They’ve walked some of the world’s most famous runways and graced the covers of the most lauded magazines, so it’s no surprise that Bella Hadid and Adriana Lima know a thing or two about how to work out your body for maximum efficiency. And now, their nutritionist is talking with Sporteluxe about how you can use some of their tried and true tips for your own fat loss journey.
We chatted with Dr. Charles Passler, nutritionist to the stars, to find out exactly what workouts we should opt for when we’re trying to lose weight. Here’s what you need to know.
It’s time to let go of misconceptions.
“Calories burned during exercise does not equal calories of weight lost. While exercising, it is important to have a certain amount of oxygen to burn body fat for fuel,” says Dr. Passler. “If an individual spends the majority of time during a workout in the anaerobic, high-intensity heart rate, there will be little to no fat lost and an increase in the stress hormone, cortisol. Cortisol is a major antagonist for weight loss. The anatomy and physiology of humans is not designed for frequent, long duration high-intensity exercise.”
Instead, consider low-impact workouts!
“Low-impact exercise can max out fat burn during the workout—this is 60% body fat and 40% stored energy,” Dr. Passler adds. “However, if you are interested in the maximum efficiency of burning fat during exercise and having the ability to continue to burn fat after your session is over, then you need to combine low- and high-impact exercise. This is HIIT or high-intensity interval training.”
If you’re looking for an efficient, and undoubtedly sweat-inducing workout, HIIT is the way to go. Just check out this 20-minute HIIT routine that targets every muscle group. Trust us, you’ll feel it and so will your scale.
Why is HIIT the way to go?
“When you exercise at low exercise intensities, you burn very few calories after the exercise is completed. When you exercise intensely such as during a HIIT workout, there is a metabolic disturbance that burns calories after the workout is completed. This is known as the afterburn effect,” says Dr. Passler. “The magic number to engage in HIIT training is 40 minutes to one hour. This time frame allows for weight loss during exercise, fat burn effect after exercise and suppresses appetite post-exercise.”
But before you go ahead and sign up for that 40-minute session, Dr. Passler encourages you to pause and consider your starting point.
Know where you’re beginning.
“If a sedentary person is looking to lose body fat and this person has never engaged in a proper exercise program, it would not be advisable to jump right into high impact exercises,” Dr. Passler says.
Between possible injuries and tougher moves to learn, a HIIT class could be a great way to burn a lot of fat, fast, but maybe not the best introduction to your new workout regimen.
“On the other hand, if we are dealing with a person who has consistently exercised throughout his or her life and recently put some extra fat on their body, this person may benefit from both low and high impact exercises; because their proprioceptive ability would be much higher than that of a sedentary person, their risk of injury would be much less and they would be able to work at an intensity level that would allow for high calorie and high fat loss during a high-impact exercise,” he adds.
It all comes down to: what works for you may not work for your BFF.
“The most common misconceptions people have about exercise and fat loss is that ‘one size fits all’,” Dr. Passler says. “Where one person may benefit from high-intensity, high-impact training, another may not. This other person may respond much better to low-intensity, low-impact training. Some people may respond best to a mix of the two. Whichever activities allow for the body to burn calories at an effective and consistent rate will be the ones that work best to help burn fat.”
And remember, #goals take work.
“There are no shortcuts to fat loss, it takes hard work and dedication to reach fitness goals,” Passler reminds us. “Finding that correct route to success is the most important factor in any person’s fitness plan. It takes time for the body to change… People must create realistic goals and work hard to reach them.”