How do I lose fat?

You returned to this site and determined to lose weight for a healthy, better looking and energetic you.

Great!

In today’s article, we are going to explore fat loss strategies which will have you shedding those kg/pounds.

First, let’s summarise how fat mobilisation occurs. The more knowledge you have the more progress you will have in your fat loss efforts.

There are many metabolic pathways in the human body. We’re currently focusing on fat metabolisation and glucose control.

What is lipolysis?[1]

Fat or adipose tissue goes through the process of lipolysis which occurs after ingestion. It is then converted to ATP[2], the energy which our cells use.

Lipolysis is a metabolic pathway of the breakdown of triglycerides into fatty acids and glycerol[3] through hydrolysis[4]. The broken down fatty acids are bound to albumin in the blood. It is transported around the body to be passed through a cell’s cytoplasm[5].

Once in the cytoplasm of the cell, it activates the acyl-CoA[6] and goes through beta-oxidation[7] and produces ATP. ATP converts interchangeably to AMP[8] (Adenosine monophosphate) or ADP(Adenosine diphosphate)[9].

Carnitine[10] located within the inner mitochondria shuttles these substances to the cell’s mitochondria’s matrix[11].

How does insulin affect lipolysis?

High levels of insulin inhibit lipolysis as it is the signal for cells to accept glucose. Insulin resistance cells are dependent on glucose from glycolysis[13] for energy (ATP) demands. Lipolysis is deterred for glycerol and fatty acid breakdown. Metabolic pathways of gluconeogenesis[14] or glyceroneogenesis[15] will not be activated for the production of ATP.

Gluco- what? Guacamole?!

Gluco-neo-genesis and Glycero-neo-genesis are the reverse states of Glycolysis. The conversion of non-carbs precursors (compounds i.e glycerol -> pyruvic acid) to glucose. Its the body maintenance system of blood glucose when glycogen is low and no foods ingested[16].

This doesn’t translate to fat loss until the energy is spent because the process above converts glycerol back to glucose during fasting. Note both of these metabolic pathways do not occur anywhere else except in the liver and kidneys.

How does exercise affect insulin?

When we exercise we produce the hormone called glucocorticoids[17] and catecholamines[18] (epinephrine, norepinephrine, dopamine).

Glucocorticoids is a steroid hormone which is secreted by the Zona fasciculata[19] of the adrenal gland[20] in the kidneys. It is a key hormone that works with our immune system to lower the effects of inflammation. It also has a myriad of physiologic function contributing substantially to the maintenance of resting and stress-related homeostasis[21].

Now the problem for glucocorticoids in medicine is it is produced as a synthetic compound[22] for treating inflammation from insulin. There may be instances which may lead to raised insulin levels[23].

In order to combat high levels of insulin in the bloodstream, it’s best to leave the body to secrete glucocorticoids naturally through exercise. Once your insulin levels are down lipolysis can function normally when your cells become insulin sensitive.

Blood sugar will also decrease when skeletal muscle cells are starved for energy.

Sometimes you wonder why jumping about is so much fun!
Your catecholamines are involved and there’s dopamine in it!

How does building muscle come into play on weight loss?

When we lift weights the Zona fasciculata will secrete catecholamines due to the stress of weight lifting. There is a study that catecholamines (epinephrine/adrenaline) give acute stimulation effect of lipolysis[24]. So muscle activation with stress leads to higher lipolysis rate.

Could we sprint?

You can sprint, it’s one of the best exercises for fat loss. But if you’re starting out on your fitness journey it is not recommended to sprint as it may result in knee or leg injury.

This exercise also depends on how confident the individual is on their leg muscles. Even the best sprinting athletes go through resistance training for years manage it for less than a minute.

So the best exercise for optimal stimulus on lipolysis, and maintaining a steady-state would be resistance training. You could walk but the fat mobilisation isn’t as great as resistance weight training. Walking for an hour will burn at up to 147 cal / 616 KJ. A weight training session will burn up to 487 cal / 2038 KJ depending on the and effort and intensity in an hour.

Note to morbidly obese people: Best avoid any strenuous exercises for the time being and get your body weight down to manageable levels. Brisk walking up a hill or swimming is a much better option than sprinting and jogging. Heavy body weight combined with the force of gravity and excessive force will make you more prone to injuries. Once you’re down to 30% body fat then you can go with resistance training. Seek help or advice from a qualified physiotherapist or personal trainer.

You are welcomed to sprint and get into resistant training if you’re strong as these sumo guys.

Why are you so persistent in telling us that resistant training is the best exercise to lose fat?

Ah, it’s for those who are not aware or for certain countries with cultures who are insistent that resistance training will make them look like THE HULK. 🤨

The myth still persists today. 🤣

Increasing muscle for mass is very difficult because of the calorie/kilojoule deficit. Unless the individual is able to judge their nutrient intake, it is widely known that muscle mass is built on a calorie/kilojoule surplus.

Weight training will let maintain current muscle mass while on a calorie/kilojoule deficit.

Besides I am giving out many good reasons with evidence to get into resistant exercise.

Now with the basics out of the way to move on with the weight loss strategy.

Big, mean and green. Many will not likely resemble HULK without the use of steroids drugs. Steroids are not recommended at any stage of your fitness journey goals.

The fat loss strategy.

Cut down on your meal frequency, for those who are over 3 meals a day it is better for you to stick to 3 meals as you need to bring down your insulin levels. This will stimulate the gluconeogenesis or glyceroneogenesis metabolic pathways as described above.

If your meals consist of food that follows The Australian Standard diet it’s not optimal for decreasing insulin levels – it needs to change.

The standard diet is inferior!? What should be in my meals?

Let’s take a look at the Australian Standard Diet on the image below:

The Australian Dietary Guide [25], doesn’t look any different from the U.S dietary guide [26].
Not surprised we have similar obesity stats.

There are many things wrong with this visual representation for a dietary guideline as its full of carbohydrates and refined carbs. We know that the majority of carbohydrates are easily digested and cause spike insulin levels.

With major swings on our blood sugar, we experience brain fog, mood swings and fatigue after an hour or two. For obese, overweight, insulin resistant and diabetics this staple diet is a no go. This modified version should be your on your palate.

Corrected Diet Guide
The corrected Diet Guide which obese, overweight, insulin-sensitive person should follow.

Wait Joe isn’t carbs important? Why did you cross that out?

No!? Aren’t you eating the same stuff expecting changes on your fat loss but your efforts didn’t amount to anything? Isn’t your weight loss efforts ended up in a yo-yo?

Your fat loss problem persists is because of high carbohydrate intake. The standard diet puts your insulin and blood sugar out of balance. Besides each gram of carb in your body, you will retain 2-3 grams of water weight.

Removing high carbs and getting your insulin levels into balance is the first step.

But what about complex carbs?

Okay, let’s take a step back and think. When you are currently obese, overweight, insulin-resistant/type 2 diabetic and have grains for your breakfast how is that going to solve your insulin levels?

Isn’t complex carb take longer to digest for the body? Don’t you want to lower your insulin and blood sugar by getting lipolysis back to normal so lipids can go through gluconeogenesis and glyceroneogenesis?

If you agree with me read on.

What do I do next?

You must clear out any food packages in your fridge and pantry which contains:

  • no 100% raw ingredients
  • candy
  • flour
  • refined grains
  • grains
  • refined sugar
  • beans
  • noodles
  • potato chips

Put them in containers then give it all away or chuck them into the bin.

Next, refer to the corrected standard diet image when purchasing your groceries. Do note your carbohydrates must only come from leafy green vegetables and one serving of fruit per day. Make sure most of your food sources are natural and not packaged or canned food.

These packaged food contain preservatives, salt and sugar in substantial amounts. (This is why I crossed out canned fruit, canned meats, in the Dietary Guideline).

What we’re doing is practising a method of avoidance rather than resistance. There is evidence which goes by changing your environment you’re forming good habits. It’s one of the best ways to get started.

Note: If you are having trouble I suggest clearing out the sugary foods and candy would be a good start. Keep 2 of your favourites, then clear out the grains. Then move on to the processed meats. Make sure you make adjustments every 3 months and buy more nutritious whole foods. Again it all depends on your willpower and lifestyle.You can be stoked and get it all done if your will is strong.

Meat and saturated fat.

Meat isn’t the cause of LDL-cholesterol, inflammation of the liver and organs caused by hormone imbalance is the cause of LDL-cholesterol. You need saturated fats for raising your HDL-cholesterol and maintaining LDL-cholesterol.

Make sure your meats and seafood are made up of 100% raw meat and ingredients and from non-processed sources. It’s fine to get meat with skins on them. Animal skins contain collagen the protein to combat aging.

Bacons are fine if the package says it is smoked and salted.

Avoid burger patties, sausages that contain soy as fillers and other substances. Same for Deli meats which contain many fillers and substances as hidden calories.

What are the good fats?

Do not be afraid of fats even though they are high in calories/kilojoules they satiate your appetite and make your food tasty. It lubricates your joints and prevents arthritis, improves cell regeneration and provides hormonal balance.

Good fats are avocados, butter, tallow, fatty fish, nuts, coconut flesh, coconut milk, cheese, offals, eggs, greek yogurt, olives, cacao, chocolates(70%).

About butter

Some kinds of butter have added fillers i.e canola oil which contains a high amount of PUFA (polyunsaturated fatty acid). These should be avoided. The only butter that is good to consume contains milk cream and salt.

About chocolates

Most chocolate products have high sugar content in them. Get cacao powder which has good anti-oxidant properties. If not the next best choice would be 70% – 80% dark chocolate. These have their sugar content reduced and increased cacao mass and cacao butter.

About Yogurts

There are many kinds of yogurts on supermarket shelves. The ones in which you have to watch out for are fruit-filled yogurt, flavoured yogurt, skimmed or low-fat yogurt. These have high sugar content and made worst with preserved fruit in them.

Best yogurts are the greek yogurt/natural yogurt, add your own fruits on it for extra taste.

About cooking oils

Most cooking oils should be avoided. The only good cooking oils I have tried so far are olive oil and coconut oil. You can opt for other oils but make sure they’re pressed oils.

However if you’re really undecided, butter or tallow are completely fine.

Consuming high amounts of fat for your calorie intake of the day will not make you lose fat. You will be in a calorie deficit when you perform an exercise session but consuming an extra 300 cal/1255kj of your energy expenditure will be hard on your fat loss goals.

Fats are good, do not shy away from fats. They are an important part of your body’s metabolism and hormone balance.

What are the bad fats?

Fats which are highly processed from its raw ingredients, these are:

Margarine, vegetable oil, canola oil, rice bran oil, soybean oil, corn oil, grapeseed oil (lack of research but highly processed).

To summarise what are bad fats. If an ingredient of that said oil/fat is not able to liquidate while cooking that’s not good fat at all.

Salad dressing and sauces should I add them?

Again these are packed with hidden calories of sugar, preservatives, carb thickeners which are not mentioned in detail on its labels. Many have poly-unsaturated(PUFA) in them. You do not what them to include them in your salad or meal.

A better option would be to make your own sauces or salad dressing. If you’re unable to do it stick to salt, pepper, some honey and spices.

Fruit juices should I drink them?

No, don’t buy them.

The amount of fruit used to make a litre of juice would be 10x over than the ordinary fruit. Besides by drinking the juice you’re missing out on the fibre in the whole fruit and some essential nutrients. Pulped juice isn’t an option either. Both do not make you satiated.

Let’s not forget additional fruit consumption does add to your daily glucose and calorie/kilojoule intake. This doesn’t help lower your insulin levels. Besides its hardly believable the 100% fresh juice is fresh as the label claims.

I mean come on? How is it that you think the juice tastes the same for every bottle on the shelf and every season compared to the real fruit?

When you buy real fruit in a box you’ll find some will taste sweeter than the rest and some have no taste at all.

Diet or light version soft drinks?

Stop mucking around.

Intermittent fasting.

Once you’re used to your reduced meal frequencies, you can start implementing intermitted fasting.

There are many fasting protocols which you can try. These are the 24 hours fast, the 5:2 Diet, Alternate day fasting, meal skipping and warriors diet.

Pick one that will suit your schedule and no fasting is not starvation. Your body can last than 21 days or more without eating depending on your body fat percentage.

Why fasting?

You are trying to activate 2 metabolic pathways, gluconeogenesis and glyceroneogenesis from lipolysis as explained above.

Plus you will be consuming less which allows you to stretch your food supply, save money and help the environment by reducing waste.

Click here for training tips on intermitted fasting.

Handling cheat meals.

Okay this might be difficult for some to accept but I got to hand it to you.

A cheat meal will feel like a cheat meal if you treat it like one. It’s good that you have cleared your apartment/house from bad food influences. It prevents you from unconsciously picking up that candy/cookie lying around and stuffing it into your mouth.

However, the real test comes when outside influence can really disrupt your diet. It is okay if you’re able to maintain healthy eating for as long as possible.

If you make mistakes or have an unexpected guest inviting you out. Don’t have to kick yourself too much about it. Plan ahead and take note not to repeat them. However, if you find yourself binge eating on that particular day you should include something more of it in your diet. (i.e, binge eating on fried chicken. Your regular meals need to include grilled chicken with spices).

If you apply the suggestions above your will power will rise from the practice of fasting by resisting hunger, the environmental effects of sight and smell of food.

Along with the knowledge of what is good food choices for a meal, you are able to build a healthy relationship with food for your fat loss goals.

Whatever you do, do not give up.

You may notice a significant increase in weight and fat loss you if apply some or all the tactics above. However, do note that fat is not tied to weight. Weight will fluctuate due to the change in diet, water retention, food intake and muscle growth. Worry about your waistline, use the mirror and compliments from your friends.

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Joseph is a professional web technologist turned fitness enthusiast after getting into health complications that landed him in the hospital many times.Vowing to invest as much time permit to keep himself healthy. He is currently combining technology to promote fitness and health to the community.

6 thoughts on “How do I lose fat?

  1. Rizza says:

    what a great advise! This is the thing that I just need right now, great timing to stumble upon your website. Currently working on my goal to lose some weight and trying intermittent fasting.

    Thank you for the added knowledge that I can add to my memory and diet regimen.

    • Joseph says:

      Hi Rizza,

      Thanks for the encouragement and all the best on your weight loss.

  2. Rachel says:

    Wow Joseph, thanks for this amazing post. I’m obese and am trying to change my lifestyle. I’m current off fast food and doing intermittent fasting and some exercise. Sadly, my weight never seems to change. I even tried keto for 6months and I still weighted the same. The only time I saw a weight change (10lbs less) was when I fasted for religious reason for 21days, and I only ate nuts. I can’t live off nuts. Do you have any advice for me?

    • Joseph says:

      Hi Rachel,
      Good effort for losing that 10lbs! You’re changing your lifestyle for the better. The thing about the keto diet you can go wrong with it if you’re not careful about what you buy especially in the U.S.

      I know the U.S has a lot of processed meat and packaged food full of additives which isn’t going to help with your keto diet. I saw the story of your blog about your life and I say it takes courage to post it in public.

      Good on ya!

      Now losing weight is a long journey, you need support from your husband and both of your families. I think you need to sit down with them. Have a good talk and tell them you want to keep those pounds off for better health. If Daniel is willing to hop on board with you on this journey both of you are able to benefit and hold each other accountable for support.

      On your eating out per week, I should say it disrupts you on continuing on with your diet. I should think the weekly eating out will be too much if you are not careful about what food you have stored in your house (examples of what I have posted). A better thing would be for it to adjust to a weekly invite the family over for a homecooked meal in your backyard. If they’re not really keen on this perhaps once a fortnight out at restaurants.

      I try to obtain a fresh supply of vegetables and fresh fruits in Texas, best if you head down to a grocery store that does or a local farmers market which sells them.

      Next, I am not entirely sure which fasting protocol you’re following but if you’re very new to I.F I suggest sticking to your 3 days a meal first as may have cravings because of your high insulin and leptin levels. Your breakfast shouldn’t consist of cereal or any grains.

      You can have bacon and eggs for breakfast without bread / Greek yogurt with fruits on top with a teaspoon of honey if you find it too sour. Salad with your homemade dressing is good too.
      You don’t have to think breakfast is milk and cereal like its shown on TV. The breakfast word is meant to be “breaking fast”. It is unfortunate the cereal industry has ruined its meaning.

      Also by looking at your pictures, I suggest you get a membership to a public pool or if you have hilly areas around your house brisk walk at least 30 minutes.
      Increase the time after getting stronger. Once your body fat is around 30% join a gym and get to resistant training.

      Drink plenty of water throughout the day. It will flush out toxins from your liver and kidneys. It might be annoying going to the bathroom all the time but it’s important you do this.

      I hope this reply is able to get you started. If you have any more questions send me a reply or email.

      Cheers 🙂

  3. junaidslamdien says:

    Hi Joseph.
    Really good article. Thank you for the amazing information. This explains into detail everything one needs to know about fat and fatloss in general. Very well thought of and again thank you for your effort and extremely helpful website!

    • Joseph says:

      Hi junaidslamdien,
      Thank you for your encouragement and I am glad you like this post. Please share it to your friends if they’re having trouble achieving their fat loss goals. 🙂
      Cheers,
      Joseph

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