By talking about weight loss , you end up concentrating only on the balance: the weight we make, the pounds we lost … it is a misleading vision of reality. You may think that it is enough to eat less, even to be deprived for a few weeks … and the body will use in the fats automatically. But no ! As we will see, the body can also use ther reserves: water, sugar … muscles. So many sources that can influence your weight. Many of you write to me after draconian regimes, where temporary successes (losing 10kg in 10 days), give way to fatigue, followed by even greater weight regains. In an ideal world, it would be necessary for our body to be a machine to lose fat when we do not eat enough, and to make muscle when we eat a lot instead of storing fat …
Good news: it is possible.
In this article, you will learn how to achieve this ideal. These recommendations are not mandatory to lose weight … but can help you if you are stuck.
The importance of metabolism
In theory, our fat reserves are made to be used. That is why we are dealing with several months of reservations, just in case. Some obese people can stay a year without eating, as this study accompanies an obese young person for 387 days of total fasting … without any negative consequences on his health ( see study ).
Is that a good idea? There is a small catch.
The body is also able to use our tissues as a source of energy. First our muscles, and then our organs … in case of extreme famine, the heart is targeted, resulting in cardiac weakness and long-term death. Not very happy!
Why not use only greases? Two reasons:
– the body needs some amino acids present only in proteins
– proteins can be converted to sugar , if the sugar reserves are depleted and you make an intense effort
With a diet too low in protein or too much exercise on an empty stomach. the body has no choice but to use in our muscles to find the nutrients essential to its functioning.
It is an essential survival mechanism in prehistoric times, but that will play us tricks when our goal is to improve our physique (not really the priority at the time!).
The negative consequences of a draconian regime
When you reduce your intake too much over time (skipping a meal will not kill you ), the body tries to adapt to survive as long as possible in this difficult environment.
To extend our lifetime in times of famine, it will therefore reduce our metabolism (the rate at which we spend energy). Because less energy spent every day means more days of survival … and more chance to find food.
In a draconian diet study, Dr. George Bray reduces calorie intake to 450 calories (a little less than a Big Mac). In less than 24 days, metabolism is reduced by 15% ( see study ).Other studies, especially anorexia, show metabolic reductions of up to 45%. Which means that even when eating 2 times less, you do not lose weight.Muscle mass uses a lot of energy, a form of mess if you do not use it. The best way to reduce expenses is therefore to lose muscle: the body uses unused muscle fibers as a priority. In passing, it preserves to the maximum the brain which must continue to turn in priority. Any other activity then becomes secondary. To nourish the brain which turns by default to sugar, it converts the proteins of the muscles into sugar (it is neo-glucogenesis).
Whether it is to survive or to nourish the brain, one notices in all the studies that the prolonged restriction increases the creation of glucose from the proteins of the body … and thus the use of the muscles.
Beyond reducing metabolism (which makes weight loss more and more difficult), losing muscle is also not a good thing for a good physical appearance. Muscles gives definition.Even lighter, you’re not necessarily more beautiful in the ice … and when you eat again, you’ll regain weight very easily because of slowed metabolism. To lose mostly fat, one must first avoid losing muscle.
The impact of diet on our hormones
If you are used to reading me, you know that weight loss is a matter of hormones. Depending on what you eat, the production of these hormones will be affected. For example, too many sugars and starches will push the body to produce insulin, which keeps us in a state of permanent storage … not conducive to destocking. A good option to help is therefore reduce its intake of sugars and starches, as well as limit the glycemic index of its diet. Click here to download my free guide on glycemic indexes.
Conversely, a higher fat diet increases body fat consumption during exercise. In another study by Dr. Bray ( see study ), it only takes a few days to eat less sweet and more fat so that the body spends more fat during exercise. Finally, in the case of an excessive restriction, the hormones are also impacted. We have hormones that allow muscle gain, other weight loss. A good hormonal balance is therefore essential for a healthy and lasting weight loss. What happens if you follow a diet too drastic (in addition to losing muscle, therefore):
– reduction of testosterone levels : additionally reduce your ability to repair and make muscle, you lose energy and ability to reproduce you (not good sign)
– inhibition of growth hormone , one of the hormones slimming more important
– thyroid weakness , making fat use more difficult
– permanently high cortisol (chronic stress), causing muscle loss and fat storage
You understand, these hormonal changes will literally turn you into a fat storing machine, especially when you are going to eat normally.We want to create the opposite effect on our hormones.
How to force fat loss?
As you have understood, the ideal situation is therefore to limit the production of “magnifying” hormone, but without completely killing our metabolism with a drastic diet.
Scientists have been measuring for years the use of our reserves during exercise.The answer is very simple: the smoother the exercise, the more fat is used as a source of energy. Conversely, the more intense the activity, the more sugar is needed.
For this reason, I recommend being active throughout the day because you are spending energy without the need for sugar.
Walking fasting, gardening, using a bike instead of the car, are activities that essentially use our body fat … especially on an empty stomach.
Eat more fat, less sweet
Having a slow activity will not help you if you eat sugar all day. Consuming too much sugar directly prevents the use of fat (especially because of insulin produced in reaction to sugar).On the contrary, eating more fat will stabilize the blood sugar and turn our metabolism towards the use of fats. Saturated fats for example (present in eggs, butter, red meat), wrongly accused of ruining our cardiovascular health, are essential elements in the production of hormones related to weight loss, such as testosterone. In this context, replacing these carbohydrates with good fats will make one stone two strokes: one reduces the production of insulin while promoting the loss of fat and good hormones.