Body fat Loss Planning
Firstly, let's work on the assumption that the total amount of fat the body can burn off each day is restricted by a number of factors, including
1. The body's preferred source of energy - mainly glycogen and sugar!
2. The daily intake of calories. Food eaten
3. The body's daily usage of calories. Work done
"So don't eat and lose the weight, right?" WRONG!
In the absence of dietary carbohydrates and energy from other sources, the body does NOT simply go straight for the fat stores. A body that is used to eating regular carbs will be very good at using up all the body's available glycogen first, before going for the body fat! Hence low calorie diets have spectacular fast results for "slimmers". This is because glycogen is "water heavy" and as the body uses up the glycogen stored in the muscles and the liver, this "water weight" drops off. This is often referred to as "its mostly water you are losing". Well, they're nearly right. In reality, it is not only water, but muscle energy, muscle mass, and also a disastrous slowing down of the body's metabolic rate. Also, for good measure, when food is absent, the body takes about 24-48 hours to activate this slowing metabolism, a "fat storage" function that will gladly accept the next big meal straight onto the ribs and belly. It is not as easy to then get the metabolism back up, as the body will have lost some muscle along the way, the very machines/engines that boost the metabolism.
I've included some maths below which get a bit complicated, but conclude that with no physical exercise, but not eating more than 1800 to 2000 calories per day in healthy food and limited added fat and processed carbs/sugars, it is possible to burn off 1 pound of fat per week.
If you do an hour's hi tempo cardio exercise, that's another 500 kcal burned off per day. So, its logical to assume you will burn more fat per day as a result. Well, it may well lose some weight, but again, if there is insufficient food coming in, the body will once again drain the glycogen. And, if you are trying to improve your physical fitness and performance, you need to feed the muscles after a workout, in order to promote maximum adaptation, repair and recovery. This is the confusing part for most people and leads to the question;
How much do I need to eat to keep my fitness improving, and also lose weight?
The answer is, eat the foods that make the digestive system work hard for the nutrients the body needs. This does not mean, actually eating less. In fact, eating the right foods in the right quantities can actually take some doing.
Certain foods will not be (easily) stored as fat. If you include a lean white protein, or egg, in each "meal" and boost the plate with hot or cold vegetables, nuts, seeds, berries and fruit, you should be full and have plenty of energy. Note that energy does not come from high carbs intake, but rather the amino acids and minerals found in proteins and the plants mentioned.
So, for example. What percentage of a meal is stored as fat, and why?
Foods that are whole in their form - fresh off the tree or plant - that need to be well chewed before swallowing - will digest slower, and release their energy slower - and at the rate the body is built to receive it. This natural delay prevents a rise in the hormone insulin which promotes fat storage. As long as the insulin gland, the pancreas, remains under-stimulated, this places an immediate limit on fat storage. Once this is achieved, the body then receives a steady and satisfying flow of energy from food, so it is not starved of energy, but it will be stimulated into burning a range of nutrients for energy, not just glycogen.
In the absence of huge doses of carbs then (white starchy foods), the body will become more proficient at seizing the proteins and fats (in both food and in the body's stores) as energy which means, in turn, that the rate of fat usage - burning - per day, should increase.
So, in conclusion:
1. Burn off as many calories as physically possible each day
2. Try to progress your ability and fitness and performance as time passes: Faster. For longer. More often, Or all 3.
3. Stop all processed carbohydrate intake. Its unnatural, and unnecessary, even for a tough workout. Go for meat and veg, Meat and fruit, seeds and nuts.
3a. Eat smallish meals regularly through the day but never eat to feeling stuffed and "tired".
4. Eat lean white meat, fish and eggs in most meals and snacks.
5. Add vegetables, seeds, nuts, berries and fruit to each meal and snack
With these factors in place most of the time, you can expect to burn off between 2 and 4lbs a week, perform good workouts and feel satisfied when you eat. If this plan sounds excessively tough to complete, try doing it for a fortnight, then go back to relative normality for a few weeks, before attempting it again. The overall effect over a year should be significant progress.
I reckon you could lose 6lb in a 12-14 day period. More depending on the number and intensity of cardio sessions.
Any questions welcome.
Approximate calories used by your body per day - 2000 kcal.
Assumed percentage of that energy from:
Glycogen/sugars - 80%
Fats - 20%
Therefore Daily calories from:
Glycogen/sugars - 1600 kcal
Fats - 400 kcal
Calories in 1lb of fat = 3000 kcal
Days required to burn 1lb body fat - 3000/400 = 7 days
Paul Richardson PWR Personal Training 07855 121232 www.pwrpersonaltraining.co.uk