When a person is considering improving their health, the first thing that pops into mind is “hitting the gym”. There is the thought that vigorous exercise is the way to burn up unwanted fat stores, and when this is combined with a calorically restricted diet, you should ideally get healthier and leaner. Spin class and salads if you will. This concept is still promoted to this day by weight loss centres, gyms, trainers, nutritionists and even doctors. The notion that eating multiple smaller meals throughout the day while choosing to eat 500 calories less than you burn in a day, sounds like the best combination to get the job done. Weight will be lost. A pound a week if the math is right. (500 calories x 7 days = 3500 calories, the equivalent of a pound of fat)
In case it hasn’t been noticed, a pound a week is super slow and can only get slower because of metabolic adaption over time. Now, months later, you are left with a flattened metabolism and only a few pounds off. This is what weight loss with the “mathematical” approach looks like. It’s happened many times before and it will continue to happen again and again until it is understood that it is the wrong approach. It may sound logical but applying basic math to a chemistry problem is what has everyone working unnecessarily hard, and eventually realizing that they have done more harm to themselves than good.
The focus is misplaced. Focusing solely on the scale creates an overworked and under fed body that has never asked to be forced or tricked into weight loss. In fact, it is now told to deal with the mixed signals in the best way it knows how, which is “start sipping, or slow down your burn”. It can even become the pathway to developing thyroid issues if it continues.
You see, the body understands survival, it doesn’t care much for math. It has functions to perform and that’s based on what it’s given to work with. Less food and more physicality means… don’t use up all the food too quickly because we need enough energy to last us the day, sipping at its best. This thinking is far too simplistic for a process that has more to do with chemistry than it does calories.
One of the key differences between weight loss and fat loss is that during weight loss the body mostly relies on only food energy, not energy from your stored FAT. This is because the human body was designed to have only 1-2 insulin productions a day, not more than that. The 4,5 and 6 mini meals one is asked to eat produce 4,5 and 6 responses per day. This is because every time you eat, insulin must follow no matter how small the consumption. Now when you continually ask for insulin to be present in the blood stream, it stops the body from looking at your stored fat for energy. It’s forced to only look for food energy and combined with smaller caloric meals, it’s essentially starved of energy. You might ask yourself, “well isn’t that the point”? The answer is NO. At that point, the body has either the choice to slow the metabolic rate of burn, or it can turn to muscle and bone for the lacking nutrients needed to propel itself through that vigorous work out you were advised to do by your dietitian, trainer or whom ever.
Let’s get down to the CHEMISTRY of it all. Fat loss is NOT the same as weight loss. Fat loss needs to be done with effecting the timing of your meals, the choices made when picking quality nutrients, what to leave out to drop the looping inflammation, and the balancing out of gut flora and hormonal function. This is how the weight gain, rapid ageing and autoimmune issues are slowed, and you are allowed to repair and rejuvenate. Sounds like a long list but it really couldn’t be easier to accomplish.
Easy because the body has not one but two states of fuelling, that it likes to toggle back and forth from. That would be glucose while in the fed state, then switching to fat stores while in the fasted state. As you can imagine, the production of insulin is perfectly managed by the body during these two states. When food (glucose) is present, so is insulin. When fasting is enabled, insulin is gone, and the rich fat stores are available for consumption. Hence, while in either state, the body is never starving. This is because the body realizes that since fat is not a problem to access, muscle burning and mineral leaching from your bones will not be necessary and therefore spared. This is a very big deal because the objective has always been to achieve “fat loss”, not “weight loss” at any cost.
Fasting on its own is not the end all. Many have seen results from fasting, but it is a practice that is largely successful when attention is put on how it is entered and exited from.
When the nourishing of the cells is done with quality choices rather than “anything goes”, the task of controlling inflammation is at play. Attempting to lose weight or burn fat while consuming inflammatory foods is highly counterproductive. Hence the diets that allow a brownie to be eaten because it falls within your “point system” is destined to fail causing rebound weight gain.
Another fat storing hormone is cortisol. It is the stress hormone that has us in fight or flight mode. This is potentially triggered by stress, stimulants like coffee and from vigorous exercise.
It is important that Cortisol is controlled to not allow over production. Through the understanding of body chemistry, the goal of a leaner, healthier, balanced, rested, and rejuvenated body can be permanently achieved. Once this epic alignment is attained, hitting the gym is a great idea, and the moving in and out of acute inflammation works as it should! SKILLS BEFORE PILLS is the name of the game here because knowledge is power when it is used, and like all great things, there are no short cuts.