5 Ways Fasting Speeds Up Fat Loss

Intermittent fasting is simply engaging in periods of time when no calories are consumed, and then eating in a condensed time frame.

It can be especially helpful for those who are stuck in a fat loss plateau to kick start fat burning.

There are a number of methods to choose from, but all of them include not eating for a period of 16-24 hours, and then consuming all of your calories within a certain time frame usually 6-8 hours.

When people are fasting, it includes the time when they are  asleep, luckily!

In a typical 16 hour fast you would stop eating after dinner around 8pm. When you wake up in the following morning instead of eating breakfast, you would  have coffee, tea or water and wait until lunch time at 12-1pm to have your first meal. You would eat from 12-1pm until 8pm.

This would be an example of a 16-18 hour fast. To help with the hunger some people will add coconut oil or heavy whipping cream to their coffee or tea  to keep them satiated until they eat at lunch time. This kind of fasting can be done daily.

Another popular form of fasting is to go a full 24 hours without eating, this could be from 2pm Tuesday to 2pm Wednesday with just water and coffee consumed.

This approach allows you to fast for a full 24 hours, but still eat every day. If someone engages in a full 24 hour fast these are typically done 1-2 times per week.

There are great benefits from fasting down to a cellular level, but today our focus is on how fasting can help with fat loss.

When fasting is applied correctly it can be an extremely powerful tool to help with fat loss. Below we will cover some of the ways fasting works its magic in the fat loss war.

1.) More Calories Burned

As you all know it is not just about calories in and calories out, but when trying to achieve fat loss calories do matter.

The closer you get to your ideal body composition the more specific your approach will need to be.If fat loss has stalled calories should be looked at to assess if they are too high or too low, for too long.

Contrary to popular belief sometimes calories need to be increased for a short period to boost the metabolism, and continue with fat loss.

During periods of fasting the metabolism is boosted and adrenaline is increased which allows you to more efficiently tap into fat stores on he body. 

An added benefit of fasting is that you will have more energy than you would think and the mental clarity can be great for those looking to be productive.

As I write this newsletter I am currently fasting, and am about 14 hours into a 16 hour fast!  

2.) Become A Fat Burner, Not A Sugar Burner

When you are fasting the metabolism will switch from relying on blood sugar to burning predominantly stored body fat .

When eating the body chooses to utilize carbohydrates for fuel first, and then shifts to burning fat.

Because people consume so many processed carbs, sugars and excess calories on a daily basis the body rarely have the opportunity to burn fat.

As a result any extra calories that aren’t needed will be converted and stored as body fat.

When you are fasting the body has no other option but to burn up stored body fat. When you are completing a fasting period the body will be burning far more fat than it would during a normal day of eating.

3.) Fasting Increases Fat Burning Hormones

Hormones are at the base of all metabolic functions in the body, and losing body fat is no different. Growth hormone is one of the most important hormones that contributes directly to body fat reduction.

During periods of fasting growth hormone becomes elevated in both frequency and intensity. Because of the abundance of growth hormone during fasting we get put into a fat burning overdrive!

4.) Increase Fat Burning Enzymes

While hormones definitely reign supreme in the fat burning world, enzymes play a role in supporting the functions of hormones.

Hormone sensitive lipase is the enzyme that helps fat cells release fat to be used by the muscle, and lipoprotein lipase is the enzyme that allows your muscles to burn fat as fuel.

By fasting you up regulate both of these enzymes causing more fat to be released by fat cells, and allowing more fat to be used as fuel in the muscles.

This is a marriage made in heaven for anyone who is looking to burn extra body fat!

5.) Decreased Fasting Insulin Levels

With insulin present the process of lipolysis which is the release of stored body fat for fuel can not take place. Without lipolysis the releasing of stored body fat to be used for fuel is very difficult.

Fasting keeps insulin levels low, while lipolysis is increased. This insulin blunting effect of fasting means that during a time where we are taking in zero calories we need to be able to access stored body fat to have energy to fuel our machine.

Luckily fasting allows us to access far more body fat that we would otherwise have access to.

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These habits are based on getting you to your goal in a sustainable fashion that can be maintained, while keeping you accountable along the way.


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Why Do We Need Protein ?


There is a lot of debate in the nutrition world about  the importance of carbohydrates and fats in the diet, people go to great extents to avoid both.

There is a general agreement by everyone that protein is necessary though. When it comes to losing fat and building muscle the general recommendation is  to eat more protein, and it is a generally helpful strategy.

How much should we be consuming daily is another question with a lot of different opinions and recommendations.

With this post I am going further than the typical “build muscle and burn fat” by upping your protein intake explanation.

The goal is to look into role that protein plays in a healthy diet and what we gain besides bigger muscles and flatter stomachs by consuming adequate amounts.

Protein: The Macronutrient Golden Boy

Before we start the nitty gritty of protein, lets lay down some background on what protein is and how it works in the body.

Protein along with fats and carbohydrates  are macronutrients meaning that they are needed by the body in larger amounts. I would also throw water in this category because it is truly essential to our bodies.

Vitamins and minerals are micronutrients meaning that they are needed in smaller quantities than the macronutrients. Both macronutrients and micronutrients are essential, but macronutrients are needed in larger amounts.

Protein is found in the largest concentration in many animal products such as beef, chicken, eggs and dairy. It can be found in much smaller concentrations in other foods such as vegetables, nuts/seeds and fruit.

All proteins are made up of twenty different amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins.When we consume proteins they are broken down into amino acids and polypeptides.

When we break down these proteins to amino acids and polypeptides they are absorbed through the small intestine and enter the bloodstream to be transported and formed into new proteins and used around the body for various purposes.

Jobs Of Protein

These newly formed  proteins make up organs, nerves,  bones, muscles, nails, hair and flesh, but are also pivotal ingredients in enzymes, hemoglobin, hormones and antibodies as well.  

Enzymes: Protein molecules that are the managers and stimulus for all biochemical reactions in the body.

Hemoglobin: specially designed red blood cells that deliver oxygen around the body

Hormones: protein molecules that are messengers and coordinate our metabolism, and almost every function in our body.

Antibodies: proteins that are used in the immune system to help us fight infections and other diseases.

Now we know that protein is largely responsible for much more than just tissue regrowth and repair, lets look at what the building blocks of protein amino acids contribute to in the body.

Amino acids are responsible for neurotransmitters, hormones, muscles (your heart is a muscle ), digestion and transport of nutrients between cells.

Essential Vs. Non Essential

All proteins we consume  are a combination of twenty amino acids, think building blocks linked together. Of these twenty amino acids our body can  produce eleven of them on its own making them non essential.

The other nine amino acids the body can not produce and must be obtained from the diet, which makes them essential amino acids.

For muscle tissue, organ and bone repair to happen the nine essential amino acids have to be  provided from complete sources of protein in the diet.

Complete protein containing the ten essential amino acids is is mandatory for optimal health.We require a certain amount of protein and amino acids because they have so many important roles in the body.

Quality Over Quantity  

There are other factors to consider when consuming protein that go beyond how many grams you are consuming. When it comes to protein there are three criteria that help determine the quality of a protein.

  • Amino Acid Profile: Complete proteins are important because they contain all the essential amino acids that our body cannot manufacture. Incomplete proteins lack one or more of the essential amino acids. Without the presence of all the necessary amino acids, protein synthesis (cells generating new proteins) comes to a stop.

 

  • Bioavailability: The protein content doesn’t matter if you cannot properly digest and absorb proteins. Anti nutrients commonly found in grains, soy, legumes and brown rice  prevent you adequately breaking down and absorbing the protein by as much as fifty percent (Note: If you are willing to soak and sprout legumes some of the anti nutrient effect can be mitigated)

 

  • Toxicity: Some proteins are more likely to trigger an immune or allergic reaction. All true allergies are actually an immune response to a protein.

The foods that meet the above criteria and contain the largest concentration of complete proteins  are going to be from animal sources in the form of seafood, chicken, red meat , eggs and dairy for those who tolerate it.

Trying to Fill The Gap

There are other sources of protein that compare to animal products in terms of overall  grams, but when using the criteria above fall short.

Take for example grains and legumes, they seem to have a good amount of protein, yet they lack the complete amino acid profile and have poor bioavailability due to anti-nutrients that prevent digestion.

Combining foods such as rice and beans is a better option than separately consuming them, but they still fall short on the amino acid profile.

To get adequate protein from a rice and beans combination you will need to consume large amounts. The problem with this strategy is you will get more starch than protein causing blood sugar surges and fat storage in the long term.

Because of the indigestible fiber some folks with compromised digestion don’t tolerate large quantities of legumes in the diet.

I think variety is necessary, and both plant and animal proteins are important to health. We should strive to get protein from both animal and plant sources. 

Protein Recycling  

Not all the proteins in your body have come from what you've eaten today, or even this week. Because the body is such an efficient machine we have a built in protein recycling mechanism.

We use old proteins that aren’t in demand anymore to help build new proteins that the body has a demand for. Some of the amino acids that are in your muscles could have once been a digestive enzyme or a part of another muscle in the body that was recycled, such as the heart.

Your Context To Consider

This is where the plot only gets  thicker, there are too many considerations and factors that go into giving a blanket statement or recommendation of how much protein to consume.

Lets take a look at some of the considerations that should shape your protein consumption:

  • Goals: What you are trying to accomplish will shape your protein needs. If you are trying to recover from intense exercise and gain muscle mass your protein needs will be higher than someone who is obese and sedentary looking to lose weight.
     

  • Activity Levels: Someone who works in a manual labor job for eight hours a day or an elite athlete will have different protein needs than an office worker who spends all day sitting at a desk.
     

  • Genetics: We are all bio individuals with a unique fingerprint and genes. Our genetics  will determine how we metabolize and react to certain foods that we eat.
     

  • Health: The body has different needs in different physiological states. A pregnant woman woman compared to a person with  thyroid problems will both have different needs based on their health. Just like someone who already has kidney damage probably should not embark on a high protein diet, while an elite athlete might benefit from a high protein diet.
     

  • Climate/Season: During different seasons of the year we crave different foods. We also have different foods available based on the season and region  that you are living in.


The above factors need to be considered when thinking about the protein level that will be appropriate for you.That being said there are a few different ways to calculate the amount of protein you should aim to get daily.

Play With The Numbers  

There are no hard and fast recommendations that are accepted across the board by everyone. These ways of calculating protein intake do have wide margins and a number of factors to consider.

Chances are the best way for you to find your personal protein need is to play around with these numbers and see how you look, feel and perform with more or less protein in your diet.

  • The Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Range (AMDR) set by The Institute of Medicine says based on lean body mass and the number of calories you are eating protein should make up 10%-35% of your diet. This range does leave lots of room for variables, but no real way to determine where you fall on that range.
     

  • 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight or 0.36 grams per pound of bodyweight per day.This is a good range for those that are sedentary or not interested in gaining muscle mass, and at no health risk of health issues threatening lean body mass.
     

  • Those who are highly active and looking to retain or build muscle mass  benefit from more protein in the diet . 0.9-1.3 gram of protein per kilogram of bodyweight per day for these highly active individuals would be appropriate.
     

  • Elite athletes or bodybuilders can go even higher consuming 1.5 grams +  of protein per kilogram of bodyweight per day to meet their needs for exercise and recovery.
     

  • Dieters or those looking to lose fat will need to be in a caloric deficit to accomplish this. Those  looking for fat loss would do better to consume more protein. The range appropriate for this is from 0.7 -1.0 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight.

Protein is vitally important to our skin, nails, bones, hair, muscle mass, hormone production, neurotransmitters and overall health.

We are made up of over fifty thousand different proteins that contribute to our structure from head to toe, and everything in between. What is still up in the air is the recommendation of how much protein to consume.

Something to keep in mind is to not force consumption of protein. There are going to be days where you crave less protein because you need less, and days where you crave more.

We have built in mechanisms that regulate our craving for protein based on our needs. Let your cravings guide how much you will eat. Be smart about it and listen to your body.

I have yet to see a formula that accounts for the complexity of the human body and takes all the necessary factors into consideration.

The above recommendations are a good place to start, but not a strict recommendation. As always, experiment and  tweak how much protein you’re consuming based on whether you are reaching your goals or not.

If you’re tired of working hard, and not getting the results you want, I can help you adopt the simple habits necessary to reach your health or fat loss goals.

These habits are based on getting you to your goal in a sustainable fashion that can be maintained. I’ll be there every step of the way to support and keep you accountable.  

Get on a Strategy Call with me to Discover how to achieve your health or fat loss goals, and make them yours to keep this time around.

Whether you decide to work with me or not I can guarantee you will leave this call with more knowledge on how to achieve your goals.

 

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Fixing Your Digestion (Part 1)

Hey folks, if you haven’t read my previous post “Top To Bottom: How Your Digestion Works” I recommend reading it to give you the background necessary to get the most out of this post, and help resolve your digestive issues.

Your digestion works top to bottom (pun intended) starting with your brain ( top) and the anticipation of food, and ending with  elimination (bottom).

When addressing any kind of digestive dysfunction we need start from the top and work our way down. Problems start uphill and roll downhill in our digestion.

Before getting started I want to ask if you ever experience any of the following ?

  • Upset stomach

  • Constipation

  • Diarrhea

  • Heartburn

  • Constant burping (especially around meals)

  • Indigestion

  • Feeling of excessive fullness after eating

  • Bloating

  • Indigestion

  • Gas within 1 hour of eating

These are all common signs that dysfunction is happening in your gut, or that the body is experiencing a healing reaction.

Most likely the body is trying to send you message that something is wrong and  needs to be addressed.

Most people experience the symptoms listed above and brush them off as “normal”. We tend to use medication to suppress symptoms, leaving the underlying cause unaddressed.

Enough with the doom and gloom though! the purpose of this post is to help inform and arm you with the knowledge and tools to begin solving your own digestive problems.

Throw away your package of tums and keep reading if you’re interested in improving your health and empowering yourself.

The Brain: Rest and Digest

We need to be in a parasympathetic state (rest and digest) to allow the body to get ready for food. This sets the stage for proper breakdown of foods in the stomach.

As a culture we are stressed out, and many people shovel lunch out of their tupperware into their mouth barely chewing.

All the while working on a on a new cover letter for the TPS report...your digestion did not get the memo.

Taking the time to get away from screens and relax around your food is crucial. It allows you to better digest foods , and gets you in tune with with your hunger. Are you still eating because you are hungry or are you in a robot like work mode ? Aim for eating until you are no longer hungry for the next bite, not until you are full.

The Mouth: Breaking It Down

We all know the person who inhales their food at a remarkable rate, then complains about how full they are or how bad their stomach hurts. Don’t be that guy.

Chewing is a fundamentally ignored part of our digestion, I’ll admit it is not sexy to talk to people about chewing and how their mom was right all along.

When you don’t adequately chew your food the brain doesn’t get the signal to prepare the stomach for the incoming food. Stomach acid is a critical part of our digestion, when we lack it we can’t properly break down and digest foods.

When we do not chew well enough passes the rest of that burden on to the stomach, and the production of saliva is not triggered. Who cares about saliva right ? it’s just our spit...well not exactly.

Saliva: Why Give a Spit ?

Out saliva is a complex blend of electrolytes, hormones and enzymes that play roles in our digestion. The main enzyme in our saliva is amylase which is responsible for the chemical breakdown of carbohydrates.

If we do not chew well enough amylase is not secreted and the breakdown of carbohydrates does not begin in our mouth.

By not properly breaking down carbohydrates in the mouth we leave the burden to finish job on our small intestine and pancreas, but without adequate chewing the stomach and pancreas can’t do their own job as well.

The key here is to chew your food well, at least 20-30 times per bite. Your food should be a liquid when you are done chewing. To help try putting your fork down in between bites.

The Stomach: All About The Acid  

As you learned from reading my last blog post, the stomach is all about creating an acidic environment so foods can be broken down and trigger enzyme release.

But there are a number of factors that prevent the body from creating the necessary acidic environment some include:

  • Not relaxing before Eating

  • Not chewing foods well enough

  • Stress

  • Excess carbohydrate consumption

  • Nutrient deficiencies ( Zinc & B Vitamins)

  • Alcohol Consumption

  • Allergies (Food or environment related)

The above bullets describe the average american which makes it  safe to assume that most of us are not producing enough stomach acid to digest foods optimally.

So what happens when we don’t have enough stomach acid ? Nothing good...

To begin with our first line of defense against pathogenic microorganisms is gone. The acidity of the stomach prevents bacteria, viruses and parasites from living and making it into our digestive tract and then blood making us sick.

The Heartburn Myth

When we are deficient in stomach acid the ability to break down foods and trigger further digestion is hindered. The partially digested foods sit and wait for the next step in digestion.

Over time these foods sitting in our gut  start to ferment causing bloating and pressure to build. The pressure has to be relieved and the valve between our stomach and esophagus is not meant to open upward - but with enough pressure it will be forced open.

The release of pressure upwards creates a reflux or backward flow of the acidic foods from the stomach into the esophagus. It burns the esophagus because it is not made for an acidic environment like the stomach.

Supporting Your Digestion Tips:

  • Relax Before Eating  - Put away all electronics and move away from the TV. Smell, see and even touch your food before eating to allow the body to begin digestion, and get ready to break down food.
     

  • Support Stomach Acid Production: Drink 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice in 4 ounces of water  15-20 minutes before a meal to kickstart HCL production. You can use Digestive bitters 15 minutes before a meal or use a HCL supplement.
     

  • Drink Slowly At Meals: If you throw back two full pint glasses of water along with a lot of food at meal this will only further dilute stomach acid. Try to consume less liquid with meals and Sip slowly when you do.
     

  • Chew Your Food Well: No one wants to hear that their mom was right, but she was. Try chewing each bite 20-30 times, it should be closer to a liquid than a solid by the time you swallow it. Try putting your fork down between bites as  reminder.
     

  • Hydrate Throughout The Day: We are all chronically dehydrated. Too much fruit juice, coffee and soda and not enough clean pure water. Digestion is a taxing process for the body and many fluids are required , the base of those fluids is...water.
     

  • Eat Slower and Take Pauses: By chewing your foods better you will naturally slow down your eating a bit. This will allow your body to signal when you are no longer hungry for the next bite. Ask am I really hungry for the next bite ? When we overload our digestion with too much food we get bloated, gassy and have digestive pain.
     

  • Consume Less Alcohol and Processed Carbs: By consuming these alone or together at meals we squelch the production of stomach acid. Not to mention the extreme blood sugar spike and potential fat gain.

If you’re tired of working hard, and not getting the results you want, I can help you adopt the simple habits necessary to reach your health or fat loss goals.

These habits are based on getting you to your goal in a sustainable fashion that can be maintained. I’ll be there every step of the way to support and keep you accountable.  

Get on a Strategy Call with me to Discover how to achieve your health or fat loss goals, and make them yours to keep this time around.

Whether you decide to work with me or not I can guarantee you will leave this call with more knowledge on how to achieve your goals.


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Part 2 Coming Soon...

Top To Bottom: How Your Digestion Works

Copy of An argument for faster fat loss (1).png

When discussing health challenges people are quick to overlook digestion as a root cause of the issue, but recently people have started to overstep the bounds of what we can prove when it comes to gut health.

Now If we can’t properly break down and use the nutrients from foods we eat on a daily basis then yes we will lack the fundamental raw materials the body requires to make hormones, recover, repair and function properly. 

The big thing to keep in mind is that gut health while very important is not the cure all some people are claiming it to be, and there’s a lot of claims made that are plain untrue such as gut health stopping someone from losing body fat.

Fat loss is a calorie balance equation and microbes and or poor digestion can not change that, while they may make you feel bloated that is not true body fat.

 A future blog is going to be devoted to how dysfunction can take place at each stage of digestion, and how to address the underlying problem, not just the symptom of the problem.

It's important to understand how things work before trying to understand the reason for dysfunction  

Where It All Begins: The Brain

We have the rest and digest (think relaxing and eating) or fight, flight and freeze (think an argument with a stranger or doing a boxing class) states.

To be able to properly digest foods you need to be in the rest and digest state, as this allows your body to prepare for the process of breaking down and digesting food.

By taking the time to cook, smell, touch and just be around your food before eating it your body is allowed to prepare for food and you dive into the rest and digest state.

The salivary glands secrete saliva, and the stomach starts to release the proper gastric juice in anticipation of food. 

The Physical Gatekeeper: The Mouth


The mouth is where chemical and mechanical breakdown of the foods begin with our chewing.

Our mother was right when she told us to chew our food well as it can be a really helpful step in improving your digestion.

Saliva contains an enzyme named amylase which begins the breakdown of carbohydrates in the mouth.

The more we chew our foods and break them down, the less our stomach has to pick up the slack left by our lazy jaw habits. 

Interestingly enough some indigenous cultures that eat a very high carb diet naturally have much higher levels of amylase in their saliva

Big Poppa: The Stomach

When you food is swallowed it travels down the esophagus and enters into one of the most important organs of the digestive system, the stomach.

Because you did such a great job chewing your food the brain and stomach knew food was on the way.

Your stomach prepared for the that food by releasing the highly acidic gastric juices that are necessarily in this stage of digestion.

Those digestive juices include hydrochloric acid (HCL) and pepsinogen/pepsin.

The acidity of the stomach is important for killing bacteria and parasites from outside the body and from food as well. The acidity of the stomach is important for activating pepsin which breaks down proteins.

When the food arrives in the stomach it is coated in HCL further mechanically and chemically broken down and mixed until it becomes an acidic “paste”.

I know this sounds gross but its what happens every time we eat…

This very acidic paste named chyme is then released into the upper part of the small intestine. 


Small Intestine: An Organ and Gland

The small intestine secretes two important hormones into the bloodstream: Secretin and Cholecystokinin (CCK).  

Secretin triggers  the pancreas to release bicarbonate and pancreatic juices. Bicarbonate reduces the acidity of the chyme so it doesn’t burn the small intestine.

CCK signals the gallbladder to release bile, which is released to break down and absorb fats.

Pancreatic enzymes are released that breakdown of protein, fats and carbs once the chyme is less acidic.

Carbohydrates become glucose molecules, proteins becomes amino acids and peptides and fats are broken down into fatty acids and glycerol molecules.

By the time that the chyme leaves the small intestine it is almost completely digested, but not yet absorbed.

Millions of small finger like projections named villi stick up from the small intestine with the important job of absorbing the nutrient molecules.

The nutrient molecules are distributed throughout the body where needed. The leftover chyme consisting of indigestible fibers, bile and water get passed into large intestine (colon).

The Great Recycler: The Large Intestine

In the large intestine water is reabsorbed and recycled, and any lost nutrients that are still available are converted to fuel to nourish the colon cells and bacteria.

This colon also where the majority of the bacteria in your digestive system live as well.

These bacteria play numerous roles in everything from helping with digestion all the way to producing the Vitamin K2 thats import for bone and cardiovascular health.

These gut bacteria can impact mood and much more, however that is a subject for another blog! The digestive journey comes to an end with the forming and expulsion of the feces. 

If you’re tired of working hard, and not getting the results you want, I can help you adopt the simple habits necessary to reach your health or fat loss goals.

These habits are based on getting you to your goal in a sustainable fashion that can be maintained. I’ll be there every step of the way to support and keep you accountable.  

Fill out the coaching application and let’s chat about how to get you to your goals in record time while still eating your favorite foods.

Let’s set a game plan to finally fit back into those favorite pants, stop hiding in family and friends pictures and allow you to walk around with more confidence in yourself and your body everyday!


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