How can you lose fat faster and more enjoyably? Part 2

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In the previous column, I explained how to lose fat without necessarily losing scale weight, which is actually quite a different process. When you apply Zone 2 level training and push your body, you’re most likely to lose body fat and get stronger and leaner. Besides, you will also of course get all the other health benefits I mentioned in my last column. There are some strategies though that can help you optimize fat oxidation during Zone 2 training.

First, you can try training on an empty stomach. Exercising in the morning before breakfast can increase fat oxidation, as glycogen stores are relatively low after an overnight fast.

You can also build an aerobic base by consistently training in Zone 2. Over time, this will improve your body’s ability to utilize fat as an energy source. As your aerobic capacity increases, your body becomes more efficient at burning fat during exercise.

You can gradually Increase your training duration, as longer training sessions in Zone 2 provide more opportunities for the body to utilize fat as an energy source. Gradually increasing the duration of your Zone 2 workouts can help improve your body’s ability to burn fat efficiently. Don’t increase too much at once though, small increases such as adding just five to ten minutes at a time are ideal.

You can periodize your training, as balancing Zone 2 training with higher-intensity workouts and strength training will help you achieve a well-rounded exercise program. This variety allows for continued improvements in aerobic capacity and overall fitness, further enhancing your body’s ability to burn fat during Zone 2 sessions.

And of course you can also maintain a balanced diet, because consuming a diet rich in healthy fats, lean proteins, and complex carbohydrates can support fat oxidation during exercise. A rough guide would be to aim to obtain around 20% to 35% of your daily caloric intake from healthy fats, such as avocados, nuts, seeds, and fatty fish. IN other words, like any other fat loss tool, Zone 2 training is not a magical answer to everything, you still need to watch what you eat and drink!

By incorporating these strategies into your fitness routine you can optimize fat oxidation during Zone 2 training, which in turn will lead to improved endurance performance and more efficient energy utilization.

Zone 2 training offers a multitude of benefits for athletes and fitness enthusiasts, particularly in developing aerobic efficiency and preventing injuries. By understanding the science behind this training approach and incorporating it into your routine, you can unlock the power of aerobic endurance and optimize your performance. You can choose pretty much any type of fitness, although do make sure that you are training at the correct heart rate for your age. Age plays a significant role in determining your individual heart rate zones and aerobic capacity. As we age, our maximum heart rate (HRmax) typically decreases, leading to adjusted training zones. You can find your approximate maximum heart rate using the simple formula 

220 minus your age = HRmax

Zone 2 then is going to be around 60% to 70% of your HRmax.

If you don’t measure your heart rate then just make sure you are feeling the exercise — it should be not too hard, but also not too easy.

In part 3 of this series I will cover several supplements and foods that can potentially enhance endurance performance, fat oxidation, or energy levels during Zone 2 training. As always, make sure that you’re healthy enough to start doing any types of exercise. If you are not sure, please consult with your physician.

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competition history

Ayda competes regularly in fitness competitions and is currently preparing for the 2023 North American championships.

NPC North American Championships, 2022
NPC North American Championships, 2022
NPC North American Championships, 2022
CPA Toronto, 2021

You’ve probably heard so many people say “I love what I do”, BUT in my case I can truly say it from my heart. I’ve competed in sports all my life, but it wasn’t so long ago that I really understood that actually I can only ever compete with myself.

“You are perfect, until compare yourself with someone else”

I started contest prep in 2011, and since then I didn’t stop competing. In some competitions I got first place, in some it went not so well, but every competition that I prepared for taught me something more about myself and helped me take the correct direction, which I believe has shaped my work and my life in such a positive way.

When I competed in my first bikini competition I had just moved from my home country Turkey to Canada, and was getting used to the Canadian lifestyle — and, of course, the language too, which was the hardest part for me. I always wanted to do a fitness or bikini competition, but when I was still in Turkey the work and cultural differences made it so hard to do.

So I was in Vancouver BC, working at Steve Nash Fitness Club, and one of my co-workers, who was a competitor herself, asked me “why you are not competing?” I started asking myself and questioning if I could do it? I’d never done anything like it before… Maybe you’re asking yourself the same questions right now! Of course I told myself “absolutely, I can’’. And my competition journey began!

Each show that I competed in gave me more knowledge about my body, and how I can improve. Of course, it’s not easy to correctly identify what’s missing with training and nutrition, and this learning process and all of the experiences pushed me to learn more… I’ve been a personal trainer since 1993, but I wanted more and began my nutrition studies. I finished my Comprehensive Nutrition and Sports Nutrition degrees.

And yes, I am still competing! You can see a list of all of the competitions that I’ve competed in further down this page. And right now, AGAIN, I am getting ready for my next show…!

I’ll warn you right now, it wasn’t easy at all. The easiest part was the training, which was already part of my daily life. But posing, dieting, supplementation, getting a bikini, finding a trainer… This was much tougher, not the mention the cost for the registration, jewelry, tanning, hair and make-up, they cost a lot too. 

But I wouldn’t let anything stop me, and right after my first show — WBFF in May, 2011 — I immediately started looking for the next show to compete in. I was hooked!

I am so happy to be able to help other competitors who are willing to work and improve their mind and health at the same time. My goal is to create healthy and happy bikini competitors, who want to challenge themselves and put in the work that needs to be done to reach their goals. There is really no easy way to get there… But there is a smart way.

I look forward to working together and sharing my knowledge with YOU to get you in the best shape of your LIFE!!!!! 

AYDA HAS COMPETED IN

Bodyzone

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