Fat and inch loss can be a frustrating and even devastating topic. That’s because it’s so hard to lose weight and keep it off. Diet after diet fail, we gain the fat back and lose muscle in the process. It’s tough to accept failure and success in weight loss seems out of reach.
That being said, I am very excited to bring you some information today that can change the past. If you are sincerely trying to lose weight and have struggled to be successful at it, I hope that you will learn something that can help you. There is real science behind real solutions, and so many good things to share about a topic that is very important to many of us.
We want to look good – that’s one reason to lose weight. However, today, in many cases the problem is more about health. We NEED to lose weight to be healthy – because overweight and obesity is making us sick.
The good news is that we really do have better options now.. that will WORK FOR US.. and keep working for us. I hope that you are ready to receive this information and take the action you will need to reach your goals. Feel free to leave a comment (we welcome them!) and also contact me anytime to discuss personally anything you read or hear on this site.
What’s the secret to successful weight loss?
How many times have you tried to lose weight, simply by trying to cut down on calories?
And if you did lose the weight, how long did you keep it off?
Have you gone on more intense diets and lost significant weight?
Did you gain most or all of that weight loss back – and with a few extra pounds to boot?
If any of these are familiar, would you like to know why it is so hard to lose weight AND keep it off?
If you prefer to listen to this presentation in audio form, click for the mp3 file that will load in a new window:
Warning: This is a rather long blog post.. but it is packed with information that you may or may not know about some of your body processes and how it affects your weight – and losing weight. I thought it was very interesting when I heard it in presentation form, and wanted to pass the knowledge on. As always, if you’d like to talk about anything you see here, give me a call or email (link on right) and tell me a good time to call you!
Today science is questioning the conventional wisdom of simply cutting calories. That’s because it turns out that not only is cutting calories not enough but it can actually make it harder to lose weight. And even worse, it can set you up to regain weight more easily if you go back to your old eating habits, including eating too many calories.
Today I would like to invite you to look beyond calorie counting to some of the newest research surrounding weight loss. There is now fresh proof that safe, healthy ways to lose weight exist, and are more effective – plus actually break the vicious cycle of yo-yo dieting that plagues so many of us today.
If you think of weight loss in the context of an old fashioned scale, when each side of that scale is balanced, weight is not lost or gained. To lose weight, you must take in less calories than you use. And on the other side of that scale, how many calories you burn is determined by your metabolism and activity level.
Unfortunately, most diets focus just on calorie restriction. They may encourage you to be more active but do not address supporting, maintaining, and even increasing your metabolism. An important and fairly recent new understanding, and obviously research, is how to support and protect metabolism, so that weight loss can be more long lasting, and people can be less likely to yo-yo.
Would you rather learn how to protect your all important muscle mass that determines your metabolism – and helps you burn fat – rather than only concentrating on losing fat?
Metabolism refers to the rate at which we burn calories, but it’s so much more than that. Metabolism is actually the sum total of all the complex chemical and hormonal processes related to digesting, absorbing, converting, storing, and using food for energy. And since every single cell in your body depends on energy to survive, you can see why metabolism matters.
Here’s what most of us have thought over the years: if you have a high metabolism, you can burn more calories – and if you have a low metabolic rate, you burn less calories. However, there is more to it than only burning calories.
First, your metabolic rate is not a static number. It actually fluctuates during the course of the day, depending on what you eat, the frequency of meals or snacks, and what type and amount of physical activity that you do.
The calories that you consume, and the calories that you burn by virtue of your activity each day, are layered upon what is called your basal metabolic rate or BMR. Your BMR is the number of calories you burn at rest, if you never got out of bed. This is more static from day to day for people but it’s largely determined by your muscle mass.
So what’s MOST important to remember is this: Muscle fuels metabolism. So the more muscle you have the more calories you burn.
You may be thinking, why does muscle matter to metabolism?
The answer is that muscle tissue is active and it’s what burns calories. Metabolism is the rate at which you burn those calories.
Your BMR is largely determined by your muscle mass. For every pound of muscle, you can potentially burn up to 50 calories. The more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism and more calories you’ll burn in a day.
So – does less muscle means a lower metabolism? Yes it does. And with less muscle you will burn less calories, and have a much harder time losing weight.
How does this relates to the vicious cycle of yo-yo dieting.
Here’s where it really gets so interesting: When you go on a weight loss plan that will decrease your calorie intake, your body responds to this dropping calorie intake by triggering what’s called the famine response that was built into your body mechanics a long time ago and has not changed along with the way our lives and daily diets have changed.
Your body will then go looking for energy. And because your muscle mass is more energy dense than your fat stores, your body will sacrifice muscle preferentially to fat.
The famine response is actually part of a larger process in our body that responds to any kind of stress, something known as the fight and flight response: When you’re under stress – a significant drop in calories (famine) would clearly be a stressor – your body, in response to that stress, releases a hormone called cortisol, which among many other things, directs the body to store fat.
A long time ago our bodies were designed to store this fat around our vital organs in the abdomen – for protection of those organs.
The problem is that this location and type of fat, technically called visceral fat, but more commonly known as belly fat, is extremely hard to lose, no matter how many abdominal crunches or curls you do.
To review: less muscle mass means a lower metabolism, which means you’re burning less calories. While that decreased metabolic rate and preferential storage of fats served us well in ancient times when there were long periods of famine that humans had to survive, in today’s world, for most of us, there’s no shortage of food.
And unfortunately when you try to cut calories in order to lose the weight from all the extra food we eat, your body reacts the way it was designed to do – rob your muscle of energy and keep the stored fat around your middle.
This way that our body works makes it much harder for dieters to lose weight, simply, by cutting calories.
An example: You’ve lost weight by cutting calories, but you’re now tired of being so disciplined. Or, you accomplished your goal, you feel like your clothes are fitting you better now – and so, you go back to your old habits, which means, usually, eating what you had been eating — more calories.
And because you now have a lower or slower metabolism because you’ve lost muscle mass, you are burning less calories each day. Going back, even to the calorie level that you had been on before the diet (that led to the weight gain), will most likely cause you to regain that weight you just lost.
This is how the vicious cycle of yoyo dieting operates. Cutting calories alone jeopardizes the lean muscle mass that fuels our metabolism. With a lower metabolism, you’re less able to lose weight to begin with. And you’re setting yourself up to gain more weight back and faster.
This can be particularly devastating for women trying to manage their weight, because not only do women start out with a lower muscle mass than men, but the repeated loss of lean muscle tissue over a number of dieting cycles can eventually damage your metabolism.
You must reduce your caloric intake by 500 calories a day in order to lose just 1 lb per week. With a damaged metabolism, you must reduce your calories to the starvation mode, which will further signal your body to hold on to fat and lose muscle.
It’s not just your sex that matters. Age is a factor as well. It is well documented that once you pass that not so old age of 35, you lose, on average, 3% to 8% of your muscle mass with each subsequent decade that passes.
This means that even before you layer in the effects of dieting, people can lose 5 lbs to10 lbs of lean muscle every ten years. And after age 60, this rate of muscle loss can accelerate.
In light of this age related loss of muscle mass, it’s no wonder that we see our metabolism slow down, again, adding to the difficulties of losing weight without sabotaging your metabolism.
What can we do?
It’s all about preserving your lean muscle mass. Maintaining or building your muscle mass is key to maintaining and improving your metabolism.
If you want to boost your metabolism, you need to build, maintain, and use your muscles.
Don’t panic. You may be groaning because you are going to have to get off the couch and do some exercise if you want to lose weight.
You may even prefer to believe the fantasy that there is a miracle pill or ingredient or diet that is going to melt away the pounds without having to get you up and moving!
That may sound good to some of us, but we know that there is no such magic.
The good news is that you don’t need to start training for a marathon or become a body builder. But you will need to do something.
Real research, based on science, stats, and reality, tells us that cutting calories alone will not work. You must preserve the muscle mass you have, and you should also try to add to your lean muscle mass.
The other good news is that the payoff can be amazing. You will look better, have more energy, and have a much easier time maintaining a healthy weight.
Science and research also include studies on an amino acid called leucine that has been well studied in athletes and body builders because it helps support muscle metabolism.
Something very interesting that was discovered is that in the setting of reduced calorie intake (diet or weight loss program), the addition of leucine helps direct the body to pull from fat storage for the calorie needs of the person, instead of that precious lean muscle mass.
A May 2008 study published in Fitness Management explored the benefits of ingesting a leucine enhanced protein drink after a work-out, and looked at its benefits related to muscle mass, weight, and body fat, as well as muscle strength.
In this study conducted at the South Shore YMCA in Quincy, Massachusetts, 68 men and women, with an average age of 59, participated two to three times per week in the Standard Strength Training Program.
That included weight training, aerobic exercise, and stretching. Then, immediately after each workout, half of the participants consumed the meal replacement beverage that delivered 24 grams of protein with added leucine. The other half of the participants did the work out but did not consume the meal replacement beverage.
What did these researchers observe?
After 23 weeks, researchers found that those who consumed the protein beverage immediately after their workouts gained 25% more lean muscle mass and lost 50% more body fat than those who just did the workouts.
More specifically, on average, the net loss for those taking the shake was 3.5 lbs compared to a net loss of 1 lb for those who did not consume the post exercise protein beverage.
What’s important to note about the 3.5-pound net loss was that it was achieved by gaining 5.5 lbs of muscle mass and losing 9 lbs of fat, which is a much healthier body composition overall.
Interesting take-aways from this study:
1- The study not only confirmed the favorable effects of exercise on weight loss and body composition but it also showed that you can increase those favorable effects by consuming a post workout leucine enhanced protein beverage.
2- The study results were observed at a relatively even rate over the course of the sixth months training period. Not only were the 12-week findings consistent with previous short-term study results, but the rate of change held up throughout the six months.
The bottom line is that sticking to an exercise regimen along with consuming a leucine enhanced protein drink can pay off pretty great weight loss and fitness dividends.
Another point that is most inspiring is that these study subjects were all older and previously sedentary adults with exercise regimens that were not especially aggressive or time consuming.
These folks exercised two to three times per week. If these previously sedentary older adults can lose weight, and lose the weight that you want to lose (body fat), then I hope you will agree that we all can do the same.
These study results offer further encouragement to all of you couch potatoes out there!
You don’t have to be a young body builder to benefit from exercise. You simply need to get up and move more.
According to the latest joint American Heart Association and American College of Sports Medicine guidelines, 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity, five days a week is optimal. Plus, if you find that kind of commitment is overwhelming, you don’t have to do it all at once. It’s cumulative for the day. So break it up a bit.
And if all you can do is walk, then walk. But just walk maybe a little bit more each day. Wearing a pedometer is a great way to keep track of how much you walk. Exercise in any form is important because it helps maintain or build muscle, which burns calories and boosts your metabolism.
You have just learned that you must move your muscles to boost your metabolism. But how can protein impact metabolism and weight loss?
Protein is essential to muscle building, and we discussed how that impacts metabolism quite a bit already. Scientists also suggest that one reason high protein versus low protein diets may promote significantly more weight loss is that protein promotes feelings of fullness. When you eat less calories, fewer calories higher in protein are more satisfying than the same calories with lower protein content.
There’s also the effect of protein on thermogenesis, which is the thermic or heat generating effect with the metabolism of your food. Essentially, the body consumes energy and produces energy as we digest, absorb and metabolize calories.
Why is that important? When we compare the thermic effect of various diets, macronutrients, meaning proteins, carbohydrates and fats, all have a different thermic effect in the body.
Protein and fat create more energy in the body than carbohydrates do. Typically, the thermic effect of protein is 20% to 35% of calories consumed, while carbohydrates usually fall between 5% and 15%.
There’s an on-going debate about the thermic effect of fat. But the bottom line is that protein seems to have the highest thermic effect, which is part of the explanation why weight loss programs that are high in protein are often more effective, than programs that focus on cutting fat.
Another reason protein is of interest to researchers is because of the amino acids in it. Lately, the most exciting work has focused on a specific amino acid, leucine, one of the three branch chain amino acids.
Leucine is of particular interest because it’s been determined to play a key role in the regulation of muscle protein synthesis or muscle building. Much of the leucine research is focused on how body builders who are obviously interested in building muscle have used supplement leucine in a protein blend as a very effective way to help gain and maintain muscle mass.
How does leucine work?
Researchers have studied leucine’s role in the preservation of lean muscle tissue during weight loss for almost 30 years. Without getting too technical, emerging evidence shows that leucine enhances protein metabolism by both stimulating protein synthesis and decreasing the rate of protein breakdown. So it’s quite beneficial for protecting that lean muscle mass during weight loss.
Since leucine not only inhibits protein breakdown, but actually stimulates protein synthesis, it can help maintain, and build lean muscle mass. And as we know, more muscle means a higher metabolic rate and the ability to burn more calories, all good things when you’re trying to lose weight.
The scientific research behind leucine.
There’s a lot of past research related to how body builders use protein, including those branch chain amino acids, and in particular, focusing on leucine. It’s only fairly recently that scientists have applied leucine research into studies looking at weight loss.
The good news is that the scientific support for the impact of leucine in weight loss is both exciting and growing.
In 2005, Dr. Gene Spiller of the Health Research and Studies Center in Los Altos, California, conducted a preliminary and controlled study of 27 overweight healthy men and women. Participants were instructed to follow a reduced calorie program that included a leucine enhanced protein beverage twice a day for a period of 12 weeks.
Over 12 weeks, clinical study participants experienced on average, a net loss of 15.4 lbs. But the real measure of success was that there was an almost 100% preservation of muscle mass. So essentially, all the weight they lost was body fat. And in fact, study participants lost on average, 16.2 lbs of fat over the12 weeks while experiencing no significant changes in lean muscle mass.
Because they preserved their muscle mass, they preserved their metabolism.
And because fat takes up more space than lean muscle mass, the researches noticed not only a net loss of pound but a significant inch loss. An average of four inches around the waist, and 2.6 inches around the hips were reported.
Those numbers may be more important to your doctor than to you because doctors are looking for significant reduction in the waist to hip ratio of patients who are overweight.
The waist to hip ratio is an important indicator of future health risk because it tells you where you carry excess weight. A higher waist to hip ratio predicts a greater risk of obesity related conditions, specifically, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Researchers also noted that weight loss is related to a corresponding drop in cholesterol levels, as well as lower triglycerides and blood glucose levels.
Keep muscle. Burn fat. Lose inches. Improve health. All at the same time.
Cutting edge research continues to explore how a leucine enhanced program can benefit not only weight loss but obesity related diseases and disorders such as metabolic syndrome.
Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions that result in an increased risk for heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. These conditions include hypertension, or elevated blood pressure, elevated blood glucose levels including insulin resistance, elevated cholesterol levels, and abdominal obesity.
Having three out of four of these conditions would give you a diagnosis of metabolic syndrome.
If you lose weight and change your diet and lifestyle, you can modify these risk factors and potentially, even prevent the onset of serious consequences — heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, cancer and more.
We invite you to learn more about – and seriously consider TRYING – a weight loss program that is centered around leucine that helps you keep your muscle that will continue to burn fat, while losing the pounds and inches you want to lose – and having you feel healthy and energized throughout (that’s something not often associated with weight loss.. right?!!). If you are FINALLY ready to get the results you desire – to see how good you LOOK at your desired weight and to get to a HEALTHY WEIGHT, take advantage of the Free Month Offer!
To purchase the science-based, healthy weight loss program from the #1 Natural Nutrition Company in the United States, CLICK HERE to visit our Shaklee 180 website:
Shaklee 180 is serious weight loss, and it’s recommended that you commit to 3-6 months (depending on the total weight you want to lose) of two meals per day on the program to lose 2 1/2 pounds per week the healthy and nutritious way. The way where your body feels satisfied and you can actually stick to the program and lose all the weight you want to lose. Now if you want to lose 100 lbs or 200 lbs, you will need more time to do that and it is absolutely attainable!
This program provides two meals per day, snack bars, energizing tea that you drink each day between meals – and a metabolism booster supplement. It is key that your body gets all the nutrients it needs during weight loss and Shaklee 180 is scientifically designed to provide just that, plus help to boost your metabolism as an extra aid to your weight loss. This program is proven to work and it can work for you too!
Note: The cost of the Shaklee 180 program is not only an expense that you have to pay to lose weight. The cost also replaces your grocery budget of two meals per day, snacks and drinks – because you won’t have to buy those while you’re on the program. It can actually be a relief to only worry about one meal per day (at least that’s the way I look at it). Grab my Shaklee 180 food and go – and I don’t feel hungry at all between meals! My blood sugar is balanced. My body is satisfied – and the pounds and inches come off.
Weight Loss Testimonials can be found on our: TESTIMONIES page.
*Information in this article is taken from a health presentation by Shaklee scientists, a team of doctors who are dedicated to clinical research and who have published over 90 abstracts and manuscripts in peer-reviewed scientific journals that support product efficacy and safety.