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LISASAYERS Posts: 3,836
2/18/08 2:53 P

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Thought this was interesting enough to share....
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Setting the Pace for Fat Loss
by Bob Bates

You may have seen the recent NY Times article regarding how our fat is really doing us a favor. The writer maintained that the vilifying of our body fat (as evidenced by the fact that liposuction is the number one cosmetic surgery in the U.S. – 2 million pounds per year sucked out of our bodies) is perhaps very misguided. She goes onto make the case that blaming fat itself for all of our health woes, undermines our understanding fat’s significant contribution to our health. For example, some scientists believe that humans’ higher fat stores contribute to the care and feeding of our larger brains, making us more evolved and intelligent than other species on the planet (no jokes here please). And of course, most of us realize fat plays a critical role in the storage and release of energy we need to function, mentally and physically.

Benefits aside, we have all seen the statistics on America’s (and the world’s) growing obesity problem. In fact, nine of the top fifteen killers in the U.S. are related to being overweight. Our obsession with losing weight fuels a multi-billion dollar diet industry. So is there a solution to losing the right amount of fat? Should we just give up and cherish our pudgy bodies and learn to just appreciate fat as the unique, highly specialized organ that it is?

A Double Whammy

Our bodies love using fat for energy because it gives us the “biggest bang for our buck” as compared with protein and carbohydrates. This would be great news if it weren’t for the fact that the vast majority of us eat more calories than our bodies actually need and since our bodies prefer to use fat for energy, we are already predisposed to storing those extra calories for later. The solution is easy right? Just eat less calories than you need, creating a calorie deficit and you’ll lose weight. Of course if it was that easy, we’d be putting all of those diet companies and cosmetic surgeons, not to mention many magazine publishers out of business pretty quickly.

Fat Loss vs Weight Loss

There is no way around the fact that creating a calorie deficit is ultimately what needs to happen for anyone to lose weight. A combination of exercise to create lean muscle tissue along with the right eating strategy will work. However the goal is not to lose weight, but to maximum your fat loss while keeping your body and mind healthy. Skinny looking people are not necessarily healthier or less fat than you or I (a good subject for another article). What we really want to do, is to fully leverage the calories we consume so that more go to fueling muscle and tissues, while less go to fat storage, ultimately leading to fat loss.

Pace Yourself

One of the experts on the Maximum Balance site is Dr. Clyde Wilson. He’s been doing pioneering research on the subject of caloric pacing for several years. One interesting fact he discusses is that your muscle tissue can only absorb about 10 calories per minute of energy (5 calories per minute during exercise). This means that if your body is digesting calories faster than this pace, you are fueling more fat than muscle and likely shutting down your muscles’ ability to even accept more calories as you digest your food. Adding insult to injury, depending on the amount and type of calories you consume, this process can continue for up to four hours after your meal. You may actually have heard the more clinical term for this viscous cycle, it’s called insulin resistance.

3 Things That Make A Difference

The subject of fat loss and insulin resistance is a complex subject with many variables that can impact your weight and overall health. I strongly encourage you to contact Dr. Wilson or check out his blog at if you would like to find out more information on this subject or to consider an individual consultation on your dietary requirements. In the meantime, here’s three things that Dr. Wilson recommends that you can do today to further your health and weight loss goals:

1) Reduce the number of calories you eat in a meal to about 600 (based on the 10 cal per minute formula) and add two snacks to your diet in the 150-200 calorie range to help with hunger and performance. (breakfast is a must and it’s a meal not a snack)

2) Keep the energy entryway into your muscles open by eating the right balance of unsaturated fats (25%-35%), high fiber foods including whole grains, fresh fruit and vegetables (40%) and by avoiding excess protein (10%-25%)

3) Slow down digestion by following (2) and by eating those dense, nutrition rich foods first (hint – eat a good salad before the rest of your meal)

Bonus Tip: Drink more water, which has been proven to increase metabolism and cell growth. 1 quart for every 1,000 calories you eat, spaced throughout the day. (add more water to replace what you lose during exercise)

While eating well and maintaining a healthy lifestyle seems more elusive than ever in our over processed, fast food culture, pacing ourselves with these few simple ideas can lead to great results.

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