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The Art of Fat Burning
By: Matthew Lucas

The Art of Fat Burning

By Timo Topp



Everyone knows to lose weight you need to eat well and exercise. Many embark on this simple philosophy often without attaining the results they seek. If you want to make this process more effective you need to understand the effects of fat storing and fat burning enzymes, known as lipogenic and lipolytic enzymes respectively. To take control of these enzymes you need to focus on three crucial, key points:


·         Food Quality

·         Consistency of meal sizes and times

·         Exercise and movement



Men are from Mars Women are from Venus


Unfortunately the odds are stacked against women. They have a greater proportion of fat storing enzymes that result in bigger fats cells as well as having less testosterone which is responsible for building and maintaining muscle mass. Muscle being metabolically active is a key player in burning fat twenty four seven. The result is a stubborn female fat cell. Men on the other hand have what it takes to release fat quickly and therefore have smaller fat cells, plus a greater proportion of muscle mass. Sorry ladies.



A little anthropology…


Ladies, evolution has designed it this way for a reason. As far as your body is concerned your primary purpose in life is to bare children. Therefore you have an inbuilt nine month insurance policy which states your body will hold onto enough fat to run through pregnancy, in the event of a famine. Thousands of years ago there was less food available, so the body designed a way of storing it for times of scarcity to SURVIVE.



Why diets don’t work


You can lose weight by eating less, sure in the short term. The long term effect is far more damaging. Your body sees calorie restriction as an impending famine so it increases the amount of fat storing enzymes to store energy for the hard times ahead. Also it reduces the number of fat burning enzymes. It slows your metabolic rate so your body can function on a lower amount of energy. So after a diet your body will have:


·         more fat storing enzymes

·         less fat burning enzymes

·         larger fat cells

·         lower metabolic rate


all of which contribute to you gaining more weight than you had before the diet. I am sure you may have experienced this yourself or at least heard of this before?


·         you have conditioned your body to be twice effective at fat storing

·         and half effective at fat burning!


Now imagine if you have tried two, three or even four diets!



Why eating regularly is so important.


Eating regularly is critical for two important reasons


·         it maintains a consistent blood sugar level


·         it keeps fat cells switched off from storing calories



Blood sugar management


Consistent blood sugar prevents large rises and drops in blood sugar. These are responsible for hormonal responses that cause insulin to be released. Insulin takes excess blood sugar to the liver. Once the liver is full the rest is stored in fat cells.


A consistent blood sugar level will help you maintain a lean healthy body weight it also helps you have consistent energy levels through out the day. This will stop you craving stimulants such as coffee and sugary snacks that add to the effect of sending blood sugar into an even bigger rollercoaster ride, compounding the issue.


You can maintain consistent blood sugar levels by with the food you eat:


·         low glycaemic foods such as brown, whole grain foods

·         avoid processed white products

·         fresh natural foods

·         avoid high sugar, fat and salt foods that also stimulate appetite!



Essentially it’s all about QUALITY. Quality is certainly way more important than quantity when it comes to food.






Avoid the ‘minidiet’


Eating regularly inhibits fat storing and promotes the action of fat burning enzymes. Your body perceives missing a meal as a minidiet or the start of a famine so the same process starts as described above… slowing metabolic rate in preparation for hard times ahead.





To eat regularly you need to be consistent with your meal times. Equally important to timing is meal size or quantity. Meals need to be balanced nutritionally and in size. Consider the size of your stomach. It is about the size of two fists put together. A meal should therefore be about this size as your appetite response switches off when the stomach is full.


Your body can only use so many calories at once. Therefore the concept of eating less more often is superior to eating the traditional three square meals a day.


Traditionally in the West we eat off plates. The amount of food that often comes on our plates exceeds the size of the stomach. Eastern cultures tend to eat from bowls. I would encourage this, as a typical bowl is more in line with the size of your stomach than a plate.



Chew slowly


Overeating will obviously lead to an excess of calories that result in fat accumulation. Most people tend to eat to a point of being full. That full feeling means you have over eaten. You need to eat to the point of feeling satisfied. At this point you may actually feel like you can eat more, but if you wait another fifteen minutes you will feel comfortable.


The trick to avoiding overeating is chewing more slowly. This is the first part of digestion. Technically you should chew food until it is a liquid paste in your mouth. Chewing more thoroughly will aid digestion to help you get more nutrition out of your food and stop you from over eating.


You can avoid overeating by simply reducing your portion sizes.


Another trick is to drink a glass of water if you still feel hungry, as dehydration is often the cause of feeling the need to eat.  



Understand biological hunger over emotional drivers


Another reason for overeating is to crave foods due to emotional reasons as opposed to true hunger. It is important to get in tune with your body and eat in accordance with true hunger. Exercise self-discipline and control cravings driven by emotional reasons to eat. Easier said then done perhaps!




Planning, the key to success in any military operation


Most of life’s successes are based on fore thought and planning. The same applies to your food. To be able to eat quality foods consistently you need to have the food available. You need to have a good idea of what you are going to eat and when. There is no point getting to lunchtime and having no food available so resorting to the corner store or fast food joint. Go shopping regularly to have food at home to make meals, have snacks at work and take snacks when out and about so not to be caught out without anything healthy to eat. Fail to plan and you are planning to fail. 



Late night feeds


Avoid them. Your metabolic rate slows as it prepares to sleep so try to eat more of your calories during the earlier parts of the day. Avoid big meals late at night. If you are getting in late settle for a light meal or snack.


·         eat your evening meal as early as possible

·         eat a small dinner without dessert!



Fats vs Carbs


There is a lot of hype over the low carb phenomena. The facts are undisputable:


·         fat contains more than twice as many calories as carbs

·         fat is easier to store than carbs because it is already in the form of fat!

·         it only takes 3% of fat calories to store fat therefore more calories get stored

·         it takes 25% of calories to store carbs as fat, therefore less calories get stored


The conclusion is simple, carbs are not the enemy. Limit the amount of fat in your diet but do not avoid it altogether. Your body needs good fats so go for quality sources such as


·         fish oils and salmon

·         olive oil

·         nuts, seeds, avocado

·         avoid canola and hydrogenated oils found in junk foods    


You can reduce fat intake by the method of preparation:


·         use stir frying in non-stick pans

·         steam, boil and grill

·         avoid roasting and frying


Learn to read food labels for fat and calorie content and also be wary of low fat, lite options that are often loaded with sugar or artificial sweeteners that will rot your brain (more on this in another article!)





Exercise is crucial for weight loss for not only does it burn calories it stimulates fat releasing hormones and inhibits fat storing. Plain and simple. Moderate aerobic exercise is probably the best form as this utilizes fat as its main source of fuel. You need to exercise at least three times per week and keep active throughout your day as well. Weight training is beneficial for increasing lean muscle mass and increasing your metabolic rate.




Fat burning Checklist


Start inhibiting the fat storing process and promoting the fat burning process by:


·         Eating quality foods that are predominantly fresh, natural and raw

·         Eating consistently – consistent meal times and meal sizes

·         Avoiding diets and skipping or missing meals

·         Exercising regularly at least three timer per week, more if necessary and keep active



Key points:


·         Don’t’ go on a diet

·         Don’t miss meals

·         Avoid overeating

·         Learn to recognise true hunger and avoid emotional eating

·         Learn to eat until you are satisfied not full

·         Chew food slowly

·         Have a snack before a main meal so you eat less during the meal

·         Use a smaller plate or a bowl

·         Eat smaller meals more frequently

·         Plan your meals so you know what you are going to eat and when

·         Shop and have food available to avoid relying on dining out and take away

·         Keep snacks available such as fruit and fresh nuts

·         Avoid eating late at night, instead have a lighter meal or a snack

·         Reduce the amount of fat in your diet

·         Ensure you choose quality sources of fats that your body needs

·         Boil, steam or grill to reduce the need for fat to cook

·         Drink plenty of water


Added: 26-10-2009