The secret to weight loss Burn more calories than you consume. When you do this consistently, you will notice consistent weight loss. There is one major hurdle; you must overcome your body’s desire for you not to lose weight. Your body has a few devious tricks it plays on you to keep on the weight. First, every time you drop a few pounds your body with simultaneously decreasing your activity level. If that doesn’t work to put back on the pounds, your body will increase your appetite. You gotta keep the devil down in the hole.
Weight Loss Techniques
There are two major competing philosophies of dieting for weight loss; number one eating 4-6 small meals throughout the day. The idea behind multiple small meals centers around the concept of the thermogenic effect of food. Those who believe in a thermogenic effect subscribe to the notion that eating provides a little boost to your metabolism. Eating and digesting food burns calories. This process is known as thermogenesis. Thermogenesis is the body producing energy due to the digestive process. The energy produced speeds up the metabolism, so your body burns more calories the more times you eat in a day. Eat six meals a day; your metabolism speeds up each time you eat causing a higher overall resting metabolism.
The second philosophy involves fasting sometimes up to 18 hours in a day then only eating during the remaining hours. It should go without being said that you don’t want to start with an 18 hour fast at the beginning. Also, remember sleeping counts as fasting not many people consume calories during their sleep. Exercise is encouraged before the first meal. As a rule faster’s usually only consuming 1-2 meals a day. Both philosophies can promote weight loss or become a consistent philosophy toward consuming calories. However, when used as a weight loss protocol, they both must achieve the requisite for success; burn more calories than you consume.
Researchers have yet to discover whether increasing or decreasing the number of meals you eat is the best way to lose weight. Unfortunately, what researcher know is that weight loss does accompany an unconscious, spontaneous decrease in physical activity, which minimizes weight loss.
Carbohydrates (carbs) and fats are our biggest energy source at rest and during activity. Proteins are active during activity, but their contribution to producing energy is tiny. Carbs are stored as glycogen in muscle and liver. Fats are stored in the form of triacylglycerol underneath skin and muscle. The liver usually stores between 80 to 100 grams of glycogen (20 to 25 calories at 4 calories per gram). Glycogen storage in the muscle can vary from 50 grams (12.5 calories) after strenuous exercise to 900 grams (225 calories) after a big carb meal.
Fat stores are larger because of the density of energy molecules. Individually we differ on the amount of body fat we carry, typically between 8% and 35% of a person’s total bodily weight. Fat is predominantly stored in the adipose tissue; however, roughly 300 grams (33.3 calories at 9 calories per gram) can store in muscle. Fat stores are very large compared to carbs; fat stores represent approximately 95% of stored energy in the body.
In our everyday environment carbohydrates (carbs) and fats are utilized simultaneously for energy, but their contributions depends on several factors; activity intensity and duration, diet, environmental conditions, gender and fitness level.
Fat is the primary source of fuel used by muscles regardless of the activity. At rest or overnight sleep (an extended fast), fat is the primary source of energy derived from adipose tissue whereas the brain’s main source of fuel comes from carbohydrate. Energy demands change as activity demands change. Low intensity activity increases energy usage rapidly for both carbs and fats. As activity intensity increase, fat remains the primary source of energy until the activity reaches 65% of VO max. VO2 max (maximal oxygen consumption or maximal aerobic capacity is the theoretical maximum amount of oxygen an individual can consume during exercise. As activity intensifies, carbs (glycogen) use increases and the rate of energy from fat decline.
Measuring VO2 max:
Heart Rate (HR) max = 220 – age
HR = 220 – 35
= 185 beats per minute (bpm)
Calculate Target HR
THR = 185 x .65
= 120 bpm (low-end HR target
= 185 X .85
= 157 bpm (upper-end HR target
This formula is simplistic; however, it does provide the basic. You can do a web search for a more detailed calculation or check your smart device. Most smart devices will calculate your VO2 max for you when you input your personal bio stats.
The longer an activity continues, fat reemerge as the primary energy source and glycogen takes a secondary role. Remember, glycogen stored in the muscle is finite and exhaust quickly with intense activity. Fatigue is the result of low muscle glycogen storages where carbohydrate as fuel can’t meet the demands of the activity. Ingestion of carbs during activity can replenish muscle glycogen storage loss. Fat can contribute 90% of the fuel requirements for activities that continue for several hours.
Energy Use During Activity
High carb diets can add extra glycogen storage in muscle, especially when combined while performing high intensity activity with prolonged duration (think tennis match). The termed often used to describe this method of intentionally pumping glycogen into the muscle is super compensation. Muscle glycogen is depleted followed by a high carb meal, depleted again with subsequent high carb meal, which causes the muscle to increase glycogen storage or over compensate. Be aware muscle fat reduces as glycogen stores exceed normal limits (see storage examples above).
High fat diets increase fat usage as an energy source instead of increasing storage of fat. This increase in fat utilization from eating a high fat diet is not an immediate phenomenon. Over time research, show that high fat diets spare glycogen during activity. Glycogen sparing can be beneficial in activities where the intensity meets the 65% VO2 max threshold and requires an incremental burst of energy.
Ingesting carbs pre-activity will lessen the amount of fat burned by as much as 40%. Environmental conditions can also affect energy usage. Weather conditions such as cold, heat and altitude influence energy use at rest and during activity. Heat exposure causes an increase in glycogen utilization and a decrease in fat utilization. Exposure to the cold has produced mixed results but nothing conclusive. At lower levels of intensity (below 40% VO max), women use fat at a higher rate than men do. Gender differences disappear as the activity intensity increase.
There is still only one way to lose weight, burn more calories than you consume. All weight loss programs have this one thing in common; they are calorie restricted. Weight loss isn’t the only goal for examining your nutrition makeup. If you’re an active person, carbohydrates and fats fuel your activities. Understanding how to eat to improve performance can help propel your accomplishments. No matter what your goal, hopefully, there is enough here to provide some education to assist your future efforts. #weightloss #calories #VO2max