Tag Archives: fat loss

What Are Your Scales Telling You Really?

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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

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Six Fat Loss Training Mistakes

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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”

A Construction Workers Weight Loss Plan

That’s not me by the way!

by STEVEN MILNER IIST VTCT Qualified

I recently received a request from my friend Dave who asked for a simple diet for losing weight and I think he meant for me to write out which particular foods/meals to eat (I’ve given an example of a meal plan that would suit active people like Dave at the end of this article). Thing is, it’s not that simple because peoples tastes are different and their minimum calorific needs can vary hugely. In my friends case he is a hard working man in the labour intensive construction industry. Regardless of what some websites may try to tell you you can’t decide on you calorific needs just based on your activity levels as those levels will invariably change from day to day. I have however included (near the end of this article) a rough guide for working out your daily needs. With some changes in your eating habits and exercising habits you may be surprised at the amount of weight that you can lose over a month’s time period. You can average losing about 2 pounds each week safely so it won’t take long to lose the weight.

The UK Food Standards Agency recently commissioned a report into the diets of construction workers and among its key findings were the terrible lack of adequate catering for construction workers and the misconception amongst construction workers that a high fat diet is better for giving them the sustainable energy levels their jobs demand.

You can make some adjustments in the foods you are eating but don’t try too hard to diet. Just try to make different food choices.

Don’t skip meals. Eat three meals a day and even allow yourself to have snacks. Just choose your foods wisely. Eat plenty of fruit and veg. Don’t try to eliminate all fat. Your body needs some fat, or it will start to make more.

Be sure you get enough calcium by drinking skimmed milk or calcium-fortified orange juice. Drink at least 2 litres of water each day. This helps to decrease your appetite and is good for your skin and hair.

Also, be careful not to lose weight too quickly. Don’t lose more than one maybe two pounds per week, and don’t be discouraged if you don’t see results quickly.

1. Stretch your meals to, at least, 20 minutes or longer. Your stomach, mouth and brain are all connected and it takes 20 minutes of chewing before your stomach signals your brain that you are full. To successfully lose weight, you need to eat slowly for 20 minutes or longer.

2. Drinking 2 litres of water a day is important to your health, your normal diet and to help lose weight. Water is necessary for the metabolism of your stored fat.

3. Make good food choices such as roasted chicken, turkey, fish, tuna fish, lean ham, steak, lean beef or lean hamburger, vegetables prepared without butter, brown rice, white rice, fruits–fresh or canned without extra sugar, low calorie fruit jelly, fat free yogurts, salads with low calorie and low fat dressings, air-popped popcorn, fat free twiglets, fruit smoothies made with yogurt and pasta in 2 oz servings.

4. Use snack foods wisely. Here are some suggestions for low calorie snacks. Fat free pretzels, fat free yogurt, air popped popcorn, low calorie jelly with fat free squirty cream, fruit smoothies made with fresh fruit and frozen yogurt, sugar free ice lollies and ice cream.

5. When you go fat free or low fat, you also cut out much of the taste of the foods you eat. Add the flavour back with herbs and spices, but not salt.

6. Increase your metabolism by including some of the fat burning foods and breaking your meals into 4 or 5 smaller meals during the day. Include as many single ingredient foods as you can.

7. Negative emotions will also interfere with your weight loss program. It’s difficult to stay motivated to lose weight when you feel bad, and believe me processed foods will make you feel bad.

8. To lose weight faster, reduce your intake of caffeine. Caffeine leads to an increase of insulin in your body that retards the burning of your stored fat. This is a simple chemical reaction in your body that you can change. Reduce your caffeine intake by 50% and see what happens. Here is a rough guide to use when looking at the amount of caffeine you currently take in: Brewed coffee  – 100mg; Instant coffee  – 70mg; Tea  – 50mg; Soft drink cans – (Coke, Dr. Pepper,) – 50mg; Dark chocolate (1 oz.) – 20mg and Milk chocolate (1 oz.) – 6mg.

9. Increase your intake of fibre rich foods. They will help fill you up faster and will help all the food you eat pass through your digestive system more easily.

10. Exercise is probably the most important key to increasing your metabolism and burning off excess fat.

11. To lose weight quickly, never skip a meal. Your first meal after waking starts your metabolism. Your metabolism then speeds up for about eight hours and then starts slowing down until you go to sleep when it goes to low until you wake and eat and start the cycle again. Skip breakfast and your metabolism won’t get started until lunch time. You’ve just missed three or four hours of fat burning time. When you skip meals during the day, your metabolism also slows down.

12. There are certain things that should be avoided when trying to lose weight such as–all fried foods–have them baked, broiled, grilled or pan fried using a non fat spray. Avoid rich gravies, sauces, rich desserts and pop because of the sodium content.

13. Try including some fibre in the diet as it is very healthy for you and also expands in your stomach and gives you a full feeling.

14. Make sure that you have your caloric needs figured out and also keep the fat grams down to only 20 percent of the daily food total.

15. Daily calorie intake. We all need a minimum number of calories simply to survive, but we can also set a calorie limit to maintain a healthy weight. You can calculate the total numbers of calories you need for your type of lifestyle, then use this figure to decide on a range of calories to consume each day – it’s not an absolute figure.

Steps:
1. Calculate the minimum number of calories you need by multiplying your current or desired weight in pounds by 10 if you’re a woman, 11 if you’re a man. This number represents your basic calorie needs.

2. Calculate the number of calories required for your activity level (see tips, below) by multiplying your basic calorie needs (the calculation from step 1) by your activity level – 20 percent or 0.2, 30 percent or 0.3, 40 percent or 0.4, or 50 percent or 0.5. The resulting number represents your activity-based calorie needs.

3. Calculate the number of calories your body needs for food digestion and absorption by adding your basic calorie needs and your activity-based calorie needs (the answers from steps 1 and 2) and multiplying this sum by 0.10. These are the calories you need for digestion.

4. Add the three calculations from steps 1, 2 and 3: This is your total daily calorie need to maintain your desired weight.

Tips:
Use the following as a guideline for determining your activity level:
20 percent if you sit or lie still for most of the day, with little or no exercise;
30 percent if you walk less than two miles per day;
40 percent if you are somewhat active, doing activities such as dancing, doing a lot of work in the house or garden, or taking exercise classes;
50 percent if you’re actively involved in a sport or you have job that requires a great deal of physical labour, such as construction work.

There are 3,500 calories in a pound, so to lose one pound per week, you need to decrease your calorie intake by 3,500 calories a week, or 500 calories a day.

* This is an example of an American football player’s daily meal plan to lose weight, courtesy of Leslie Bonci, R.D., Pittsburgh Steelers’ team nutrition consultant. (I’ve translated as best I can)

BREAKFAST CHOICES
A sandwich on;
Whole grain bread or muffin
A scrambled egg
2 thin slices Ham or thin smoked bacon
Lettuce/tomato
Very thin spread of mayonnaise (light mayo)
OR
A yogurt (150-200 calorie type) with muesli added
A cereal bowl of fruit salad
And a slice of whole grain toast with a thin spread of peanut butter
OR
2 Scrambled egg savoury pancake
4 eggs, scrambled with cheddar cheese
spread into 2 corn tortillas with salsa
and a banana

LUNCH:
Turkey and Mayo sub:
6-inch torpedo roll
mustard, ketchup, thin spread of mayo ( light)
one-quarter pound of turkey and 2 slices of cheese
WITH
A cup of low fat coleslaw ( can buy the coleslaw mix from the super market)
AND
Dish of cut up fruit
OR
Grilled chicken sandwich:
Grilled chicken breast
BBQ sauce
On a whole grain bun
With
Bowl of vegetable soup
OR
Tuna salad sandwich:
175g can of tuna ( water-packed) with light mayo, relish
spread on 2 muffin halves,
top with 2 slices of cheese
grill until cheese melts
With
sliced tomatoes
OR
Pasta- 3 cups with sauce
With
A salad with a grilled chicken breast and go light on the dressing, 2-3 tablespoons at the most

AFTERNOON SNACK:
An 250g  yogurt with muesli
OR
A small bowl of cereal
OR
A smoothie with
250g yogurt
250g skimmed milk
one cup of frozen or fresh berries or a small banana
Blend together

DINNER
Meat of some kind:
Steak, Pork, Venison, Fish, Chicken; 12 ounces ( three quarters of a pound) raw weight
Grilled, Boiled or Baked
With
2 portions of pasta or rice or potatoes- about one-third of the plate
and 2 portions of vegetables, rest of the plate- steamed, grilled.
If you have seconds, vegetables only!

EVENING SNACK:
One of the following:
Popcorn- microwave snack sized bag
Yogurt with muesli.
Small bowl of cereal, like Raisin Bran, or Nutri Grain type

This would suit rugby or real football player or indeed my mate Dave who works in construction and has already lost two stone, well done Dave!

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.

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!

A Breakfast that Helps to Burn Fat?

by Steven Milner IIST

Here is one of the best breakfasts for fat burning.
If your reading this you are probably concerned about bodyfat and the shape of your body, after all this is a health site. What I outline here is fantastic 5-minute recipe for a delicious breakfast to speed up your metabolism, charge your energy levels and start you burning belly fat.

If you want to pack on belly fat, here’s a foolproof way to do it:
Just eat any version of the typical English breakfast, including the utterly idiotic “low-fat” breakfast popular in the 80’s of orange juice, whole wheat toast, special K, skimmed milk and a banana that’ll guarantee a surge of the fat storage hormone insulin, and a crash of blood sugar a couple of hours later to boot. (This, by the way, is exactly why you’ll be starving at 11 o’clock and ready to kill for a kitkat.)

So what’s a good alternative? Well here is one of the best breakfasts for fat burning…
One of the best breakfasts for eliminating belly fat is a high-protein shake. Protein revs up the metabolism and doesn’t have nearly the same effect on insulin, the fat storage hormone I mentioned earlier, that carbs do. Use a high-quality whey protein that provides one of the cleanest, most powerful sources of protein on the planet.
For breakfast, mix the protein powder (you might want to get hold of a hand blender) with either water or whole milk (still legal in England). Then choose from a variety of options similar to the “toppings” section at a smoothie counter.

Any of the following, alone or in combination, is terrific:
1) A tablespoon of peanut butter: The fat blunts the impact of the shake on your blood sugar (and insulin levels) and the peanut butter is a delicious addition.
2) A tablespoon of oatmeal: The oatmeal adds some more fibre and some valuable beta-glucans, which help control blood sugar. Don’t do this if you’re sensitive to gluten.
3) A cup of frozen berries: Blueberries are low in sugar and calories and loaded with antioxidants. Plus if you use them frozen, it makes your protein shake taste like a smoothie.

For a super-charged bodybuilders breakfast shake you can also include a raw egg or two Rocky style.
Bodybuilders have been using raw eggs in their protein shakes since the days of Arnold Schwarzenegger, as it’s one of nature’s most perfect foods and one of the highest rated protein sources on the planet.

Add these two secret weapons and voila, you’re done…
After choosing one or more of the “extras” (see above), you can take it a stage further by adding a scoop of a propriety brand of fibre. Fibre not only maintains the health of the digestive tract, but it also reduces the risk of a number of diseases including heart disease and diabetes and even certain forms of cancer. It also keeps you, as old-timers used to say, “Regular.”
And if you want to go the whole hog add one tablespoon of flavoured omega-3 fish oil. It provides a nice dose of omega-3 fatty acids which lower inflammation and benefit your health in a myriad of ways. And the fat will keep you fuller longer, adding to the time that this shake will keep you away from bad snack habits. All this should take less than two minutes to prepare.

Why is this shake perfect for trimming ugly belly fat?
The reason this shake is perfect for trimming belly fat is simple: it won’t cause your fat STORING hormone, insulin, to rise. When your blood sugar goes up quickly and stays there, insulin rises in response. This effectively turns off the hormone glucagon, your fat BURNING hormone that has the exact opposite effect of insulin.
If you want to burn belly fat, you’ll want your fat-burning switch to be turned “on” and your glucagon to be flowing. So you want a breakfast that doesn’t send insulin levels skyrocketing. It’s that simple.

Here’s the recipe in case you were wondering.
Here’s a sample recipe for a “belly-fat eliminating” breakfast shake. Feel free to vary to taste.
1 scoop whey protein powder
1 cup whole milk or water
1 cup frozen blueberries (any berries will do)
1 tablespoon oatmeal
1 raw egg (optional)
3 ice cubes (optional)
1 scoop fibre (optional)
1 tablespoon flavoured fish oil (optional

If you come up with some interesting variations, let me know!
Meanwhile, be ready to be surprised at how good you feel, how much energy you have and how easy it is to start dropping waist sizes.

I get my protein powders from a number of sources such as SK Sports or the shop at the shop in my gym Ultrafit Nutrition