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Fat Loss

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Patience and consistency are the key to fat loss. One pound of fat contains 3500 calories. To gain one pound of fat you have eaten a surplus of 3500 calories (Refer to the Daily Calorie Intake Calculator). In order to lose that pound of fat you must create a 3500 calorie deficit (Burn more than you eat).

This means that you’ll need to place yourself in an average calorie deficit of 500 per day in order to lose about one pound per week.  Of course, that means that you’ll need to know how many calories you burn in a day and then consume 500 calories less than that every day. It isn’t just a matter of cutting back your intake by 500 calories than you’re currently eating.  After all, you may currently be consuming far more than 500 too many.  

Exceptions to the Fat Loss Rules

The exception to this arithmetic occurs when you force your body into a state of ketosis (like what occurs when you follow the Atkins diet or, of course, the Keto diet) – very high in protein or fats and very low in carbohydrates.

Ketogenic diets produce and cause you to expel Ketone bodies (the result of incomplete metabolism of fat) that still contain calories. Therefore, fat can be lost that is not accounted for in energy expenditure. Although Ketogenic diets are not really dangerous, there are nutritional imbalances requiring lots of supplements and these programs are difficult to follow, often produce temporary results and are usually accompanied by bad breath and body odor (ketones don’t smell nice). 

There are also a number of other drawbacks to forcing the body into ketosis, including the “keto flu” that often occurs for the first few days that the body has moved into ketosis.  It is also challenging to avoid constipation while on this diet as many people misunderstand the way their nutrition can be balanced with this strategy and their fiber intake plummets.

Burning Fat Takes Time

All of that said, fat loss is a simple process, but you must be patient. The fat was not deposited overnight – do not expect it to disappear overnight. The entire issue deals with insulin control and lactic acid control. Insulin is the “storage hormone” produced in response to a rise in blood sugar and responsible for removing sugar (glucose- the digestive product of all carbohydrates) from the blood. If you don’t produce enough insulin you die, but if you over produce you become obese or very resistant and other health problems arise like Type II Diabetes.

Once the glycogen (storage form of sugar) levels in the muscles and liver are satisfied, the remainder is converted to fat and stored as triglycerides in the body fat. 

Inactivity and Glycogen Stores

If you are inactive, the glycogen stores tend to remain full so fat storage become prevalent. Chronic high carbohydrate consumption leads to chronically elevated levels of insulin. While insulin is elevated you CANNOT burn fat, you will be hungry, the liver will produce more cholesterol, triglycerides will be high and you risk many inflammatory conditions like asthma, arthritis, psoriasis, and migraines.

So, if you wish to feel healthy and lose fat, you need to control the insulin. Under normal circumstances of sitting, standing and walking, unless you just ate or drank some carbohydrates, up to 85% of your energy is coming from fat. Fat is the energy source of choice in a resting body. Even during a marathon 50% of your energy comes from fat. 

Activity and Fat Loss

The more you exercise the more fat you burn. The more you control your insulin, the less fat you store. However, the 3500 calorie deficit rule still applies. If you followed a 1,000 calorie diet, creating a 200-500 calorie/day deficit, it would take 7 –17 days to lose a pound of fat. If you added 400 calories of daily exercise (Refer to the Activity Calorie Calculator) you could lose one more pound per week. It is advised that exercise be at “conversational” intensity to avoid producing lactic acid. Lactic acid, a product of high intensity exercise, also inhibits the mobilization of fat for energy. 

So, you ask, how do people lose 20 pounds in one month or 300 pounds in one year (actual published testimonials)? The answer is – that most of such rapid weight loss is not fat. It is lean tissue – muscle (it takes less than 1,000 Calories to burn a pound of muscle) and to a small degree it will be water weight loss and excess waste being excreted from the colon.