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Fat Loss Concepts Fat Loss

In order to learn about fat loss, there are some key concepts which we must first understand. Otherwise, it would be like trying to learn calculus when we don’t even understand arithmetic. These concepts are based on the fact that the human body has to obey the laws of physics and chemistry like any other physical entity. All high quality fat loss programs try to apply these concepts in one way or another. Not surprisingly, it is also these same concepts that the peddlers of fad diets and other “quick fixes” do not want you to know about. These concepts will enable you to look through their smoke screens and see their “weight loss” products for the junk which they are.

1. Anything that is stored as fat must be converted to fat (except for fat). Every gram of fat produced demands about 9 calories to make it (~4090 calories for every pound of fat produced). Carbohydrates and protein yield about 4 calories per gram, while alcohol yields about 7 calories per gram. . Interestingly, some fad diets would have you believe that gram for gram, carbs add more fat to your frame than fat. The truth is that you can never get 9 calories out of only 4. The laws of mathematics and physics simply do not allow that.

2. Whenever you convert energy (calories) from one form to another, you will always get less energy than you put in but never more. This is why you need about 4090 calories to make a pound of fat but only get about 3500 calories for every pound of fat loss. It is also why perpetual motion machines don’t exist.

3. Your lean mass directly affects your resting metabolic rate. Anything that increases your lean mass will also increase your resting metabolism and anything that reduces your lean mass will also slow your metabolism. The main reason why people have a harder time achieving fat loss as they get older is because their loss in muscle mass has slowed their metabolic rates.

4. If the body doesn’t get the nutrients it needs when it needs them, it will cannibalize its own living tissue to get these nutrients and this is called starvation. For example, the brain needs about 130 to 150 grams of carbohydrates per day to function properly (even when sleeping). If the person is only eating 50 grams per day, his/her body will cannibalize protein from its muscles and use it to make carbohydrates to feed to the brain. The loss in muscle will show up as weight loss. This is why you will hear many people bragging about how much weight they lost on the Atkins diet, but will have a tougher time finding one of them with a sculpted physique.

5. Starvation can happen from skipping meals because the supply of vital nutrients simply runs out before the next supply arrives. Starvation can also happen when meals are out of balance. It is like putting oil in a car because it is out of fuel (it will still be out of fuel). The serious problem with the latter type of starvation is that someone could even be taking in excess calories (and getting fatter) while his/her body is still cannibalizing lean mass from starvation. For example, regardless of how much candy, grease, or booze someone is consuming, if there is not enough protein in the diet, the body will take protein from where it is least needed (muscle) to feed where it is most needed (internal organs, etc.). This loss in lean mass will accelerate the fat gain and put the person on the fast track to clinical obesity. This is happening all over America.

6. Once the body has received its maximum metabolic requirement of a caloric substance, any additional amount of that substance becomes empty calories. For example, if someone absorbs 60 grams of protein in a meal when his body can only metabolize 30 grams, then the remaining 30 grams are not needed and just become empty calories. This scenario, being also true for carbohydrates and fats, can happen when portion sizes are too large or food is absorbed too rapidly. Alcohol is unique because the body has no metabolic requirement for it so 100% of consumed alcohol becomes empty calories. Empty calories can adversely affect fat loss because if the body is too busy burning off empty calories, then it is not burning off stored body fat. If the empty calories exceed the body’s ability to burn them, then they will be stored as fat. Actually, this is the only way to gain fat.

7. The citric acid cycle, also known as the Krebs cycle, is crucial to the process of fat loss because it is the metabolic pathway that the body uses to oxidize fat in the mitochondria. This process will often burn empty calories from carbohydrates, protein, and alcohol first before going after stored fat. Even then, it can either burn primarily fat or primarily muscle, depending on the state that the body is in. For this reason, a proper fat loss program has to minimize the empty calories while programming the body to burn fat instead of muscle.

How To Use These Concepts To Achieve Fat Loss

Optimize Meal Quality (See Nutrition Page).

This is necessary if we wish to provide adequate nutrients to stay out of starvation mode and preserve our lean mass for a high resting metabolic rate. It is also necessary if we wish to minimize the empty calories so that we can maintain the caloric deficit that is needed for fat loss.

Eat Small But Frequent Meals

By eating frequently, we avoid going into starvation mode and slowing our metabolism. By keeping our portion sizes small, we avoid inundating our system and thus avoid turning much of what we eat into empty calories.

Avoid Excess Alcohol

The first reason to avoid alcohol is that it is second only to fat in caloric density. The second reason is that alcohol has no use in the body so all of its calories are empty calories. The third reason is that alcohol floods the system with acetaldehyde which disrupts the Krebs cycle and slows the metabolism. There are many other reasons to avoid alcohol but these three reasons are enough to make it an enemy in our fat loss efforts.

Lift Weights

Although all types of exercise are important to fat loss, weight training is particularly important for some major reasons. In addition to burning calories directly, the increased lean mass gained from weightlifting will burn extra calories on a 24 hour per day basis (even while we are sleeping). Also, when there is a caloric deficit, the body will use fat instead of muscle to satisfy this shortage because weightlifting is providing a stimulus to protect and increase lean mass. This makes weight training about twice as effective as cardiovascular exercise for losing fat.

Do Some Cardio

Although cardio is not as effective as weightlifting, it is still helpful to fat loss. By burning extra calories, cardiovascular exercise helps to boost the caloric deficit and increase fat loss. Also, the improved conditioning of the circulatory system will allow us to train more intensely with weights.

Stay Hydrated

Water is involved in just about every reaction in the body including those that burn calories. Without enough water we cannot maintain our energy level. Water is also important in keeping the kidneys functioning properly which will reduce the workload on the liver.

Lose The Scale And Get A Measuring Tape

Dress sizes, trousers sizes and shirt sizes are never listed in pounds. Also the scale only measures the force of gravity which does not dictate physical appearance. Therefore, in addition to being smaller, lighter, and infinitely more accurate, the measuring tape easily fits into the luggage of any traveler.

Be Patient

As mentioned earlier, it takes about a 3500 calorie shortage for every pound of fat loss. This means that losing 2 pounds of fat per week (7000 calories in 7 days) requires a 1000 calorie per day deficit. So when someone brags that he/she lost 10 pounds in a week, anyone in the know would seriously doubt that he/she maintained a 5000 calorie deficit per day. In this situation, most of the lost weight is not fat. In other words, someone could chop off a leg, crawl onto the scale and weigh less just the same but neither method is the smartest way to do it. Most people use more than 10 years to get out of shape and the truth is, regardless of what fad diet peddlers will tell us, 3 weeks of starvation will not fix it.

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