How to Tell if You’re Burning Fat
When we start a diet, we know it takes a while to see real results that make a difference, and this can be one of the major reasons why most diets are only short term. However, with dedication and effort, there will be many different ways to tell whether or not you’re burning fat. These include: sustained energy levels, a change in the way your clothes fit, actually measuring your body, and official body composition testing.
Sustained Energy Levels
When you are burning fat and losing weight, you will likely start to see sustained energy levels, as your body is getting the nutrition and exercise it needs to keep you naturally fueled. The problem with all the “energy” products we put in our bodies is the sugar laden drinks, bars, cookies, and shakes will cause a burst of energy, followed by a sharp crash, where most of the time, you will feel worse after you use it than you did before. Not using these products for energy levels, and opting for food and vitamins will make the body be able to more efficiently fuel itself, so you are less likely to feel sluggish at any point during the day.
It may take your body a while to adjust to the new diet and exercise routine before you start to see your sustained energy levels. You will likely be tired and cranky for a while at first, as your body detoxes from the “junk” in it before. This is normal, as it will also take a while of consistent effort before your body really kicks into fat burning mode.
Change in the Way Your Clothes Fit
As you make progress, you may notice a change in the way your clothes fit. If you notice your clothes fitting differently, but do not really see a change in numbers on the scale, this is still a good sign. Since muscle occupies less space in your body than fat does (a pound of muscle is still the same weight as a pound of fat—there is just less of it.) you can see a change in the way your body looks and clothes fit, without seeing an actual number difference on the scale. If you notice your clothes are looser than usual, you are likely losing fat, and building muscle.
When your clothes fit differently, you may notice you do not need a smaller size right away, or find yourself between sizes, where the one you are wearing is too big, but the one below it still does not fit quite right. This is likely because the workouts have cause a weight redistribution to change the way your body looks, but not necessarily how much it weighs.
Measuring Your Body
A good way to see what kind of results you are getting, whether they be fat loss or muscle growth is by measuring your body. As muscle will occupy less space in your body, you can lose inches and fat without seeing a difference on the scale. A good idea is to measure yourself, at the very least, measure your waist and hips on a weekly or monthly basis. Women may also want to measure their busts, while men may want to take the time to measure biceps and other areas of the body to monitor progress throughout the body. All you need is a long piece of measuring tape. You can keep a log of your measurements and track your progress. You can also use various free and premium online tools to help you track your measurements over time.
Body Composition Testing
Body Composition Testing is official medical testing that calculates your body fat percentage. This option is not for everyone, but can help you get a clear cut answer as to whether or not your diet and exercise routine is working. If possible, get a testing done before you start your routine to determine your official starting ground. Then, test again several months later to see how the plan has been working. Since the price of the testing varies, it can be difficult to use this official testing method on a regular basis. If you are interested in formal body composition testing, speak to your doctor for instructions on how to proceed in your local area.
Without the official body composition testing, it is hard to tell whether you are burning fat or muscle. Muscle tissue is usually going to burn before fat, which is the opposite of what we want, because the more muscle mass we have, the more effectively our bodies will burn fat. To combat this, eat a meal of protein 30 minutes before you workout, so your body will burn this first, and then move to fat after your workout. If you exercise on an empty stomach, you are promoting your body breaking down muscle tissue for fuel, which is counterproductive.