Let us start by assuming (Yes, when I tell you to assume please just assume. For me? At least till the end of the post? Please?) that for us to achieve our fitness goals (or any goals for that matter) or at least effectively pursue them, we need to start applying the inside out approach*. We must intrinsically change ourselves and the way our body responds to the plethora of stimuli that impact it each and every day.
To be effective, our focus must be on making positive changes in the way we respond to food, cardiorespiratory and load training, sleep, and all the other variables that effect our overall level of fitness. To clarify, we should NOT be focused on directly impacting or dictating the output, but instead, we should be focusing on improving our responses to inputs and this progressive improvement in responsiveness will not only provide us with results more efficiently, but will provide more longevity in our results and better overall health.
Okay cool, but now tell me how I can eat Twinkies and lose fat like the title claims, you might be thinking. Stuffing your face with saturated fats may not be the best thing, but I stand by the fact that you should eat healthier fats in order to lose fat based on the application of the principle of metabolic responsiveness. Our body is an adaptive organism that will change and adjust its secretion of hormones and enzymes based on what you put into it. Eat carbs, the body will decide to utilize them and effectively store them away. Eat proteins, the body will make the decision to break the long chains of proteins into smaller blocks to rebuild muscle tissue. Wait a second…. So if you eat more fats… you guessed it; your body will become more efficient in burning fat!
If you eat less fat, the body will hoard whatever it has and become incredibly ineffective in burning it which is NOT what we want. But be careful. You are not going to lose fat if you start eating avocados and peanut butter all day; you also have to be conscious of your other macronutrients* (Carbohydrates, and protein). We will not get too much into the science, but let’s scratch the surface a bit.
Let’s start with these two chumps that are impacted by carbs and protein: LPL – Lipoprotein Lipase and HSL – Hormone Sensitive Lipase. These chumparoonies decided to make this whole diet thing more complicated than it has to be. So we play out a few scenarios. Let’s start with a diet high in carbohydrates and fat. What happens if you eat a lot of both? Well, the carbohydrates will cause insulin to release which causes body tissue to grow due to the mechanism of action of LPL and HSL. When insulin levels rise, LPL increases in fat cells and decreases in muscle cells; so fat gets sucked into the fat cells, and the muscle cells cannot utilize fat as an energy source. What happens to this fat within the muscle cells? Well, you store the fat for a little later when it needs to be used. HSL, which functions to remove fats from fat cells by breaking triglycerides down into fatty aids also gets shut down by this intake of insulin. Not sure if you followed that, but the conclusion is that a high fat and high carbohydrate diet is no good.
Ok, so then high proteins and high fats has got to do the magic. Not quite; carbs spike insulin (which is bad), but guess what else does in high quantities; PROTEIN! Proteins are necessary for rebuilding the muscles, and increased muscle tissue means increased resting metabolic rates, which means decreased body fat. So now let’s draw another conclusion – moderate protein is good. You want to consume enough protein to maintain and rebuild the muscles, but not too much where your insulin spikes. So now what about carbs? I heard they were bad? Let’s all chill with that. At times we NEED Carbohydrates. If your carbohydrates remain low for too long, your metabolism will slow and that is a universal fact. Your T3 (Thyroid hormone), which is probably the most effective hormone at burning fat will go down, and that could be catastrophic for fat loss. You absolutely do not want to deplete yourself of them for too long.
So you may be wondering then, what macronutrient ratio is best? There is a lot of debate on this topic, and everyone is impacted by a wide array of factors so the answer to that question is NOT cut and dry. Between the variance from person to person in terms of goals, genetics, differences in supplementation, consumption of alcohol, use of recreational and performance enhancing drugs, sleep, workout intensity and volume, cardiorespiratory training, hormonal levels, etc... I cannot give one definitive answer. However, in my opinion, what seems to work for a large majority of people is a diet high in healthy fats, with moderate levels of protein, and low levels of carbohydrates for most of the week, and one or two days of moderate to above moderate levels of carbohydrates with low fats and proteins remaining moderate.