Fat is not inert–it’s alive and active! Fat consists of individual cells, each with a built in capacity to receive an almost endless amount of energy. These cells are called adipocytes and can multiply in number by necessity. Since fat is energy, they are designed as warehouses to store any excess energy.
Excess body fat, though, is primarily caused by physical inactivity and poor nutrition. If you have the right information (education) and a desire to turn things around, you can change the composition of your physical make-up. First, come to terms with the fact that you have an unalterable skeletal structure, a certain length of bones and a specific height. The flesh attached to the bones however, is something we can control. We can tone, build and maintain muscle through exercise and proper nutrition.
Cortisol is ‘the stress hormone’ secreted by the adrenal glands (situated on top of each kidney). This hormone rises with stress of any kind whether imagined or real, including injury, extreme heat or cold, pain, viral infection, chronic disease, intense exercise, or the emotions of anxiety, fear, depression, grief, frustration and anger.
Emotional eating is linked to stress through cortisol and insulin levels. On a basic level, more stress can lead to higher cortisol levels, leading to high Insulin (the hormone that is secreted by the pancreas and responds directly to ingested sugars) levels, leading to food cravings.
Excess carbohydrate intake in the form of sugar, bread, pasta, bagels, chips, cookies, breakfast cereals, etc. causes blood glucose (sugar) levels to rise excessively, and in response, the pancreas releases more insulin. High levels of insulin promote fat storage particularity around the abdomen and internal organs.
Optimum health and ideal body composition are not achieved merely as a result of counting calories. What you eat, why you eat, when you eat, how you eat and where you eat are key determinants of healthy nutrition. Much of the quality, vital energy and original character of our food supply are lost as a result of long term storage and incorrect food preparation.
Food is powerful and made up of hundreds, even thousands, of naturally occurring biochemicals. In many ways, food can be perceived as a drug.
Many people who exercise on a regular basis don’t get the results they want in terms of reduced body fat, and one of the reasons behind might be that they have elevated cortisol and high insulin levels (hyperinsulinemia).
The Acronym for D-I-E-T: Discipline-In-Energy-Transfer
Diet relates to any course or system of nourishment. It defines what a person eats and drinks habitually. Everyone is therefore on a ‘diet’, so the two most important questions to ask in the context of health, fitness and fat loss are:
1. “Is my diet sustainable in the long-term?”
2. “Does my diet meet my unique biological demands?”
It’s not how much you eat, but how much you eat of what you eat!
Strive to eat a minimum of 5-6 smaller meals per day (2 meals can be protein shakes) with emphasis on high quality protein, green leafy vegetables and whole, natural starches like brown rice, squash, lentils, yams, sweet potatoes, black bread, dates and figs. Choose heavy concentrated sources of high-dense carbs that burn evenly and slowly, but be careful not to over consume them. Those of us with an inherently slow metabolic rate (endomorphs) have a low biological requirement for energy, meaning that we crave carbs and sweets almost continuously.
Most of us feel hungry, yet we are really thirsty!
Hydration is essential to the excretion of all waste; therefore our intake of water must be equivalent to what we lose through daily output. Water is excreted through respiration, sweating, urine and feces. Few people consume enough water through food and liquids to stay well hydrated. Many are chronically dehydrated as a consequence. Dehydration interrupts the body’s energy activities, delays excretion of waste, increases recovery time and encourages a reduction in thermogenesis (fat burning). In short a chronic state of dehydration makes us feel heavy, sluggish, bloated, miserable and fat!
The solution to pollution is dilution.
Ideal water intake is 30 ml (1 ounce) per kilogram of lean mass (not total body weight) per day and an additional 1-2 liters to compensate for lost fluid (sweat) caused by physical labor, sports and workouts.
Drink at least 2 liters of clean filtered water each day. If you perspire heavily because of climate conditions or exercise, drink 1 extra liter each day.
After water, protein is the most plentiful substance in our bodies. It constitutes about one fifth of our body mass and is the major constituent of every living cell and body fluid except bile and urine.
Our bodies do not make or store protein like fat or glycogen, therefore a continuous supply of high-quality protein is needed for cell building and regeneration, as well as to maintain a positive nitrogen balance. Just remember: Protein is the anchor! Protein comes first!
Did you know that deep sleep provides a stimulus for human growth hormone (hGH) release? hGH is secreted from the pituitary gland. This gland is no larger than a pea and is located at the base of the brain. hGH promotes body growth, fat mobilization and inhibition of glucose utilization. Like training, sleep is essential to body composition and fat management.
Now after understanding the science behind it, here’s some tips:
Fat Loss Tips:
- Get on a routine and stick to it! Just like a baby, you need a daily routine.
- Drink 2-3 litres of clean filtered water daily; add fresh squeezed lemon or lime or liquid chlorophyll
- Carry filtered water with you wherever you go and drink it.
- Stop drinking soda/pop and canned/bottled beverages.
- Eat 5-6 small meals a day to include high quality protein. Remember: protein is the anchor!
- Don’t buy processed or refined food; if it’s not in the cupboard you won’t be tempted.
- Prepare your own meals; avoid eating in restaurants as much as possible. Restaurants and packaged foods are loaded with trans-fats, salt and sugar. Plan ahead. Don’t leave nutrition to chance.
- Don’t skip meals, this leads to low blood sugar and cravings for the wrong foods.
- Start a vitamin and mineral dietary supplement program, and remember to take them daily.
- Exercise one hour, 3-5 times per week. This includes, weight training, cardio and stretch.
- Devote time to relaxation, reading positive literature and listening to music.
- Enroll in a home study education program. Study the science of fitness & nutrition.
- Take a brisk walk after dinner. Learn to walk more as a lifestyle.
- Spend more time in nature, get natural sunlight.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator.
- When you have a minute, put your feet up. Rest.
- Don’t lose sleep. Sleep restores and heals the body.