John Frederick & the Boston Marathon
John Frederick & the Boston Marathon

John Frederick & the Boston...

Earlier this year, John Frederick, a member at the Cambridge Club, became the first...

John Frederick & the Boston Marathon

Member Profile

John Frederick & the Boston Marathon

Earlier this year, John Frederick, a member at the Cambridge Club, became the first Canadian to run 34 consecutive Boston Marathons. He completed his 34th running of the event in 5:09:32 this April. Frederick says he started running marathons because he didn't have as much time to play squash, which had previously been his main sport.

Why I'm Celebrating International Yoga Day
Why I'm Celebrating International Yoga Day

Why I'm Celebrating International...

I believe yoga deserves a day of recognition because of what it has brought to my own...

Why I'm Celebrating International Yoga Day

Lifestyle

Why I'm Celebrating International Yoga Day

I believe yoga deserves a day of recognition because of what it has brought to my own life. Yoga not only helps with flexibility, but it also teaches breathing, core activation, and strength and stability all at once.

A Drugless Alternative for Menstrual Dysfunction
A Drugless Alternative for Menstrual Dysfunction

A Drugless Alternative for...

It is estimated that more than 50% of women experience some degree of pain with their...

A Drugless Alternative for Menstrual Dysfunction

Lifestyle

A Drugless Alternative for Menstrual Dysfunction

It is estimated that more than 50% of women experience some degree of pain with their period. The pain ranges from tolerable cramping to excruciating pain requiring the use of over-the-counter drugs such as Advil, Ibuprofen, and Naproxen. Symptoms are often accompanied by headaches, diarrhea/constipation, nausea, and fatigue, just to name a few.

Karen's Journey & Taking the Unconventional Path
Karen's Journey & Taking the Unconventional Path

Karen's Journey & Taking the...

When Karen Malone moved to Canada from Ireland in 1989, she had a high school diploma....

Karen's Journey & Taking the Unconventional Path

Member Profile

Karen's Journey & Taking the Unconventional Path

When Karen Malone moved to Canada from Ireland in 1989, she had a high school diploma. But the CFO of the Cambridge Group of Clubs also had grit, determination, and a desire to learn. She continued adding to her education and experience (and her exercise routine) to get her to where she is today. Here's what she learned.

Lauren, Lori, & the Best Group Fitness Program in the City
Lauren, Lori, & the Best Group Fitness Program in the City

Lauren, Lori, & the Best Group...

If you've walked through the PATH near the Adelaide Club lately, you've...

Lauren, Lori, & the Best Group Fitness Program in the City

Member Profile

Lauren, Lori, & the Best Group Fitness Program in the City

If you've walked through the PATH near the Adelaide Club lately, you've probably seen the Club's new marketing featuring Lauren Neal, the Adelaide's Group Exercise Director, and Lori Kirwan, a personal trainer and group fitness instructor at the Adelaide and Toronto Athletic Club.

Preventative Maintenance Massage: Why you need it & how often
Preventative Maintenance Massage: Why you need it & how often

Preventative Maintenance Massage:...

Our massage therapists, practitioners, and trainers are all frequently asked how often...

Preventative Maintenance Massage: Why you need it & how often

Lifestyle

Preventative Maintenance Massage: Why you need it & how often

Our massage therapists, practitioners, and trainers are all frequently asked how often our Members should receive a massage. Is it something you only need when you’re injured? Should you get a massage a couple of times a year? The reality is there isn’t a straightforward, single answer that works for everyone, but this is the perfect time for us to discuss preventative maintenance.

How to Throw a Healthy, Clean Twist on your BBQ Menu
How to Throw a Healthy, Clean Twist on your BBQ Menu

How to Throw a Healthy, Clean Twist...

We don’t know about you, but the May long weekend oftentimes acts as our...

How to Throw a Healthy, Clean Twist on your BBQ Menu

Lifestyle

How to Throw a Healthy, Clean Twist on your BBQ Menu

We don’t know about you, but the May long weekend oftentimes acts as our unofficial start to the summer, and, with that, usually comes a BBQ or two with friends and family. But we also know that you’ve been so great about your diet so far this year and you don’t want to lose that momentum and throw your progress out the window just for a few classic BBQ favourites. That’s why we’re here with 10 ideas to help you keep your BBQ clean and not set you back. 

You and Your Pelvic Floor: What You Need to Know
You and Your Pelvic Floor: What You Need to Know

You and Your Pelvic Floor: What You...

The muscles of the pelvic floor, how they function, and their importance seems to be...

You and Your Pelvic Floor: What You Need to Know

Lifestyle

You and Your Pelvic Floor: What You Need to Know

The muscles of the pelvic floor, how they function, and their importance seems to be all over the media lately. The fitness and wellness industry loves to latch onto some part of the body or some dietary fad, and make everything we do centre around that one thing until the next hot, marketable trend appears on the scene.

The Truth Behind the Keto Diet
The Truth Behind the Keto Diet

The Truth Behind the Keto Diet

Over the last couple of years, trendsetters, famous actors, and popular food and...

The Truth Behind the Keto Diet

Lifestyle

The Truth Behind the Keto Diet

Over the last couple of years, trendsetters, famous actors, and popular food and nutrition blogs have all highlighted different types of low-carb/high-fat diets, including Paleo, South Beach, and Atkins, but no diet has caught fire quite like the keto diet...

Putting the Spring in your Cycling!
Putting the Spring in your Cycling!

Putting the Spring in your Cycling!

Spring is finally here. The roads are clear enough to dust off our skinny bikes and...

Putting the Spring in your Cycling!

Lifestyle

Putting the Spring in your Cycling!

Spring is finally here. The roads are clear enough to dust off our skinny bikes and head north for some longer training rides. Whether you're currently increasing your riding volume for fitness reasons, to see more of the beautiful countryside, to contemplate an autumn cycling event or - like me - to prepare for the RTCC, there are so many important things to remember and consider.

The 20-Minute Rule for Mobility
The 20-Minute Rule for Mobility

The 20-Minute Rule for Mobility

Chairs have become the biggest rival to pain free movement: hips shorten, glutes...

The 20-Minute Rule for Mobility

Lifestyle

The 20-Minute Rule for Mobility

Chairs have become the biggest rival to pain free movement: hips shorten, glutes deactivate, hamstrings press together, back begins to round, core disengages, and head sits foward. It's no wonder we often experience back pain, shoulder pain, hip pain, and carpal tunnel agony after sitting on a plane, in a car, or at a desk at work. As hard as we may try, we can't avoid sitting. So, how can we fix this? Enter the 20-minute rule...

The GYROTONIC Method: How could it help you?
The GYROTONIC Method: How could it help you?

The GYROTONIC Method: How could it...

Have you hit a wall with your workouts? Are you struggling to rehab a lingering injury?...

The GYROTONIC Method: How could it help you?

Lifestyle

The GYROTONIC Method: How could it help you?

Have you hit a wall with your workouts? Are you struggling to rehab a lingering injury? Do you simply want a new exercise to add to your regular routine? It might be time for you to integrate a new form of movement – one that will improve your range of motion, strength, and balance. Enter, the Gyrotonic method.

Bracing & Shockwave Therapy at our Clinics
Bracing & Shockwave Therapy at our Clinics

Bracing & Shockwave Therapy at our...

Members visit our Clinics for a number of reasons: whether they've been recently...

Bracing & Shockwave Therapy at our Clinics

Lifestyle

Bracing & Shockwave Therapy at our Clinics

Members visit our Clinics for a number of reasons: whether they've been recently injured, they're suffering from regular aches and pains, or they need treatment to help with a chronic condition. Two of the most common ailments we see at the Clinics are ligament and tendon injuries.

The Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer: Benefitting Princess Margaret Cancer Centre
The Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer: Benefitting Princess Margaret Cancer Centre

The Enbridge Ride to Conquer...

We're pleased to announce that The Cambridge Group of Clubs is this year's...

The Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer: Benefitting Princess Margaret Cancer Centre

Lifestyle

The Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer: Benefitting Princess Margaret Cancer Centre

We're pleased to announce that The Cambridge Group of Clubs is this year's official Health & Wellness Sponsor for the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer benefitting the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, now in its twelfth year.

Spring Clean Your Fitness Routine
Spring Clean Your Fitness Routine

Spring Clean Your Fitness Routine

Spring is finally here! After a long, cold winter, it's pretty exciting to get...

Spring Clean Your Fitness Routine

Lifestyle

Spring Clean Your Fitness Routine

Spring is finally here! After a long, cold winter, it's pretty exciting to get outside again and experience new life. The birds are singing, the sun is warm, and the trees are starting to bud! During the winter months, a lot of us tend to hibernate, which leads to a lack of motivation around our wellness routine - that may mean we eat more calories, partake in fewer workouts, or spend more time with the TV and Netflix.

Refreshing for Spring: Supporting Your Liver through the Seasonal Transition
Refreshing for Spring: Supporting Your Liver through the Seasonal Transition

Refreshing for Spring: Supporting...

Spring is a time of reset and rebirth; it is when we shed our winter layers, transition...

Refreshing for Spring: Supporting Your Liver through the Seasonal Transition

Lifestyle

Refreshing for Spring: Supporting Your Liver through the Seasonal Transition

Spring is a time of reset and rebirth; it is when we shed our winter layers, transition from nesting and resting to spending more time outdoors being active and enjoying the extra hours of sunlight. In order to achieve and maintain optimal health during this transitional season, it is important to align ourselves with the changing climate by making the appropriate shifts in diet and lifestyle.

5 Minutes with Meg: Surprises
5 Minutes with Meg: Surprises

5 Minutes with Meg: Surprises

I've been thinking a lot about...the power of the unexpected. We spend - I think -...

5 Minutes with Meg: Surprises

Lifestyle

5 Minutes with Meg: Surprises

I've been thinking a lot about...the power of the unexpected. We spend - I think - too much time focused on the future and not enough time engaged in the journey. There's lots of evidence to suggest living more of your life in the moment leads to a richer, healthier, more fulfilled life. But I digress.

Tyler's Tips for Preparing for an Upcoming Marathon
Tyler's Tips for Preparing for an Upcoming Marathon

Tyler's Tips for Preparing for an...

It’s that time of year again. The snow is finally behind us – we hope!...

Tyler's Tips for Preparing for an Upcoming Marathon

Lifestyle

Tyler's Tips for Preparing for an Upcoming Marathon

It’s that time of year again. The snow is finally behind us – we hope! – and we’re getting ready to take our workouts back outside. And, for the Cambridge Club’s squash professional Tyler Hamilton, it’s not a moment too soon, as he begins the final stages of his preparation for April’s Boston Marathon.

Molecular You: What you need to know about the Sport Medicine Clinic's new program
Molecular You: What you need to know about the Sport Medicine Clinic's new program

Molecular You: What you need to...

What if we set our goals based on the scientific evidence of our body’s needs?...

Molecular You: What you need to know about the Sport Medicine Clinic's new program

Lifestyle

Molecular You: What you need to know about the Sport Medicine Clinic's new program

What if we set our goals based on the scientific evidence of our body’s needs? What if we checked our biochemistry to see what was out of whack and needed fixing first? Wouldn’t there be more incentive to stick to our goals if we knew that we could improve our performance, address a nutritional deficiency, or mitigate specific risks?

Superior Smoothie Options are Closer than you Think...
Superior Smoothie Options are Closer than you Think...

Superior Smoothie Options are...

At the beginning of February, the Adelaide Club launched their brand-new smoothie menu....

Superior Smoothie Options are Closer than you Think...

Lifestyle

Superior Smoothie Options are Closer than you Think...

At the beginning of February, the Adelaide Club launched their brand-new smoothie menu. Featuring 5 nutrient dense smoothies that make it convenient for Members to maximize their workout efforts, the HUB’s new menu was designed to fuel happy and healthy Club Members. By elevating the smoothie menu, the HUB now supports the nutritional demands of the Adelaide Club’s Members, enriching their experience at the Club.

How Can I Burn Fat?

Posted: Nov 26, 2018

Written by: Lori Kirwan, PhD in Exercise Physiology

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When I teach classes, I often get asked: “how can I burn fat?” or “will doing this class help me lose my belly?” Because these are some of the most frequently asked questions I get from our Members, I thought it was time to explore fat burning more in depth.

What is Fat?

Fat is stored energy in the body, with storage occurring when an individual takes in more calories than they are expending. Fat burning is a metabolic process that occurs when the body is in a caloric deficit, which occurs when the body is burning more calories than it’s taking in.  

No matter how much exercise you do, if you take in more calories than you expend you will not burn fat. In this discussion, we will always come back to the equation of calories in vs. calories out, however, there are a number of factors that significantly impact this equation, so the conversation can’t stop here.

What is Nutrition’s Impact on Fat Loss?

Fat will not be burned when carbohydrates (sugars) are in the bloodstream. When you have glucose in your blood (after you eat anything containing carbohydrates), the pancreas is signaled to produce the hormone insulin which takes the glucose in your blood and shuttles it to your cells that need it. Extra glucose is stored as glycogen in the liver and in muscles. Once the muscles and liver are full of glycogen, any additional glucose is converted to fat and stored in various places in your body for later use.

How Should I Change my Diet?

Cut down on carbohydrates. In order to burn fat, we need to be very thoughtful about the total number of calories we ingest and also the amount and type of carbohydrates we eat. It is important to know that while your body metabolizes carbohydrates, it won’t burn fat at the same time because insulin shuts down fat metabolism. Food and drinks like alcohol, candy, sweets, rice cakes, both white and brown bread, pasta, cereal, and even fruit tend to spike insulin and lead to stored fat.

Note: rice cakes and popcorn are not good snacks for fat burning, even though they are low in calories.

Eat more protein. Protein can help reduce hunger and boost metabolism. If you are doing heavy weights, it is necessary to help you build and repair muscle tissue. When looking for healthier alternatives, try to choose organic or locally grown grass-fed types of meat.

Eat more fat. It’s important to note that eating fat doesn’t mean you’ll store fat. The polyunsaturated fats, or omega-3s, such as those from fish and nuts, and the monounsaturated fats, such as those from avocado, olive oil, and eggs, will help you build muscle and recover faster from your workouts. These fats have an abundance of health benefits on top of this, including being good for your heart and immune system. Additionally, these types of fats actually have a positive effect on your cholesterol profile. Now do you understand why they’re affectionately called “good fats”? 

BUT, you need to keep in mind that if you eat more fat and/or protein then you expend in a day, they will be stored as fat, so the calories in – calories out equation still needs to be considered. 

Read labels. This may be an obvious one, but cut out processed food. Try to stick to fresh food that you find in the produce section with no label.

Can I just Eat Very Little?

Restricting calories to a very low-calorie diet is NOT the answer. Taking this approach will slow your metabolism down and set you up for major weight gain the moment you start eating normally again. Additionally, your body will be depleted in vitamins and minerals that are necessary for health – meaning you’ll likely feel tired and sick. Restriction may also set you up for binging, ultimately, completely backfiring against your initial goals.

What Else Can I Do to Help my Body Burn Fat?

Develop muscle. By doing weights and increasing your lean body mass, you’ll increase your resting metabolic rate and burn more calories – and not just while you work out, but also when you’re at rest and during sleep. 

Don’t go overboard on cardio. I commonly see individuals who want to burn fat try to do as much cardio as possible. Yes, you will burn calories during cardio sessions but building muscle is just as important for bringing you into fat burning mode. To be honest, too much cardio may leave you craving sugar and actually breaking muscle down! Excessive cardio can also lead to the production of cortisol, which is a stress hormone that shuts down fat metabolism.

Note: HIIT classes, like the Adelaide Club’s TNT & the Toronto Athletic Club’s HIIT the Core, are great because you get the efficient benefit of cardio and weights combined without going overboard on cardio. 

Stress less. Try to bring the stress level in your life down whenever possible. All types of stress will cause stress hormones like cortisol to be secreted and shut down your fat metabolism.

Note: Yoga classes, like the Adelaide Club’s Hatha Yoga & the Toronto Athletic Club’s Vinyasa Flow Yoga are great options to help reduce your stress levels.

Get sleep. Did you know that your body builds and repairs body tissue during sleep? While you sleep, you’re fasting, so the body burns glycogen stores and fat because there is no insulin circulating; plus, sleep deprivation can actually lead to hunger and over-eating, or craving carbohydrates. One additional reason to get your sleep, is that if you’re tired, your workouts are probably not as robust as they could be.  

Drink more water. You’ve heard it for years, but you need to increase your daily water intake to at least 9-10 tall glasses. Doing so will help improve your overall bodily function and will also help make you feel fuller.
 

You wanted the facts, and that’s exactly what I’ve given you – no quick fixes and no gimmicks. If you’re ready to start burning fat, you’ve got the information you need, now it’s just time to put the tools in place and get started. If you’re looking for more information about how to best burn fat, talk with one of our amazing trainers, or reach out to me – I’d be happy to help!

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Lori Kirwan, PhD in Exercise Physiology

Group Exercise Instructor & Personal Trainer, Adelaide Club & Toronto Athletic Club

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