Saturday, April 7, 2012
Practical ways to lose fat
Much attention is put on weight loss at the sacrifice to all other health markers. Most weight loss protocols lower metabolism and leave the dieter with long term health problems. Weight loss protocols often focus on the number on the scale and not how much actual fat mass is lost. Weight loss on these diets often occurs mostly from the loss of lean tissue, water and glycogen in the short term which gives the impression that these diets are beneficial. This breakdown of tissue and glycogen lowers metabolism and releases stress hormones. The stress hormones such as ACTH, PTH, cortisol, adrenalin etc. are protective in the short term but when they are relied on too heavily which is common in dieting they often lead to degenerative diseases.
Minimizing the stress induced breakdown of tissue that accompanies weight loss can help to prevent these problems. Calcium inhibits bone loss accompanied by weight loss(1), dairy has an even greater effect due to the protein.(2) Increasing 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D in response to low-calcium diets stimulates adipocyte Ca2+ influx and, as a consequence, stimulates lipogenesis, suppresses lipolysis, and increases lipid accumulation, whereas increasing dietary calcium inhibits these effects and markedly accelerates fat loss in mice subjected to caloric restriction.(3) Calcium lowers PTH, high PTH is associated with insulin resistance, diabetes and weight gain.(4) Sucrose lowers ACTH the main pituatry stress hormone but glucose has no effect.(5) Low sodium diet raises plasma and tissue catecholamine levels.(6)
Factors that raise metabolism and thermogenesis can help preserve metabolism during calorie deficits and can promote fat loss in calorie stable diets. Substitution of calcium-rich foods(dairy) in isocaloric diets reduced adiposity and improved metabolic profiles in obese African Americans without energy restriction or weight loss.(7) Increasing dietary calcium significantly augmented weight and fat loss secondary to caloric restriction and increased the percentage of fat lost from the trunk region, whereas dairy products exerted a substantially greater effect.(8) 800 calorie Sucrose diet prevented the fall in both resting metabolic rate and triiodothyronine(T3) concentrations as compared with values during an isocaloric carbohydrate-free diet.(9) Rats given a sucrose solution ad libitum increase energy consumption by 15% compared to water.(10) Salt increases thermogenesis by increasing active brown adipose tissue.(11) Animals on low salt diet have higher weight gain and lower thyroid hormone levels than animals on high salt diet.(12)
Many low carbohydrate proponents claim it is the carbohydrates that stimulate fat storage but numerous studies have shown this to be false.
A review of the literature by Eric Jequier(13) found normal glycogen stores are between 250 - 500g, on the order of magnitude of "normal" carb consumption of 250-300g/day and Chronic overeating of carbs results in an increase of glycogen stores by about 500g before DNL becomes significant. Only with chronic overfeeding and saturated glycogen stores does conversion of carbs to fat become significant. Excessive carbohydrate ingestion is accommodated for by increasing carbohydrate oxidation and glycogen synthesis. Minor lipids formed by DNL are subsequently oxidized. So even during overfeeding conditions it is nearly impossible to induce fat gain from pure carbohydrate diets due to carbohydrates ability to promote its own oxidation through increased metabolism and thermogenesis.
Fat on the other hand suffers a much different fate, Most dietary fat transported in chylomicrons is taken up by fat tissue. Dietary fat does not induce marked increases in lipid oxidation rates in an acute manner. So if you overfeed on fat you just get fat, no increase in metabolism. Insulin does suppress non-esterfied fatty acid release, but never entirely. Running on fatty acids as is recommended by low carb proponents is correlated with reductions in insulin-mediated glucose oxidation and elevated free fatty acids(which accompanies low carb/low calorie diets) plays a role in the development of insulin resistance.
Based on all these factors a moderate plan for weight loss would be a diet of mostly low fat milk/dairy products free of allergens(such as vitamins, enzymes, cultures, vegetable/microbial rennet and gums), ripe fruits such as fresh squeezed strained OJ, grapes, cherries, melons, tropical fruits and nutrient dense foods such as liver, shellfish, eggs, cocoa. If you have no sources of clean dairy or do not tolerate it you could use bony cuts or muscle meat+gelatin from ruminant animals and potatoes. Egg shell or oyster shell can be used as a supplement to get the needed calcium. Sodium can also replace calcium to a certain degree and a high sodium diet will help keep stress hormones low and metabolism high. Unripe fruits such as bananas, apples, peaches etc. can be cooked to be made more tolerable, other wise they should be avoided.
Eating frequent small meals that always contain some sugar and protein will keep stress hormones low and metabolism high. Using temperature is a useful tool, it should rise after breakfast and if it falls through out the day you know you need to eat more sugar/protein. Measuring every couple hours to monitor temp changes can be of benefit at first and using bodily cues such as cold feet and cold hands can help signal when to eat more. You can use temperature stats to determine how much you can safely restrict without lowering metabolism and associated health declines. During the first week or 2 temperature may go lower after a meal which means stress hormones were high, once your body adapts to the increase in sugar and protein temperature should normalize.
Strength training a couple times a week can help build lean mass which will increase metabolism and rate of fat burning. Supplements such as a daily aspirin with minimal ingredients and baking soda can be used along with diet to get your metabolism working in the right direction.