Category Archives: Body Fat

Top 5 Nutrients to Fight Stubborn Belly Fat

Fat to thin transition
Every year when swimsuit season approaches, millions of people scramble to lose their belly fat.
The midsection is one of the most challenging areas to lose weight in and one of the unhealthiest places to gain it. (See Why Crunches Alone Won’t Burn Belly Fat.)
Research over the past few years suggests that the belly fat surrounding the abdominal organs (visceral fat) is potentially the most harmful type of fat. It appears to decrease the sensitivity of insulin receptors on cells while increasing the likelihood of insulin resistance. Over time, this can lead to Type 2 diabetes.
Fat around the abdomen can also increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Unfortunately, there are no quick fixes for fighting belly fat, but adding the following nutrients to your diet can help you tighten things up. (If you’re already at a healthy weight, adding them can give you more energy and help you feel better overall.)
You can get these nutrients from supplements, but your body will absorb them better from healthy foods. (See Are There Foods to Help You Lose Belly Fat?)

Vitamin C

People with high levels of vitamin C burn more fat during exercise than people with low levels, according to a study out of Arizona State University. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, which helps with the formation of collagen (a protein that helps build muscle tissue), immune function, and proper metabolism of fat.

Probiotics

Found in yogurt, fermented vegetables, and kombucha tea, these friendly bacteria increase immunity. They also help the body digest fats and carbohydrates, as well as absorb and make good use of nutrients.
In addition, probiotics help maintain a healthy balance of ghrelin and leptin—the hunger and hunger-suppressing hormones, respectively—so you’re hungry only when your body needs nourishment.

Capsaicin

This is the spicy compound that gives jalapenos their kick. It not only promotes saliva flow, it may also help boost your metabolism. (See also The 6 Most Promising Weight-Loss Supplements.)
Capsaicin has been shown to cause thermogenesis (heat production) in the body, promoting fat loss. It may also reduce appetite and shift the body from burning carbohydrates to burning fat.

Vitamin D

Sunlight is the natural source of this powerful fat-soluble vitamin, which is needed in appropriate amounts to maintain physical, mental, and emotional health.
Vitamin D may also help you lose fat by regulating blood sugar and decreasing the risk of developing insulin resistance—a condition where the body stores glucose in the blood as fat, rather using it to provide energy to cells.
Along with regulating your hunger hormones and boosting your mood, Vitamin D can help cut down on emotional eating. People tend to eat more when their mood is low. (Athletes: See Why You Need Vitamin D in Your Diet.)

Fiber

The benefits of fiber go far beyond improving regularity. In addition to relieving constipation and reducing bloating, fiber may also be a powerful fat-buster. (But Can You Eat Too Much Fiber?)
When fiber is added to meals containing carbohydrates, it reduces the glycemic load on the body. It then slows the spike in blood sugar and insulin so it takes less time to break down carbohydrates into simple sugars. This keeps energy levels up and helps prevent overeating.
Remember, though—to lose fat, you can’t just take vitamins. You must practice a healthy lifestyle that includes exercise, plenty of sleep, and a sensible eating plan.
Before you add these nutrients to your diet, check with your doctor.

10 Easy Ways to Lose Weight Without Starving

10 Easy Ways to Lose Weight Without Starving
You can stage a coup on calories without ruining your life or eating a single rice cake: Just follow this simple advice.

The no-diet, no-workout plan that is better than running 5 miles a day! Check out The Lean Belly Prescription.
Way #1
Always Eat a Man’s Breakfast
No more Lucky Charms—you want some protein and fat. Scrambled eggs and a few sausage links will keep you fuller longer than an airy doughnut will.
Way #2
Eat More!
We’re talking three good snacks and three healthful meals. But what do you serve during the bowl game if you can’t have chips and dip? Mixed nuts—especially almonds—will satisfy your craving for something crunchy while helping to build muscle.
Way #3
Just Say No to Starches
Foods like pasta, white bread, and potatoes make you fat. If you must have pasta, make yours whole-wheat. Same goes for bread, and swap white potatoes for sweet potatoes. Just don’t eat too much!

A perfect example of a great swap are these crispy sweet potato fries. You’ll never go back to regular potatoes.
Way #4
Lift Weights
Yes, you have to hit the gym, and no, lifting beer cans during happy hour doesn’t count. The muscles you build will not only improve your performance, they’ll stoke your metabolism so you burn calories long after your workout is over.

Way #5
Think Before You Eat
Don’t just stuff your face with the stale cookies left over from the holidays, eat what tastes good and what’s good for you. Take your time eating; you’ll stay fuller longer.

Here are 7 ways to harness your hunger from a grumbling stomach.
Way #6
But Have Fun Once in a While—or Once a Week
Stifle those cravings for too long, and you’ll be miserable and might fall off your new plan forever. Just splurge reasonably—two slices of pizza, not the whole thing.

Way #7
Go Low-Carb
It’s the easiest way to drop weight fast. The cravings are hard at first, but it gets easier—especially when you see the results.

Way #8
Run Intervals
It’s easier to alternate between hard and easy running instead of going for a long run—especially if you don’t like running. Plus, you’ll be done faster and burn more fat.

Break your speed limits by boosting your speed with intervals. You’ll not only get faster, but your gut with flatten in no-time.
Way #9
Never, Ever Drink Sweetened Soda
But go ahead, have a glass of wine now and then. Low-carb beer is fine, too, in moderation.

Way #10
Don’t Fear Fat
It makes you feel full, helps control your appetite, and your body needs it.

Of course, some fat is good while others are bad. See How Fat Attacks, and how you can make it work for you.

Change your gut flora and lose weight


by Eric Hunter 

(NaturalNews) Obese and lean individuals have different gut flora composition. The gut microbiota of mice and humans are similar, with Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes dominating. At this point it’s not clear exactly which species are important in weight management. Some studies show reduced numbers of Bacteroidetes in obese subjects, while others point to lower levels of beneficial bacteria like Lactobacillus.

Even though diet will affect gut flora composition, most studies conclude that gut flora on it’s own has an effect on weight. Alteration of the gut microbiota can be an important part of a weight loss program.

Several mechanisms have been proposed as to how gut flora regulates weight. Inflammation, energy from polysaccharides, insulin sensitivity and energy expenditure and storage are all affected by gut flora.

What you eat affects the gut flora composition, but it can also be hypothesized that it can happen the other way around; that gut flora partly determines what you eat. People with gut dysbiosis and especially yeast overgrowth often feel sugar cravings. Gut flora can probably influence food cravings and thereby play a part in determining dietary choices.

Obesity is hereditary, and the importance of gut flora shouldn’t be underestimated. Flora is passed on from mother to child during birth, breastfeeding and early years. The child also comes in contact with microorganisms from other family members. “Obese gut flora” is passed on to the child.
Children born via caesarean have double the risk of becoming overweight, according to research by Harvard scientists. The obesity increase has been linked to a lack of exposure to good bacteria which may be found in the vaginal wall.

Differences in intestinal microflora during the first year of life have been associated with higher risk of obesity later in life. Especially low levels of Bifidobacteria make children more susceptible to weight gain.

Obese individuals usually have a dysfunctional gut flora with higher numbers of LPS-containing microbiota and methane-producing bacteria. LPS, Lipopolysaccharide, is linked to obesity, leaky gut and low-level chronic inflammation.

Colonization of germ-free mice with gut flora from either obese or lean mice, leads to significantly greater increase in total body fat in those colonized with “obese microbiota.” Animal studies further show that probiotic supplements with Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species help maintain a healthy bodyweight and promote weight-loss. Cattle treated with antibiotics store a lot of fat, and this is one of the reasons why these drugs are used so frequently in feedlots.

How to incorporate this info into your weight loss program

A healthy diet with reduced consumption of sugar, processed carbohydrates, most vegetable oils, anti-nutrients, etc. will on it’s own promote weight loss and a healthier gut flora.

Additional gut flora modifications can also be an important part of a weight-loss plan. Simply eating yoghurt will not make any substantial difference in most people. Minimally washed organic plants and plant products, fermented foods and probiotic supplements are all good sources of beneficial bacteria. Prebiotics, soluble fiber that feed good bacteria, can be found in leeks, onions, apples etc.

Sources for this article include

http://coolinginflammation.blogspot.no

Obesity alters gut microbial ecology.Ley, et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2005 Aug 2; 102(31):11070-11075.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk

Vael C, Verhulst SL, Nelen V, et al. Intestinal microflora and body mass index during the first three years of life: an observational study.
Gut Pathog. 2011 May 23;3(1):8.

Kalliomaki M., Collado M.C, Salminen S., et al. Early differences in fecal microbiota composition in children may predict overweight
Am J Clin Nutr March 2008 vol. 87 no. 3 534-538

Kondo S, Xiao JZ, Satoh T, et al. Antiobesity effects of Bifidobacterium breve strain B-3 supplementation in a mouse model with high-fat diet-induced obesity.
Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2010;74(8):1656-61. Epub 2010 Aug 7.

Takemura N, Okubo T, Sonoyama K. Lactobacillus plantarum strain No. 14 reduces adipocyte size in mice fed high-fat diet.
Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2010 Jul;235(7):849-56.

Chen JJ, Wang R, Li XF, et al. Bifidobacterium longum supplementation improved high-fat-fed-induced metabolic syndrome and promoted intestinal Reg I gene expression.
Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2011 Jul 1;236(7):823-31. Epub 2011 Jun 17.

Karlsson CL, Molin G, Fak F, et al. Effects on weight gain and gut microbiota in rats given bacterial supplements and a high-energy-dense diet from fetal life through to 6 months of age.
Br J Nutr. 2011 Sep;106(6):887-95. Epub 2011 Mar 30.

Human originated bacteria, Lactobacillus rhamonosus PL60, produce conjugated linoleic acid and show anti-obesity effects in diet-induced obese mice.Lee, et al. Biochem Biophys Acta. 2006 Jul;1761(7):736-744

Metabolic endotoxemia initiates obesity and insulin resistance.Cani, et al. Diabetes. 2007 Jul;56(7):1761-1772

http://www.cedars-sinai.edu

2 Ways to Lose Fat, Only 1 Way to Get Ripped

2 Ways to Lose Fat, Only 1 Way to Get Ripped
It’s that time of year, when even the most anti-cosmetic guy thinks a little bit less about his lifting totals and a little bit more about how he looks in his spandex lifting suit.
If that just made you throw up in your mouth, or made you want to punch me in the face, you don’t have to keep reading.
Then again, maybe maintaining your functional lean muscle mass and strength while dropping some non-functional fat will allow you to perform better in a lower weight class, thus giving you a competitive advantage.
At the very least, it could help you improve your health profile, prolong your career – and maybe even your life – if that type of insignificant stuff matters to you? Unless of course, you’re still just a teenager at heart that thinks immortality awaits everyone.
We’re  fighting an uphill battle in Y2K America. Every human being shares a common problem, and current statistics prove only a very small percentage are able to overcome it.

Fat Loss Nemesis

2 Ways to Lose Fat, Only 1 Way to Get Ripped
Your biggest enemy in the war against body fat may be the one that you’re not even aware of – it is , or more accurately, your internal instincts.
Make no mistake about it – human beings are preprogrammed to overeat.
There was no portion control for most of our existence. When you had access to food, you ate it, and stocked energy reserves to prepare for times when you didn’t have access to it.
Going crazy at an all-you-can-eat buffet is not weakness or a cheap way to bulk up. It’s simply a survival instinct. That may be cool during the off-season, but it’s a liability when trying to cut the fat.
In an environment where resources are limited, and food is real and scarce, this natural tendency to overeat leads to survival.
In an environment with unlimited access to highly refined, fake foods, it leads to chronic overeating, and the health and body fat struggles associated with living on the wrong side of excess.
I don’t care what the ADA says the arbitrary serving size of a bowl of Cocoa Pebbles is (3/4 cup), human instinct dictates it’s the whole damn box.
When you combine the natural evolutionary instinct to overeat with the following:

  • Refined foods that have weak effects on the hormones that regulate appetite and energy intake.
  • Unlimited access to those foods (The 5 AM mocha and muffin run to the 3 AM post-drinking taco truck stop).

You have yourself one big, modern problem – an obese country with biomarkers of health that resemble the zombie apocalypse in an episode of The Walking Dead.
When analyzing the root causes of this problem, it becomes clear there are two different ways you can lose fat and get on the right side of the energy balance equation.

Fast Loss Strategy #1 – The Food Choices Route

2 Ways to Lose Fat, Only 1 Way to Get Ripped
I don’t want to beat a dead horse. I’d rather indulge my inner Francophone and eat it. I mean, look at the nutrition analysis and essential fatty acid profile of 1 pound of raw horsemeat:

But alas, horsemeat is not available in my city yet. I’d have to pull up stakes and move to Quebec and kick it with Coach Thibaudeau. Sadly, that would also require swapping my striped Hotskinz unitard for a throwback Quebec Nordiques jersey. Sorry Thibs, not going to happen.
For now, I’ll have to settle for kicking that dead horse one more time.
Improving your food choices is the healthiest and easiest (after a rough transition phase) way to lose fat. It’s also the most sustainable approach for the long-term.
If you hate counting calories, calculating macronutrient percentages, measuring and tracking foods, etc., your  choice is to start making better food choices. It’s way too instinctual and easy to overeat refined foods.
It’s much harder to overeat real foods. I’d argue it’s almost impossible. Without any tracking or measuring, I’ve had female clients struggle to eat 1200 calories a day and male clients had a similar problem getting 2000 calories a day when cutting out all refined foods, and only eating real, natural foods.
They couldn’t believe how so much food volume led to so few total calories. That’s the beauty of real food.
Here’s the thing: fat boys like to eat (they used to call me Baby Sumo, so I’m not trying to be a jerk).
A client of mine called me last night complaining about having to eat too much for dinner. What was on the menu?
It was 3/4 pound of top round steak and 2 pounds of potatoes. Remember, my overall approach is to eat lighter during the day and eat the majority of calories and carbs at night – which allows us, at least once a day, to satisfy that natural urge to feast like a beast.
That’s a crap-load of food to eat; yet it’s still less than 1500 calories. No late night, starvation-induced binges here.
This guy couldn’t lose weight when he was on his ketogenic, unlimited fat diet pouring oils on everything. Why?
Refined oils are much easier to overeat than real food, so he was always in a caloric surplus despite treating carbs like rat poison.
On his new plan, he’s lost 50 pounds.

Simple Eating Templates

2 Ways to Lose Fat, Only 1 Way to Get Ripped

  • If you’re sedentary, eat like a caveman: animal proteins, vegetables, whole fruits, whole food fats (nuts, shredded coconut, avocado), and muddy pond water.
  • If you’re active, follow the patterns of a Japanese village-style diet, which simply means adding in some low sugar, gluten-free starches to the above caveman diet to support anaerobic training: sweet potatoes, potatoes, or rice.

Now I’m sure I’m going to get some nit-picker saying something like epidemiological research shows no culture has a universal diet and food intake varies across geographical locations, etc. My response?

  • When was the last time you got laid? Seriously? And Palmela Handerson doesn’t count.
  • “Themed” approaches to eating aren’t meant to be 100% historically accurate dogmatic scrolls. They’re simply educational tools to give people simple templates to remember.

The bottom line is that emphasizing lean proteins, vegetables, whole fruits, whole food fats, and a select few starch foods if you strength train is good advice regardless of historical era or geographical location.

Fat Loss Method #2 – The Portion Control Route

2 Ways to Lose Fat, Only 1 Way to Get Ripped
Here’s the tough love reality: That’s why people are always shocked, or even offended, when I give my honest opinion about certain food choices.

They suck.
If I didn’t list it, I don’t like it. And the list is relatively small. But remember, I’m not the be-all-end-all of nutrition. To paraphrase the Dude, well, that’s just my opinion, man.
And for a lot of people, a full-blown real-foods diet may seem too restrictive or extreme.
There are some people out there who just don’t want to eat better, despite their knowledge of the health effects of food. It’s mind blowing to me. But I get it at some level – refined foods and sugar have drug-like effects. Like any addict, we scour the earth for justifications for including them into our plans.
Some people just aren’t going to give up their cereals, wheat bread sandwiches, fruit juices, high n-6 cooking oils and salad dressings, pastas, etc., no matter what. Fair enough.

Fake Foods and Real Instinct Don’t Mix

If you think you can take an instinctual approach to eating while making less-than-ideal food choices, you’re in for a rude, belly fat awakening. See beaches and poolsides everywhere.
Because it’s so easy to overeat refined foods, you’ll have to do the ol’ measuring, calorie counting, macro-calculating, and tracking thing if you have any real shot at dropping a visually significant amount of body fat.
My ears are already ringing from all the complaints.
Quit whining. Damn, am I talking to a T-Man or my Auntie? If you don’t want to eat real foods, you’re going to have to measure your fake foods.
I like to make fat loss as easy as possible for people, but you can’t be completely lazy and expect to achieve goals. If you refuse to fight one battle, you’re going to have to fight another one. You can’t win a war from the sideline.
Besides, all it really takes is one extra step. If you’re on a carb-based diet, is it backbreaking to pour your cereal or pasta into a measuring cup first instead of directly into a bowl?
If you’re on a low carb, fat-based diet, how hard is it to pour salad dressing into a tablespoon measurer instead of directly onto the salad, or count out twenty-four almonds?
I’ll even help you. I have two nuts for you right here for you to get started with.
For most foods, especially the energy nutrients (added fats or carbs) that are the most important to measure, it takes an extra 10 seconds to get an exact measurement, instead of just winging it.

Portion Precision Tactics

2 Ways to Lose Fat, Only 1 Way to Get Ripped
Here are some thoughts about how to implement this process in the real world. It’s not as hard or inconvenient as you think:

  • Buy a couple sets of measuring cups (1/4 cup to 1 cup) and teaspoon/tablespoon measures.
  • Use measuring cups as serving spoons instead of traditional serving utensils, particularly for starch foods and added fats like nuts.

There’s no need to weigh your meats, poultry, and fish on a scale. Simply buy these foods one pound (16 oz.) at a time and cut them up according to your dietary needs.
If you’re supposed to be eating 3 oz. servings cut into 5 pieces, 4 oz. servings = 4 pieces, 5 oz. servings = 3 pieces, 8 oz. servings = 2 pieces. It doesn’t have to be exact; we just want the right range. Food scales seem a bit excessive to me.

  • Pour oils, dressings, and condiments into teaspoon or tablespoon measures before cooking or topping food.
  • When you don’t have access to measuring cups and spoons, like eating at a friend’s or at a restaurant, you’ll have to eyeball portion sizes.

4-6 ounces of meat, poultry, or fish is about the size of the palm of your hand or a deck of cards. 1 cup of starch is about the size of a closed fist or a baseball. 2 tablespoons of dressing is about 2 spoonfuls, or about 1/2 of most of the cups they use for the “dressing on the side.”

  • No need to measure non-starchy vegetables (broccoli, lettuce, spinach, onions, etc.) unless they’re cooked in butter or oil. Plain vegetables are pretty much free foods that can be eaten in unlimited amounts.

Halftime Report

The first half summary is really simple. To lose fat you can either:

  1. Make better food choices.
  2. Start measuring your crappy food choices.

For health, and overall ease of the program, I prefer route #1. You’re always going to be hungry trying to diet on refined foods, and your biomarkers of health probably aren’t going to be great either.

The Lethal Combination – The Only Get Ripped Method

2 Ways to Lose Fat, Only 1 Way to Get Ripped
Now all of that’s for losing some fat – a relatively easy process, right? The problem is with summer coming up, the approaches to just lose some fat start to get marketed as effective approaches to get ripped. I respectfully disagree with that.
Getting ripped is a whole different ballgame in a completely different stadium than just trying to lose some fat and get healthier. It’s an athletic endeavor that needs to be treated as such.
The only way I know of for most people to achieve this higher-level goal is to combine fat loss strategies #1 and #2. You must make good choices  measure/track your food intake so you consistently hit targeted calorie and macronutrient numbers.
 fat loss nutrition is all about details – portions and ratios. It’s about a well thought-out plan based on science that gives our body exactly what it needs without any excess.
Why do you think there are serving sizes and measuring cups in your Surge® Recovery containers? Because the people that use Surge® are most likely advanced athletes with more advanced goals, not just average goals.
And advanced goals require way more details and precision.

Don’t Follow the Exceptions to the Rule

Many fitness professionals proclaim that you don’t need to count calories or macronutrients to get ripped. Really? Those are generally the ones who are:

  1. Blessed with great genetics, and could do whatever they want and would still be in shape.
  2. The drug enhanced, that still have to work hard, but have a lot more leeway than the average dude.
  3. Have never been ripped. Trust me, there are plenty of fitness experts, dieticians, and PhD types who write about getting ripped because they know it sells well, but have never successfully gone through the process themselves.

Theory is different from real world application and results. What looks good on the chalkboard doesn’t always end up looking good in the streets.
I’m not interested in theory or opinion. I’m interested in real world results. And if you look at the diet plans of the most ripped people on the planet – bodybuilders – you’ll see that they all measure their food. Whether they’re as natural as grass-fed beef or a Salisbury steak TV Dinner is irrelevant.
Eight ounces of this, 1 cup of that, 2 tbsp., etc., are used for the good food choices that make up the bulk of their diet. If you’re serious about reaching elite leanness, follow their example.
Saying you can’t learn anything from bodybuilders is just as ignorant as saying you should learn everythingfrom them.
Because of the negative association with the extreme chemical experiments that have become bodybuilding, the industry as a whole seems to have this subconscious need to dissociate from anything related to its core principles. Anything even remotely resembling old school bodybuilding methods gets blasted. This is ridiculous.
The truth is, measuring food is a bodybuilding habit that will serve you well in your get-shredded efforts.

Arguments Against Purely Instinctual Eating

We’ve used caveman, village, and farmer-style eating as templates to help people lose fat. But these demographics were eating simply to survive.
Modern athletes are eating and training for much more than just the fulfillment of the general life cycle. They’re trying to reach the pinnacle of physique development, and “get ripped.”
If you want to reach peak condition and ultra-low body fat percentages, then certain sports nutrition principles must creep their way into a 100% natural or instinctual eating plan.
And sports nutrition is all about numbers, calculations, and details.
Look, I get it. I have a genetically elite colleague who is about as honest as it gets, and he always says to me, “People don’t get it Nate, I could do anything and be ripped. I don’t need to measure anything, especially doughnuts. But that’s not what I recommend to other people.”
While we’d all like to dream that could be us, and a lot of us use those ‘exceptions to the rule’ as examples of why we don’t need to do certain things, the reality is, it’s not.

Simple Summer Shredding Tips

2 Ways to Lose Fat, Only 1 Way to Get Ripped
I’d rather go outside and look at some bikini babes than continue writing, so let’s wrap this thing up.
Debate could go on forever about what the best plan is to get ripped. Who cares? It all needs to be tested and refined in the real world, for  personally, anyway.
Here’s a decent starting point, assuming you strength train 3 or more days a week:

  1. 12 calories/pound of lean body mass.
  2. 1-1.5 grams of protein/pound of lean body mass.
  3. 20% calories dietary fat mostly as byproduct of protein sources and maybe some Flameout™.
  4. Remaining calories to carbs.
  5. Have a cheat meal/re-feed meal once a week.
  6. Choose the meal frequency pattern that’s most functional and sustainable for you.
  7. Aside from your peri-workout nutrition, I think the easiest plan is to eat lighter during the day and eat the majority of calories and carbs at night.
  8. Try measuring your foods and making sure you’re consistently hitting the above recommendations before you think you need some crazy, triple-carb rotating, ketogenic cycling diet to get ripped.

Chances are you just need to be better with the basics.
Until next time, enjoy your summer loving! It happens so fast.

12 Reasons You’re Not Losing Fat | How to Build Muscle, Gain Strength & Become a Better Athlete

1) You’re Eating Too Many Carbs

carbohydrates 300x238 12 Reasons Youre Not Losing FatThis should be pretty obvious to most people by now, but there are still the old die-hards out there who swear that everyone should be consuming two grams of carbs per pound of bodyweight every day while maintaining a low fat intake. Load up on whole grains and fruit while cutting down on healthy, essential sources of fat like grass fed beef they’ll tell you.
Anyone experienced in physique transformation knows this is nonsense.Most people have a terrible tolerance for carbs, shitty insulin sensitivity and simply don’t do enough physically demanding work to warrant too many carbs. If you want to get lean cutting carbs is usually one of the first and most important steps you need to take. That doesn’t mean you can’t have any but you need to make smart choices and they need to be taken in at the right times and cycled properly.

2) You’re Eating Carbs at the Wrong Time

If you’re above 20% body-fat pretty much any time is the wrong time. In that case I would only recommend vegetables and possibly some post workout potatoes or a once per week refeed. When you get down to 15% you can increase the amount of carbs in the post workout meal or the weekly refeed. Everyone else should limit carb consumption to post workout and night time, as per The Renegade Diet rules. During the day you want to be alert and focused, which is one reason why you don’t want to load up on starchy carbs during this time. Save for them for the night time when you want to optimize serotonin production and rest, relax and repair.

3) You’re Eating Too Much Fat

Some people cut carbs and assume that they’re good to go and there’s nothing else to worry about. Unfortunately, the low/no carb diet isn’t as much fun as Dr. Atkins made it out to be. You can’t just eat pounds of bacon and mayonnaise with reckless abandon and think that you’ll magically end up ripped. Fat contains calories; nine per gram to be exact. At the end of the day total calories still matter, and if you’re eating more than you burn you’re never going to get ripped. Please don’t mistake this as my advocating a low fat diet. That’s just as bad, if not worse, than eating too much fat. A bare minimum of 20% of your calories should come from healthy fats like pastured egg yolks, wild caught salmon, grass fed beef and coconut oil to ensure optimal health. Just be careful about going overboard with it and thinking that low carbs automatically leads to single digit body-fat. You still need to keep a handle on things like total calories.

4)You’re Not Eating Enough Protein

protein food 300x203 12 Reasons Youre Not Losing FatIn my experience it’s usually only females who are guilty of this but guys can make this mistake on occasion as well. The average female who can’t lose body-fat usually eats a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast with an egg. One… single… egg.
Then she’ll have a sandwich for lunch with four ounces of lean turkey. For dinner it will be a salad with low fat dressing and four ounces of chicken or fish. Although, in all honesty they may skip the protein all together and just have a salad for either lunch or dinner. Let’s assume she weighs 135 pounds. Most experts would agree that she would need to consume at least 100 grams of protein per day, if not a gram per pound, which would equal 135 grams. Each ounce of protein is around 4.5 grams of protein. So in this example she had 36 grams combined with lunch and dinner plus the six grams from the egg. So that’s a total of 42 grams, which falls just a wee bit shy of where she needs to be.
Females often freak out when you tell them to eat more than six ounces of protein at a sitting but when you break down the numbers for them and reveal just how many calories they’re eating it should make more sense. If they had eight ounces of protein three times per day it would 108 grams of protein. That’s only 432 total calories. Add in the fat and it’s still not that much.
People who eat a sufficient amount of protein usually end up having an easier time getting ripped than those who don’t. Make sure you’re getting enough.

5) You’re Drinking Too Many Protein Shakes

There are two problems associated with drinking shakes when you’re trying to get ripped. First of all, whey protein can raise insulin levels, as I have been telling people since the mid 90’s. If you’re trying to get lean you don’t want insulin to be flowing like the Nile all day. You want a nice insulin surge post workout but the rest of the day you want it under control. That’s why The Renegade Diet limits the intake of whey protein to very small amounts during most of the day and only allows a larger amount post workout or at night.
The second problem with drinking too many shakes is that they are so easy to digest that you don’t really burn any calories when you eat them. When you chew down some salmon and broccoli your body works harder to digest that food and you burn more calories during the digestion process. When you drink something that is so easily digested, like a protein shake, your body does almost no work in the process.
So, when getting ripped is your main goal, limit your shake intake and chew as many calories as you can.

6) Your Liver is Over Stressed

This is usually the last thing people think of when embarking on a fat loss diet but it can sometimes be the most important. Everything that goes into or on your body has to be processed by the liver. That means all food, alcohol, suntan lotion, environmental pollutants, etc. If you are constantly exposing yourself to this kind of stuff and overstressing the liver fat loss will be much more difficult to come by. Cut out booze, stop eating grain-fed, chemical laden meat and incorporate some regular periods of intermittent fasting to give the liver a break and you will find your rate of fat loss is noticeably faster.

7) You’re Eating Nuts

I love nuts. I mean, who doesn’t? Give me a bag of pistachios or cashews and I won’t look up till the whole thing’s gone. The problem is nuts have a ton of calories. When you’re dieting for fat loss the rules are usually the opposite of those followed by skinny hardgainers trying to gain size. Those guys want the most calorically dense foods possible. Fat loss dieters do not. You’re better off filling up on nutritionally dense foods that don’t pack a lot of calories, like green vegetables. If you’re dieting you need to limit your nut consumption to about ten almonds per serving. No too many people can eat ten almonds. Most people eat ten handfuls. If you are strictly tracking and calculating everything all day and you want to load up on nuts at certain times I suppose you could but I wouldn’t recommend it. Nuts can be very problematic for a lot of people, especially those with digestive or auto immune issues. As Paleo Solution author Robb Wolf has noted, nuts should be used the same way you use condiments- sparingly.
I should also add, and this is strictly my opinion, meaning it has NOT been proven and posted on Pubmed… nut butters seem to be easier for most people to digest than actual whole nuts. Just something to consider.

8) You’re Eating Fruit

jolie berry 300x224 12 Reasons Youre Not Losing Fat“What?! You’re telling people not to eat fruit!? Everyone knows that it’s impossible to get fat from eating too much fruit!”
Yeah, yeah I know, that’s why physique competitors eat so much fruit and why all fat loss experts who specialize in getting people shredded recommend such high quantities of it. In our hunter gatherer days fruit was nothing like what you see in the supermarket today. Berries were small, dark and bitter; not the huge sugar sacks most people consume these days. Don’t get me wrong, fruit is healthy and can be eaten by lean individuals in limited amounts but any type of excessive fructose (a sugar found in fruit) consumption will lead to fat gain. Fructose can only be processed by the liver and once liver glycogen stores are full the excess gets converted to triglycerides and stored as body-fat. If you want to get ripped cut fruit completely for a while or limit it to one to two small servings per day. Just be sure to really up the vegetable consumption so you can keep your vital nutrient uptake where it needs to be.

9) You’re Not Training Heavy

When you want to lose body-fat the first inclination is often to crank up the reps and cut the rest periods. I actually have no problem with fairly low rest periods. But not if you’re used to resting three minutes between sets and all of the sudden cut them down to thirty seconds because you decided it was time to get shredded you’ll be in trouble. That never works. All that happens is your weights start plummeting on every exercise and you get weaker and smaller. High reps have the same effect.
When dieting, the primary role of strength training is to maintain muscle mass. That is the single most important thing. Don’t use it as your primary “fat burning” activity… UNLESS you are seriously overweight. If you need to lose more than fifty pounds or so that would probably be fine (although please don’t ever do any of the bullshit you see on those fat camp TV shows). Females can actually get something out of metcon workouts in the right situation as well. The caveat, however, is that that they need to be strong and actually have some muscle mass. If you take a weak female with no muscle and give her a silly metcon circuit she won’t usually get much out of it because she’s too weak to produce enough force. Females should get strong first before they attempt that type of training.
If you’re a guy and are trying to lose 10-20 pounds of body-fat without losing all your muscle mass in the process you should use strength training as a way to maintain size and strength; nothing more, nothing less. So the same principles that helped you get big and strong apply when dieting. Keep the reps low and the resistance high.

10) You’re Overdoing Cardio

Traditional forms of cardio are largely useless for fat loss. But useless is even okay, it’s when it starts to be counterproductive that we have a real problem. Excessive amounts of cardio lead to an overproduction of cortisol which leads to more abdominal fat and numerous health problems. If you want to do cardio that won’t actually hurt you and could do you some good, go for a long walk. No self respecting man should ever be spotted on an elliptical machine.
dog sled chan 12 Reasons Youre Not Losing Fat

Sled work builds muscle, burns fat and is irreplaceable

11) You’re Not Running Sprints or Doing Sled Work

Dieting is the most important thing for fat loss. After that you should be doing some form of strength training to maintain your muscle mass. When you have those to things dialed in you’ll want to add in some type of sprinting or sled work. There is nothing more effective for fat loss. See all wide receivers, defensive backs, sprinters, soccer players, etc. for proof. Two or three 20-40 minute sprint or sled sessions per week will be enough for most people.
Don’t have a sled? 

12) You’re Not Getting Enough Sleep

When you’re short on sleep your insulin sensitivity decreases and your cortisol goes up. Both things lead to less than optimal fat loss. You also miss out on the critically important Growth Hormone boost that comes each night during deep sleep. If you want to lose more fat you have to get more sleep. Most people will ignore this and some of you are probably reading this at 2am. Unfortunately this just might be the most important thing on the whole list. More sleep improves EVERYTHING. Make it a priority.

Wikio

>The Perfect Body Fat Percentage

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The Perfect Body Fat Percentage

Game Plan

Train with weights, eat well, recover, rinse and repeat. The how-to of building muscle is no great mystery. The questions arise in the nitty-gritty: How do I train? How do I eat?
When it comes to bodybuilding nutrition, the question is often this: How lean do I need to stay to optimize muscle gains?
There are a lot of factors involved. No two individuals are alike, and no two bodybuilding programs should be either. Let’s explore those factors, then come up with a game plan so you can implement your own strategy for bodybuilding success.

Factor #1: Hormones

We all have different metabolisms and hormonal profiles, and by extension, different dietary needs. When talking about bodybuilding, these differences play a major role in how fast we gain muscle and also how much fat we might gain in the process.
A genetic ectomorph (think Screech from Saved by the Bell) will obviously have very different dietary needs and responses compared to a genetic endomorph (think Fat Albert). If Fat Albert tries to stay as lean as Screech does while gaining, he’s going to be spinning his wheels for a long, long time.
Hormones like testosterone, estrogen, cortisol, thyroid, and insulin all play very important (and interdependent) roles in the process of physique manipulation. Looking at each one individually, we have the following:
Hormone Too Much Too Little
Testosterone Rarely an issue Increase in body fat, decrease in muscle mass
Estrogen Increase in body fat Joint issues, health issues, slower muscle gain
Cortisol Slower metabolism, decrease in muscle mass, increase in body fat Rarely an issue
Thyroid Difficulty gaining weight, muscle weakness, fatigue Slower metabolism, fatigue, increase in body fat
Insulin Insulin resistance, increase in body fat , increase in blood pressure Type-I diabetes
Relative to diet and body fat, we have the following (for males):
Also remember that hormones are delicately interlinked. Change one and you change quite a few others. If something is out of whack, it can create a hormonal cascade resulting in a myriad of issues, which can make results hard to come by. It can also be hard to pinpoint the root of the problem because of the ripple-effect nature of hormones.

Factor #2: Psychology

You also have to factor in the mental (and social) aspects of weight gain. If you’re not comfortable eating 6,000 calories a day, your life may be tough. You need to keep things enjoyable if you plan on playing this game long term.

Factor #3: Health Considerations

Being overweight increases blood pressure, blood sugar, and blood lipids (cholesterol and triglycerides). These issues can lead to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and kidney issues, among other serious concerns. They also create hormonal imbalances, which can slow muscle gain.
This is a lose/lose situation. You look out of shape, your health is suffering, and you’re impeding your bodybuilding goals!
Remember, bodybuilding is more of a marathon than a sprint. The guys with the most longevity in the sport do the best. Ronnie Coleman won his last Olympia at 41 years of age. Three of the seven weight class winners at last year’s Nationals were over 40 years old.
Disregard your health by getting too fat and your body may be too wrecked to run the hypertrophy marathon.

Factor #4: Strength and Leverages

Generally speaking, the bigger you are, the stronger you are. Increased body weight not only helps with strength from a muscular standpoint, but also a mechanical standpoint.
Your leverages for most lifts are optimized when you’re bigger, and having a bigger midsection helps with lifts like the squat (for stabilization) and also bench press (by reducing the range of motion).
One lift that usually suffers during weight gain is the deadlift. For most guys, leverages for that lift get worse. Having a smaller midsection helps get into position better on the deadlift, so more leg drive can be used and it’s easier to get “behind the bar.”
So we know that you usually get stronger as you get bigger – and getting stronger is a great way to add muscle – but at what point do the returns start to diminish?
Obviously, if you’re disrupting your hormonal axis, the extra ten pounds you’re gaining on your bench and squat aren’t going to mean a whole lot, especially once it comes time to diet off the pudge and see what’s hiding underneath.
If you’re constantly chasing bigger numbers on the bar and scale, without considering the mirror and your health, your gains will be very short-lived. Loose skin isn’t too cool either.

Putting It All Together

While excess fat can certainly interfere with optimal muscle gains, I’m not a proponent of staying in contest condition year round either. If you’re afraid to lose your six-pack and put on some extra weight, you’ll be treading water for a long time.
A balance between the two is best. Add enough weight to allow for consistent, realistic muscle and strength gains without disrupting your health and endocrine system in the process.
But remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all strategy. Much depends on your natural body type.

Endomorphs: A Guide for the Big Boys

Trying to stay too lean will sabotage your gains. Trying to put on too much weight too quickly will also backfire. Fat will accumulate at an astonishing rate.
Endomorphs need to look for a weight gain of about half to one pound a week to make sure that the majority of the weight they gain is quality. Because of water and glycogen fluctuations, this won’t always cause a linear rate of gain, but try to keep the general trend at a pound or less per week.
Larger individuals (over 250 pounds) can aim for a slightly larger rate of gain, in the neighborhood of one to one and a half pounds per week.
A great method is to use a gaining period – averaging about a pound a week – until you reach the upper level of body fat for your body type, then diet down (intelligently!) for a period of time until you get to the lower end of the range. So gain up to 15%, then diet back down to 10%, then repeat.

Ectomorphs: The Skinny-Guy Guide

If you’re an ectomorph, take a more aggressive approach. Not only are more calories typically required for growth because of your faster metabolism, you also burn off fat very quickly, so putting on a little fluff every now and then isn’t a major concern.
Ectomorphs should shoot for faster gains than endomorphs – maybe one to two pounds a week or more depending on the situation. Truth is, their fast metabolisms usually make this difficult to do unless they’rereally packing in the calories.
Like endomorphs, a weekly gain of half to one pound is usually what they see. It’s rare to see ectomorphic weight trainers get much over 12% body fat, so their goal should be to use a gaining period until they reach about 12% body fat – averaging about a pound gain per week – then slowly dieting down back down to 8-10%.

Mesomorphs: We Hate You. No Guide For You!

Mesomorphs are the guys that can just look at a barbell and grow. And they stay reasonably lean regardless of their diets. If you’re reading this article, you’re probably not one of those guys.

Set Point Considerations

The human body has a lot of internal thermostat-type processes that help it maintain homeostasis. It tries to keep some semblance of “normal” in terms of bodily processes, and it can be quite difficult to change that set point.
Ever notice how after dieting your body tries to fall back to the weight you started at? That’s your set point. It’s what your body is used to, and it wants to get back to that state.
One way to help re-set your set point is to maintain the new weight for a longer period of time in an attempt to get your body to recognize the new weight as its new set point.
Resetting your set point can take months. So rather than getting your weight up to a certain point and then immediately dieting back down, hold that new weight for six months or longer. It will help you hold on to more of that new muscle when you do eventually diet down.
This doesn’t mean get fat and stay fat! It means put on muscle, keep your body fat under control, then hold that new weight for a while before slowly leaning out.

Competition Ready

For those who compete regularly in a physique sport like bodybuilding, it’s even more important to stay in shape during the off-season. It takes too much time to lose excess weight just before show time, and you also risk losing muscle in the process.
All too often I see guys go 50-plus pounds over their competition weight, thinking that they’ve made a ton of progress (hey, they look huge in a sweatshirt). Then they come back the next year and compete at the same weight they did before.
The bullshit stops when the sweatshirt comes off. If you’re competing on a regular basis – at least once a year – it’s imperative to control your body fat if you intend to improve by next year and move up the competitive ladder.

Assessing Progress

Use mirrors to determine your progress. Sure, body fat is important. But honestly, having it measured regularly can be inconvenient and expensive. So instead of going by specific numbers, I prefer checking the mirror and taking photographs to assess progress.
Your lower back and midsection usually don’t lie. They’ll tell you if you’re putting on too much fat. Once your love handles get to the point where they’re hanging over your waistband, you’ve gone too far.
Some “extra fluff” is okay back there, and a lot of what accumulates over the course of a day is water, but you should never get to the point where you can pinch more than an inch.
As for the midsection, you should always be able to see at least an outline of your abdominals (no great detail, just a general outline) and also have visible serratus.

Supplement to Optimize Hormones

Keeping yourself somewhat lean helps optimize your hormone levels, but you can gain an extra edge with the addition of a few key supplements:
Curcumin and Alpha Male optimize testosterone levels.
FA3 and Flameout are hormonal building blocks.
Rez-V works as an anti-estrogen and pro-testosterone.
Receptormax optimizes insulin sensitivity and androgen receptors.

Stress Control and Sleep

It’s easier said than done, but reducing stress in your life can help immensely in your quest for muscle. High stress increases cortisol, which limits muscle gain and promotes fat gain. So get plenty of sleep and don’t sweat the small stuff.

The Bottom Line

There’s no magic number in terms of an optimal body fat percentage for gaining muscle. But, using the guidelines outlined in this article, you can come up with your own best method for achieving optimal hypertrophy while staying sane and healthy in the process.
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