Fat Loss and Gaining Muscle Mass
Fat loss is a subject of exceptional importance whether you personally need to lose fat or not. Knowing these principles you’ll be able to know how to achieve stronger body with a better physique.
There are many methods of fat loss. Here we talk losing excess body fat through proper nutrition and for even faster results – simultaneously with proper training, i.e increasing muscle mass. That’s the fastest and most effective way to lose excess fat. It carries along additional bonuses such as increased levels of physical and mental energy, better health, even more self-confidence not just because of a better outlook but because you personally achieved it all!
If you’ve had enough wandering about from advice to advice, “Drink that”, “Eat like this”, “Train like that”…, then it’s time to know the mechanisms behind fat loss and building more muscle mass.
It’s not enough to just lose weight. You need to know how it really comes to weight gain.
The key to losing fat is increasing your muscle mass and it means:
DIRECTING YOUR HORMONES TOWARD BUILDING MUSCLE MASS AND BURNING FAT THROUGH PROPER EXERCISE, NUTRITION AND ADEQUATE SLEEP.
It is hormones that command the body into building muscles, burning fat, gaining weight or wasting muscles. Your diet and the way you train are one of the main factors that determine which one will prevail in your body.
Fatty tissue doesn’t come about exclusively from dietary fat
Stored body fat is composed of not only the same fat you ingested through your nutrition. Body fat is created also in the following way. You ingest carbohydrates, say white bread. In the body it is broken down to simpler sugars. Part of these sugars are used for momentary energy needs, part are stored into muscles and the liver and the excess is converted to fat. This fat is stored as body fat.
Hormones are the regulators that burn or store fat, build or waste muscle
If you have excess body fat, the solution is not to go jogging or running 2 hours every day or work out for 1-2 hours every single day of the week. Even if many people do exactly that with the intention of fat loss, what actually happens in their bodies when they exercise this way is this: each workout that lasts longer than one hour activates the hormone cortisol and keeps it higher for a prolonged period after the completion of your workout for that day. This prolonged high level of cortisol keeps testosterone low, whereas testosterone is one of the main fat burners and muscle-mass builders in the human body.
Cortisol is antagonistic to testosterone – when cortisol is high, testosterone automatically goes low.
This way your muscle growth slows down, at least for two reasons. Low testosterone = slow muscle growth. And the second reason is that elevated cortisol breaks muscles down (eats them away). And contrary to the general opinion, the burning of excess fat is actually slowed down. Popular opinion is that the best method of fat loss or burning fat is torture by prolonged jogging and long workouts. This is erroneous. During the workout you burn less fat than AFTER THE WORKOUT. After a proper workout the hormones are at the levels necessary to burn fat. It is the same as the fact that muscles are not built during the workout, but after it.
You grow while you sleep, you burn fat while you sleep
These two things – burning fat and muscle growth, take place mainly during SLEEP. You lose fat while you sleep, as then the fat-burning and muscle-building hormones are most active.
The best sleep time is from 10/11 PM to 06/07 AM. In any case, eight hours at least.
Nutrition triggers different hormones
Proper exercise with proper nutrition and sufficed with adequate sleep, will contribute to super-fast loss of fat by burning the extra fat. To make this possible you need to reduce as much carbs as you can from your diet, but don’t reduce the intake of fat significantly. Yes, we know this is contrary to popular opinion too. We are not here to be “popular” but to be effective. This way you can achieve maximal results, greatly faster than the “popular” rate which is many months or several years.
Proper diet includes daily intake of green salads, drinking 2 liters of water at least (this is not juices, soft drinks, coffee, but pure simple water), intake of protein around 2 grams per kg body weight, fats around 2 grams per kg, and carbs 40 grams a day at most. Yes, this is hardcore. But body fat is hardcore too.
Green salads and other vegetables are necessary as they contain dietary fiber. Dietary fiber is the most complex carbohydrate and it is not broken down in the body, it’s eliminated out. Dietary fiber is exceptionally useful in the digestion of food and it cleans the intestines. It also reduces insulin response which means it slows down the accumulation of fat.
Don’t buy skimmed milk or any low-fat dairy products if you wish to lose body fat. These products have less fats but more carbohydrates. And the mechanism by which the accumulation of fat takes place is mainly triggered by the presence of CARBOHYDRATES. Carbs trigger insulin spikes. Insulin then performs CONVERSION OF THE EXCESS CARBOHYDRATES INTO FAT AND STORES IT AS BODY FAT. It also stores the excess of ingested dietary fat.
Insulin will store whatever you provide – fats and/or carbohydrates. Yet carbohydrates trigger insulin, dietary fats do not. In the absence of carbohydrates which means minimal insulin presence, there is no one to store the fats. Fats aren’t dangerous, but carbs are if you consume them excessively or if they comprise a significant part of your diet.
Proteins contribute to weight loss of excess fat
If you support the intake of dietary fat with higher intake of protein, you have nothing to worry about. Protein contributes to burning fat, if large amounts of carbs are not ingested. Dietary fat should come from healthy sources such as meat, olive oil, butter (not margarine).
All carbs are not same (so what?)
There is a difference between carbohydrates. Some of them are simple (fast) and some are complex (slow).
Fast carbs (such as white bread, sugar) are very quickly broken down in the body and trigger fast insulin response.
Complex carbs (beans, lentils, rice…, vegetables, whole grain food – oats, rye, barley) trigger insulin in a slower manner. But this doesn’t change the fact that whether complex or simple, carbs increase blood sugar which lowers growth hormone (the key hormone to build muscle mass and lose excess body fat) and spikes insulin which causes weight gain (by excess body fat). Don’t be fooled by “Complex carbs don’t make you fatter.” They elevate insulin.
Note on sugar: usual white sugar, brown sugar and fructose (fruit sugar) trigger high-insulin spike and storing fat. Fructose exists in processed form of sugar and can be bought as such. And although fructose or brown sugar are considered healthier than white sugar, they’re fast carbohydrates and friends with body fat.
The most important thing to have in mind if you intend to lose the excess body fat, is that your body won’t break down and use the fat reserves while there are carbs and elevated insulin present around.
For the body to function it needs energy which it gets from combustion. As with any machine, the body also needs raw material (food, oxygen, water) to be able to create energy from their combustion.
The body can get energy via two regimes of combustion:
- Carbohydrate-burning regime (promotes fat building)
- Fat-burning regime (promotes fat loss)
As it is with cars that can run both on diesel and gasoline, in which the gasoline-combustion regime is transferred to diesel combustion by the push of a button, so it is with the body. The button that transfers the body into carb-burning mode is insulin. And another hormone, called glucagon, is the button that transfers the body into the fat-burning mode.
The intake of protein triggers glucagon release. Carbs trigger insulin release. Fats alone don’t trigger either.
When the body burns carbohydrates, the ability to burn fat is lost. This doesn’t change even if you have protein along with the carbs. Then the excess carbs are converted into fats and are stored for “future needs”. If you continually feed carbs into your system, you then don’t allow your body to burn off the fat reserves. This way it relies on the “fresh” carb-fuel for energy and so doesn’t have the necessity to burn the stored fat. Thus there is no fat loss. Plus, the excess of this fuel will be stored as new body fat.
As the body is an adaptive mechanism, if it has much body fat, it will tend to keep itself in a fat-storing mode (if you don’t impose on it different conditions to which it will have to adapt).
For example, you eat a meal with 250 grams of steak, no addition of carbs (no bread, potatoes, etc.), and some green salad with olive oil. This meal will not trigger much insulin and so no amount of fats will be stored. These are very appropriate conditions that will boost secretion of the hormones which actually trigger muscle growth and fat-burning weight loss.
Now imagine what would’ve happened if you ate a carbohydrate dessert with no fats but with the same amount of calories as the steak meal. Your insulin level will spike to take away the sugars from the dessert. Insulin is the hormone that builds and stores fat. So the most of this sugar will not be burned out. It will be converted to fat and stored as body fat.
Eating dietary fat with the carbs slows down the digestion of carbs and their breakdown. The insulin response would be slowed down but we explain this combination from a theoretical aspect to demonstrate the way carbs work. This combination is not recommended as the carbs will still trigger insulin. And insulin will be too happy to collect everything on its way – broken down sugars and especially raw fats. But nevertheless it is the broken down carbs (blood sugar) that trigger insulin. Fats don’t.
Dietary fat don’t make you fat
Contrary to popular opinion, fats are not the demon. Through fats the body can produce energy and maintain essential organs such as the brain. Without fats your body wouldn’t work.
The same goes for insulin – it is necessary to provide organs with energy so they can work. It is necessary to keep blood sugar in normal levels. Without insulin the body wouldn’t work too. But besides providing fuel for energy, it stores it as fat. It’s how it handles excess sugar that can’t be momentarily used.
Some dogs won’t stop eating until you remove the food or until they ate all of it. Insulin is same. While there are sugars in the blood (broken-down carbs from food) it will collect and store.
Now you know how to control its activity.
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