12 Laws of Burning Fat: Laws 1-6
Posted on Oct 3, 2010 by
Law 1. SLASH (CALORIES) AND BURN
You probably already know this – cutting calories will help you lose weight – but the cut does not have to be, nor should it be, as drastic as you think...If you’re already eating a healthy, balanced diet, a 25% cut on workout days and a 33% cut on non-workout days will be more than enough. Sound difficult? It’s not as hard as you think – just cut out any unhealthy fats from your diet: butter, oil, skin from chicken, egg yolk, whole-milk dairy products, etc... Each fat gram contains over twice as many calories as a protein or carb gram. A cut here will lead to a more drastic reduction in your total calories.
Anthony's Note: Whereas cutting bad fats will help get you lean, HEALTHY fats are essential for energy and fat-loss. These can be found in flax-seeds, fish, and olive oil.
Law 2. CURTAIL CARBOHYDRATES
This gets straight to the hormonal aspect of fat loss – there are two parts to your relationship with carbs:
1. Keep carbs in check in every meal
2. Rely only on slow-digesting carbohydrates: whole grains (bread, pasta, crackers...), oatmeal, sweet potatoes and legumes.
If there are any meals where you tend to eat too many carbs, i.e. bagel for breakfast or a lot of pasta for lunch, you may need to change both the quantity and the type of carbohydrate.
Anthony's Note: White bread products break down into sugar and store as fat. Throw them away!! Stick with whole grains only. There is no room for compromise on this one.
Law 3. STRESS PROTEIN
Each of these first five points is building on the one before it – so far we’ve cut out non-essential calories and tried to regain control of metabolic hormones – protein is the key to both. Protein is essential for muscle repair and does not raise insulin (your fat storing hormone). What foods are good to eat for protein? Lean Meats (turkey, chicken breast and extra lean beef in small portions), Egg Whites, Lowfat Cottage Cheese and Protein Powder (Whey or Casein). For any individual trying to lose weight, a third of all your calories should be coming from protein, and for your low calorie days or for those of you nearing the end of your diet, it can go up to half or more.
Anthony’s Note: For female athletes whose goal is not muscle gain, don’t be afraid of protein – eating it will aid greatly in your fat-loss efforts. A point for everyone to remember – protein requires Calcium for metabolism. If you already aren’t getting enough Calcium in your diet (which is probably the case) be sure to take Calcium supplements.
Law 4. NEVER EAT CARBS BY THEMSELVES
Back to insulin control, we want to control the amount of insulin that is released at any one time and this can be done by limiting the amount of carbs we eat, the types of carbs we eat, and what we eat the carbs with. Eating carbs with protein slows their digestion – you feel a more continuous stream of energy – and remember that crash after a big meal? That will become a thing of the past! Throwing some vegetables into the mix will also slow the foods absorption and aid digestion.
Anthony’s Note: This is what I mean when I talk about balanced eating – including both carbs and protein and limiting fat in every single meal or snack.
Law 5. NEVER EAT CARBS BEFORE BED
Before and during sleep, our bodies hormonal balance and metabolism change slightly. From the way we use the foods we eat to the way we access our bodies energy stores change as a result. The way to optimize fat-loss during this period is not to eat anything three hours before bed.
Anthony’s Note: For my male and female athletes, for whom muscle preservation is key, just make sure your last meal or two are only protein. You can even have a protein shake before bed-time.
For those athletes who weight train at night however, you can consume carbohydrates at night post-workout; these carbs will be shuttled back into your muscles and not into your fat cells. But, if you’re doing moderate intensity cardio at night, the carbs aren’t necessary post-workout.
Law 6. DRINK ALCOHOL IN MODERATION
I'll go ahead and squash the myth right now. Alcohol does not make you fat! Well, not directly anyway. While it does contain "bad carbs", which we have already covered, more weight gain from alcohol comes from this tidbit - When you drink, the alcohol become the 1st source that your body uses to fuel itself. Now that your body is running off alcohol for fuel, it is no longer using the carbs you consumed throughout the day. Therefore, it begins to breakdown those unused carbs and stores them as fat for later.
Also, important for my athletes looking to build muscle is to understand that alcohol decreases the body's production of testosterone, which is the most important element in muscle building.
Anthony’s Note: A drink every now and then is not going to destroy your workout program. Life is short, and we should still be able to occasionally let our hair down and unwind. It's just important to know how it affects your training regimen and drink in moderation for maximum results!
Return to top of Laws page