Beware the fat loss expert top tips and tricks.
Cause a lot of them are pure BS.
Especially the ones promising fast results. Like how to lose belly fat in a week!
Yes I understand you want to lose your belly fat. And the faster the better makes sense.
But this desire for super-quick results makes you vulnerable to wacky suggestions.
The internet is a wonderful thing. But it’s also a double edged sword.
The answers to all your questions are out there but you have to weed through a lot of junk to find them.
Many people “learn” by just hearing and repeating. Info comes in without a filter, it’s deemed the unequivocal truth and then it is dispensed to the unknowing public (that’s you ans me) as gospel.
Guru myths can be harmless. Some are certainly misleading. But others are perhaps a bit dangerous.
Harmless is like the need to drink 8 glasses of water a day to be healthy. This is bull shit but often repeated. There are no studies to back this up. And I know it’s not true because I don’t drink anywhere near 8 glasses of water each day.
But I know everyone thinks it is true. You just gotta do this. Force that water in. You hear it all the time.
I don’t do it and I am perfectly healthy.
And these one size fits all proclamations just don’t make logical sense anyway.
If it were true, a 20 year old male weighing 220 pounds and spending 2 hours in the gym six days a week should drink the same amount of water as a 65 year old, 90 pound female who walks for 30 minutes a day before taking her nap?
I don’t think so. But as I said, this one is probably harmless.
Drinking a few extra glasses of water isn’t going to cause you any major problems.
And the corollary to the 8 glasses of water rule is you have to drink before you’re thirsty. If you wait until your thirst alarm goes off, it’s too late. I love this. The very signal that 2 million years of evolution developed to ensure we got enough water in our bodies isn’t good enough. We have to out-think our built in sensors because they are not really good enough.
Like eating many small meals throughout the day is better (for fat loss) than the standard 3 squares a day.
This is very misleading and it gets you to waste your efforts on stuff that won’t make a difference.
Let’s say you’re going to beach party next weekend and you want to know how to lose belly fat in a week because let’s face it, you only have a week.
Cool. Sounds easy. And at this point you need both easy and fast.
First, the assumption here is that the total caloric intake is the same for the two scenarios. For example the hypothesis is stating that six 500 calorie meals (3000 calories total) is superior for reducing your weight (and fat) over three 1000 calories meals (still a total of 3000 calories a day).
And also we’ll assume that you eat the same stuff (type of calories) between the two plans. So the same ratio of protein, fat and carbohydrates are maintained between the two scenarios.
You get it. We are not comparing six meals of steak and kale against three larger meals of spaghetti and bread.
[adsense] Let’s cut to the chase.
There is no credible evidence to support this claim. There are no statistically significant studies to support the claim that splitting up your eating over many smaller meals throughout the day will improve the likelihood of you losing weight.
Second, it doesn’t make logical sense anyway.
You are consuming the same 3000 calories either way. And by the same I mean both the quantity and quality of the calories are identical.
Don’t bank on this one working for you even though it is often cited as a tried and true method for accelerating fat loss.
Let’s pretend we’re talking about you and you’re an average Joe. Of course you are anything but average but just pretend.
You are basically eating a crappy diet. Meaning, the quality of the food you consume on a daily basis is shit. This is what average Joe’s do.
Shit in this case means primarily coming from highly processed sources that are packaged for long-term storage (and surviving nuclear holocaust) in boxes and bags.
Stuff like breads, baked goods, chips and crackers, pasta, cereal, pancakes, etc.
Or maybe you eat that magic food that is grown inside little buildings where you can drive up and they hand it to you right through your car window. Ah the progress we’ve made.
You get the picture. Crappy food.
There may be some truth to this. It is not the truth that just breaking up your 3000 calories into smaller bites will produce weight loss.
But there is a possibility (a small possibility) that if you break up your meals into smaller chunks, you’ll end up eating fewer calories over the course of the day.
Scenario 1: You pound down a 1000 calorie, high-glycemic index, blood-glucose spiking meal at 7 am to start off your day. BAM, your blood glucose goes through the roof!
Your body wakes up, says here we go again, and secretes insulin to get your blood glucose under control. So a big glucose spike is followed by a huge insulin spike. What goes up must come down.
And when it (your blood sugar) skyrockets up due to a sudden and large ingestion of highly refined carbs, it crashes just as hard on the other end.
You are hungry (ravenous sometimes) again fairly quickly. And tired too. So you need another hit.
This usually takes the form of snacking on more junky food (because carbs are what will satisfy your hunger quickly) until your next big 1000 calorie meal is consumed.
Your big meal spikes blood sugar until your insulin cleans it up and stores most of it as fat. Then your blood sugar crashes, you get tired and irritable so you start snacking until the opportunity to consume another large meal arrives and you start the process all over again.
You are fat. And grumpy. And searching for answers.
The seemingly simple option offered by the weight loss guru is to just eat less food each time.
The reasoning is somewhat sound.
Your blood sugar spike won’t be as large; you don’t store as much fat each meal; and your blood sugar crash won’t be as severe so you don’t get as crabby nor snack as much between meals.
That’s the plan. Hmmm.
Like I said, it may actually work to some degree. Probably a 50:50 chance of working.
But you’re still eating shit all day long. Just in smaller bites. And you’re still getting fat. But maybe a little less fat.
[adsense] This is like a classic government solution.
Use your head.
I remember a few years ago when my daughter asked me to go on a backpacking trip into Havasu Falls. On one hand, I was excited to do it as I had been a fairly active hiker and backpacker for most of my (except about the last decade or so).
On the other hand, I really didn’t know if I could still do it.
I was still overweight at the time and this hike is about 10 miles or so each way. A pretty tough outing.
I love the woods and spending time out in nature but there is nothing more miserable than finding yourself 6 or 7 miles from the trail head, with a 50 pound pack on your back and feeling like you can’t take another step.
Oh and your 25 year old mountain goat daughter is about 3/4 miles ahead of you and having the time of her life.
No you don’t want that to happen.
I started investigating ultralight backpacking equipment. How can I lighten my load I asked? It seemed like an obvious question.
After a thorough investigation, I determined I could probably drop my overall pack weight by about 18 ounces if I’d spend about $10K on new gear. Yea an ultralight backpack, tent, sleeping bag, pad and other camping accessories could be purchased but the trade-off wasn’t attractive.
So from that day, I got serious about training. I lost another 15 pounds or so, got a lot stronger and had a great time on this trip.
The moral of this story?
What is causing your blood glucose to spike so dramatically that your body has no other choice than to store excess energy (calories) as fat?
Eat when you’re hungry. Stop when you’re full. And eat real food.
It is that simple. Don’t plan on losing a lot of fat in a week. But you can start the process.
Rinse and repeat.
Need help weeding through the bullshit and developing a plan that will really work?
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Mark aka The Old Spartan and Over-50 Fitness Savior is a 63 year old coffee guzzling father of five wandering the outdoors around Albuquerque, New Mexico. Mark helps Active Boomers get lean, healthy and strong so they live rewarding, fun lives using his signature Spartan Method training system.