Fat loss is the most researched term in the fitness world, yet it is also the most nebulous.
There are fat loss workouts, cremes, teas, workouts, supplements etc. But how does it really work?
. So, let’s take closer look at it.
The technical part first: how does fat loss actually occur?
We all have fat cells – sad face here. And ot make matters worse, the body can make new ones, yet it can not make new muscle cells which is why we have 600 lbs obese people but nobody with 600 lbs of muscle.!
But back to topic. The fat cells contain three fatty acids and one glycerol molecule.
If (and that is the bog if( you are in a caloric deficit, and there is a release of adrenaline or noradrenaline caused by shivering, exercise or any other outside stressor the body will release cortisol which in tun forces the fatty acids into the blood stream to be used as fuel (oxidation process). You actually breathe most of the fat out
The fat cell is left empty: fat loss has occurred. Note that fat cells don’t die; they just shrink. Imagine them as little raisins waiting to become grapes again as soon as there is a caloric surplus. This means that someone who has lost a lot of weight needs to be more conscious of his eating than someone who has always been lean.
The conclusion is simple: in order to lose weight, you need to be in a caloric deficit.
But how do you set caloric number?
Simple: if we are looking at mankind on a curve, the very lean people are to the left and the very obese people are the outliers to the right. Very lean people do not need to diet and we will cover the very heavy people in a bit.
For the rest of us we set our goal weight x 12 this will give us our caloric allowance. Then we fill in the macros
1 Set protein at 1 gram per lbs of goal body weight
2. Take that number x 4 subtract from total
3. Set carbs at 1x bodyweight or multiply by 4, subtract from remaining total.
4 take remaining number, divide by. 9= your fat grams
I am 220lbs but want to weigh 200
200x 12= are my calories 2400calories
I am setting my protein at gram per lbs goal weight which is 200 grams x4= 800 calories
Now I put my carbs at one gram body weight which is 200x 4= 800 calories
1600-800= 800 calories
800 divided by 9 which is the caloric value for one gram of fat= I get to eat about 89 grams
But how do those people lose not two, but 15 pounds per week on popular weight loss shows?
Two reasons: dehydration before the weigh in (similar to what boxers do) and muscle loss. Muscle only has about 400 calories per pound, so you can lose a pound a day if the diet is strict enough and you are not doing any type of weight training to protect the muscle.
Which diet should I pick?
There are essentially two ways to go: low carb or low fat as low protein would be a bad idea in terms of that that protein is needed to protect the muscle. They both work but in my experience low fat has a better rate of adherence and long term success. Carbs are great to fuel a workout and help with recovery plus they keep you full and happy!
But in the end, whichever model you pick is up to you as long as you stick to a caloric deficit.!
What to do in terms of training?
When dieting the job of training is to protect the muscle, not to burn calories. Let that sink in for a moment: protect the muscle, not burn calories. Meaning?
Conventional wisdom has it that you need to do lots of cardio to burn all these calories, right?
Wrong. This approach will send you straight into skinny fat hell with a messed up metabolism
Muscle is a. metabolically active, meaning it uses up calories as opposed to fat and b. a luxury so the body will get rid of it before losing a lot of fat.
So you need to absolutely train every muscle in your body at least twice week when dieting in order to avoid metabolic shutdown.
What about cardio? Cardio can be added as additional way of increasing your deficit but you need to cover your weight training first!
Are there fat burning foods?
Absolutely not! There are certain foods that are more filling than others, therefore making them better diet choices such as lean proteins (chicken, white fish, turkey, tilapia, flounder, shrimp, lean cuts of meat such as flank steak) , all things vegetables and complex carbs such as potatoes, rice, quinoa etc.
Should you have a cheat meal? I do not like the term cheat meal as it implies deprivation and general unhappiness. If you want something tasty, work it into your above macros. In the end, if you want to be successful in the long run you need to develop a healthy relationship with food and break the whole binge/starve/ punishment reward cycle.
Do fat burners work?
Fat burners are pretty much very expensive caffeine tablets. Caffeine has mild fat burning effect and also works as a hunger retardant , but not worth 69.99 $ Use caffeine tablets of coffee for that purpose, daily dosage should not be over 2mg/ lbs.
What do I do when I hit my target weight?
Once you hit your target, weight DO NOT eat everything in sight!! Instead, set your calories at current body weight x12 and enjoy life! I can not stress this enough: you must make diet and training a lifestyle,just like brushing your teeth if you do not want to doomed to be a yo yo dieter. You did it! Not pay it forward and help others achieving their dream body!
Losing fat fast and keeping it off requires a mix off:
1. Setting you calories amd macros properly , either with a low carb or low fat diet.
2. Train with weights .
3. Add cardio is needed.
4. Give you yourself time.
5. Follow this done for you solution!