Friday, May 8, 2009

My Top 3 Keys to Fat Loss and Health

What if I told you there were 3 simple tips that could very quickly change everything about your body? You're health, fitness, and performances. If you were to only concentrate on these three your body would...
  • become a calorie burning machine
  • You'd see fat drop like crazy
  • You'd keep more muscle during cuts
  • You'd build more muscle during gains while also acquiring less fat
  • Would lead to a very noticeable difference in your training and competition.
  • Reduce your risk of diabetes
  • Increase your IGF-1 and testosterone levels (anabolic hormones: healthy fat burners)
You may think that only concentrating on three things would be way too simplified. Nutrition is very complicated and multifaceted, so that just cannot be. Well you be correct. But I was thinking of this last night, and trying to think how simple I could make nutrition for the average person on a very general scale (which is very hard for me because I typically like to throw way too much out there).

This is what i came up with. Focus on:

1. Fiber

If each and every US citizen was getting 40-60g of fiber a day our obesity problem would be close to ZERO. In fact many other health issue would dissipate as well. Hardly anyone would be even close to overweight though. Now this is quite a bit of fiber and on average I don't get this much in a day. But the point is, increasing your fiber is going to make dramatic changes. By no means am I refering to cereal bars and fiber supplements. Even though fiber supplements have there place, it would be much better to get a good mix of soluble and insoluble fiber from whole food sources like vegetables, fruit, and certain grains (oats and/or quinoa are both great).

Adequate amounts of fiber will slow the speed at which carbohydrates/sugar can be digested and enter your blood stream. Making sure that you have a steady state of energy circulating throughout your day. This will also drastically reduce your chances for late onset of diabetes, of which is the next big epidemic. Diabetes will probably kill more people in the next 15-30 years than cancer. That is what the high carb low fat diet is doing to America.
Also getting all those micronutrients from the plant sources is incredibly good for you. For your skin, bones, everything. You'll look and feel a ton better. 

Choosing good carbohydrate sources is key here.

2. Protein
Getting enough protein is essential, and commonly under appreciated. This, along with the other two is what holds people back much of the time. Please just for a second try and step out of your dogmatic thoughts and follow me for a bit.

First of all protein can have a similar affect as fiber. Your body is going to have to work hard at digesting it, so it's going to slow absorption down a bit. This is great, because that means metabolism is going to have to ignite and work that much harder. Increasing thermogenisis (body temp) slightly which in turn will allow you to burn more fat. And the slowing of absorption keeps the body's blood sugar/carbohydrate levels at a more constant or steady state throughout the day.

Then getting protein often and throughout the day (every 2-4 hours at least) is going to increase your body's natural production of testosterone and IGF-1 levels. These are your anabolic hormones which means they attribute to burning fat and gaining muscle. So if you are in a negative energy balance you are going to lose fat eating protein in this way, you'll also lose less muscle. Remember muscle is metabolic so it burns calories and we want to keep as much as we can. If you are in a positive energy balance you are going to gain muscle eating this way, and will put on less fat.

Females, do not worry about bulking or getting "man(ish)" as I hear so often. It doesn't happen or work like that. Girls need to produce testosterone also, and each and every girl in the world already does. It would take tons upon tons of time and work, while eating tons of food and probably getting supplemental hormone help to get a girl to look "manish". 

Girls that eat protein with every meal, often throughout the day, and lift heavy stuff are sexy as hell. Embrace it.

3. Water
Water is possibly your most valuable tool. What do you need? One big bottle to fill full of the stuff. Then every time you finish it go refill it immediately. 

How much? the daily recommendation of 64oz doesn't really work. It's only going to work for some people, and those people are going to weigh approximately 120lbs and not live very active lifestyles and are not trying to change their bodies in any way. So outside of those people lets get a system that'll work for you. How about AT LEAST 1/2 your body weight in ounces of water per day, that does not include the water you will take in during meals or workouts.Really in my humble opinion that is still borderline. You're just not going to drink too much water (it is possible but it's just a crazy amount of water that you would need to drink and you'd be hurting terrible before you even got close). 

Proper hydration is absolutely pivotal for performance, for fat loss, and for general health. 
It keeps your muscles operating efficiently and with strength, keeps the organs running perfectly, helps your body get rid of toxins. Being well hydrated drastically reduces your risk of injury, lets the liver function efficiently instead of having to help the kidneys out when you are not hydrated which will allow you to process more fat. It helps keep you from tiring quickly, helps to satiate you so you're less likely to overeat, then also keeps your blood sugar more consistent rather than up and down peaks and valleys that are unhealthy and lead to late onset of diabetes due to the overproduction of insulin and pancreatic activity. 

Your liver is a filter and it processes the fat in your body. Everything we eat, all the processed junk and all, it gets filtered out through the liver. If the body is not hydrated the kidneys don't do well and the liver helps them out, taking away from its main job. We only get one liver so it's not like the air filter in your car that you can replace when it gets gross, so we need to liver functioning properly. This means staying hydrated for one and getting good amounts of whole foods that wont have tons of the 'nasty stuff' in them. 

Fat is also holds some of our toxins. It is possible that your body is actually holding onto fat just because you're so full of stuff it doesn't like. This is where the hydration comes in again.

1 Month Challenge

Try these out for one month. Commit and you'll see what I'm talking about. The water will making you feel like you have to go the bathroom about every 15 min, and the fiber might make you wonder a bit, but believe me just these three will have dramatic benefits to anyone. Like I said 'commit' yourself to these, and you'll find exactly what I'm talking about.

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