5 Minutes with Meg: The Holidays
5 Minutes with Meg: The Holidays

5 Minutes with Meg: The Holidays

I've been thinking a lot about...

...the "Most Wonderful Time of the...

5 Minutes with Meg: The Holidays

Lifestyle

5 Minutes with Meg: The Holidays

I've been thinking a lot about...

...the "Most Wonderful Time of the Year..."?!?

It can be the most wonderful time of the year, but, it can also be more hectic, stressful, tough, and lonely for many. So, here are a few, unfinished, imperfect, tinsel covered lifelines I'd like to extend to you. I hope you find a few of them helpful. 

What we can Learn from Charlie Brown's Christmas Tree...
What we can Learn from Charlie Brown's Christmas Tree...

What we can Learn from Charlie...

Do you remember Charlie Brown's Christmas Tree? Turns out we can learn a lot about...

What we can Learn from Charlie Brown's Christmas Tree...

Lifestyle

What we can Learn from Charlie Brown's Christmas Tree...

Do you remember Charlie Brown's Christmas Tree? Turns out we can learn a lot about core activation and stabilization of the lower back from that very cartoon. 

Feeling Stressed?
Feeling Stressed?

Feeling Stressed?

It's the most wonderful time of the year...but isn't it also the most...

Feeling Stressed?

Lifestyle

Feeling Stressed?

It's the most wonderful time of the year...but isn't it also the most stressful? And with stress comes aches and pains, heart disease, and depression. Take a step back, before your stress becomes too much to handle, and learn a bit more about your stress and how it can best be managed.

How Can I Burn Fat?
How Can I Burn Fat?

How Can I Burn Fat?

When I teach classes, I often get asked: "how can I burn fat?" or "will...

How Can I Burn Fat?

Lifestyle

How Can I Burn Fat?

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.

The TAC's Newest Addition: The Strength Lab
The TAC's Newest Addition: The Strength Lab

The TAC's Newest Addition: The...

After months of planning and construction, we are excited to announce that the Toronto...

The TAC's Newest Addition: The Strength Lab

Lifestyle

The TAC's Newest Addition: The Strength Lab

After months of planning and construction, we are excited to announce that the Toronto Athletic Club’s Strength Lab, the Club’s newest space, is now open to Members. But before you step into the space, let us answer some of the questions we’ve already heard from Members!

A Night of Promise
A Night of Promise

A Night of Promise

As we celebrate World Diabetes Day, we wanted to highlight the great work that the...

A Night of Promise

Lifestyle

A Night of Promise

As we celebrate World Diabetes Day, we wanted to highlight the great work that the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) is doing and explain why we're so proud to support the JDRF and  their continued mission to better the lives of those living with type 1 diabetes.

A Celebration 40 Years in the Making: The Adelaide Club Turns 40
A Celebration 40 Years in the Making: The Adelaide Club Turns 40

A Celebration 40 Years in the...

Over the past 40 years, the Adelaide Club has seen many changes. From the Club’s...

A Celebration 40 Years in the Making: The Adelaide Club Turns 40

Lifestyle

A Celebration 40 Years in the Making: The Adelaide Club Turns 40

Over the past 40 years, the Adelaide Club has seen many changes. From the Club’s overall look and feel to the offerings, nothing is as it once was, and yet, at the very core, it remains the same. Take a moment to look back on the past incredible 40 years as the Club readies to celebrate it's 40th Anniversary this week.

5 Minutes with Meg: Time to Talk about Weight Loss
5 Minutes with Meg: Time to Talk about Weight Loss

5 Minutes with Meg: Time to Talk...

I've been thinking a lot about...weight loss. I don't want to think about it in...

5 Minutes with Meg: Time to Talk about Weight Loss

Lifestyle

5 Minutes with Meg: Time to Talk about Weight Loss

I've been thinking a lot about...weight loss. I don't want to think about it in January. I want to think about, and talk about, it NOW. Read on to find 5 truths about weight loss you may not know. PLUS an incredibly scrumptious Quinoa Sundae recipe!

From the Corporate Office to NBA Court
From the Corporate Office to NBA Court

From the Corporate Office to NBA...

Massage therapy has significant positive effects in improving overall health and...

From the Corporate Office to NBA Court

Lifestyle

From the Corporate Office to NBA Court

Massage therapy has significant positive effects in improving overall health and wellness of athletes and individuals alike. Regular massage therapy improves circulation, which promotes healing - as it brings rich blood supply to damaged, stiff, and tense muscles.

First Stop on Your Tour through the Adelaide Club's Toronto Collection
First Stop on Your Tour through the Adelaide Club's Toronto Collection

First Stop on Your Tour through the...

When you think of Toronto, what do you think of? Are there iconic landmarks,...

First Stop on Your Tour through the Adelaide Club's Toronto Collection

Lifestyle

First Stop on Your Tour through the Adelaide Club's Toronto Collection

When you think of Toronto, what do you think of? Are there iconic landmarks, unforgettable moments, and unmistakable monuments that immediately jump out to you? The team at the Adelaide Club believes there absolutely are! So, they've created their Toronto Collection to highlight their favourite images that best represent the city they call home.

Cheryl's Transformation: Member Spotlight
Cheryl's Transformation: Member Spotlight

Cheryl's Transformation: Member...

Cheryl realized she was ready to make a change in her life. She started with her diet...

Cheryl's Transformation: Member Spotlight

Lifestyle

Cheryl's Transformation: Member Spotlight

Cheryl realized she was ready to make a change in her life. She started with her diet and then knew it was time to add fitness back into the plan. After training with Mike for 6 months, Cheryl has lost an additional 34 lbs and has seen an 11% reduction in her body fat! 

5 Minutes with Meg: No Better Time to be Grateful
5 Minutes with Meg: No Better Time to be Grateful

5 Minutes with Meg: No Better Time...

I’ve been thinking a lot about…

… being grateful. I...

5 Minutes with Meg: No Better Time to be Grateful

Lifestyle

5 Minutes with Meg: No Better Time to be Grateful

I’ve been thinking a lot about…

… being grateful. I know. Pretty cliché this time of year. But gratitude is such a powerful, positive emotion, I just couldn’t help myself.

7 Tips for a Happy, Healthy Thanksgiving: Building a Healthier Plate
7 Tips for a Happy, Healthy Thanksgiving: Building a Healthier Plate

7 Tips for a Happy, Healthy...

Thanksgiving marks the start of the holiday season – a season when we tend to eat...

7 Tips for a Happy, Healthy Thanksgiving: Building a Healthier Plate

Lifestyle

7 Tips for a Happy, Healthy Thanksgiving: Building a Healthier Plate

Thanksgiving marks the start of the holiday season – a season when we tend to eat excessively. I mean, who can blame us? But, this year is going to be different, and here’s why…we’ve got the top SEVEN tips to help you with portion control that will, ultimately, help to stave off the holiday bulge.

Is Shockwave Therapy Right for You?
Is Shockwave Therapy Right for You?

Is Shockwave Therapy Right for You?

Shockwave therapy is a non-invasive alternative to surgery for those suffering from...

Is Shockwave Therapy Right for You?

Lifestyle

Is Shockwave Therapy Right for You?

Shockwave therapy is a non-invasive alternative to surgery for those suffering from many joint and tendon disorders. Everyone with soft tissue injuries can benefit from shockwave therapy.

Take Your Golf Game to the Next Level in the Offseason
Take Your Golf Game to the Next Level in the Offseason

Take Your Golf Game to the Next...

Now that fall is upon us, let's face it - the golf season is winding down. Insert...

Take Your Golf Game to the Next Level in the Offseason

Lifestyle

Take Your Golf Game to the Next Level in the Offseason

Now that fall is upon us, let's face it - the golf season is winding down. Insert sad face. For some, that would mean putting the clubs away until spring and spending your winter dreaming about the course; instead, you can use this fall and winter to assess, train smart, and strengthen your body-swing connection.

5 Minutes with Meg: Feeling Overwhelmed? Me Too!
5 Minutes with Meg: Feeling Overwhelmed? Me Too!

5 Minutes with Meg: Feeling...

I’ve been thinking a lot about …

…being...

5 Minutes with Meg: Feeling Overwhelmed? Me Too!

Lifestyle

5 Minutes with Meg: Feeling Overwhelmed? Me Too!

I’ve been thinking a lot about …

…being overwhelmed.  Lots of starts and restarts happening around us right now.  All that change is awesome.  It’s crucial for growth, ongoing engagement, stimulation, and, ultimately, a happy fulfilled life.  And it can be crushingly overwhelming sometimes.

Member Spotlight: Michael
Member Spotlight: Michael

Member Spotlight: Michael

Most clients come to a session with their personal trainer ready to work, but very few...

Member Spotlight: Michael

Lifestyle

Member Spotlight: Michael

Most clients come to a session with their personal trainer ready to work, but very few come as prepared as Michael! Beginning in 2006, Michael has joined me at the Toronto Athletic Club three times a week for training; and we’ve been consistently working together ever since.

What it Takes to be an Ironman...
What it Takes to be an Ironman...

What it Takes to be an Ironman...

On August 19th, 2018, just under 3000 eager athletes, including 581 first...

What it Takes to be an Ironman...

Lifestyle

What it Takes to be an Ironman...

On August 19th, 2018, just under 3000 eager athletes, including 581 first timers, ages 18-80, raced in the 6th Annual Ironman Mont Tremblant. I was included in these athletes, along with our members Darcy and Tom Wefers and Louise Engelmann.

Self-Care Strategies for Stress Reduction & Wellness
Self-Care Strategies for Stress Reduction & Wellness

Self-Care Strategies for Stress...

Did you know that August is Wellness Month? While we near the end of the month, we...

Self-Care Strategies for Stress Reduction & Wellness

Lifestyle

Self-Care Strategies for Stress Reduction & Wellness

Did you know that August is Wellness Month? While we near the end of the month, we wanted to share a few strategies that you can (and should) incorporate into your daily life to reduce your stress and improve your overall well-being all year long! 

Helpful Tips for a Better Night's Sleep
Helpful Tips for a Better Night's Sleep

Helpful Tips for a Better Night's...

Jumy Kim, the Adelaide Health Club's Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture...

Helpful Tips for a Better Night's Sleep

Lifestyle

Helpful Tips for a Better Night's Sleep

Jumy Kim, the Adelaide Health Club's Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture Specialist, explains how poor sleep is one of the most common concerns in her practice and gives some helpful tips for a better night's rest.

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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