In my article, ‘Weight Lifting for Women | 7 Reasons to Start Now,’ I told the ‘Tale of Two Twins.’ I hope you’ll agree that story goes some way to proving why dieting alone doesn’t work. Whoever you are, whatever gender, resistance training is a GOOD idea. In fact, twice weekly resistance training is number 6 of the 7 Principles of Accelerated Fat Loss, upon which X-Life bases the X = Kick-Start program…
Losing weight – or more accurately, FAT – is always going to be about energy balance. That is, in order to drop in size, the calories coming in must be less than the calories going out. In order to do this, you need to address the big 3 fundamentals:
Let’s first look at Nutrition…
The food we eat is separated into three main categories, known as macronutrients; carbohydrates, fat & protein.
The human body breaks down ‘carbs’ into glucose, the more complex (or the lower the glycaemic index) the slower the release of energy from these carbs. Fats break down into glycerol & fatty acids and protein into amino acids.
When carbs are ingested but not needed, they’re stored as glycogen. The problem being, that we can only store around 500g of glycogen in our muscles and liver. This process is enabled by insulin, produced by the pancreas. When the body has an excess of glycogen (from eating too many carbs), the unneeded glucose is stored as fat – common in today’s society!
Protein is used by the body for growth and repair, which is obviously very important in a fitness or training sense. Consuming too little protein leads to not being able to maintain lean muscle mass and has a direct affect upon metabolism, slowing it down…
Fat serves some essential functions in the body. These essential fatty acids, or EFA’s, including omega 3, 6 & 9 support optimal functioning of nerve cells, cell membrane production and healthy nails, teeth & hair. As we know very well, excess fat calories contribute to weight gain, so our main interest here is how to metabolise it. Too few EFA’s however and the body won’t use its fat stores…
EAT FAT TO LOSE FAT!!!
EFA’s – particularly omega 3 – contribute to the body metabolising its stored fat.
However, we need to also prevent further fat storage from taking place by controlling the intake of carbohydrates – excess carbs being stored as glycogen by the hormone, insulin. During exercise, if the blood sugar becomes low, another hormone, glucagon, increases blood sugar by converting stored glycogen and fat into glucose for energy. Glucagon – our ‘fat burning friend’ – therefore does the opposite of insulin. These two hormones inhibit each other. If we flood the body with insulin by consuming lots of carbs, we prevent glucagon production and therefore fat burning efficiency.
Principles 2 & 3
REDUCE CARBS TO CONTROL INSULIN & PROMOTE FAT BURNING AND REDUCE CARBS TO PREVENT UNNECESSARY FAT STORAGE!!!
One of our goals, when training, is to preserve muscle mass, which (as we’ll soon see) is key to a raised metabolic rate & sustained weight loss. The only way we can preserve this mass is by eating sufficient protein. As a rough guide, we need between 1.2 & 2 grams of protein per kg of body weight per day. So an 80kg male would need around 96 – 160g of protein every day. Consuming more than this would unlikely be detrimental, yet consuming less may result in poor recovery & muscle repair between workouts and therefore less-than-optimal results. You might consider a quality protein supplement to support this.
CONSUME SUFFICIENT PROTEIN TO PRESERVE MUSCLE MASS!!!
The final nutritional advice is regarding the fact that all chemical reactions in the body occur in a vacuum of water and require the proper vitamins & minerals for optimal performance. Think of a performance sports car, compared to a battered, smoking, chugging dog-of-a-car. Committing to a high performance machine equates to keeping the machine running at its optimum and doing that, means paying attention to small details, as well as a bigger fuel bill! The performance car burns fuel more quickly. In the human body, one such detail is eating lots of GOOD quality fuel, comprising plenty of vegetables and select fruits. These provide good fibre and numerous micronutrients. Consumed alongside plenty of water, this optimised environment for chemical reactions will help accelerate fat loss.
CONSUMING LOTS OF VEGETABLES & SELECT FRUITS ALONGSIDE PLENTY OF WATER HELPS BOOST METABOLISM & OPTIMISE CHEMICAL REACTIONS!!!
Now Let’s Look at Metabolism…
Your metabolism is made up of three ways in which your body burns calories:
Active daily living
Thermic effect of digesting food
Basal metabolic rate
The first two ways each equate to approximately 15% of your daily calorie expenditure. Your basal metabolic rate (BMR) – the rate at which you burn calories whilst at rest – equating to the other 70%.
So, anything that slows your BMR therefore has a large effect on the total calories burned.
Two predominant factors contributing to BMR are the amount of lean muscle mass and cardiovascular fitness. Good news for personal trainers! All we need to do is increase muscle mass through resistance training and improve CV fitness through [interval] training. This will lead to more calories being burned whilst at rest; day AND night.
By increasing your BMR, you turn your sluggish, slow energy-burning body into a high performance machine, capable of burning fuel quickly, even at rest!
COMPLETE TWICE WEEKLY RESISTANCE TRAINING & HARD CV TO BOOST METABOLIC RATE!!!
Speaking of Exercise…
Certain forms of exercise raise BMR and contribute to maximal energy expenditure. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) improves CV fitness and maximises energy expenditure. HIIT burns more calories during the session than a lower intensity CV workout, yet even an hour afterwards, the body is still burning calories at a higher rate than normal. This does not happen after moderate exercise. Interval training should therefore be the main type of CV workout done, yet it can’t be performed every day as the body becomes overly fatigued and can no longer adapt nor perform to the same standard. As with resistance training, there needs to be adequate recovery time between sessions.
In addition to interval training, other exercise should be encouraged. Twice weekly resistance training and HIIT is only part of the story and needs to be complimented with low intensity, long duration CV. This won’t necessarily improve fitness, but it will maintain it whilst burning additional calories.
COMPLETE WEEKLY HIGH INTENSITY CARDIOVASCULAR INTERVAL TRAINING AS WELL AS LONGER, LOWER INTENSITY CV TRAINING FOR MAINTENANCE & RECOVERY!!!
The 7 Principles of Accelerated Fat Loss are the fundamentals upon which X-Life’s X = Kick-Start are based. If adhered to in the proper manner, these principles can and WILL change your life!