Fat Loss Secrets and the Holy Grail

The internet is a playground for information and it’s grown so that there’s no information you can’t find anymore. Sure.. there’s the mis-information and bad advice intertwined, but the good stuff is there. It’s waiting to be found and often, the further you dig, the more golden pearls of wisdom you find.

Maybe it’s this search for the Holy Grail of fat loss secrets that distracts people from losing fat and intent on finding the one missing ingredient.. the “Big Secret to Fat Loss”.

The amount of work some people will put in to not have to do work is curious. There’s no secret to burning fat but read any fat loss forum and you’ll find hundreds and thousands of questions on fat loss and why proven formulas don’t work in situation “x” because variable “y” is different.  “What’s the workaround for such a scenario?”

…It’s lunacy at it’s finest.

The Fat Loss Secret

The secret to fat loss is being patient and working hard.  That’s it, really.  The knowledge is all there.  It’s been repeated time and time again but since it’s not a simple fix, there will always be a search for an easier way.

It’s also about finding 30 minutes to an  hour 3 or 4 times a week to lift some weights, so you can preserve any muscle you have or create muscle you don’t and make that fat loss look great on you

Fat loss is about eating at a deficit.  It’s creating a negative energy balance within your diet and manipulating your macronutrients in such a way that lipolysis is achieved.  .

Lipolysis is the process of fat-burning that occurs within the body and it’s stimulated by different hormones.. of which those are mostly affected by negative energy balance.

Simply put.. stop eating so much.

Macronutrients become important for several reasons, but from my personal experience, everyone has a unique sensitivity to insulin and finding out how sensitive you are is another key component to losing fat.

There’s  a blood test that can dictate the results or there’s the self-testing approach.

Do you usually find yourself a bit (or a lot) groggy after a big plate of carbs?  Do you crave more carbs in a couple hours.. even after a full plate of carbs?

If so, you’re likely dealing with insulin resistance and that means you’ve ate so much sugar over the years that you’re basal metabolic rate (BMR) is out of whack.  What’s the best fix for a broken BMR?  It’s more macronutrient shifting.

Insulin Resistance Explained

For those facing the problem of being insulin resistant, it’s key to first understand the problem.  Years of hoarding sugar takes a toll on the body.  The pancreas produces the insulin hormone to mop all that sugar up when it’s released in your body.

Insulin is such an interesting hormone.  It regulates your metabolism and it does so by ushering nutrients and carbs to your muscles and your cells.  If you have high amounts of it (from having just had a sugary meal), it’s physiologically impossible to burn fat.  The mere presence of insulin inhibits lipolysis.

But.. insulin is responsible for “unlocking” the cells to deliver protein to your muscles and store carbohydrates as fat.  What happens is that the continued abuse of sugar becomes too much for our systems to handle and insulin has trouble unlocking the cell doors.  The result?  Send more insulin to try again.. and again.

The afternoon candy bar is compounding a problem that’s been building for years.  This explains why a lean person can seemingly eat a lot of sugar and not be affected.  When the metabolism is working as designed, the occasional doughnut causes a temporary spike in insulin and the sugar is quickly cleaned up.  No big deal.

When the insulin resistant person eats a doughnut, it creates a much longer window of time that insulin is floating around the bloodstream.  Remember.. so long as the insulin is there, fat-burning is impossible.  By the time insulin levels start to settle, it’s time for another carb-fest and the circle of abuse rolls on.

How to Cure Insulin Resistance

Fixing insulin resistance is a long, patient process.  It takes years of abuse to create the problem and it takes a while to fix.  Maintaining a low-carb diet is your friend.

A low carb diet controls the amount of insulin in your body and keeps it at low levels all day long.  That’s important.

For some people, a low-carb diet will be 300g of carbs a day.  For others, it can be as low as 50g a day.  Unfortunately, everyone has to work at their diet awhile to figure out what this magic number is.

Fasting is another fantastic way to shed some fat and keep those insulin levels low for several more hours every day, allowing that much more fat-burning to take place every day.

After getting used to the low-carb life (and if you’re new to it, it will take an adjustment period), it’s time to incorporate re-feed days.  Every so often, you’ll want to at least double your carb intake (another number that you must experiment with) while reducing your fat intake.  Remember.. eating a lot of fat is not conducive to gaining fat.  Eat a lot of fat with a lot of high-glycemic carbs is the perfect environment for packing on the flabby flesh.

How often should you refeed?

Some people do it once a week and are very successful at it.  The frequency of re-feeding is also dependent on how lean you are and the leaner you become, the more necessary re-feed days become.  The truth of the matter is that most people incorporate re-feeds far too often, using them as an excuse to enjoy more food instead of doing them when needed.

Re-feeds are the best thing going for increasing leptin levels.  Leptin is a hormone that pretty much assesses your level of starvation.  The level of leptin you have is what tells your body if you’re staving or not.  Learning to control leptin is key to cutting fat and being lean.  When leptin levels fall, so does metabolism and fat oxidation with it.  Appetite increases greatly.  Severe hunger and extreme low energy might mean it’s time for a re-feed, but the energy level needs to be so low that you’re nearly staring into space and unable to focus.  That advice may come as a shock to many but it’s for people with “hard to lose” fat.  Guys who can get buy with a weekly re-feed and still look lean and ripped don’t have the problems that hard losers have.

Many body building professionals won’t even entertain the idea of a re-feed day until they are under 10 or 11 percent body fat and at that point, it’s often only once a month.. and less than that as one becomes leaner.

A re-feed lets the body know that there’s no long-term shortage of carbs.  It gives your system a good boost.  It’s STP for the body and it’s a nice break from eating low calories.  It let’s you splurge once in a while as it’s the perfect day to add your favorite dessert to the menu.

I’ll create a post soon on calculating the appropriate macros for yourself and integrating a re-feed into the formula.  For now.. just know it’s gold.

The Fat Secret Revealed

So there we have it.. the magical secret is out.. the “keys to the kingdom” revealed.  Fat loss is eating at a deficit for an extended period of time, being diligent and deliberate in your attempt to track calories and eating the correct macronutrients.

It’s also understanding when your body is stalling and how to change it up as you  lean out into single digits (the only truly challenging part of losing fat).

Cardio isn’t required to lose fat (though it certainly doesn’t hurt) and you can work in a cubicle all day long and only workout three or four hours a week.. and still get as lean as you desire.

The secret to fat loss is diet.

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