How Important is Diet in Fat Loss?

We always hear bodybuilders and fitness gurus tout how diet is the most important factor in fat loss. What does science say?

A study was done in 2002 at Harvard University on 36 rats to measure their fatty acid profiles. There was a control, low intensity excercise, and high intensity excercise. Each rat was then put into high carb diet or high fat diet. The study showed macronutrient changes were more important than the excercise differences.

While the study was done for fat loss, one could conclude logically that during bulking phases, macronutrient profiles in the diet would probably have a major impact on muscle gains.

Binge Eating Genetic?

Ever notice some people are more susceptible to eating lots of food? They just don’t know when to stop. Most thing its just bad habits, and I also believe binge eating is a learned behavior over the years. However, studies by the new England Journal of Medicine a couple years ago pointed to a possible link between binge eating and a gene mutation.

Interesting enough, out of 495 in the study, only 5% had this gene mutation. What this means is, most people who are overweight are because of their habits and lifestyle and not because of this so called binge eating gene. I think most just need to stop looking for an excuse to feel pity. No one in this world is going to feel sorry for you, so stop feeling sorry for yourself.

Most Accurate Body Fat Measure Method

The mainstream folks often point to the BMI table as a way to calibrate bodyfat. The BMI doesn’t factor in muscle, frame, or how you distrubute your fat. A 250 lb ripped pro-bodybuilder is “obese” according to the BMI scale.

Bodybuilders instead use bf% as a way to accurately measure their bodyfat. 15% is the average bodyfat of most males. Over 20% is considered overweight. Everyone will store their fat differently for a given bodyfat %. Around 12% most will start to see good ab definition when flexing their abdomen.

Most accurate bodyfat % measure?

There are many gadgets and fancy methods to measure bf%.

Hydrostatic weighing: Also known as the water test. You will be completely submerged in the water and breath out all your air. It takes about 4 to 5 attempts.

Pros: The most accurate test of your true bodyfat percent.
Cons: Not widely available, expensive.

BodPomTM: This measures your body density like Hydrostatic weighing. It however is not underwater, but instead in a air chamber.

Pros: Almost as accurate as hydrostatic weighing.
Cons: Equipment is even more harder to find than hydrostatic.

BIA: BIA (Bioelectrical impedance analysis). This is the method many common machines use such as the TanitaTM and OmronTM. It measures by passing a painless electrical current through your bodyfat.

Pros: Cheaper than the more technical options.
Cons: Less accurate.

Fat Caliper: You will use a fat caliper to measure the thickness of the subcutaneous fat. Then you will add up the measurements and calculate your bodyfat %.

Pros: Cheap.
Cons: Won't be able to measure all areas yourself. Not very accurate to your true bodyfat %. Takes time to learn consistency in measuring.

Is Spot Reduction of Fat Possible?

Spot reduction is the belief that you can target fat loss in certain areas of your body. For example, they often think the more ab excercises you do, the more fat you lose on your abdomen. You probably have heard many fitness experts mention that you cannot spot reduce.

Is spot reduction really a myth?

Yes, under most conditions. To reduce fat locally, you must use a proven fat loss herb called Yohimbine and deliver it in a lotion delivery system called a transdermal. Yohimbine transdermals absorb the yohimbine directly through the skin to your fat cells. Yohimbine is a stimulant used for years by bodybuilders in fat loss stacks and has a lot of research to back it up. It is even sold as a prescription for treating mens erectile dysfunction.

How Yohimbe Transdermals works on fat spot reduction:

In the body, all fat cells have A2 receptors. Yohimbine works on these receptors as an antagonist. The hardest fat to get off, is the fat cells that have high concentrations of A2 receptors. They are very resistant to fat loss. The Yohimbine antagonizes the A2 receptors from having adrenaline bind to them and inhibit(block) fat loss. The cause of high concentrations of A2 receptors in certain locations of your bodyfat is because of genetics and estrogen. High estrogenic fat locations, such as the butt, thighs, lower back, chest, will be particular effective with Yohimbine transdermal use. Transdermal Yohimbine allows a concentrated amount to get to the targeted location , making it more effective then just taking it orally. It would not be possible to get the same effect on a targeted bodypart, without overdosing because Yohimbine is a strong stimulant.

When is Yohimbine Transdermal use appropriate?

Yohimbine works best for those with low bodyfat. Those above 12% would be better off just worrying about general fat loss and taking Yohimbe orally in the beginning. Once you dip below 12%, most of the fat left will be high A2 type fat. This is when you will need Yohimbine transdermal to help get rid of large amounts of stubborn A2 receptor rich fat leftover.

Fat Loss Diet Guidelines

This article is the basic fat loss guidelines for bodybuilders on a traditional fat loss cycle. You may have to slightly tailor it, based on your particular lifestyle, genetics, and goals.

How many calories you should eat for fat loss

You should start off at 15 calories per pound of lean mass if you're new to dieting. However, if you are a experienced bodybuilder who is currently bulking, just drop your current calorie intake by 400 calories. This should probably be enough of a drop to start losing fat initially. You do not want to drop your calories too much immediately after bulking because your metabolism would slow very fast and you will lose little fat and a lot of muscle instead.

To calculate your lean mass, first find out what your BF% is(or at least estimate it). For example, if your 150 lbs and your BF% is 15%, then 150 X .15 = 22.5 lbs of fat. Simply subtract 22.5 from 150 to get your lean mass, which in this case equals 127lbs. 127 X 15 = 1900 calories, which is what this person would eat per day. We base it on lean mass instead of bodyweight because muscle plays a big role in metabolism and people have a wide range of bodyfat.

During a fat loss diet your calories should be 40% protein, 30% carbs, and 30%fat(Mostly good fats).

How to monitor your fat loss progress:

15 times your lean muscle is just a average middle of the road number. Some will find the number too high or too low for their metabolism. What's important is you start around the 15 number, so you get an idea of where to go from there initially. After the first 2 weeks you should get an idea of what you need to do for adjusting calories(if needed). You will know what to do because you will be monitoring your bodyfat % consistently every week with fat calipers. If you don't monitor bodyfat%, you wont know what kind of weight (fat vs. muscle) you are losing.

If you are losing weight too quickly and a lot of it is muscle, increase your calories by 200. Rapid muscle loss is a sign that your body feels it is starving and wants to hold onto the fat over muscle. If you are barely losing weight, then decrease calories by another 100-200. Your goal is to be losing a steady amount of weight of about 1 to 2 lbs a week, where the majority of it is fat not muscle. If you are losing half muscle and half fat, your calorie intake is probably too low and you should increase it by 200. Whether your losing the weight fairly slow or fast, as long as it is mostly fat you are losing, that means you are doing great! No one progresses as fast as they want, but if it's mostly fat, thats what matters. Just make sure you don't make too many calorie changes too quickly because then you will have a hard time knowing what worked and what didn't.

Preventing a fat loss plateau:

In order to continually lose fat week after week for months, you will have to adjust your calorie level. Every 2 or 3 weeks you may have to lower your calorie intake slightly to see continued fat loss. Eventually this may not be enough. Long term dieters or those looking for very low bodyfat % may need to incorporate calorie cycling to break through the most stubborn fat loss plateaus. This is done by raising calories for a day or week. This will spike your metabolism and hormones, which were stunted previously. This increased calorie intake and then dropping it back down again should cause renewed fat loss. Don't think of it as hurting your progress because you are already at a plateau anyways. Think of it as taking 1 step back to go 2 steps forward.

Fat Loss workout recommendations:

Lift heavy 3 times a week and do cardio on 3 of your off days. You can choose either, HIIT or Low-intensity cardio. Take one day off per week from excercise to give your body a rest. On weight training days only, you should have an extra 300-400 calories for the day, preferably in your postworkout meal.

Low Carb dieting: Best for Fat Loss?

Low Carb dietinghas become a recent dieting fad, in the mainstream it’s the Atkins diet and among bodybuilders, Keto and TKD.

Low Carb diet Controversy:

Not everyone agrees that Low Carb diet is beneficial. We will go through the major physiological reasons for this belief:

Gloycogen Stores: The lack of carbs will reduce your glycogen stores. This means your muscles will look flat. It will also effect your energy for your workouts and your recovery time. This could all lead to more susceptibility to overtraining and muscle wasting.

Testosterone: Low carb diets are often promoted as increasing testosterone levels. However long term insulin levels also promote higher SHBG levels, a protein that binds to testosterone to "deactivate" it. Therefore, they are really not giving you the full story and low carb diets actually decrease the bioactive form of testosterone, called free testosterone.

Insulin Sensitivity: Many tout that low carb diets promote insulin sensitivity. However, over time as your body stays on a low carb diet, your metabolism becomes less efficient at processing carbohydrates. This actually leads to insulin tolerance long term. The lower testosterone levels as a result of low carb diets also helps promote insulin tolerance. Insulin tolerance long term promotes fat gain, muscle loss, and increased risk of diabetes.

Is Low carb diet ever a good idea?

Yes. Extreme endomorphs should definitely use low carb dieting. The cons are outweighed by the diet's very effective fat loss. Most other bodytypes can do effective fat loss without low carb diets. However, as you can see by the negative impact on hormones, low carb diets should not be used as a long term diet solution.

Leptin Levels & Fat Loss

Most people haven’t heard about Leptin, but it plays a very crucial role during dieting and in people who struggle with weight gain. Leptin is a cytokine released mainly by your fat tissues in the body. The more fat cells and the bigger volume they have the more overall leptin levels will be released proportionally. Leptin controls your hunger and metabolism. When on an extended diet, increased leptin will be able to slow your metabolism so your body can adapt to less calories.

Manipulating leptin:

Due to the fact that higher leptin causes increased cravings for food and slows your metabolism, the only way to stop this from happening is to shock your body into temporarily increasing your leptin levels again. You can do this by having a high carbohydrate cheat meal. Leptin is extra sensitive to glucose, so doing a cheat meal with high carbohydrates will be very effective in surging you back to high levels of leptin.

Testosterone and other hormones will also be helped normalize by an increase in leptin. Females are more sensitive to low levels of leptin as it can interfere with menstruation and increased risk of osteoporosis, so it is important for woman to have cheat meals often during dieting to keep leptin levels from getting too low.

Bodybuilding Diet Mistakes

Diet mistake #1: Not measuring

If you aren’t measuring your calories how do you know your in a surplus? You might be maintaining your caloric requirements. Relying on feeling “full” is not a measurement on if you are bulking or not! Are appetite long term hits a homeostasis where we may have to feel uncomfortable by forcing to eat more in order to bulk adequately.

You also need to log your bf % and not just rely on a scale. A scale will not tell you the whole story. It will not tell you if most of the mass you are losing or gaining is fat or lean muscle gains.

Diet mistake #2: Not Consistent

Without consistency you have nothing in bodybuilding. You won't know how to measure your results either to see what you need to change if you are constantly changing it.

Diet mistake #1: Copying other's diets

Some people feel the need to follow some "Guru's" diet to a "T". Everyone's physiology is different. Some need more calories then others, some do better with more carbs, some do better with more protein instead. Just because a diet works for someone else does not mean it will work the best for you. Bodybuilding is partly an art of experience where you must adjust things that work best for YOUR body.

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