When it comes to eating we are all champion of champions. You eat like Lance Armstrong, don’t you? But when it comes to working out you can’t even do a moderate intensity exercise for 3 minutes straight.
Lance Armstrong’s Calorie Intake is 6000 per day when training. That’s just your dinner isn’t it?
That’s the cause of the obesity problem. It ain’t anything else. That’s why you can’t lose weight.
A day does not pass when I don’t get asked by at least one person “how to lose fat”. The typical question is “what exercises do you recommend for losing fat here or here” or “what should I eat to lose fat”. I have written a separate blog post regarding spot reduction. As long as the second FAQ goes my answer is this: you eat too damn much of whatever you eat.
Before I start let me tell you that this blog might end a bit long. But I suggest you read it through and save yourself A LOT OF MONEY AND TIME.
The diet industry is exploding with preposterous amounts of information. There are just as many diet books and theories as there are fat people on the planet. Heck there are even gyms that sell their own food promising “their food” will guarantee fat-loss. Since when the solution to a problem is the problem? The problem is food and you can’t solve it with food. Obesity epidemic and nutrition science seems to be going in the same direction. This got me thinking. Something has gotta be wrong.
I read every diet book I could find in the past three years. The more I read the more confusing it became (I guess you are on the same boat). What’s more was these diet books and fat loss theories almost never matched. There were all contradicting each other. In the 40s and 50s the bodybuilders were on high carbohydrate diets and now on high protein diets and both methods had gotten them ready for their shows.
I had to forget the contradictions and look for the commonalities. The fitness industry’s job (just like the public media) has become “providing complex solutions to simple problems”. After all Atkin works, the Zone diet works and the Ornish diet works. They all work. There had to be something in common.
I found that it’s all about being in a caloric deficit. This is not a one day or one week caloric cut-down. It’s about months of calorie reduction. It’s really not what you eat (we are talking food for human consumption. McDonalds and highly processed foods are not appropriate for the Homo sapiens). The problem is that you stay in a positive energy balance every day of every year and probably it has been the same way for a long time.
I am going to make things simple for you and then present you with the most effective and healthy way you could lose fat, keep your muscles, feel good, have more energy, be more alert, develop control over your food, sleep better and add a few years to your life WITHOUT A SINGLE RUPEE.
Let’s travel back to the Paleolithic era. I believe our genetic programming has not changed very much since then – at least our physiology has not changed significantly.
Our ancestors didn’t have freezers, didn’t have a particular home, were constantly on the run, would eat whatever they got their hands on and just didn’t count calories. Not surprisingly, obesity had not been so prevalent back then. Another thing our ancestors didn’t do was they never sat down three times a day and had food together. They would eat after a hunt and would go hungry for hours and even days. We call this FASTING these days. Back then it was BAD LUCK. Willingly or unwillingly these prehistoric humans fasted. I will presume they didn’t have headaches, didn’t get moody and their ability to hunt didn’t diminish by staying in a fasted state for prolonged periods of time.
However, with the formation of civilizations, cities and forms of communication things got more organized, families were formed, hunting was more strategic and agriculture was introduced. The more humans advanced in living the more they had access to food. So much that FASTING was forgotten. Most world religions incorporated FASTING as part of their belief system and had their followers practice abstinence from food in one form or the other. The science has good news for us regarding fasting but the food companies don’t like us to believe them. After all you can’t put Intermittent Fasting in a pill and sell it, can you? All food and supplement industries are profit driven and this exactly takes the science to the opposite direction of what they would like you to believe.
The benefits of INTERMITTENT FASTING are being studied and so far the results are shocking.
The findings are as below:
Improved Insulin sensitivity and decreased Insulin levels. When Insulin level is low your fat burning furnace is on. And that’s exactly what you want. Most people have become insulin resistant. People with Diabetes are the extreme cases.
When you fast your fat burning enzymes are through the roof. The two most important ones are Adipose Tissue HSL and Muscle tissue LPL. Adipose tissue HSL (Hormone Sensitive Lipase) is the enzyme responsible for allowing your fat cells to release fat so it can be burned as energy in your muscles. Muscle tissue LPL (Lipoprotein Lipase) is the enzyme responsible for allowing your muscle cells to take up fat so it can be burnt as a fuel. Fasting increases both of these enzymes to optimize fat burning – A perfect combination.
Improved Leptin sensitivity. Leptin is another very important hormone the primary role of which is energy expenditure and energy intake and fat mass. In other words Leptin controls your appetite and metabolism. Many people are leptin resistant. There is no way you can lose fat if you are leptin resistant no matter how much you exercise. In fact, Leptin is one of the few hormones that exercise cannot do much to. You are never satiated and your metabolism will be very low if you are Leptin resistant. Fructose and sugar particularly make you Leptin resistant. Short-term fasting of 24 to 72 hours makes your leptin levels decrease. Chronically-elevated leptin levels are associated with obesity, overeating, and inflammation-related diseases including hypertension, metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease.
Increased fat oxidation or lipolysis. When we fast our muscles turn on to fat stores for energy. This means if you fast you can burn fat even when you sleep.
Increased Epinephrine and Norepinephrine levels. The other name for Epinephrine is Adrenaline. Yes, that’s why when you fast you are more alert and can even work out much much better. Norepinephrine is a stress hormone that controls part of your brain responsible for attention and responses – this hormone makes you more productive and faster.
Increased Glucagon Levels. Glucagon gets your fat that you stored with the help of Insulin and converts it back to energy for the body to use. This hormone is the exact opposite or Insulin.
Increased Growth Hormone and Testosterone Levels. Everyone of us needs just a bit more of these hormones. These are the same hormones recreational bodybuilders or athletes actually pay for in the black market. When you have higher production of the GH and Testosterone you will build muscle easier (great for fat loss because the more muscle you have the higher your basal metabolic rate and the more calories you use to just hold on to those muscles), be much more stronger, have better cognitive function and just be closer to awesomeness.
Dr. Horne – He’s among more than a dozen doctors with Intermountain Medical Center’s Heart Institute who discovered the most recent round of physiological benefits from fasting. During 24-hour fasting periods, he found that Growth Hormone increased to an average of 1,300 percent in women and nearly 2,000 percent in men! He also found that fasting, was also found to reduce other cardiac risk factors, such as triglycerides, weight and blood sugar levels.
You live much longer. Many of the long living communities on the planet fast or just don’t eat too much like a modern man. As a matter of fact research is done by Dr. Mark Mattson at the National Institute on Aging suggests that animals age slower and live longer when they consume less calories. The research is showing that this effect can be achieved by eating less each day, or by fasting on intermittent days.
However, the drug and food industry don’t like you to believe these and have come up with phrases and sentences like “if you don’t eat frequently your body puts you on starvation mode, staying hungry for two long damages your metabolism, have 6 to 8 meals per day (buy and consume more), if you don’t eat enough protein you will lose your muscles or fasting deprives your body of nutrients.”
The food industry spends millions of dollars selling you their products. You are their consumers and they would like to CONSTANTLY CONSUME.
Some of these claims do have some science to them but have been twisted and exaggerated by the food industry to get their products selling like never before. For example,
Eating less does decrease your base metabolic rate (how many calories you will need per day to do nothing but just to sustain life) but not if you engage in any form of resistance training (weight training). So as long as you train you can maintain your metabolism and shouldn’t fear the weight gain yo-yo dieters experience.
Here goes the actual research:
“Effects of resistance vs. aerobic training combined with an 800 calorie liquid diet on lean body mass and resting metabolic rate.
J Am Coll Nutr. 1999 Apr;18(2):115-21.
The aerobic group performed four hours of aerobics per week. The resistance training group performed 2-4 sets of 8-15 reps, 10 exercises, three times per week.
V02 max increased equally in both groups. Both groups lost weight. The resistance training group lost significantly more fat and didn’t lose any LBM, even at only 800 calories per day. (The reason the calories were so low was to really take any dietary variables completely out of the equation and compare the effects of the exercise regime on LBM and metabolism.)
The resistance training group actually increased metabolism compared to the aerobic group, which decreased metabolism. It seems that resistance training is a more significant stress to the body than a starvation diet.”
So as long as you engage in some form of resistance training (like the ones we do here at Omnifarious) you shouldn’t fear your metabolism being compromised or lean body mass being lost.
The other research is that “prolonged periods of caloric reduction below that of resting metabolic rate do decrease your base metabolism but if it is more than 5 days in a row without any resistance training.” In other words if you reduce your caloric intake to a crazy low number but eat normal the next day you can still preserve your metabolism even if you don’t weight train.
Dieting has never worked. I have been talking about this for more than two years with my clients. If you can’t do it for the rest of your life you better not even start it. If you can’t have it as part of your lifestyle you better not even think about it.
I have seen dieters time and again dieting and then gaining all the fat back. What they actually do is they reduce their calories by a huge number, don’t do any form of resistance training (doing step Aerobics is not resistance training), continue with the diet to a point where they actually do starve their bodies of nutrients, their hair falls, they reduce their base metabolism to that of a zombie and then give up and hit the fridge and the market to reward themselves with some chocolates.
When you start off the wrong way, you are simply setting yourself up for failure.
After such diets you not only gain the fat you have lost back, you actually will even put on more cause now your base metabolism is lower than when you started the diet.
W0rse yet is that by then you have also developed psychological issues related to food. You have been saying no to foods that you like and are not even bad for you and have been condemning yourself for having them. You don’t want to feel guilty when you want to make a positive change in your life. A positive change requires a positive and logical attitude with incentives along the way rather than punishments.
Real World Proof That Calories Count More That What You Eat:
I am a real world guy. Even if the science says it I will still need to see how it does in the real world.
I have been observing the labourers in the city for a long time now. These workers work day and night. They eat what they can afford and there are no fancy tricks they use and they stay lean year round. Many of them have an appreciable amount of muscle mass as well.
It’s very easy to figure out their SECRET. The secret is that there is no secret. If you add up the calories they eat in 1 month for instance, it’s lower than what they actually burn at work. They have no obesity issue and they don’t even know what a diet is.
Why you should experiment with intermittent fasting:
- Intermittent fasting works great for fat loss with no negative side effects whatsoever
- You reduce your weekly caloric intake by as much as 30 per cent per week,
- Your metabolism still remains high if you do resistance training,
- You detoxify the liver and the body,
- You produce more growth hormone (which is a good thing and people pay for its synthetic injectables in the black market) and will even build muscle,
- Feel more productive and energetic,
- Feel a lot faster and alert if you play any sports
- You sleep much better at night
- Intermittent fasting is cost-less and very convenient for busy people
- Will build a positive attitude towards food cause you can eat whatever you want whenever you want
- Will learn self control and discipline and know why you eat what you eat
- And in no time will shed pounds of fat off. You can lose as much as 2lbs per week.
How to go about it?
It’s very simple. Try not to eat any solid food for at least 18 to 24 hours. You can have your water, coffee or tea if you like but don’t eat high calorie foods for that period. You should do this once or twice per week. For example, I often have my dinner at about 9pm and don’t eat anything till the next day lunch (I am super busy every day training clients, moving weight and training myself. It should be easier for you to go without food for longer) or dinner. This works better because you include your sleeping time in your fasting time. I do this twice a week and have seen and felt incredible results.
It might be hard in the beginning. But after a few fasting days it becomes very easy and you won’t even think about food. The next day you can continue your normal routine.
This works great because if you don’t feel good on a Monday you can always do it on a Tuesday or Wednesday.
In the beginning you might have some sort of headache or be craving for something but that’s just the withdrawal symptoms. Sugar alone can give you a hard time in the first few fasting days. But that’s something you better not have even on your non-fasting days.
You can do whatever you normally do on your fasting days. Even work out. I can work out better and feel much more agile and stronger on my fasting days and so are a few of my clients who have already started with Intermittent Fasting. I have another client (who is a very busy executive and owner of one of the biggest private hospitals in the city) who has been doing this for the past 9 months and his results are incredible so far. He fasts two times per week – Mondays and Thursdays. He has put on considerable amounts of lean muscle mass, has got the strongest bench press in the gym and is at about 10% body fat.
Try this primal solution to the modern problem and let me know how you feel.
Stay tuned for an article revealing the biggest cardio mistakes you have been making and how you can lose fat faster by just choosing the right type of exercise at the right time.
- Meal Frequencey and Energy Balance: http://journals.cambridge.org/download.php?file=%2FBJN%2FBJN77_S1%2FS0007114597000093a.pdf&code=d62ce55c456e254f0efbe7a12d05dd39
- Influence of fasting on carbohydrate and fat metabolism during rest and exercise in men. Journal of Applied Physiology 1998; 64(5): 1923-1929http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3292504
- Effects of resistance vs. aerobic training combined with an 800 calorie liquid diet on lean body mass and resting metabolic rate. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10204826
- Brad Pilon’s Book “Eat-Stop-Eat”.
- The role of falling leptin levels in the neuroendocrine and metabolic adaptation to short-term starvation in healthy men http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC154448/?tool=pmcentrez
- The Obesity Myth: http://www.truthdriventhinking.com/TDT9_2006-05-17_Obesity_interviewonlysg.pdf
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