Tag Archives: fat burning

What Are Your Scales Telling You Really?

Sdc13310 (2)

 

 

 

By STEVEN MILNER IIST

I’m not advocating that you should throw out your scales but you should be aware that your scales don’t tell you what you need to know most and that is “what are your body fat percentages and distribution?” It’s not just our health we seek to improve when we aim to lose weight, let’s be honest we want to look as good as we feel. In fact the two go hand in hand, often times the better you look the better you feel. By far the best way to look fitter and be healthier is to shift the focus of your efforts from losing weight to gaining muscle and lowering your overall body fat percentage.

Measuring your body fat percentage is a great way to keep track of your progress. It’s a far more accurate indicator of your fitness level than weight alone. That’s because when you’re working out regularly, your muscle mass goes up and your fat goes down, sometimes it’s an even swap and the readout on your standard scales won’t necessarily reflect that change. Knowing your body fat levels gives you a better indicator of how well your program is working. A healthy range for women is 20 to 25 percent, but for a leaner more defined look aim for around 18 to 22 percent and for men 18 to 24 percent with an athletic look coming in at around 14 to 17 percent. N.B. everyone is different and different bodies will have different appearances even if the percentage body fat is the same, this can be attributed to bodyfat distribution. If you have reached 18% body fat or lower now is the time to switch your focus to building muscle. At this point it isn’t necessary to concentrate your efforts on losing much more bodyfat indeed it can start to become unhealthy. You need a minimum amount of fat on your body in order to perform optimally and not have symptoms such as Amenorrhea, bone loss, and low energy.

Types of Measurements
There are a number of ways to get your body fat percentage measured. Some of the more common include; hydrostatic weighing, bio-impedance scales, and skin fold callipers.

AS_344x163_BMI

Hydrostatic weighing
Hydrostatic weighing is the most accurate way to gauge body fat percentage. Unfortunately, it’s not the most practical—it involves being dunked under water in a gigantic water tank, while exhaling entirely.

Skin fold calliper
Skin fold callipers can also be accurate, but there’s a catch—you have to be measured by the same skilled person like myself, every time. This eliminates measuring differences from person to person. If you are working with a trainer who has been trained to use skin fold callipers, they should measure you once a month with callipers to get the most accurate assessments.

If you don’t have a trainer to help you out, however, your best bet is to use a bio-impedance scale. To get the most accurate measurement on a scale, always do it at the same time of day and make sure you are hydrated properly. The most common issues that will throw the scale off are varying levels of hydration, ladies if it’s that time of the month (don’t measure yourself during menstruation), or if you have food in your stomach.

Clothing indicators
Finally, my favourite tool: A pair of jeans. They don’t lie. Use a pair of jeans that you can’t button and try them on every 3-4 weeks to see if you are making progress. Whether the scale is budging or not doesn’t matter if your jeans are buttoning.

Muscular Male Torso Isolated on White

Ways to Lower Your Body Fat
There are two ways to lower your body fat: Lose fat (obviously), and build muscle. Extra muscle will rev up your metabolism to help burn off some of the fat. Plus, it’ll make you look leaner overall.

The best way to decrease your body fat percentage is to use a full body strength training program two to three times a week, using heavier weights with lower reps. This will stimulate your body to build lean body mass while burning fat. For the best fat-torching results, add in one to two days of interval-training cardio on top of your lifting routine.

And, of course, you cannot train with a bad diet so you’ll need to dial in your food by fueling your body highly nutritious protein, fruits, and veggies throughout the day.

Check out some of my other articles on diet and training or for more intense training tips visit my sibling site manicworkouts.com

Advertisements

Six Fat Loss Training Mistakes

Sdc13310 (2)

 

 

 

Edited by Steven Milner IIST

It may not be ingrained in our male DNA, but when most of us start lifting weights for the first time, it sure seemed like all of our workouts (no matter what the goal) were genetically predestined to be bench press, biceps curl, and triceps pushdown marathons 4-5 times per week and not much else. I know that my own workouts sure looked like this when I first started weight training. I still visit a typical commercial gym and each time I do, I feel like I have time warped back to the 80s as I see lots of guys doing the same stuff everyone did over 20+ years ago. For whatever reason, not much has changed and it’s not their fault, they just don’t know any better. So what’s a bloke to do? I am going to show you how to do better based on several things that we have learned over the years. First, let’s be honest blokes, you could probably stand to lose some “lb’s” of body fat. A lot of guys, myself most definitely included, tend to find ourselves in a perpetual “bulking” or mass-gaining mode.

Why is this?

Interestingly, for a lot of us blokes, the mirror often lies and you will see a much leaner person staring back at you. If you were to take an honest self-evaluation such as a body composition test or take some simple photos with only your trunks on, you may be very surprised and/or shocked with the results. It can be a real eye-opener when you learn that you are more than likely not nearly as lean as you think you are. In other words, that 14 odd % body fat that you think you are sitting at is probably much closer to 22%. If you have taken this evaluation and you have decided that it is time for you to get leaner, it is also high time that you overhaul your weight training program to make it more suited to the task at hand. I have written training programs for more than a few men who have come from the same place that you and I have come from. These guys are now typically middle aged and looking to shed some fat, stay strong, and still feel a bit athletic while holding on to their inner “bloke.” I am going to share with you what I feel are some of the biggest mistakes that I see most guys make when left to their own devices as it pertains to their weight training programs when seeking fat loss. Fixing these mistakes immediately will fast track your progress and get you to your fat loss goals. I am then going to share a snapshot of a training program that we have used with great success for blokes just like us.

1.  Blokes Organize Their Training Like a “Bodybuilder.”

I certainly mean no disrespect to the competitive bodybuilding community by the above statement, and I don’t think there is anything wrong with bodybuilding as a competitive pursuit. There is certainly a lot to learn from bodybuilders. In fact, most blokes get our first exposure to weight training through bodybuilders via muscle magazines and the Internet. The problem is that most guys think that following the routines of competitive bodybuilders is the best way for the average person to train for fat loss without really giving it enough thought. They will typically organize their training sessions in terms of the body parts or muscles trained. This is actually not very logical and not as productive as it could be since in reality your body works as an integrated unit and not as individual parts or muscles. By the way, have you ever wondered how it was decided that certain muscles get their own day while others don’t? It makes no real sense to base how we allocate our exercises to our training days by simply considering muscle groups as the main organizing factor. It makes much more sense to base the allocation in regards to what the body does as it relates to basic human movements. If you think more in terms of training basic movements and the body as a whole (the way it actually works), you will actually train muscles as a by-product and get the results you desire.

“When we just train muscles, we forget movements, when we train movements, we never forget muscles.” Nick Winkleman

The other big problem with this approach is that time is a major limiting factor for most typical blokes. We all have extremely busy lives with jobs and families. Do you really have the time to dedicate to training that a professional bodybuilder (whose job is usually his training) would have? I don’t think so. Real life experience shows that full body weight training routines done three times a week based on a split of basic human movements will work far better for most blokes, most of the time, in terms of fat loss training. This allows you to train with a higher frequency (you will actually hit muscle groups more often than typical body part split routines) and get better results. Instead of classifying exercises by muscle group or body part, try to classify them simply based on what they are – basic movements, then we allocate these movements to training days. Squat, Hinge, Push, Pull, Single Leg Stance, Lunge, Core.

2.  Blokes Think More is Better.

More than likely, because of the heavy mainstream bodybuilding influence on general training that we mentioned above, most blokes usually think they must train on that good old 5-6 times per week body part split routine with extremely high volume to get any results. They also often think they must use multiple exercises for each body part with tons of sets. You must realize that you make gains while you are recovering from training, not during the actual training itself. There is also no need for exercises that are redundant. Think about it, what the heck is the leg extension going to do for you that the squat doesn’t? The key is to focus on quality and not so much on quantity. As fitness expert Paul Chek has stated, “exercise is like a drug.” With the correct dose and the correct drug, you will get the desired response and it all works. If you overdose or take the wrong drug, you can do more harm than good and not get the desired response. One of the reasons why a three times per week full body routine works so well is that you get a high frequency of training without over doing it in terms of volume.

3.  Blokes Do Too Many Single Joint Exercises.

Is it a crime to do biceps curls or triceps pushdowns? No, but when the volume/number of these types of exercises dominate your program, you will greatly diminish the effectiveness of your workouts, particularly when it comes to fat loss. If you focus your training on heavy, multi-joint (compound) exercises such as squats, deadlifts, various presses, push ups, rows, chins/pull-ups, etc., you will train much greater amounts of muscle overall, and this will lead to more calories burned during and after your workouts. As a general rule, the more muscle involved in an exercise the better. But what if a bloke’s goal is to also get bigger guns? Realize that spending the majority of your time and effort on getting stronger on chin-ups/pull-ups, various rows, and various types of presses will get your arms bigger faster than anything else. If you are unable to only do a single unassisted chin-up, what do you think will do more for your bicep size, those 25-30lb curls or focusing all your time and energy on working on that chin-up and getting to the point where you are doing multiple reps with an extra 25-50lbs hooked up around your waist?

4.  Blokes Neglect Lower Body Training.

Squats aren’t simply a leg exercise and deadlifts aren’t simply a back exercise. They are full body exercises that involve just about every muscle in the entire body.  If you have a 315lb. bar on your shoulders or upper back and you are getting ready to bang out a set of squats for 8 reps, realize that not just your legs are involved in the exercise. Your shoulders, upper back, core, etc., are all very heavily involved. They need to be big enough and strong enough to support and move that load. A lot of blokes think, “I get enough “leg” work from running and playing football/rugby, so I don’t need to do squats, deadlifts, lunges, step ups, etc.” Sorry, but that’s just not the same thing! Understand that approximately 70% of your muscle mass is in your back, hips and legs. If you omit these exercises, you are severely limiting your results. Dare to be different and dare to get better results.  At some gyms you will see “informed” trainers doing deadlifts, squats, lunges, and various single leg exercises, thereby training “legs.” It is part of their culture and one of the reasons that they get the results that they do.

5. Blokes Rest Way Too Long Between Sets.

You know the scene at the local gym – guys taking 5-10 minutes between sets of the same exercise chatting with their mates while discussing any number of topics and paying no attention to time. This is not very effective at all if your goal is fat loss! Research and practical experience has shown us that shorter rest periods lead to maximal metabolic disturbance possibly due to the hormonal influence that is set off by these shorter rest periods. It also allows us to increase overall caloric burn and total work performed in the time allotted for the training session. The key is being able to combine shorter rests without compromising the use of heavier loads in our compound exercises. How do we do this? Quite simply, we pair non-competing exercises with short rests (30-60 seconds) between them. As an example we might use the following pairing in a program:
1A: Push Ups             2-3 sets                      12 reps                       60 sec. rest
1B: Reverse Lunges  2-3 sets                      12 reps each              60 sec. rest This allows us to increase the actual amount of work density done in a specified time period, as opposed to doing each exercise one at a time with longer rests, which leads again to better fat loss results.

6.  Blokes Think, “The Bench Press is More Than Just an Exercise, it is a Way of Life!”

I don’t think that there is any doubt that the bench press is the most overused exercise of all time. But, let me state this up front, there is nothing wrong with the bench press! I love the bench press (as most blokes do). The problem is when the bench press becomes your entire workout each time, rather than simply a part of your training program. In other words, most blokes simply bench press way too often and with way too much volume. This creates massive imbalances about the shoulder girdle. You need to strive for some sort of balance in the amount of pushing and pulling movements that you perform. Since most guys have been doing way more pushing for such a long time, it is a wise plan to purposely imbalance your training in the other direction in performing more pulls than pushes. You need to include lots of inverted rows, face pulls, dumbbell rows, and cable rows. Remember the fact that 70% of muscle mass is in the back and legs? This will do your shoulders a lot of good and help out with the fat loss process all at the same time. By the way, in looking at the push pattern from a fat loss standpoint, the good old-fashioned push up is probably a better choice than the bench press actually, as it involves a greater amount of muscle mass and integrates the core to a greater extent at the same time.

 

Edited for a UK audience from an original article by Craig Rasmussen “Fat Loss for Dudes”

CHEAT FOODS THAT BURN FAT

By STEVEN MILNER IIST VTCT Qualified

Whether you’re male or female, young or old, if you’ve tried and failed to lose weight with cheap diet pills, pre-packaged diet meals, starvation diets, exercise DVDS, ab gadgets, or even “dieting” in general, there are other ways of going about things.

Here I’m going to outline 3 rapid fat loss insider secrets, including how you can strategically begin using foods like pizza and ice cream to accelerate your fat loss results. It’s all about fat burning hormones and metabolites like leptin (derived from the Greek word leptos, meaning thin), these hormones determine your bodies ability to burn fat as a whole.

The problem is just about everyone is unknowingly fighting a losing battle with their own metabolism each and every time they attempt to lose weight. You see, one of the underlying reasons why people fail to lose weight isn’t for want of trying, they don’t have bad genetics, and there’s nothing physically wrong with them, it’s just that they don’t know all the tips and tricks and leptin sensitivity is just one of them. In order to burn fat, your body depends on many factors of which diet is just one.

First a bit of bad news, anytime you go on a diet and reduce your calorie intake, the rate of metabolism plummets and fat burning is dramatically reduced to a snail’s pace. Why? Well, the body will always protect itself against starvation by reducing all the hormones and actions that will burn fat as energy, and in the midst of decreased food intake (i.e. dieting), your body unfortunately views your stored body fat as a huge asset to survival. The result, reduced metabolite levels and dramatically decreased fat burning. In fact, research has shown that fat burning hormone levels drop by as much as 50% after just 7 days of dieting and it only gets worse with each passing day. The scenario I just explained is actually only part of the problem. The other unfortunate reality is that the vast majority of people are ALSO suffering from resistance to weight loss due to years of high body fat levels and a diet full of processed foods.

As I mentioned earlier, there are 4 somewhat odd, but extremely effective strategies you can begin using today that will help get your fat burning back on track.

The first trick is to use a technique known as periodic overfeeding, or more simply put, strategically “cheating” on your diet with all your favourite foods like pizza and ice cream, because fat burning hormones are closely related to your calorific intake, research also shows that periodically going OFF your diet and indulging in your favourite high calorie foods can give your slowing metabolic rate a much needed bump in the right direction. For this reason, I recommend to all my clients that they incorporate a weekly “cheat day” into their nutrition programs—adding an additional 1000 calories or more in one day—and it’s something you should definitely consider adding to yours.

Some of the “Cheat” foods can include; New York Style Pizza, Strawberry Cheesecake, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Homemade Cherry/Apple Pie, Fresh Baked Lasagne, Spaghetti & Meatballs, Haagen Dazs Ice Cream, Pancakes, French Toast, Philadelphia cheese and minute steak sandwiches, BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger to name a few.

The second trick is something I refer to as “Reverse Carbohydrate Tapering”. Countless research papers have concluded that of any nutrient, carbohydrates are capable of having the greatest net effect on fat loss levels. Here’s how to use it; after a cheat day when metabolic levels start to decline, add a small amount of additional carbohydrates—like 10 to 20 grams—to your diet each day until your next cheat day. This “reverse carbohydrate tapering” technique will assist with preventing the metabolic rate from falling off too rapidly, the only limitation lies in the amount of carbohydrates we’re able to use without negatively affecting fat loss. While eating even more carbohydrates daily would have an even greater impact on fat burning hormone levels, the extra carbs and calories would also negatively impact your waistline. Something of a catch-22, I know. Now, while the above two tricks will certainly have a positive effect on the speed of your body’s metabolic rate as you attempt to lose weight, the extra leptin won’t be very beneficial unless you also take steps to improve your body’s sensitivity to using your fat reserves as fuel.

The third trick I promised you is about how consuming more of one specific type of food can actually increase weight loss. Knowing that a large consumption of processed foods is one of the main contributors to fat retention, you can immediately begin redressing this imbalance as soon your next meal by eating only one-ingredient foods. What do I mean by one-ingredient foods? Simple. A one-ingredient food is a food whose only ingredient is that food.

Examples of some One-Ingredient foods include.
Tomatoes, Chicken, Beef, Fish, Green Beans, Broccoli, Apples, Pears, Cashews, Walnuts, Almonds, Olives, Avocado, Kidney Beans, Eggs, Yogurt, Cherries, Raspberries, Blueberries etc. Other foods that fall in to this category include pretty much any meat, vegetable, nut, seed, oil, bean, or fruit.

Apart from cheat days, aim to eat only single ingredient foods.

Unlike pre-packaged processed foods with a long list of artificial ingredients and food additives that we often can’t even pronounce let alone identify, all of these foods are whole, natural foods that only contain one ingredient. When you begin consuming a diet full of these types of foods, without all the additives, you’ll immediately begin to repair your hormone sensitivity and make them even more effective at signalling fat burning to your body.

The fourth trick is to use supplements containing metabolites related to fat loss. Research and progressive science have recently brought to our attention some pretty powerful ingredients that can actually have a profound impact on metabolite production and hormone sensitivity, however proceed with caution as this can be an expensive route. First, you need to be sure that the product you will buy is the legitimate and not those made by professional online scammers. You must be reminded that the Internet is not only filled of products that can give back the worth of your money, this place is also full of items that will just waste your time and rob your hard-earned cash.

After confirming that the product, and African Mango is a very popular one at the moment, is an authentic one, the next step is to look for its credentials or the set of instructions on how to utilize it. Most companies that manufacture these products are providing complete instructions to their prospective customers in order to attain the best results from their weight loss supplement.

While there are some people who will attest that they have lost weight with these products even without exercising, I still suggest that you accompany such products with regular exercise as well as the right diet. Just always remember that no matter how effective a weight loss product is, you will not be assured of getting the positive result if you will not do the right things such as exercise and following the right diet.

Here I give you a list of four of the more popular ingredients doing the rounds on the internet at the moment.

The first ingredient is called Irvingia Gabonensis, a powerful extract from the African mango seed that has been shown to support leptin sensitivity by inhibiting the production of C-reactive protein (CRP), a chemical in the body that has been linked with the development of leptin resistance, by up to 52%.

The second ingredient is Oleanolic Acid. Oleanolic acid has been reported to have many potential benefits, partly due to anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.  These properties might also be responsible, at least in part, for the positive weight and fat loss results seen in studies on mice.  Since oleanolic acid is commonly found in many fruits and vegetables, we have yet another reason to make sure we eat our recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables.  These studies suggest that not only do fruits and vegetables help us meet our nutritional needs; they also contain naturally occurring compounds that might help in weight management.

The third ingredient, Modifilan, Modifilan is essentially a form of brown seaweed extract. This dietary drug is marketed toward both women and men who desire to lose weight. Overall, Modifilan endeavours to assist the user’s immune system, remove toxins from the body, lower cholesterol levels, aid with weight reduction and lower blood sugar. The key active ingredients incorporated into Modifilan are Organic Iodine (helps the thyroid gland and aids the metabolism), Fucoxanthin (assists with abdominal weight reduction), Alginate (absorbs radioactive elements), Fucoidan (battles cancer cells) and Laminarin (benefits the heart).

The fourth ingredient South American yerba mate the tea-like beverage yerba mate, long used in South America for its medicinal properties, has become more popular in the United States over recent years. The purported benefits of yerba mate include helping with depression, issues relating to attention and focus and hypertension. A study conducted in Denmark and published in the “Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics” in 2001 suggests that yerba mate may also be helpful for weight loss. This function is due in part to yerba mate causing delayed gastric emptying, better digestion and being rich in minerals. One of the ways that yerba mate promotes weight loss is through a process called delayed gastric emptying. In “Turn Off the Hunger Switch Naturally,” authors Paul Rivas and E.A. Tremblay define this condition as one in which the stomach remains full for a longer period of time, sending this message to the brain. Rivas and Tremblay also note that ultrasonic testing of patients confirmed this process.
Those agitated by caffeine products should not consume yerba mate.

Remember increased levels of exercise regardless of your current fitness levels are absolutely key to losing weight in an effective and lasting fashion.

Always consult your Doctor before taking any supplements marketed as being medicinally reactive.

Why Processed Foods Are Deadly to your Health

By STEVEN MILNER IIST

This is more about what not to do than it is a health tip.
If you want to eat healthy, you want to stay away from processed foods.  But what are processed foods?  Processed foods are foods that have been altered from their natural state. They are foods that have been compromised by the addition of hormones, additives, preservatives, unnatural genetic material or other chemical or heat treatments that alter or destroy the natural healthy enzymes, fatty acids, vitamins and minerals, all for the sake of convenience. But convenience isn’t the only thing you get when you eat processed foods. There’s a whole list of ingredients that manufacturers add:

Colour – It gives your orange pop that neon glow

Stabilizers – So your gravy isn’t watery

Emulsifiers – Who says oil and water can’t mix?

Bleach – Let’s disinfect and deodorize

Texturisers – Nothing’s worse than soggy cereal…

Softeners – It’s as if the ice cream was churned twice

Preservatives – What if you want to eat the cake six months from now?

Sweeteners – Sugar is sweet but saccharin and aspartame are sweeter

Deodorisers – Do you really want to smell the fish paste in your insta-noodles?

Flavourings – Nothing like having the sweet taste of cherry all year round.

Pros.
The main goal of food processing is to lengthen the shelf life of foods so that larger amounts can be sold over time.  Other benefits include toxicity reduction, preservation, easing marketing and distribution tasks and increasing food consistency. In addition it increases the out of season availability of many foods and enables transportation of delicate perishable food over long distances. Processed foods are cheaper to mass produce than the individual production of meals from raw ingredients. They are quicker to prepare at home or on the go, fully prepared ready meals can be heated up in a microwave oven within minutes.

Cons.
Even slight processing of food can have a huge effect on its nutritional composition. The food may be missing necessary vitamins and minerals the body needs for daily function. Food Additives are substances added to food to preserve flavour or enhance its taste and appearance.  Food acids are added to make flavours “sharper”, and also act as preservatives and antioxidants.  Some artificial food additives have been linked with cancer, digestive problems, neurological conditions, ADHD, heart disease or obesity. Natural additives may be similarly harmful or be the cause of allergic reactions in certain individuals. Ever notice that the sources of the ingredients in processed foods are shrouded in mystery? Food manufacturers even patent some of the processing methods they use. For example, the process for making Splenda, an artificial sweetener, is a big secret and patented with the USA.If you have to keep the process for how a food is made a big secret, it probably means that if people knew the process, most of them wouldn’t eat the food.

Here’s a not so short list (but by no means all) of some common processed foods most of which have very long shelf lives.

White wheat flour; especially bleached white flour.
Refined sugars; crystalline fructose, maltodextrin, dextrose, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, sucrose, maple syrup, date sugar, cane sugar, brown rice syrup, corn sugar, beet sugar, agave syrup.
Margarine and other hydrogenated vegetable fats.
Refined vegetable oils.
Artificial sweeteners.
Food additives.
Canned foods.
Boxed foods such as meal mixes, cereal and pasta.
Soft drinks and sugary “fruit” drinks, which are loaded with white sugar, high fructose corn syrup, artificial colours, flavours and other food additives.
Fast food, which is a source of trans fats.
Cheese food, packaged cakes and cookies, chips, snack food crackers and other junk food.
Processed meat products (sausage, bologna, bacon, packaged ham, and salami) if they contain artificial colours and soy fillers.
Frozen foods such as TV dinner meals, fish sticks, pizza rolls and similar foods.
Soy products such as soy milk, soy cheese, soy protein isolate, and other processed soy foods. Natural soybeans taste horrible; it’s Nature’s way of warning about the dangers of soy. In order to make soy products edible, soy manufacturers have to add large amounts of sugar, MSG and other flavourings and spices.
Powdered milk and eggs: Commercial milk powders contain oxysterols (oxidized cholesterol) in high amounts. The oxysterol free radicals have been suspected of being initiators of atherosclerotic plaques. Powdered eggs contain even more oxysterols.

Methods used to process food include:
canning, jarring, freezing, refrigeration, dehydration, aseptic processing, boxed and bagged.

To help lift moods and help calm anxiety, keep away from processed foods and eat more natural products. Try and eat healthy, whole foods diet with plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits. Try and include foods that are rich in B vitamins, such as whole grains, nuts, green vegetables, eggs and fish.

Pretty scary eh? I thought so.

Ever wondered how your body actually burns fat?

By STEVEN MILNER IIST

Let’s start by working backwards, how do we get fat?

A few years ago a popular health magazine decided to try to answer that same question by reasoning that if we knew all the “tricks” to gaining weight, we could learn what “not” to do if we wanted to stay lean.

So they picked a group whose job requires them to maintain enormous stores of body fat – Sumo wrestlers. If we knew what they did we might learn what not to do so they looked at what Sumo’s did to get fat and this is a simplified description of much how they go about it.

They had a strict daily workout regime with as much rest as possible in between workouts, they took a lot of short naps and then at the end of the day, they ate their one meal, a massive calorie dense amount of food and beer that would make an all you can eat buffet at the local gastro pub seem skimpy. Shortly after this multi-thousand calorie feast they’d go straight to bed for the night.

So what can we learn from this? One reason this technique is so effective for weight gain is that it mobilizes every fat-storing mechanism we have in our body. The point here is that if you want to burn fat instead of store it, you have to learn how to turn off your “fat storing mechanisms,” and instead turn on your “fat burning mechanisms.”

So here’s the simplified biochemistry behind the Sumos’ weight gain…

When you eat a big carbohydrate rich meal, it sends your blood sugar soaring. The body immediately releases a hormone (insulin) whose job it is to control that sugar and get it out of the bloodstream and into the muscle cells. The ting is when the muscle cells don’t need it, like if you’re not moving around much and are inactive, insulin takes that sugar and shuttles it into the fat cells. No wonder insulin is also known as the “fat-storing hormone.” Insulin does its work with the help of an enzyme called lipoprotein lipase (LPL), which is kind of like the “fat-storing enzyme.” LPL takes triglycerides (fats) from the bloodstream, breaks them down into smaller parts (fatty acids), and then promptly helps store these fatty acids in your fat cells.

Once insulin is released into the bloodstream, it effectively locks the doors to the fat cells. They won’t open up and release their potential energy stores (that is, you won’t burn fat) until insulin levels come back down. Of course, the more you continue to eat that same high carb diet, the less your insulin levels go down. That’s the biochemistry put very simply, and it works that way whether you’re a couch potato or you’re a professional Sumo wrestler.

So Just How DO You Burn Fat?

You do the exact opposite of everything I just said, and here’s why …
Insulin has a sister hormone, and its name is glucagon. It’s a critical component involved in fat burning biochemistry. When blood sugar is low, and you need more energy, (but food isn’t available), glucagon is secreted into the bloodstream. Its purpose is the exact opposite of insulin’s. Glucagon goes into the cells and causes fat to be released. And it does so with the help of a fat-burning enzyme called hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL).

Much as glucagon is the “opposite” of insulin, HSL is the “opposite” of LPL, the fat-storing enzyme I spoke of earlier. HSL breaks down triglycerides (a form of fat stored in your cells) into fatty acids and glycerol, so as they travel around the bloodstream they can be burned for energy or excreted.  This glucagon-HSL partnership makes up part of the fat burning process.

To sum it all up and working backwards, we start to see the obvious: Fat burning (and weight loss) won’t take place unless the fat-burning components (glucagon/ HSL) are all in place.

The fat burning switch is in the “off” position as long as insulin levels are high. Insulin levels are high whenever blood sugar is high, and blood sugar is typically high in response to high-carbohydrate meals. Therefore the solution to the problem involved in “how to burn fat” is pretty simple. Keep blood sugar in a safe, moderate range where it won’t trigger an insulin spike. By keeping blood sugar (and insulin) down, you allow glucagon/HSL, the fat-burning switch, to do it’s magic.

If you want to trigger your fat-burning switch, you have to learn to eat in a way that won’t trigger excess insulin. Fortunately, that isn’t that hard to do. I’ll tell you more about how to do this by understanding the dangers posed by high glycaemic indexed carbs, processed foods and bad fats in future posts.

Thanks for reading!

Fourteen day kick start diet to fat loss and better health

By STEVEN MILNER IIST

Fast & Simple Fat Loss with Clever Eating

It is possible to lose 15 lbs of body fat in 14 days simply by eating right.  Provided you have 15 lbs to lose. I should point out that I always encourage people to exercise but if your nutrition isn’t spot on you will still struggle to shed fat.
When you are in touch with the way your body reacts to diet and exercise manipulating your nutrition can transform your body almost overnight. You don’t have to be an elite athlete to do this; in fact it’s often easier if you’re not.  More likely than not you will have been eating the same way for years and the next 14 days will throw your body into the hyper fat burning zone. This way of eating can shed body fat and put on muscle but to also completely change your blood lipid profile.  High cholesterol and triglycerides are brought back into the normal range in less than 30 days with this nutrition plan.  This way of eating is often called “Nutrition Cycling” and is extremely effective.

So for the next 14 days here’s what you’re going to aim for and the strategies you are going to use.

Strategy # 1: Eat all the protein you want.
You can eat: Beef, Eggs, Lamb, Seafood, Pork and Chicken, Turkey or even Ostrich if you can get it.

Strategy #2: Limit your carbohydrates to 30 grams a day or less.
Although you can have any carbs you want as long as you stay under 30 a day, I’d suggest sourcing your carbohydrates from the following sources or similar.
Spinach, Broccoli, Asparagus, Brussels Sprouts and Cabbage. By eating veg you can eat a large volume of food while getting your vitamins and fibre into the bargain.

Strategy # 3: Water
Drink 39 ml of water per kg of bodyweight. You can also drink black coffee, tea and any zero calorie drink but water is the best.  Buy water if you want but water is water, when you mix it with coffee it’s still water. You don’t need to be a snob about it, we pay a fortune in the UK to ensure we get good quality water straight out of the tap.

Strategy #4: Don’t drink your calories.
Stay away from high calorie sugary drinks.  They do nothing but make you fat! And that includes all types of fruit juice, yes it does!

Strategy #5: Have a splurge day.
After 14 days I want you to celebrate by eating anything you want!  This will stimulate your metabolism and also fill your muscles up with glycogen so it won’t turn to fat.

Moving forward – day 15 & beyond
By taking the carbohydrates out of your diet temporarily, it trains your body to burn fat for energy instead of carbohydrates. When carbohydrates are present you body will not turn to fat stores for energy. Monday to Friday you should eat like you have for the past 14 days, pay attention to how your body responds to certain foods and if something is causing you to gain fat cut it out of your diet.  Bear in mind that the carb limit of 30 grams is a starting point and most people will do brilliantly at 30 grams of carbs a day, others will need a little more carbohydrate so pay attention to how you feel and experiment with things a little.  Most people will feel and look best in the 30 to 50 grams a day range.  Remember this isn’t a static diet like most diet plans; this diet plan should be specific to you and your unique body.

The Victory Weekend.
Every weekend following the first 14 days you can eat whatever you want for 12 to 48 hours.  You can call this the victory weekend or your splurge days.  It lets you feel human and enjoy food without looking like a diet freak!   Your body is in a constant state of physical transformation weekly with this diet, that’s why it’s important to know when to stop at the weekend. If you find that you have an unlimited appetite on weekends, that’s ok within reason but be careful. If you are eating pizza and ice-cream you may want to stop after 12 hours.  On the other hand if you are carbing up with potatoes, fruit and veg and maybe a slice or two of pizza the full 48 hours may be best.  The whole idea is to become aware of the way your body responds and adjust your food intake accordingly.

That’s why you have to be aware and notice when you start to feel bloated.  Everyone responds to food differently. I can’t emphasis this enough, keep an eye on yourself and the way your body responds.