As a nutrient which raises the metabolic rate probably faster than any other, lean protein is favored by bodybuilders for its fat burning properties. As well as encouraging muscle growth through its conversion into the amino acids needed to rebuild damaged tissues larger and stronger, protein, due to the complexity of its composition, requires additional energy to be properly digested. If we do not eat enough protein the body will break down muscle tissue to ensure there is enough of it to fuel the many biological processes that require it. So, to boost the metabolism to encourage fat burning it is essential that we at all times consume enough protein.
But just because belly fat comes off a bit more easily doesn’t make it less dangerous. In fact, it’s the exact opposite. “Belly fat is unfortunately the most dangerous location to store fat,” says Dr. Cheskin. Because belly fat—also known as visceral fat, or the deep abdominal fat that surrounds your organs—is more temporary, it’s more active in terms of circulating in the bloodstream. That means it’s likely to raise the amount of fat in your blood (known as blood lipid levels) and increase your blood sugar levels, which as a result raises your risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Hitting big compound movements like the squats, deadlifts and pull-ups ahead of isolation exercises like bicep curls and leg extensions is the best bang-for-your-buck way to recruit the most muscle mass and burn more calories. If you are trying to lose fat, you need to lift hard and heavy. Doing 100 reps with a 2kg dumbbell won’t be enough to stimulate the muscle growth you need to improve your body composition.