Whether you want to lose weight for health benefits or to look slimmer, you must burn fat to achieve your goals. Your body loses fat when you begin a calorie deficit diet in which your body turns to fat for fuel. When a cell needs energy, a complex chemical process releases the fat from fat cells and converts it to usable fuel. As a result, you’ll look slimmer and become much healthier.

Now for the science bit! Your body stores fat in adipose tissue which is made up of fat cells as triglycerides. This form of fat isn’t immediately usable for energy use yet. When your body senses an energy deficit, your adipose cells react. An enzyme inside them called hormone-sensitive lipase helps break down the triglycerides, releasing fatty acids and glycerol into the bloodstream. Cells requiring energy take in these compounds and transform them into usable fuel plus carbon dioxide and water.

This explains why you can’t reduce fat to a specific area. Fat cells all over your body respond to an energy deficit, not just the ones located in your problem spots. So doing 100’s of crunches will not reduce body fat in your stomach area it will disappear gradually doing all over exercises.

To help prevent your body from using muscle for energy to fuel your brain and central nervous system, lift weights as you reduce calories. This sends a message to your body that muscle is necessary for basic function. Aim for at least two workouts per week that address all the major muscle groups.

Your body needs some carbohydrates in your diet to completely break down fat too. You may cut back on carbohydrates slightly when reducing calories, but don’t eliminate them altogether. Whole grains, vegetables and fruits are healthy sources.