5 Minutes with Meg: Tempo Edition
5 Minutes with Meg: Tempo Edition

5 Minutes with Meg: Tempo Edition

I've been thinking a lot about...tempo. In the 5 minutes we have today, let me...

5 Minutes with Meg: Tempo Edition

Lifestyle

5 Minutes with Meg: Tempo Edition

I've been thinking a lot about...tempo. In the 5 minutes we have today, let me focus on how tempo affects our ability to perform better during sport and physical activity. Runners and cyclists, this beat's for you!

What is Fascia?
What is Fascia?

What is Fascia?

Fascia is a term used to identify a large fabric of connective tissue that surrounds...

What is Fascia?

Lifestyle

What is Fascia?

Fascia is a term used to identify a large fabric of connective tissue that surrounds all muscle, ligaments, and bone. It is made up of collagen, elastin, and a liquid component called ground substance. This gives structure to our muscle; each and every muscle cell in our body is connected to the other by fascia. Our muscle is essentially nothing more than tissue in a Myofascial "sack".

The Truth Behind the Theragun & How We're Using it...
The Truth Behind the Theragun & How We're Using it...

The Truth Behind the Theragun & How...

Over the last few months, the interest in the Theragun has exploded, in large part due...

The Truth Behind the Theragun & How We're Using it...

Lifestyle

The Truth Behind the Theragun & How We're Using it...

Over the last few months, the interest in the Theragun has exploded, in large part due to slow motion videos of athletes using the tool on Instagarm, and its appearance at large sporting events like this year's MLB Home Run Derby. At the Toronto Athletic Club, Barclay and Chris Broadhurst, the Sport Medicine Clinic's Director, are once again at the leading edge, having already brought the Theragun to the TAC, introducing it to our personal trainers, the team at the Clinic, and our Members.

What it Feels Like to be Part of History...
What it Feels Like to be Part of History...

What it Feels Like to be Part of...

A little over a month ago, the Toronto Raptors brought basketball fans across Toronto...

What it Feels Like to be Part of History...

Lifestyle

What it Feels Like to be Part of History...

A little over a month ago, the Toronto Raptors brought basketball fans across Toronto and all of Canada to their feet, winning their first ever NBA Championship and bringing the Larry O'Brien trophy home. In the weeks since, we've continued to bask in the glow of being Champions - with very few days passing without seeing Raptors and Championship apparel around the city. And while we think we had a prime seat to witness history, our view was nothing like that of the Sport Medicine Clinic's Zahra Hashwani.

Is it Time for a Biomechanical Running Assessment?
Is it Time for a Biomechanical Running Assessment?

Is it Time for a Biomechanical...

Two of the clinicians at the Sport Medicine Clinic, Andrea Lilley (Athletic Therapist)...

Is it Time for a Biomechanical Running Assessment?

Lifestyle

Is it Time for a Biomechanical Running Assessment?

Two of the clinicians at the Sport Medicine Clinic, Andrea Lilley (Athletic Therapist) and Briana Bradstreet (Physiotherapist), are now offering biomechanical running assessments. Biomechanical running assessments are for runners of all levels: from novice, to marathon runners and triathletes. During a recent course, they learned: how to assess running biomechanics, how to properly assess and treat injuries when they occur, and how to know when a runner should consider changing their shoes to those with less support using the minimalist shoe index.

Stay Fit this Summer While on Vacation
Stay Fit this Summer While on Vacation

Stay Fit this Summer While on...

Ah summer - patios, sun, fun, and, of course, VACATION!!!! Just because you have some...

Stay Fit this Summer While on Vacation

Lifestyle

Stay Fit this Summer While on Vacation

Ah summer - patios, sun, fun, and, of course, VACATION!!!! Just because you have some time off doesn't mean you should throw your workout routine out the window. You don't want all your hard work over the last few months to be compromised just because you may not have a gym or the right equipment available to you.

5 Minutes with Meg: Shame Edition
5 Minutes with Meg: Shame Edition

5 Minutes with Meg: Shame Edition

I've been thinking a lot lately about...the power of positive thinking. There is no...

5 Minutes with Meg: Shame Edition

Lifestyle

5 Minutes with Meg: Shame Edition

I've been thinking a lot lately about...the power of positive thinking. There is no perfect, no 100%, no "I have to" or "should" in exercise and diet. There are lots of choices. Some of them will support your fitness and health goals and some won't. But, at the end of the day, the important thing is that you keep making the positive choices that shift the needle in the right direction.

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.

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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