This article, through its 10 science-backed tips, will give you the extra gear to successfully adjust your lifestyle, diet, and exercise plans to achieve the lean physique you have always dreamed of!
Here you'll find the 10 secrets listed plus the scientific explanations supporting the truthfulness of each:
1. Consume 5 To 6 Meals Per Day!
Food's consumption involves digestion of foods and absorption of nutrients (proteins, carbohydrates and fats). Digestion and absorption require energy to occur.
So, food consumption leads the body to spend energy to support digestion and absorption processes.
The increased frequency of food intake throughout the day will boost your body's metabolism for the following 2 main reasons:
- Your body will be forced to increase the daily energy expenditure because of the frequent activation of digestion and absorption processes induced by the repeated food intake throughout the day.
- Eating frequently is perceived by the body as a sign of energy/food abundance.
Because of this, the body will increase energy expenditure (increased metabolic rate) since there's no need for such frequent calorie intake to be stored as energy depots (such as fats in the adipose fat tissue); which happens during starvation states (occurring during periods of food deprivation).
From a hormonal point of view the food abundance (represented by an increased frequency of food intake) triggers an increased thyroid hormone (T3 and T4) secretion—this ultimately determines how much the metabolism will increase.
Remember high levels of thyroid hormones increase metabolism, low levels of thyroid hormones depress metabolism leading to fat gain!
If you pay attention, fat people are usually those who split their daily food intake into no more than 2-3 meals! Such meal frequency puts the body into a starvation/food deprivation state, so the body replies by decreasing the metabolism through the lowering of thyroid hormones!
The increased daily food intake frequency is one of the easiest and most natural weapons we have in our hands to manipulate and enhance thyroid hormones secretion and thus to increase the body's metabolism!
So the fat loss deriving from the increased daily frequency of food intake is better schematically represented by the following events:
- Increased frequency of food intake.
- Food abundance.
- Increased thyroid hormones secretion.
- Increased metabolic rate.
- Increased fat loss.
2. Consume Protein-Rich Food Sources At Each Meal To Boost Your Metabolism!
For every one of your daily meals make sure you include foods that contain high quality proteins (poultry, eggs, protein powders, red meat, fish) if your goal is to increase your metabolism!
Proteins have the highest T.I.D. among all the other nutrients (carbohydrates and fats). T.I.D. stands for Thermogenesis Induced by the Diet.
Explanation: each nutrient (protein, carbohydrate and fat) needs energy to be digested by the gastrointestinal system and then absorbed into the bloodstream. The energy the body burns to digest and absorb the nutrients is named T.I.D.
T.I.D. is different for each nutrient:
- T.I.D. for proteins is 25%
- T.I.D. for carbohydrates is 5%
- T.I.D. for fats is 2%
Let's make a practical example to understand this concept better.
Body's energy expenditure to digest protein:
- 100g of water-canned tuna contains approximately 25g of protein.
- Each gram of protein has a calorie value of 4kcal.
- The total calorie intake for 100g of tuna is therefore approximately 100kcal (25g protein x 4kcal= 100kcal).
Body's energy expenditure to digest carbohydrates:
- 227g of apple contains approximately 25g of carbohydrates.
- Each gram of carbohydrate has a calorie value of 4kcal (same as protein).
- The total calorie intake for 227g of apple is therefore 100kcal (25g carbohydrates x 4kcal= 100kcal).
Body's energy expenditure to digest fats:
- 11g of extra virgin olive oil contains approximately 11g of fats.
- Each gram of fat has a calorie value of 9kcal.
- The total calorie intake for 11g of extra virgin olive oil is therefore 99kcal (11g fats x 9kcal= 99kcal).
As you can see protein consumption raises the body's energy expenditure more than other nutrients. This explains why it is important to introduce them in each of the daily meals if the desired goal is to increase the body's metabolism, which ultimately represents the key factor for a guaranteed fat loss. In fact the best and most effective diets for dramatic fat loss are those involving high protein intakes!
3. Eat Carbohydrates With A Low Glycemic Index!
Glycemic Index (GI) is the rate at which a carbohydrate contained in a food is converted into glucose (simple sugar) and enters into the bloodstream.
So, the higher the GI of a carbohydrate the faster it enters the bloodstream, the lower its GI the slower it enters the bloodstream.
Carbohydrates trigger insulin secretion. The faster a carbohydrate enters into the bloodstream the higher the insulin secretion.
Insulin is an anabolic hormone. As such it's also responsible for the growth of the adipose tissue (fat gain) through an increased conversion of carbohydrates into fats.
So, the lower the glycemic index of a food, the lower the insulin secretion and the less likely the tendency of a carbohydrate to be converted into fats.
Also, low GI foods have been shown to trigger a longer lasting satiety feeling after a meal which blunts the tendency to crave for sugars between the meals!
Furthermore, low GI foods decrease the calorie intake on the following meal! This is a valuable aspect since it will allow you to successfully stick to a calorie restricted diet for longer periods of time without starving!
Instead, high glycemic index foods (e.g. white bread, white pasta, white rice, puffed rice cakes, corn, carrots, etc.) are responsible for a shorter satiety feeling and excessive food intake on the following meal.
These are the main reasons why people consuming high glycemic index foods while on a calorie restricted diet cannot stick to it for longer periods of time and thus fail to lose fat permanently!
Switch your carbohydrate food sources toward low GI foods if you want to successfully stay on a fat loss diet for longer periods!
4. Limit The Consumption Of Fructose-Rich Foods To The Morning!
Fructose is a simple sugar that is contained in fruits!
It's a controversial type of sugar—since being a simple sugar one would think it enters the bloodstream at a faster rate, and therefore should trigger a higher insulin secretion which would ultimately promote fat gain!
Instead fructose, although a simple sugar, has a very weak tendency to stimulate insulin secretion because of its low glycemic index (GI).
For this reason fructose has been speculated to be a diet-friendly sugar since it doesn't stimulate the secretion of high insulin levels, and as such wouldn't promote fat gain!
Well, let's defy the myth: "Despite the fact that fructose has a low GI and doesn't stimulate insulin levels to raise so much, It actually makes you fat"!
This is why:
Our body has only 2 main deposits for sugar storage: "muscle glycogen" and "liver glycogen". Fructose cannot be stored in muscle as glycogen, but only in the liver! Liver glycogen depots account for a total of 90g in the average 155 pounds adult man.
So, if liver glycogen depots are already full, an extra intake of fructose will spill over the storage capacity of the liver and thus get converted into fats!
The best time to consume fructose, while avoiding it being converted into fats, is in the morning.
This is because during the overnight sleep, your liver glycogen depots get depleted (consumed) in order to feed and meet the energy needs of your brain with simple sugars.
Remember: The brain needs sugars to live, and if you don't supply your body with sugars for several hours (just like it happens while you sleep), the sugars for your brain are provided from the liver glycogen!
So upon rising in the morning the liver glycogen depots are almost empty (since your brain ate them) and this is the right and only optimal moment of the day for fructose intake since it will be driven to fulfill the depleted liver glycogen depots and not toward the adipose tissue (fat mass)!
5. Perform High Intensity Weight Training To Lose Fat!
Intensity is a parameter of physical effort determined by:
- Number of reps.
- Weight used.
- Rest period between sets.
By manipulating each of these factors intensity will vary accordingly.
A number of reps between 6 and 12, the use of a weight meant to reach muscle failure within such range of reps, and the 60 second rest period between sets are the presuppositions for the highest intensity reachable through the weight training.
High intensity weight training translates into optimum fat loss for 2 main aspects:
- High intensity increases the levels of "Epinephrine" and "Noradrenaline". Epinephrine and Noradrenaline are hormones! These two hormones target specific receptors located on the fat cells that are responsible for fat loss!
- High intensity weight training promotes the production of a high quantity of lactic acid. Research has shown that lactic acid increases the secretion of Growth Hormone (GH). Growth Hormone is also one of the most powerful fat loss agents!
So, increase your workout intensity to trim down your fat!
6. Perform Aerobics In The Morning On An Empty Stomach!
Aerobics is well known for its fat loss properties so people use treadmill and every other cardio equipment mostly for this reason.
Unfortunately, fat loss is more a matter of manipulating hormones favorably rather than merely manipulating calories.
In a few words the fat loss is more related to increasing the secretion of fat loss hormones (such as: Glucagon, Growth Hormone, Noradrenaline and Epinephrine) and inhibiting the secretion of fat gain hormones (such as: Insulin) than shifting negatively the total daily calorie balance through an increased calorie expenditure (with exercise) and reduced calorie intake (with a calorie restrict diet).
Remember insulin promotes fat gain, boosts glucose utilization and puts a halt to fat use for energy production to sustain physical effort.
After the several hours of overnight sleep and fasting, insulin levels are very low.
Blood sugars are needed to feed the brain and to meet the energy needs for physical activity, but since you are coming from a fasting state and there's no food consumption at all, then the body gets sugars from stored energy depots (Liver glycogen).
This is accomplished through the secretion of the hormone named "Glucagon".
What Is Glucagon?
Glucagon is an important hormone involved in carbohydrate metabolism. Produced by the pancreas, it is released when the glucose level in the blood is low, causing the liver to convert stored glycogen into glucose and release it into the bloodstream. The action of glucagon is thus opposite to that of insulin, which instructs the body's cells to take in glucose from the blood. However, glucagon also paradoxically stimulates the release of insulin, so that newly available glucose in the bloodstream can be taken up and used by insulin-dependent tissues.
Glucagon breaks down the liver glycogen into glucose so that an increase in blood sugar is satisfied.
But glucagon has receptors also on the fat adipose tissue. This means that glucagon also promotes the breakdown of triglycerides (fats stored in the adipose tissue) into fatty acids. Fatty acids then are used as fuel for energy to sustain the physical activity you perform on an empty stomach in the morning and this ultimately leads to a guaranteed fat loss!
So, exercising in the morning on an empty stomach will put the pedal on the metal in terms of fat loss because of this favorable fat loss hormonal environment (more glucagon, less insulin).
Meal consumption triggers insulin levels to raise up, and insulin levels promote sugar utilization while inhibiting fat use for the physical effort.
In a few words: if you do aerobics in another moment of the day rather than on an empty stomach in the morning, you'll be burning calories from sugars and not from fat! So, you'll be burning energy but still remaining fat!
7. Take A Powerful Fat Burner Before Your Aerobic Session!
A good fat burner taken on an empty stomach prior to your early morning aerobic session will increase and optimize the favorable fat loss hormonal and metabolic cascade induced by exercise.
At the present time there are many effective supplements for fat loss.
A good supplement for such purpose would be a combination of synephrine and caffeine.
Synephrine increases the secretion of Noradrenaline which is a powerful fat loss agent.
Caffeine destroys chemical agents produced during exercise that normally interfere by slowing down the fat loss process. So caffeine allows the fat loss process induced by Noradrenaline to last longer!
8. Drink Plenty Of Water During The Day To Boost Your Metabolism!
Drinking a high quantity of water not only makes you get rid of subcutaneous water retention but also increases your metabolic rate!
In fact, scientific studies show that drinking 17 ounces (approximately 500ml) of water increases the metabolism by 30%!
The increased metabolism was measurable in just as little as 10 minutes after fluid intake and the peak of the body's thermogenic response to fluid intake was 30 to 40 minutes after the fluid intake!
In order to increase your fat loss potential drink 500ml of water in the morning before your aerobic session and another 500ml before your weight training.
Make sure your total daily water intake is at least 4 litres a day and not less!
9. Supplement Your Diet With Calcium!
Scientific research found that calcium intake increases fat loss!
In detail, researchers found that supplemental calcium (800mg/day) or high dietary intake of calcium (1200mg/day) promoted a greater fat loss (38-64%) compared to subjects on a low calcium diet (500mg/day).
Furthermore, it's been seen that dairy sources of calcium promotes 50-100% more fat loss than supplemental calcium.
Researchers hypothesize that dairy calcium is more effective for fat loss than supplemental calcium most likely for the bio-active ingredients contained in dairy products such as: whey protein peptides, Conjugated Linoleic Acids (CLA) and Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA).
10. Get A Good And Restful Night Of Sleep To Trim Down!
A good night's sleep is a potent stimulator of growth hormone secretion. As mentioned above, GH is one of the most powerful fat loss hormones within the human body! Scientific studies show that an adequate night's sleep is essential in order to get the six pack!
In order to see if nighttime GH secretion is fundamental to fat loss, the researchers measured the fatty acid mobilization from adipose tissue under 2 conditions:
- During a good night's sleep.
- During the night's sleep in conjunction with the administration of a drug that inhibits GH secretion.
The result was that the inhibition of GH release during night's sleep shuts down the fatty acid mobilization from adipose tissue!
The take home message is that not getting an adequate quality and quantity of sleep at night will blunt your efforts toward fat loss!
Follow these 10 advices and you'll see your body changing toward the body frame you've always struggled to achieve!!!