Monday, 12 September 2016

How to Burn Fat and Lose Weight?

Disclaimer: these are just my personal strategy and my understanding from the books I've read.


NUTRITION

Basically, the recommendation is to use Ketosis Diet Plan.

This means a diet high in quality fat (60-70%), moderate protein (20-30%) and low in carbs (50 grams a day).

Warning: this low carb diet is not for everyone so check with your doctor before trying this.





Carbs and Sugar

Sugar exists in your body in 2 forms.

  1. Glucose which is a sugar flowing in your blood.
  2. Glycogen which is a sugar stored in your liver.
Your body burns sugar as the first source of energy since it's the easiest form of energy. So as long as you have sugar in your blood system, you won't be burning any fat.

That's because smallest amount of sugar increases your Insulin Hormone and decreases the Glucagon Hormone.

Insulin is a fat storage hormone and Glucagon is a fat burning hormone.

So your aim is to avoid carbs/sugar during your fat loss diet (1 month) so that your insulin is low and your glucagon is high so that you burn energy from Fat Cells.

Then later for weight maintenance period you should only consume good carbs in moderation only.

Bad/simple carb/sugar:
  • Sweets
  • Biscuits
  • Cakes
  • Alcohol
Good/complex carb (high fiber carbs):
  • Oatmeal
  • Fruits; high in sugar though
  • Whole-grain products such as brown rice, beans and whole-grain bread
  • Honey; all sugar!
  • Berries
  • Grapefruit
Fat

In order to burn stored fat, you must eat more of good fats because fat burns fat! Also fat makes you feel full so you'll probably eat less overall.

You should aim to add good fat in all your meals.

Bad fats to avoid:
  • Transfats such as french fries from shops
  • Saturated fats
  • Ice cream
  • Fried foods
Good fats in moderation always:
  • Fish (Salmon, Tuna...)
  • Avocado
  • Olive oil
  • Eggs
  • Peanut butter
  • Butter
  • Nuts; almonds, walnuts, flax-seed
  • ...
Try avoiding fats rich in Omega 6.

Protein
Eat protein in each meal such as:
  • Fish; Salmon, Tuna...
  • Beef
  • Turkey
  • Egg
  • Beans, lentils
Vegetables
Vegetables are full of minerals and vitamins. You should add vegetables to all your meals even breakfast but remember that vegs are also carbs so limit the size.
  • Raddish
  • Cucumber
  • Tomato
  • Lettuce
  • Pepper
  • Broccoli
  • Lemon
  • Celery
  • Spinach
  • ...
Daily Fast (12 or 16 hours)
Every night you must fast between 8pm and 8am for 12 hours to speed up your fat burning process.

For example
  • Eat your dinner by 8pm
  • Sleep at 11pm
  • Wake up at 7am
  • Have breakfast at 8am
During those 4 hours, it's OK to drink water or have a cup of tea; anything without any calories.

Another strategy is to fast for 16 hours and only eat between for example 12pm and 8pm or between 8am and 4pm. This is called Intermittent Fasting where you skip one meal and you only eat during the 8 hours. There are many health benefits to this and proven fat burning benefits.

If you can't do it on a daily basis, at least do it on a weekly or monthly basis.

Morning Drink
Try to have a glass of water with lemon (1 only) or Apple Cider Vinegar (1-2 tea spoons) every morning before breakfast. Remember to brush your teeth after this.

Daily Amount of Food

It doesn't matter you eat very healthy if you eat too much; you will still get fat!

It's complicated how to calculate how much you really need since it depends on age, sex, metabolism, etc but as a high level guide:

Recommended daily fat intake (around 70g for me): http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0922553.html

Recommended daily protein intake (around 165g for me): http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/caltp.htm

Recommended daily CARBS intake (around 165g for me):
http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/calcarbs.htm

Cooking

Try to steam, bake or grill. Don't fry with oil to reduce calories.

Portion Size

Reduce the portion sizes to half and instead increase the number of meals to 5 or 6 instead of 3.

Water
Aim to drink 5 glass of water every day as it helps increase your metabolism.

These are usually fine too:
  • Coffee; not more than one a day since it can increase your stress level
  • Green tea
  • Coconut water
Spices
Spices are generally good and increase metabolism so add them to your tea, food or salad.

Examples:
  • Ginger
  • Cinnamon
  • Pepper
  • ...
Recipies

ACTIVITY

Try to increase your physical activity in general specially if you have a lifestyle that is not very active.

If you take bus, get off one stop earlier and walk the rest.

Go to park with family and friends and just walk at every opportunity if you can.

Cardio
You'll achieve higher fat loss rate with high intensity interval training (HIIT). In contrast, long periods of low intensity cardio has the opposite effect! it results in fat accumulation in midsection so you should avoid it because it puts the body under stress and increases cortisol hormone.

You'll also achieve higher fat loss rate (about 20% more) doing cardio (30m HIIT) in the morning before breakfast because body blood sugar level is minimum.

Swimming is also great.

Action:
For 15-20 minutes a day, jog for 1 minute then run fast for 1 minute

Resistance Training
The more muscle you have the more fat you burn so set a routine to weight train for 2-3 times a week at home or gym.

Resistance training increases your metabolism for 36 hours post workout; this is due to the cost of rebuilding your muscle.

Resistance training means you must stretch your limits. For example, if you do biceps for 10 times and get really tired, you should try to push yourself for another 2 times.

This causes microscopic damage or tears to the muscle cells, which in turn are quickly repaired by the body to help muscles regenerate and grow stronger so rest also becomes important after resistance training that's why you shouldn't do it every day - 2/3 times a week should be sufficient.

Exercise Routine

That's my routine in the mornings before breakfast:
  • 5 minutes stretches
  • 40 minutes resistance training (6 workouts, each workout 3 sets 8, 10, 12 and 30-45 seconds rest between each set)
  • 15 minutes of High Intensity Interval Training e.g. cycling, running, etc

Ab Exercises:

4 sets of 10 each
  1. Leg raises (impacts lower abs)
  2. Crunches (impacts your core)
  3. Twisting crunches (impacts love handles)

MINDSET
Stress
Add activities in your daily life that reduces your stress - stress increases fat storage hormones.
  • Walking in the park
  • Swimming
  • Visiting friends
  • Yoga
  • Mindful meditation
Sleep
Aim to sleep between 7 to 8 hours. Lack of sleep gives your body stress thus makes you fat

Education
Generally you must be keen to learn more about how our body works in terms of burning fuels.
Also learn about foods and nutritional values.
Learn about the hormones involved to burn or store fat and when they get triggered.

Persistence

It's not about 1 day or 1 week. The weight loss programs usually should take 4-8 weeks depending on the individual circumstances then there is a stabilization phase and monitoring to maintain the weight.

Plan
Plan properly.

First month is attack which is cutting all the carbs (good and bad) and achieving your result then gradually add good and healthy carbs such as fruits and honey and keep monitoring your weight.

I did what I wrote here and achieved my weight loss goal in 2 weeks.

  • My weight went down from 80kg to 75kg
  • My waist size went down from 101cm to 95cm
  • My body fat percentage went down from 25% to 18%

After 2 weeks, I'm just trying to build more muscles and follow the healthy diet and keep my body fat percentage below 20%.