A quick search will show you that there are many ways to begin losing body fat and becoming healthier. Some say it’s doing high-intensity interval training (HIIT), some say it’s cardio, and others say it’s implementing a calorie deficit — you get our point. While exercise like strength training has proved to help you lose fat and get into shape, you may not see progress if you’re slacking in the nutrition department.
According to Holly Lofton, MD, director of the medical weight management program at NYU Langone, “The nutrition is paramount to the exercise.” She explained that when you work out, your body burns glycogen (the stored form of carbohydrates) first because this is the quickest form of energy. Once the glycogen has been burned, your body will then begin to access your fat stores.
But there’s a catch: Dr. Lofton explained that someone who is overweight and has large glycogen stores will have a hard time burning fat because their body hasn’t burned off all of the glycogen. “It’s hard for this person to lose weight without a significant dietary change, and that’s going to be by cutting carbohydrates,” she said.
This doesn’t mean that you should skip out on working out. “It’s about being well-rounded in both aspects,” Dr. Lofton said. Because nobody is the same, we recommend speaking to an expert such as Dr. Lofton to determine a macronutrient profile (carbohydrates, fats, and protein) that fits your needs.