Research-proven Strategies for Rapid Fat-Loss
                                            by Paul Cribb, B.H.Sci HMS
                                            AST Director of Research

                        
                              Have you reached a plateau in your fat loss efforts? Are you having trouble  
                              shifting that last 5 or 10 pounds that will make you look really good? Do
                              you want to avoid plateaus as you attempt to reach your best ever
                              condition for your next competition? The key to fat loss is an elevated
                              metabolism. If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you are
                              fighting a losing battle with your metabolism. Try the research-proven
                              strategies listed below to spark your sluggish metabolism and smash
                              through stagnation in your quest for a lean, mean physique.

1.Eat breakfast within 30 minutes of waking.
Many people that want to shed body fat will perform their exercise first thing in the morning without
some form of breakfast. They do this with the misguided belief they are tapping into fat stores and
forcing their body to burn fat for fuel. This information originated many years ago from outdated
research performed on obese subjects. However, effective fat loss for people that are not fat is a much
trickier objective. I won’t go into the numerous physiological aspects of why it is a terrible decision for
healthy people to avoid nutritional support before exercise in the morning. I will tell you that you cannot
dictate the type of fuel you want your body to utilize during exercise— human physiology is far too
intricately balanced.

Exercising in the fasted state (in morning, on an empty stomach) induces a tremendous amount of
muscle breakdown, (along with a small amount of fat loss). This is a one-way ticket to a slower
metabolism and a body that quickly learns to hoard fat, not burn it. After 7 or 8 hours of sleep your
metabolism has slowed down. Breakfast kick-starts your metabolic rate and creates an instant anabolic
environment within the body. To lose body fat from exercise, the correct nutritional support that
preserves lean body mass must be present.


2.Increase your meal frequency without increasing total calorie intake.
This simple but highly effective strategy is often overlooked by bodybuilders and body shapers during their
contest count down. Dieting (calorie restriction) slows the metabolism, as soon as you feel your fat loss
results stagnate simply increase your meal frequency without increasing total calorie intake. This is
achieved by dividing your daily calorie intake into more meals than you currently consume. If you’re
eating 5 meals a day, reduce the portions to create seven smaller meals. If you’re eating seven meals a
day, turn them into nine. Remember, we’re not talking about increasing total calorie intake; we are
merely subdividing the total daily intake into smaller meals.


3.Increase your vegetable intake.
Vegetables are the real secret to an ultra lean, healthy body. The reason is vegetable’s high bulk but low
calorie content. These foods are the secret to effective fat loss; they are naturally high in fiber yet low in
calorie content. In essence, a high intake of vegetables provide bulk to the diet that tricks the
metabolism into staying elevated because of the large volume of food the body has to process. Note:
All vegetables are nutrient dense, yet sparse in calorie content. Therefore, they increase satiety and make
dieting easier. Not many people realize a large plate pilled high with any variety of vegetables contains
less than 300 calories, and I guarantee most people couldn’t finish the plate! As your calorie restriction
becomes tighter, increase your vegetable intake, this will definitely enhance your fat loss results.


4.Drink more water.
Drinking water to ensure fat loss may sound far fetched however, I assure you there is sound physiological
rational behind this strategy. Muscle and other tissues are 80% water. When muscle cells are dehydrated
by only 1 or 2%, a catabolic process is triggered. A catabolic environment makes it impossible to recover
and gain from training. Increasing fluid intake, particularly when accompanied by cell-volumizing
nutrients such as micronized glutamine and creatine, increases muscle cell volume. Increasing cell
volume switches on anabolic process and the synthesis of new tissue within cells. The synthesis of new,
lean tissue will cause an increase in metabolic rate, so drink up!


5.Up your intake of low-fat dairy foods.
A substantial amount of scientific research has accumulated over the last 4 years that supports what
appears to be a very unlikely concept for effective weight loss. Dietary calcium is now thought to play a
key role in the regulation of energy metabolism and whether an individual gains or loses body fat. Diets
that are rich in calcium appear to prevent fat gain as well as increase fat metabolism, thereby markedly
accelerating the process of shedding body fat.

While the beneficial impact of a high calcium intake on fat loss is clear, a review of the literature shows
that dairy calcium appears to provide the greatest fat-loss effect of all calcium sources. Even without
calorie-restriction, increasing the intake of dairy proteins is shown to reduce body fat and increase fat-
free mass in a number of populations. Although the bioactive constituents responsible for dairy calcium’s
beneficial effects on fat metabolism remain the subject of speculation, the researcher’s behind these
studies suggest that whey proteins are a major contributor.


6.Consume a substantial portion of your daily calories after exercise.
Vigorous or intense exercise accelerates the body’s metabolism tremendously. However, it also creates a
tremendous amount of tissue breakdown. Without the correct approach to nutrition after training, a loss
of lean tissue can be the end result. Losing lean tissue (muscle) slows the metabolism and this is the surest
way to stagnate any attempt at fat loss.

The post workout period is an ideal “window of opportunity” for boosting the metabolism and
improving body composition. Research demonstrates that nutrients consumed in the hours following a
workout are shuttled directly to muscles to boost the metabolism and repair damaged tissue. Nutrient
consumption in the post-workout period does not interfere with the fat loss process.