By r. Eric Serrano MD and Scott H. Mendelson CFT, SSC, SPN
At times simple items can be the most powerful solutions to complex problems. Apply the fourteen tips below and you will accelerate your fat loss efforts significantly in a matter of days. Well it started out as ten tips, but quickly grew; we have never colored within the lines before so we are not going to start now!
People are always after us for easy answers when it comes to fat loss. While there are no proven tactics to destroy your body fat overnight, there are certainly things you can do to help yourself right now. Below are our top ten tips and common mistakes people make when trying to lose body fat. Apply these ten and you will increase your chance of losing those unwanted pounds by 2 fold!
First a little background so you understand the value of the list below. We mention blood sugar and insulin several times as both are key components in the fat loss equation. Blood Sugar levels are affected by food choices, combinations and timing. Certain food items will spike blood sugar which causes insulin to rise. While insulin is not always bad; in the case of losing fat it must be kept under control as it is the most potent fat storing hormone the body produces.
Aim to keep blood sugar levels steady with the tips below and you will experience better energy, mood, fewer cravings and more satisfaction from meals. Keep insulin in check and you will be well on your way to significant fat loss.
1. Do Not Drink Fruit Juices.
A healthy glass of OJ each morning- no way! It is poison in my book. Fresh squeezed orange juice including the fiber from the pulp would be my preference. The glycemic index rating for oranges is moderate while orange juice is sky high partially due to added sugars put in juices. Remember the glycemic index determines blood sugar and insulin levels. This is the first thing I pull out of any diet especially if there are juvenile behavior problems. Use real fruits for your nutrient needs and remember to include avocados and grapefruit which both fit well in most fat loss plans.
2. Eliminate the Consumption of Refined Foods
Most acknowledge that refined foods such as bread, pasta, packaged baked goods, cereal etc support the storage of body fat. Do not be fooled by whole wheat bread, pitas, tortillas and other products that also contained enriched flour. In many cases these items are the same as their white counter parts with some added coloring.
3. Amino Load before and after exercise
Amino Loading is a term we use to describe the combination of 100 % MR and Muscle Synthesis which efficiently deliver crucial amino acids in a rapid fashion. Consumed before training this unique combo forces the body to use more stored fat as fuel during exercise while also helping the trainee to shift to a more anabolic (fat burning) hormonal environment. During and after training amino acids provide an alternative energy source to support improved training performance (especially important during a low carb diet) and lay the building blocks needed for new muscle growth. Following training your first priority should be accelerating recovery and Amino Loading provides the critical ratios of amino acids needed to be quickly assimilated into hungry muscles. A protein shake post workout alone does not do the job, during training you pump blood into the muscles to act as a nutrient super highway to carry in raw materials. Drinking a shake following training will draw blood away from the muscles and into the stomach to support digestion which deteriorates much of the raw material value and slows down the delivery of nutrients.
Timing is critical and there is no time to spare post workout. 100% MR and Muscle Synthesis rapidly deliver the raw materials needed as they bypass digestion and get right into the blood stream to take advantage of the hormonal and metabolic conditions created by training. For more information about the pre and post workout window of opportunity click HERE.
4. Do not use bars of any kind as meal replacements when trying to maximize fat loss.
Bars have come a long way when it comes to taste, but they are nothing more than high protein candy bars. They are a great tool for gaining weight or every once in a while when you are in a pinch. Otherwise do not use them, be aware that this “net impact carbs” and other labeling tricks are a scam. Companies have replaced sugar with other sweeteners which do not count as carbs on the label. As a result you end up with a bar “low in carbs” but sky high in sweeteners that will cause more havoc with insulin levels than real sugar. I have yet to find a bar high enough in fiber and low in sweeteners to allow people to lose body fat when eaten regularly.
5. Do not replace solid food meals with shakes and never consume a shake without fiber as your first meal of the day.
I understand people are very busy in the mornings, but a real food meal first in the day is vital. The body has been starving overnight and must have real food which provides a basis of nutrients and fiber. Without fiber your blood sugar will go haywire. Furthermore do not rely on shakes for every meal. I am amazed to see people in my office eating one food meal and 5 shakes per day. I make money on a few different protein shakes as I have designed them to supplement food meals, not the other way around.
People wonder why they cannot lose body fat; their blood sugar levels are out of control! Consume at least three solid food meals per day. Mixed nuts are a great protein shake alternative as they are high in good fats, proteins and have adequate fiber content. Aim to get raw or organic nuts which will have the most nutrients available, peanuts are not a good choice in comparison to mixed nuts.
6. Rotate foods to avoid food allergies- especially protein shakes.
Food allergy testing is one of the greatest advancements in my office over the last 5 years. I am able to identify specific foods that cause allergies which can produce the following symptoms: stomach upset, excessive body fat, poor energy, trouble concentrating and many more. Most people consider a food allergy lactose intolerance or an immediate allergic reaction to peanuts. I am speaking of allergies you develop from constantly consuming the same foods. Some of my clients have eaten enough chicken to grow feathers before they came to me. Right after consumption of certain protein sources people feel sick and could not figure out why. Well here is your answer, rotate your foods or you will pay a price. Take items that you have consumed for months on end out of the diet for at least 4 weeks and you will see a huge difference. The most common culprits are eggs, milk, and peanut butter.
Experiment with different sources, I eat steak for breakfast all of the time when I rotate off eggs and nothing makes me feel better in the morning. Try something new for once, fish, seafood, buffalo, lamb. There is more to life than turkey, chicken and eggs.
You must rotate your protein shakes by switching from brand to brand every two weeks. There are elements within the manufacturing process that create allergic reactions which are similar to the symptoms listed in the paragraph above. A great alternative to protein shakes between meals is the combination of 100 % MR and Muscle Synthesis as it provides excellent building blocks for new muscle without any ingredients that can cause allergies. Furthermore Muscle Synthesis will absorb quickly and muscles will utilize an unbelievable amount of amino acids which are 100% anabolic on ar*****.
Amino loading with 100% MR and Muscle Synthesis force the body to use more stored fat as fuel which is one of the primary mechanisms of the Zero Tolerance Fat Loss Program which has been extremely successful for my patients over the last several years. the large influx of aminos makes the brain believe a great deal of food has come in and as a result metabolic rate is increased, but there is nothing to burn except stored body fat as the aminos have no caloric value.
7. Do Not Under Eat or Diet Endlessly.
Calories are not the only significant factor determining rates of fat loss. Starving to lose body fat is not the answer; you must fuel your human engine with quality food sources and combinations at the right time. Calories are secondary to food choices. Eat 2,000 calories of lucky charms and 2,000 calories of high quality protein, healthy fats and fibrous green vegetables. See what happens, not the same after all.
Never diet for more than 16 weeks, by that time the body is going to hold on to every bit of fat it can and chop away at muscle. You must rotate your emphasis and use phases to restore metabolism for future fat loss efforts by overfeeding to produce quality muscle which will burn more calories 24x7
8. Elevate green vegetable intake for the numerous health promoting and fat loss benefits.
Green vegetables help to keep you full and increase absorption rates of protein. A lack of green vegetable fiber to replace other fiber sources during a low carbohydrate is a problem for many people. Numerous vitamins and minerals are within green vegetables; the most popular include broccoli, asparagus, green beans etc. Notice I recommend green vegetables which does not include potatoes, tomatoes, corn or peas! Focus on the greens; the sicker you are the more you need! Aim for at least one serving of green vegetables with each food meal. Flavor vegetables with extra virgin olive oil as a large salad, but use less lettuce and more solid greens. Lastly green vegetables do not count as carbs in my book when it comes to low carb dieting calculations. They are mostly fiber and water and will not put you over carb allowances. If you must consume shakes as meal replacements add extra fiber to slow the rate of digestion.
9. Consume The "right" Fats!
Dietary fat is not the enemy; low fat diets do not work and can lead to many health problems. I have found a correlation between very low cholesterol levels and depression. Good dietary fats are a key component to good health. The best choices are extra virgin olive oil, avocados, mixed nuts, fats from organic meats, and the like. The most important supplemental fat source is omega 3 fatty acids which you have all heard of lately due to the recent research. You must get a filtrated fish oil which is toxin free; I can vouch for my brand HAlpha OmegaH since I see the lab tests. A un filtrated oil can lead to metal toxicity and other health problems you do not want to deal with. Back to Omega 3s, a key to reducing body fat is controlling the release of insulin as it is a fat storage hormone. The Alpha Omega was specifically designed to optimize your blood sugar levels following meals to give you the best chance to use food as fuel instead of being stored as fat. Obviously the food choices you make will play a large roll in this as well.
Eating grassfed beef is your best choice as a red meat source, in many situations properly raised grassfed beef will have a higher omega 3 content than some fish! Verify the cattle are raised without the use of antibiotics or hormones.
10. Do Not Abuse Alcohol
I am not sure how drinking became so popular amongst people wanting to reduce body fat. Let me break it to you, drinking is probably one of the worse things you can do, it will set you back for weeks depending how much you consume. I have dozens of patients paying the price now for drinking done years ago. As certain fat deposit sites were developed directly from alcohol side affects and take three times as long to burn off. One of those nice sugar laden tropical drinks is the obesity market’s best friend. No better way to pack on the pounds.
In addition to what has been obvious to me from a metabolic standpoint. I link drinking binges to junk food binges. A fat storing environment is cultivated when drinking, and I have found clients make bad food choices when they are drunk for lack of a better term.
Do not expect to be mentally sharper or perform well during workouts if you have consumed alcohol in recent days. No better way to zap the nervous system and lower testosterone levels.
11. Drink .6 x your body weight in pounds to determine the number of ounces you need per day.
Cold water forces the body to expend energy to heat it up to body temp. I consider water to be an essential nutrient. You must drink water with and between meals to optimize health especially during times of increases physical activity and heat. Do not wait until you are thirsty, be pro active. Even a 2 % decrease in bodily water content can trigger many health problems. This is perhaps the easiest thing people can do to improve their well being.
In addition to all of the health benefits, water will keep muscles full and prepared for action. Lastly when I say water I mean water, not diet pop or other drinks. I hate to break it to you, but diet soda is not so great. One or so a day is ok, but more than that can get in the way of your goals. Coffee is fine, but use regular milk or real cream instead of sugar and the like. Remember that coffee will dehydrate you to a degree so you must drink ample water to replace what is lost.
12. Never use breakfast as a cheat meal
I do advocate periodic cheat meals, but never for the first meal of the day. Research proves that breakfast is the most important meal of the day when it comes to setting the pace for blood sugar levels. I want my clients to satisfy cravings, but at the same time I want to minimize the damage and prevent body fat accumulation. Take Alpha Omega before and after any cheat meal and you will keep blood sugar levels under control which will minimize body fat accumulation. It is not a fat blocker as that concept is a scam, but the concept is somewhat similar.
13. Gain some muscle for a change
It seems like 75% of the people come into to my office, and 90% of women and want to lower body fat %, cannot diet effectively forever and at times the best long term solution for reviving metabolism is to put on some good old fashion muscle! Remember that a long term diet especially with low caloric intake will actually teach the body to store fat to preserve survival. If you have been dieting for an extended period of time with poor results, a sluggish metabolism may be to blame! No ladies you are not going to pack on 20 lbs of muscle overnight, that is not going to happen without the right genetics and efforts to do specifically that, however some gains in muscle, say even 5 lbs can help you burn many more calories 24x7 while improving your hormonal landscape as well. Remember more muscle also helps with long term bone health and every day function.
14. Change your diet at least every 3 months
Do you follow the same training program forever? Well if you do it is a mistake, the body adapts very quickly too many stimuli including those created through your nutrition plan. The priorities of your nutrition plan should change often and so should your macronutrient %s. This will also help to dictate the change of some food sources which is highly beneficial, this gets into some more complicated topics, but check with Scott@infinityfitness.com for more details.
The goal is to break the cycle of the body using just protein or even carbs for fuel; we want the body to be over loaded with dietary fat for a period of time so the system can efficiently use fat as fuel. When you will return to a lower dietary fat intake, yet the body will still know how to utilize the stored fat on your backside as fuel instead of your hard earned muscle.
15. Amino Load between meals
Amino Loading with 100 % MR and Muscle Synthesis provide the specific fuel the body seeks for optimal mental and physical function between meals. Why does Amino loading fool the body into burning body fat? The specific ingredients, ratios and proprietary technology found with 100% MR and Muscle Synthesis provides high impact nutrition with only a few calories signaling the body to believe massive amounts of food have been consumed. Metabolism is revamped through the roof to handle the incoming nutrients, but there is no food to digest, leaving stored body fat as the only source available to burn.
16. Lower your Stress Levels
I know easier said than done, but it is a key factor of the fat loss equation. Stress will ruin your insulin sensitivity causing the body to over secrete the fat storage hormone insulin. Furthermore high cortisol levels elevated due to stress also activate fat storage receptors, for men in the mid section and women have a harder time with the hips/buttocks area. We are well equipped to deal with short term stress such as being chased by a wild animal, but the long term stressors from over due bills, relationship issues, sick relatives etc are what really take a toll. Signs that you are overstressed include excessive body fat levels, consistent fatigue, irritability and lack of motivation. Overtraining syndrome has similar symptoms as high stress levels are one of the key factors involved with reducing your capacity to recover from training.
Those who are highly stressed should consider Fat Reduce, Alpha Omega, 100% MR and Muscle Synthesis to combat some of the negative effects created by this problem.
17. Get Your Rest
A lack of sleep makes your hormones turn in the wrong direction. Countless studies show that a few nights of poor sleep can negatively alter your insulin sensitivity. In our experience those with inadequate sleep consume more sugar for a variety of reasons. A good nights rest is a key to successful days fueling optimal physical and mental energy to accomplish the tasks at hand. Optimizing your natural anabolic hormone levels is an important part of the recovery process as it relates to weight training especially. Lack of sleep is a common cause of overtraining. While some people have trouble going to sleep many more experience difficulty staying in a deep level of sleep. Waking up feeling tired is a sign that the quality of sleep is poor. High stress levels are a common reason behind some sleep difficulties; try the Fat Reduce PM which was engineered to lower stress levels before sleep.
In conclusion- Knowledge is not power, only knowledge properly applied is powerful.
Work hard and smart utilizing a customized plan appropriate for your needs; Fat loss is rarely a one size fits all matter which is why you should contact email@example.com to discuss your individual needs. The three most common traits that we see amongst those who are most successful are a sense of urgency to reach a set of goals, the ability to get right back on track when life knocks you off course and finally the ability to consistently execute a well designed routine with no room for excuses. See you at the beach!
1 Demura, S., et al. Perceptual Motor Skills 98 (3pt 1): 883-895, 2003
2.Rennie, M.J, and KD Tipton, Protein and Amino acid metabolism during and after exercise and the effects on nutrition. Ann. Rev Nutr. 20:457-483,2000