as fuel source, it first needs to be exported from the adipose tissue and transported in the blood stream to the active tissues like muscles, where it can be utilized.

How the Body Uses Fuel

During a low to moderate intensity exercise, our body is very efficient at using fat reserves as fuel, with a small contribution from glucose, our carbohydrate reserves. During high intensity exercise the body switches gears to carbohydrates.

Scientific Research into Fat Burning

Since the endogenous reserves of carbohydrates are limited and its depletion coincides with fatigue or “hitting the wall” during exercise, nutritional strategies of enhancing fat mobilization and usage have become of great interest and under much scientific examination.

The consumption of high fat, low carbohydrates diet has been investigated. Subjects consumed 60% or more of their energy intake from fat and less than 20% from carbohydrates for a course of 1-3 days. Although a shift in fat oxidation could be observed it also resulted in reduced exercise capacities and some gastrointestinal discomfort.

Caffeine ingestion before exercise has also been a topic of much interest. Some studies suggest that ingesting small to moderate doses of caffeine (2-6mg/kg BM) 1 hour prior to exercise shows a marked increase in fat oxidation and decrease in the body’s usage of glycogen while improving endurance during exercise. Caffeine affects the nervous system, reducing a person’s perception of effort, hence resulting in better performance during physical activity.


Justyna Kalka is a qualified nutritionist, professional speaker and health educator who specialises in promoting optimal health through wholesome, nutrient dense food and movement. She completed a Bachelor of Applied Science in Human Movement at Victoria University and a Bachelor of Science in Nutritional Medicine (Human Nutrition) at Endeavour College in 2012.

Justyna is now a practicing nutritionist in Albert Park (Melbourne) devoted to educating others about the true vitality that comes from a careful balance of real food, the right mind set and a healthy dose of movement. With a special interest in helping mums create a healthy food culture at home, Justyna educates parents and children about the importance of proper nourishment for growth and development.

Justyna is also a popular motivational speaker, inspiring women of all ages to gain a deep sense of self-confidence, health, strength and vitality in a body they love and appreciate. Justyna’s nutrition expertise has featured in the media, having contributed to nutritional stories in Nourish Magazine and Australian Natural Health Magazine, as well as Herald Sun and Daily Life.

Outside of her work, Justyna is an avid fitness lover and martial arts expert, and a proud mother of a beautiful little girl.

Diana Robinson- Nutritionist

There are many diet pills on the market that promise to shred fat, but the truth of the matter is there really is no magic pill you can take to make you lose weight. You can however, reprogram your body to burn fat stores for energy, rather than glucose (the bodies first line of energy). This is done by a metabolic process called nutritional ketosis.

What is Ketosis?

Not to be confused with ketoacidosis (an uncontrolled metabolic state commonly seen in uncontrolled type 1 diabetes), ketosis happens when dietary carbohydrates are restricted, forcing the body to look elsewhere for energy. When there are limited carbohydrates available, the body will use fat as a source of energy.

Ketogenic Diets

Ketogenic diets have been around for many years and go by many names. The Atkins Diet and Low Carb High Fat are two examples of diets that are ketogenic in nature. They vary in the structure of what foods are allowed, but the bottom line is they are restricting dietary carbohydrates, hence, inducing nutritional ketosis.

On a ketogenic diet, the ratio of macronutrients looks like this: 60-75% from fat, 15-30% from protein and 5-10% from net carbs (total carbs minus fibre). Unlike the Atkins diet, a healthy ketogenic diet should obtain its fat from mostly mono and polyunsaturated fatty acids such as oily fish, nuts and seeds, avocado, olive and coconut oil. This is not to say you can’t have saturated fats, but you do need to be mindful that too many saturated fats will increase your body’s level of inflammation, which if you are carrying a little extra weight will already be higher than it should be. Focusing on omega-3s, which are naturally anti-inflammatory, will help to keep your body healthy and facilitate weight loss.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is especially good for helping the body enter ketosis. Although this is a saturated fat, it behaves differently in the body due to its molecular structure. The medium chain fatty acid bypasses digestion and goes straight to the liver where it is used immediately for energy. Adding coconut oil to your daily diet is definitely a must is you are trying to lose weight. It is easily added into your morning smoothie, porridge or even coffee.

Strength Training

Along with dietary changes, strength training, or even better, high intensity strength training will see your kilos come off much quicker than cardio workouts alone. Having more muscle mass will raise your resting metabolism, which means your body will continue to  burn calories even while you are sedentary.

High intensity workouts are fantastic for not only fast results, but also to help to improve insulin receptor sensitivity. This means that your body will process glucose much more efficiently, resulting in less insulin circulating throughout the blood. High insulin levels turn on the bodies fat storage genes, so you always want to make sure that these are kept low. This means, not binging on sweets or processed carbs. You could have a small portion of sugar each day, and so long as your calories are not in excess, your body will metabolize it without storing it as fat. However, if you consume too much in one go, your blood glucose levels will be far too high. To prevent hyperglycemia, your body pumps out insulin to collect all that excess glucose and stores it for later.

The key points to remember here are that it’s important for you to:

  • Limit your carbohydrate intake;
  • Increase your intake of omega-3s;
  • Eat adequate protein; and
  • Increase your strength training exercise.

DianaRobinson_PhotoDiana Robinson is a Melbourne based nutritionist working in clinical practice with a special interest in food intolerance, fitness and mood disorders.

Diana graduated from Melbourne’s Endeavour College of Natural Health with a Bachelor Degree in Health Science – Nutritional Medicine. She is a firm believer in living life to the full and taking care of your body by feeding it healthy, nutritious food but not forgetting to nourish your mental wellbeing also.

Diana encourages patients to seek enjoyment from the food they eat rather than having a negative relationship with food. When you learn to eat right, you will learn that food is your friend and not your enemy. 

You can follow her Instagram for inspiration and recipes @dianar_nutrition.

Anne Iarchy – Founder and Owner of The Finchley Weight Loss Centre by AI Fitness, and Public Speaker

When I get a prospective client on the phone, I very often hear that they’ve been doing long hours on a cardiovascular machine in the gym, keeping nicely within the “fat burning zone”.

The Fat Burning Zone

The “fat burning zone” is a concept that has been going round for a while, and one people still believe in. This zone supposedly exists when the body uses more energy at a lower intensity than at higher and burns more fat.

While the concept of the body needing energy to operate is true, in reality the “fat burning zone” concept is not true at all. It’s actually a myth.

At a lower intensity the body may burn a higher percentage of the calories from fat, while at a higher intensity it may only burn a lower percentage. But when you do a higher intensity workout the overall calories (total calories) that are burned are much higher.

Your Metabolism

Cardiovascular exercise burns calories, and with it calories from fat. However, cardiovascular exercise doesn’t raise your metabolism for any longer than the time you exercise. But, it’s a faster metabolism that will actually make you burn more fat long-term.

To raise your metabolism long-term, you do need to perform some resistance training, and build lean muscle. That’s the key to fat loss.

Every pound of muscle you put on requires approximately 50 calories per day to maintain. That’s just the amount needed for that muscle to exist and do nothing.

Resistance Training

When you perform resistance training, you not only burn calories while you’re exercising, you also burn calories while the muscle rebuilds itself from the tears you inflict while exercising. It can take up to 48-hours for your body to rebuild itself if it was a heavy training session. Once rebuilt, this muscle will require more calories to operate.

If you do like your cardiovascular exercises, because you’re an endurance athlete (like a runner), then add some high intensity interval training sessions to your workout. For instance, over a 20-minute interval, push yourself very hard for say 2-minutes, then have a 15-second rest, or go at a slower pace, before pushing yourself for 2-minutes again. This type of exercise can also help you burn more fat for longer.

Lastly, just a quick note about nutrition. To burn fat, your body needs to consume good fats. So please don’t go for the low fat versions of food. Get some healthy fats into your body, such as avocado, olive oil, nuts, oily fish, and even supplement with good quality Omega-3 supplements.


Anne Iarchy is the founder and owner of The Finchley Weight Loss Centre by AI Fitness. She helps busy professionals create a healthy lifestyle for weight loss, exercise, nutrition and mindset change.

Anne’s passion was developed after struggling with weight and health issues herself while working in the corporate world as an IT security director. She found being on the road, traveling and in meetings made staying healthy a challenge.

At the time, she was working with a personal trainer herself, but never received a full-solution to her struggles. So in 2010, Anne left the corporate world, and started helping people just like her.

She continues to develop her knowledge in nutrition, supplementation, as well as mindset. And is a regular speaker within her local community in North London.

Anne’s latest eBook, ‘Ditch the Diet‘ is now available.

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Disclaimer: The information published in this column are based on each of the author’s own professional and personal knowledge, and opinion. This information and opinion is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any manner. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding any medical condition and consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on InShape News.


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