Scientific Findings on Fat Loss
Before getting into a discussion of the concept of real food, let’s cover the basics of fat loss. There are a lot of diets out there, and a lot of people who try them without much success. What’s the real low-down?
Besides the fact that reduced heaviness tends to make us happier, how does it make us healthier?
In a review of scientific findings, Franziska Spritzler, of Authority Nutrition: An Evidence-Based Approach, reports that losing weight and belly fat can provide all sorts of health benefits, including:
- Lower blood pressure: Research suggests that losing as little as 5% of your body weight can significantly lower your blood pressure.
- Reduced cancer risk: Several types of cancer are linked to overweight and obesity. Some researchers believe that losing weight may reduce the risk for developing cancer of the breast, colon, pancreas and other organs.
- Improvement in sleep apnea: In the disorder known as sleep apnea, breathing periodically stops during the night, which is often related to excess abdominal fat. It is quite common in people with diabetes. In fact, researchers believe that most overweight people with type 2 diabetes have this condition. One study found that people with sleep apnea who lost at least 5% of their body weight had significantly greater improvement in sleep apnea symptoms than people who lost less weight.
- Reduction in inflammation: Obesity promotes chronic low-grade inflammation. Losing weight can help reduce inflammatory markers, particularly in people with diabetes and prediabetes. What’s more, low-carb diets seem to be particularly effective for decreasing inflammation.
- Increased insulin sensitivity: Losing weight, especially visceral fat, has been found to reduce insulin resistance. In a small study, people who lost 5% of their body weight experienced an increase in insulin sensitivity, along with an improvement in pancreatic beta cell function.
- Decreased risk of heart disease: Losing weight can increase HDLb(“good”) cholesterol and decrease triglycerides, blood pressure and other heart disease risk factors.
- Reduced risk of other diabetes complications: Recent research suggests that in addition to protecting against heart disease, losing abdominal fat may help prevent damage to your eyes.
For his part, Brian Flatt, of The 3 Week Diet Program (http://www.realfood4healthandweightloss.com/go/3weekdiet) asserts that the real secret of how we get fat and how we lose weight was discovered decades ago, and that since then, that “secret” has been used to help millions of people to lose weight. Unfortunately, mainstream medicine and the multibillion dollar diet industry want to keep this a secret.
The problem is that although we know how to lose weight, most people don’t know how to take full advantage of these weight loss methods to really make the pounds come off fast. When the weight doesn’t come off as fast as we want, we are more susceptible to those products that promise “faster & better.” But in reality, those products never live up to their promises.
The fact is the diet and fitness industry does not want you to learn the true secrets to ultra-fast weight loss because once you learn it, they know that you’ll never need to buy another one of their bogus products again. And when you don’t need their products, the multibillion dollar diet industry takes a great big financial hit.
The 3 Week Diet is very effective, mainly because it produces extremely fast and visible results. These fast results keep the dieter motivated. And that motivation keeps them going until they reach levels of fat loss that they have never imagined possible.
The longer you’re walking around with excess fat on your body, the harder it is for your body to function. Your heart needs to work harder and harder to move your body, which puts a deadly strain on one of your most vital organs. And research has shown that the longer you’re walking around with excess weight, the more susceptible you are to a host of diseases and medical problems.
The 3 Week Diet is divided up into four distinct parts.
- The diet itself consists of three phases (each phase being 1 week long). During your first week on the diet, you will likely see a drop of weight in the neighborhood of 10 pounds. The diet requires some motivation and short-term changes to your eating habits, but the promise is that if you can make it past the first week of the diet, you will be in total control of your weight for the rest of your life.
- The workouts: one of the reasons people fail in their diets is because the workout required to succeed is just too much for most people to handle. The 3 Week Diet workouts are designed to burn fat and get you into great shape in about 20 minutes just a few times each week. While you can lose weight quickly on the diet alone, a quality workout like the one in the 3 week diet can double your fat loss results.
- Supplements: The supplement report provides a look at some of the most popular diet supplements being used today. These will include a review of the supplements not included in The 3 Week Diet itself.
- Motivation & Mindset: This will show you how to focus your energy on achieving your goals.
Research has shown that most overweight people are carrying around 10-20 pounds of unwanted body fat, and that most diets fail, mostly because they take the long, slow, boring approach to weight loss. When weight loss comes off at 1-2 pounds a week, the rewards for the sacrifices it takes to get there really aren’t worth it. The 3 Week Diet accomplishes what most diets take 4-5 months to do. Coincidentally, research has shown that it takes approximately 21 days to develop a new habit.
Too often when we try to implement a new habit into our lives, we see it as unmanageable. Because of this, these new healthy habits never get off the ground. Instead of focusing on just 21 days, we sabotage our goals with the mindset that we will have to sacrifice forever. But as your brain lets you participate in this 21-day “trial,” it will also be working to form new neural pathways, once it realizes that the new habit has benefited you positively in some way.
In the case of The 3 Week Diet, your brain will noticed that it now takes less work to move your body throughout the day because it has shed so many pounds. It will notice the increased energy you have as a result of your daily walks, weekly resistance training and other exercise components of this diet. You will also take note of your physical appearance, your muscle tone and how your clothes are now much looser. Basically, your brain will see remarkable benefits that will stick with you and cause you to follow along the path of good eating and exercise habits.
Research has shown that neural pathways to any habit (even the bad ones) can be life-long, which means bad habits can resurface when triggered to do so. This means that you have to be constantly aware of your thoughts, and you need to make conscious efforts to avoid engaging in your bad habits of the past.
We tend to use the term “weight loss” when we go on a diet. And while some are content with simply watching the numbers of the scale go down, it is important that you focus solely on losing fat rather than precious lean body mass.
If you want to simply lose weight…and you don’t care where the weight comes from (body fat, bones, muscle, organs, etc.) then the fastest way to accomplish that is through long duration dietary fasting (not eating anything). Such fasting is the quickest way to lose weight, but it comes with a hefty price, up to and including death. On the other hand, in just 16-24 hours of totally avoiding carbohydrates, your body will be getting 80-90% of its energy from its own body fat – which is a very good thing.
With some diets, a large portion of the weight that are lost is not body fat, but instead, lean body mass (whatever isn’t fat). Remember, a decrease in lean body mass equates to a slower running metabolism, which will make it harder to lose weight and easier for you to put weight back on once it’s lost. The 3 Week Diet is designed to not only keep your metabolism churning along, but also works to reset and increase its ability so that you are constantly running at your body’s maximum potential.
In contrast, diets that focus solely on the numbers of the scale actually slow your body’s ability to lose body fat and force your body to attack itself for the essential nutrients it needs. You can spot these diets from a mile away, if you know what you’re looking for. The red flag when looking for these diets (often called “fasts”) are those that have an obvious lack protein as their primary food source. Diets like the Hollywood Juice Diet, the Cabbage Soup Diet, the Lemonade Diet, etc. can definitely help you lose weight, but the weight you lose on these types of diets is not the weight you want to lose. In fact, these diets do more harm than good, because you will lose precious lean body mass in the process of losing weight. Furthermore, the more lean body mass you have, the more calories your body needs to keep that mass functioning properly.
Again, when the body goes without protein for a certain length of time, it is going to get its protein needs by eating your skin for lunch and your hair for dinner. The hair and skin are the first protein stores to be attacked and if you look closely at people on protein-deficient types of diets, you will notice a lack of glow and sheen. This is because the protein that keeps the skin and hair healthy and vibrant will be missing. People on these types of diets are noticeably haggard, wrinkly and dull looking.
But it won’t stop there. Think about it. Can you really afford to lose part of your heart, liver, brain, kidneys and other vital organs? Do you really want to sacrifice your precious skeletal muscle, which actually helps you burn fat all day long?
If you have any of the following symptoms, chances are you are not getting enough protein in your diet:
- thin, brittle hair;
- hair loss;
- reduced pigmentation in the hair;
- ridges in fingernails and toenails.
- skin rashes, flaky skin, dry skin;
- weakness and cramps in your muscles;
- difficulty sleeping;
- slow healing in wounds, cuts, scrapesIf you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should take a good look at your daily protein intake.
Protein deficiency can be worse than you think. Long term or frequent protein deficiency can result in even more serious health risks, such as:
- heart problems;
- organ failure;
- muscle deterioration;
In the diet portion of The 3 Week Diet, you’ll learn how to calculate your true daily protein requirements.
On The 3 Week Diet, we attempt to emulate “starvation” and all the fat-burning qualities it produces, but without all the negative side effects (hunger, lean body mass loss, etc.). To do this, we will focus on depleting the body of carbohydrates, in order to trigger the starvation response. Again, this starvation response forces the body to switch over to burning incredible amounts of fat for our daily energy needs.
Meanwhile, we will “sneak” adequate amounts of protein to the body every few hours. Instead of attacking our own lean body mass, the body will use this “easy” protein (the protein we eat) and turn it into glucose, which requires even more fuel (body fat). Basically, we are going to throw all kinds of things at the body to force it to burn more and more body fat, which will result in ultra-fast weight loss.
Our bodies need nutrients, vitamins, minerals and water for good health and proper functioning. Amazingly, the human body is capable of producing thousands of nutrients that it needs to sustain its own life.
The nutrients that the body manufactures itself are known as “nonessential” nutrients. Conversely, “essential nutrients” are those nutrients that you must get from the food you eat. To sustain life, it is of vital importance that you get these nutrients from your dietary intake.
Some examples of essential nutrients are water, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals. One very common nutrient that has been purposely omitted here is carbohydrates. The biological fact of the matter is that there is not a single carbohydrate that is essential to the human diet – not sugar, not starch, not fiber. Carbohydrates do not provide any nutritional benefits at all to the human body!
The 3 Week Diet is about maximizing the nutrients that we do need while restricting those that we do not. Really, it is all about eating the right foods in the right quantities at the right time. When done correctly, we are able to put our body into a 24/7 fat burning mode.
The primary nutrients humans consume are protein, fat and carbohydrates. Here are the main characteristics of each:
Proteins are the foundation of your body’s cells, tissues and organs. They are essential to your muscles, hair, skin, hair, organs and hormones. While the body can survive without eating another carbohydrate and last for extended periods without eating fat, a lack of protein in your diet will cause degeneration of your muscle tissue and organs, which will eventually lead to death.
Knowing how important protein is to the body, it is unbelievable to see how many people still get most of their calories from high-carbohydrate diets.
Several studies have shown that the recommended daily allowance for protein consumption is far lower than it should be,especially for those engaged in regular exercise. What this research has shown is that people following the “recommended daily allowance” of protein consumption while engaging in regular physical activity, were actually losing valuable muscle tissue, because there was not enough protein in the body to repair and rebuild their muscles after their workouts.
Proteins are made up of 20 amino acids. Of these, the body can only produce 12 itself. This means the other eight amino acids must be obtained through the foods we eat.
Lysine, leucine, isoleucine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine are the essential amino acids – those that are not made by the body (in addition, there are two others necessary for infants and small children). We get these amino acids when we consume protein sources like meat, fish, poultry and legumes.
Protein sources that contain adequate amounts of all of the amino acids are called “complete proteins.” Those food items that do not contain all or adequate amounts of amino acids are known as “incomplete proteins.”
In general, animal proteins (meat, fish, poultry, cheese, eggs) are considered “complete proteins.” The “incomplete proteins” are those that are vegetable based, usually in the form of grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. To get enough essential amino acids through vegetable protein, one usually has to combine several different food groups together in a strategic combination.
Breaking down and processing protein takes a lot more energy and much more time than is required to break down other nutrients. In other words, the body has to work a lot harder to digest protein than it does to digest carbohydrates and fat.
The extra energy it takes to break down and process protein reduces the amount of energy your body receives from that food. Also, because it takes longer to break down and to assimilate protein, the process of emptying the stomach takes longer, which causes us to feel full longer, which reduces hunger pangs.
It is believed that the body can only use about 50% of the protein we eat. This means the other 50% is eliminated from the body as waste, because protein is not stored in the body the same way that fat and carbohydrates are. So when you eat calories primarily from protein, you can rest assured that these protein calories are repairing and rebuilding your body, with the excess being eliminated as waste. The extra protein will not be stored as body fat. This is in stark contrast to excess carbohydrates and fat we eat, which are stored on our bodies in our fat cells instead of being eliminated.
Adding protein to your meals causes your body to release a hormone called glucagon. Glucagon works to slow down the harmful effect of excess carbohydrates being deposited into our fat cells. It does so by slowing the rate of absorption of those carbohydrates. Additionally, there are new studies that have shown that when the body releases glucagon (when protein is consumed), this also works to stimulate fat-burning, by freeing up stored body fat so that it can be used to fuel your body.
When we increase protein consumption and significantly decrease the amount of carbohydrates we consume, we benefit from a dual fat-burning effect. On one hand, when the body does not have carbohydrates to turn to to fuel the body, it begins to use stored body fat. Secondly, the release of glucagon into the body appears to have the added effect of attacking the fat stores that the insulin has worked to preserve.
Unfortunately, fat has received a bad rap for decades. So much so that it has become ingrained in our minds to intuitively reach for anything that says “low fat,” even when we know better!
The notion that fat makes us fat seems to make perfect sense, especially when you considered how calorically dense fat actually is. A gram of fat contains 9 calories, while the same amount of protein or carbohydrates contains only 4 calories.
Fat doesn’t have anywhere near the thermic effect that protein does (only 3% vs 30%), so consuming fat is not necessarily going to “turbo charge” our metabolism. Furthermore, it is important to note that fat by itself does not make us fat.
In fact, fat plays an important role in many parts of the body. While we can go for long periods of time without fat, we cannot live without it indefinitely. Those fats that we cannot do without are known as essential fatty acids (EFAs). Research has shown that these EFAs actually help us burn the stubborn, stored body fat that we want to get rid of, in addition to having numerous other health benefits. The 3 Week Diet focuses on getting an optimal amount of these good fats, to enhance our ability to lose weight fast while becoming healthier.
What about fat cells in the body? Research has shown that once a fat cell is created, it never goes away. Fat cells just get larger and larger, until they can no longer hold stored fat. When this happens, your body creates new fat cells to hold the excess.
While we cannot totally eliminate fat cells, we can get rid of the gooey fatty acids and dangerous triglycerides that those fat cells are holding – which will make us thinner!
Fat is actually the perfect fuel for your body. When we can switch the body to using this better fuel, we can effectively turn the body into a 24/7 fat-burning machine.
Although carbohydrates are the most common source of energy in humans, the simple fact is that there is not a single carbohydrate that is essential to human life.
Carbohydrates may be classified into two types: simple and complex.
- Simple carbohydrates are also known as simple sugars. Simple sugars are those found in refined sugars (and the foods they are made with like cookies, candies, etc.), and in foods such as fruit and milk.
- Complex carbohydrates are known as starches. Starches include grain products such as cereals, bread, pasta, crackers and rice. Like simple carbohydrates, complex carbohydrates can be refined or left unrefined. Refined carbohydrates are considered to be less healthy, because the refining process strips away much of the vitamins, protein and fiber. Unrefined carbohydrates cause less insulin spike, and therefore are considered to be the healthiest of the carbohydrates.
Regardless of whether carbohydrates are simple or complex, they cause spikes in blood sugar, which are the number one cause of unwanted body fat.
THE FOOD PYRAMID AND OBESITY
Consider the USDA Food Pyramid, which has shaped the way most American eat over the past few decades. As you can see, the American government recommends we get over 2/3 of our daily nutrition from carbohydrate laden foods (bread, rice, pasta, fruits and vegetables) and only about 20% of our food from protein, the primary nutrient that keeps us alive! It’s no wonder that nearly 50% of the US population is considered to be overweight! (Note: the new version issued in 2010 (by “MyPlate”) is a slight improvement, although it still recommends a low-fat diet.)
Under federal regulations, the panel that writes the dietary guidelines must include nutrition “experts” who are leaders in pediatrics, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and public health. Selecting the panelists is no easy task, and is subject to intense lobbying from organizations such as the National Dairy Council, the United Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Association, the Soft Drink Association, the American Meat Institute, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the Wheat Foods Council.
Fiber is actually a carbohydrate, but there is a lot of misinformation surrounding it. In most low-carb diets, fiber carbohydrates are not counted as “dangerous” weight-gaining carbohydrates. This is because fiber cannot be digested by the human body, so it does not create a rapid rise in blood sugar like other carbohydrates.
But there are two schools of thought on fiber. While modern medicine encourages a diet high in fiber, there are other medical researchers who say that too much fiber is the cause of numerous diseases and irregularities such as constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, colon cancer and others.
Normal servings of fiber normally will not create any complications. However, you should try to get your fiber from vegetables and salad greens, rather than forcing yourself to ingest 30 grams per day as recommended by the mainstream medical community.
If you are concerned about constipation, some researchers believe that it is actually caused by too much fiber in the diet! Increasing your water intake is essential to good health and proper kidney functioning, and has remarkable effects on relieving constipation.
The primary function of our metabolism is simply to provide the right amount of fuel at the right time, in order to keep our bodies alive and functioning. It accomplishes this through a complex series of chemical reactions, through which food is converted to the energy we need. When we eat, the food we swallow enters our digestive tract and is broken down by digestive enzymes. Carbohydrates are converted to glucose, fats to fatty acids and protein to amino acids. Once these nutrients are broken down, they are absorbed by the bloodstream and carried into the cells of the body. Our metabolism then works to either release these nutrients as energy, use them to build and repair lean tissue or store them for later use.
There are two basic metabolic processes. One is constructive, and is responsible for building and storing energy for the body. The other is destructive (in a positive sense), as it breaks down nutrient molecules to release energy. The constructive metabolic process is called anabolism, whereas the destructive process is called catabolism.
- Anabolism promotes the growth of new cells, the maintenance and repair of tissues, and the storage of energy—usually through body fat—for future use. Small nutrient molecules are converted into larger molecules of protein, carbohydrates and fat.
- Catabolism is responsible for immediately providing the body with energy to use. Instead of building up, it breaks down the nutrient molecules to release energy.
These two processes do not occur simultaneously, but are balanced by the body, which takes into account several different factors. Catabolism, in particular, has three components:
- Basal metabolism. Sometimes called resting metabolism, this is the component responsible for keeping you alive by ensuring normal body functions. Even if you’re bedridden all day, basal metabolism is still at work. It is metabolism’s main component, as 60 to 70 percent of the calories from the food you eat are used for it. People who want to lose weight usually aim for a higher basal metabolic rate (BMR).
- Physical movement. This can range from a simple movement of your fingers to strenuous exercise. Usually 25 percent of the calories you consume are for this purpose.
- Thermic effect of food. This concerns the digestion and processing of the food you take in. Depending on the type of nutrient you consume, approximately 10% of the calories of the food you eat are burned through it. The digestion of certain foods will require much more calorie expenditure than others: protein takes a lot of calories to digest, while carbohydrates take far fewer.
Taking all this into account, here is our metabolism formula:
Calories from food = Calories Expended from Basal Metabolism (60-70%) + Calories Expended by Physical Movement (25%) + Calories Expended Digesting Food (10%).
Your metabolic rate, or how fast or slow your metabolism works, is influenced by a number of factors.
- Genetics: yes, metabolic rate is also inherited. Sometimes this makes an entire world of difference between a person who can eat almost everything and not gain an ounce and a person who easily balloons after indulging just once.
- Age: the younger you are, the faster your metabolism is. Metabolism slows down as you age. Women’s metabolic rate starts falling at the age of 30; for men, the decline starts at the age of 40.
- Gender: men have a faster metabolic rate (usually 10-15 percent faster) than women, because their bodies have a larger muscle mass. Muscle plays a key role in a fast metabolism, as is discussed in exercise portion of The 3 Week Diet.
- Amount of lean body mass: more muscle = faster metabolism.
- Diet: some foods will help you, while others will only harm you. Although timing isn’t everything, meal frequency greatly affects your metabolism.
- Stress level: stress is inversely proportional to metabolism. The more stress you are subjected to, the lower your metabolism will be.
- oHoHormones: specific hormones metabolize specific nutrients. How well the hormones work directly affects metabolism. To a certain extent, diet and stress levels affect the hormones involved in metabolism. Hormonal disorders or imbalances can affect metabolism as well.
Looking at all these factors that influence metabolism, you now probably have a pretty good idea of what you need to do to increase your metabolism: accept the things you cannot change, and work on those you can!
Modern medicine, weight loss “gurus” and so-call “fitness experts” have been giving us the same bogus advice for years. Such ideas include the “calories in/calories out” and the “fat makes us fat” theories that have been proven time and time again to be complete nonsense. These diets fail to take into account our bodies and how food is metabolized. They take the easy way out, implying that anyone who is overweight is either eating too much fat or is just plain lazy. They point the finger at us and refuse to acknowledge what science has already proven: it is carbohydrates that make us fat!
Perhaps you’ve tried a low-carb diet or the Atkins Diet, or something similar, but found it just wasn’t for you. But if you truly desire to lose weight fast, drastically reducing carbohydrates is an absolute must.
If you just feel like you just can’t give up carbohydrates for the next 3 weeks, then truthfully, there is nothing that can be done for you to lose weight except for hours and hours in the gym and severe calorie restriction over a period of 5-6 months. However, if you truly want to burn 10-20+ pounds of body fat in the next 21 days and if you’re willing to follow this diet without deviation, then you will lose weight.
When you restrict carbohydrates in your diet, you will become leaner. This is an absolute fact. When you increase your carbohydrate consumption, you will get fatter. This is not disputed. This is simply a matter of the human body’s response to your hormones and how they are affected by the foods we eat.
When we eat carbohydrates, particularly those that are sweet or starchy, our blood sugar increases rapidly. When our blood sugar increases, our pancreas secretes insulin into the bloodstream. Insulin’s job is to bring our blood sugar back to normal levels. It does this by moving the sugar out of the blood and into the muscles, liver and fat cells. If it weren’t for insulin, this high blood sugar (aka glucose) would be toxic. As you may know, diabetics need to add insulin to their bodies to keep them alive and functioning.
So insulin is a good thing with regards to keeping us alive by alleviating high blood sugar levels that are triggered by carbohydrate consumption. BUT, insulin is also very, very problematic with regard to our ability to lose weight.
As mentioned, when blood sugar is high, insulin’s job is to move that sugar out of the blood stream and into the liver and muscles to be used for energy. But there’s more to it than that. Insulin is also a storage hormone. What this means is that when insulin is present in the bloodstream, as it is when we consume carbohydrates (sugar, starch), the excess carbohydrates (those that are not needed right away for energy) are broken down and stored in our fat cells as fat. When this happens, our fat cells get larger…and so do we!
Not only does insulin force those excess carbohydrates and fat into our fat cells, it also slams the brakes on our body’s ability to burn the fat that is already stored in our fat cells.
As long as there are high levels of insulin flowing through our bloodstream (which is only caused by carbohydrate consumption), your body will be working to store fat rather than to burn it. You simply cannot consume a carbohydrate-rich meal and burn fat at the same time. Your body is either storing fat or burning it, depending on the food you eat.
Keep in mind that our body is in constant need of energy. It needs energy whether we are out for a morning jog, cooking dinner, sitting on the sofa watching television or lying in bed sleeping. While we tend to think we only need energy when we are physically exerting ourselves, we need to keep in mind that there is a lot our bodies are doing “behind the scenes” even while we sleep. The fact is, our bodies are at work 24/7 to keep us healthy and functioning. And because of that, the body needs to fuel its work on a non-stop basis.
Another thing to keep in mind is that you can decide to have your body running on carbohydrates or on fat. On The 3 Week Diet, one shifts from carbohydrate burning to high-octane fat burning.
Contrary to popular belief, fat, in the form of fatty acids, flows in an out of your fat cells continually throughout the day, making itself available to be used for energy. The problem is, this fat cannot and will not be used for energy unless your insulin levels are way down. Insulin, however, will not be down so long as you’re eating carbohydrates.
Now when we eat three meals per day and everything is working properly, the body will become fatter after eating a carbohydrate-rich meal, and then leaner in between meals, after all the carbohydrates have been burned and the body begins to burn fat because it has run out of carbohydrates.
The problem, however, is that when blood sugar spikes and insulin is secreted, blood sugar is normalized in a matter of minutes, while insulin remains “on guard” in the bloodstream for the next couple of hours, preventing fat from being burned during that time.
Several different cells in the body have a need for fat. When those cells that need fat to function properly are not getting the fat they need (because of insulin present in the bloodstream), our blood sugar drops. A low blood sugar level is what tells your brain that you’re hungry, and because you are hungry, you begin to eat again before those fatty acids can ever be burned up. When you follow up with another carbohydrate-rich meal, those fatty acids will need to be stored away, because your body is going to have to secrete insulin to lower blood sugar again, and use that blood sugar instead of fat to provide its energy for the next few hours. And this starts the vicious cycle all over again, constantly keeping your body from burning fat.
Remember those fatty acids we talked about? Guess what happens when they are not used up for energy? Well, what happens is that they head back into the fat cells, where they “hook up” with two other fatty acids and a glycerol molecule, to form what is known as a triglyceride (triglyceride = 3 fatty acids +1 glycerol molecule).
And this is not a good thing.
Triglycerides are problematic because they are much larger than fatty acids. In fact, they are so large that they cannot leave the fat cells like “free flowing” fatty acids could. Because of this, they remain stuck inside the fat cells and become the stubborn, stored body fat that we want to get rid of.
Triglycerides cannot be burned for energy until they are broken down into those smaller “free flowing” fatty acids and released back into the bloodstream. This is why so many people have so many problems with stubborn body fat. They can reduce their calorie intake all they want, but as long as they are consuming carbohydrates, those triglycerides are going to remain intact!
So…the question becomes, how do we break these triglycerides apart, so that that they can be used for energy? The answer is simple: significant carbohydrate restriction. Remember, nothing causes us to burn fat faster than starvation. But starvation has negative consequences for our lean body mass. So ideally, we just want the body to “think” we are starving, so that it breaks down triglycerides and burns that fat for our energy needs.
Since the body relies primarily on carbohydrates for its energy, when we remove those carbohydrates the body will be forced to get its fuel elsewhere. Now in the case of starvation, the body would normally begin to break down lean body mass for glucose (energy) via a process known as glucogenesis. However, since we are “sneaking” small amounts of protein to the body, we end up getting all the “benefits” of starvation without the loss of our precious lean body mass.
Now, glucogenesis will be completed by using the protein we are getting from our diet, which spares our lean body mass. And consuming fewer carbohydrates increases glucogenic activity. The presence of such activity means we cannot store fat, because glucogenic activity needs all the fat it can get to be able to fuel the glucogenic process. In other words, glucogenesis requires a lot of energy – and it will burn even more fat to supply that energy.
This results in the ability to turn our bodies into a 24/7 fat burning machine. And needless to say, maximizing the hours that your body is burning fat is the ultimate key to a sexy, lean body. Again, your body NEEDS energy on a 24/7 basis. Without carbohydrates, your body is forced to turn to an alternate fuel source to keep you running all day long.
The fastest and easiest way to lose weight is to stop using dietary carbohydrates for energy and start burning our own body fat instead. Once you restrict carbohydrates from your diet (and keep protein intake up), your body has absolutely no choice but to break down and burn body fat for the fuel it needs. When your fat cells begin breaking down those stubborn triglycerides (the stored body fat that is stuck inside the fat cells) and release those fatty acids back into the bloodstream to be used for energy, your fat cells get smaller, and you get leaner.
You will be truly amazed at just how much fat you will burn once you restrict dietary carbohydrates. Remember, your body needs fuel all day long. It needs fuel to blink, think, talk and walk. It needs fuel for everything you do. On The 3 Week Diet, we will use nothing but stored gooey body fat to keep us going.
Losing weight on The 3 Week Diet is a matter of strategic eating. It’s a combination of reducing carbohydrates and eating very specific types of proteins and fats, which are consumed in the appropriate amounts and at just the right time.
This diet alone will produce amazing weight loss. In addition, by following The 3 Week Diet exercise program, we can nearly double our weight loss goals while obtaining some very favorable body composition changes as well.
Following The 3 Week Diet typically results in body fat losses of 3/4 to 1 pound (.34 to .45 kilos) of fat every day. When you add The 3 Week Workout to the diet, fat loss is typically over 1 pound per day.
The 3 Week Diet is similar to a protein sparing modified fast, in that we will “trick” the body into entering a 24/7 fat-burning “starvation” mode, at the same time that we provide it with the appropriate amount of protein that it needs so that lean body mass is spared…. In addition, there is the added thermic effect of digesting that protein. Along with carbohydrate restriction and strategic protein consumption, we will add quality, healthy fats to enhance our fat-burning goals.
We restrict carbohydrates in this diet because it immediately stops adding to the fat cells we already have, and it forces our bodies to burn fat for all of our daily energy needs.
We limit the fat in this diet to EFAs (essential fatty acids) and the trace amounts of fat in the allowed foods. Limiting (but not completely eliminating) fat will force our bodies to burn stored fat rather than to use dietary fat (the fat we eat) for our energy needs. Keep in mind that our bodies do need a certain amount of fat every day for proper functioning. However, your body doesn’t care if it gets the fat from your diet or from the fat stored on your hips, thighs, belly and butt. So, we will give your body the kind of fatty foods it loves and needs, in the form of EFAs.
We increase our protein consumption because it helps preserve lean body mass and keeps our metabolism cranked up. Also, digesting protein burns a ton of calories, due to its chemical structure, which makes it far more difficult to digest than fat and carbohydrates. Protein keeps you full for hour, and the amino acids in protein are an absolute must to sustain your life and to keep you healthy. Keep in mind that this diet is about maximizing what we need while reducing/restricting what we don’t. Understand that your body does not store protein like it stores fat and carbohydrates. The protein you eat will either be used to repair and rebuild or eliminated as waste. It is not stored as fat.
After about three hours, the amino acids taken from your last protein-based meal are no longer in your bloodstream. At this point, your body begins to seek out the amino acids it needs from your lean body mass. Eating protein every three hours prevents this from happening.
Eating frequently ensures your lean body mass stays intact and that your muscles are not being broken down and used for energy. Remember, the more lean mass you have, the faster your metabolism will be.
Frequent meals also help to control cravings and binge eating. When blood sugar drops and tells you that you’re hungry, it’s usually too late to eat a smart meal. By that time, you just want food and you go after whatever it is that you crave. When you eat strategically, you will never get to that point, and you can always have a plan for your next meal.
Frequent meals keep blood sugar levels normalized, which keeps insulin levels at bay. This means you will be burning fat rather than storing it.
Missing a meal is a cardinal sin on The 3 Week Diet. The simple fact of the matter is that when you skip a meal, your metabolism slows down and puts your body into a catabolic state. Never, ever skip a meal! I know it will be difficult to eat 5-6 times at first but you must understand that your body needs amino acids, even when you skip a meal. The key to pulling this off successfully is to have preplanned meals for every day. In the diet portion of The 3 Week Diet, you’ll learn some “secrets” on how to do this effectively.
Meal frequency is a key component to losing weight on The 3 Week Diet. By eating five meals a day, as prescribed in The 3 Week Diet, you will significantly increase your metabolism, effectively build lean muscle and increase the amount of fat you burn on a daily basis.
Most people I know are guilty of not drinking enough water. Drinking adequate amounts every day is absolutely essential for weight loss. If you don’t drink enough water, you will simply not get the full weight loss effect that you’re after.
Water helps your kidneys work at full capacity. When your kidneys aren’t working at full capacity, the liver needs to help out. The problem with this is that the liver is primarily responsible for metabolizing fat in your body. Your liver cannot simultaneously assist the kidneys and metabolize fat.
When on The 3 Week Diet, you will lose water weight along with body fat. Remember, water weight is still weight, and is partly responsible for your body bloating and tight fitting clothes. The fact is, carbohydrates are hydrophilic (which means they cause water retention), and water retention is not something we want. Protein, on the other hand, encourages the release of water from the body.
Once you restrict your carbohydrate intake, you will begin to let loose of that stagnant water that is being stored in your body. Because of this, it is essential that you consume enough water every day to avoid dehydration. Furthermore, water acts as your body’s filter, flushing out dead cells and waste. Because you are burning a great deal of fat during The 3 Week Diet, you will need plenty of water to help flush out the by-product waste of fat burning.
You will find that when you restrict the amount of carbohydrates you eat and increase the amount of water you drink, your body stops storing water and will begin to use it more effectively. This results in a lighter and “cleaner” body.
My advice is to drink 8-10 glasses of water every single day. This amounts to about half a gallon of water. This may seem like a lot of water at first, and you may have to actually force yourself to drink that much in the beginning. However, once you do it for a while you will regain your natural thirst and actually be thirsty for this much water every single day. And again, once you begin drinking this much, you will find that your body will not retain water, but will instead use it to flush your system, keeping it clean and functioning properly.
The 3 Week Diet requires certain essential supplements for maximum effectiveness and ultra-fast, significant fat loss. The following supplements are required. They will help your body run efficiently, help burn fat at maximum potential and promote good health.
- Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs)
Your health, good or bad, is driven in large part by the level of inflammation in your body and the amount of lean muscle mass you have. In fact, there are several diseases (including obesity) that are linked to inflammation and a lack of muscle mass.
When you control the inflammation in your body, you can effectively control the onset of numerous diseases, including type II diabetes, heart disease, depression, arthritis and obesity.
Muscle mass decreases over time, especially when we are not eating enough protein and not doing enough exercise. The less muscle mass we have, the more weight we will gain. Lean muscle mass is critical to keeping body fat at bay.
A healthy body is a body that has low levels of inflammation and high levels of muscle mass. While many attribute high levels of inflammation and loss of muscle mass to aging, the fact is that we can keep our bodies young through proper nutrition and exercise. We get old from the inside out. So it is important to keep inflammation down and exercise up.
Essential fatty acids are exactly that: essential. EFAs are mainly polyunsaturated fats. Humans must ingest them, because our bodies are unable to create them. Once broken down, EFAs will contribute to the functioning of the vital organs. EFAs regulate body functions and are essential to cardiac cells. Other functions affected by EFAs are heart rate, blood pressure, clotting, fertility, and conception and immune system functioning.
You may have heard EFAs referred to as Omega-3 or alpha linolenic acid (required in larger amounts) and Omega-6 or linoleic acid (required in smaller amounts). The American Heart Association recommends that EFAs be included in the diet at least twice a week, and they say that you should eat fish oil to get their benefits. Fish oil provides Omega-3 fatty acids.
The two major forms of omega-3 fats used by the body are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Research has shown that a person who follows a diet high in Omega-3’s is at low risk for cardiovascular diseases. Other research has also suggested that EFAs may reduce depression and suicidal feelings.
Energy is generated in the cells during the metabolism of these acids. During your diet, your energy sources from protein and essential fatty acids will help your metabolism to continue running and burning those extra carbohydrates (or stored fat) as fuel. And fish oil has other benefits as well. It
- Reduces inflammation;
- Eliminates joint pain;
- Improves vision;
- Increases mental focus;
- Treats ulcers, Crohn’s disease and colitis;
- Provides healthier gums;
- Gives you smoother skin, hair and nails;
- Decreases triglyceride levels;
- Increases daily calorie burning.
After 30 days taking EPA/DHA supplements, you will really see and feel these benefits.
EPA/DHA balance should be 2:1, or about 2g EPA to 1g DHA per day. For most “regular” strength fish oils on the market, this comes out to about 10 EPA/DHA capsules each day, or 5 teaspoons of straight fish oil. This may sound like a lot, but it will get your EPA/DHA levels up to where they need to be for optimum health and ease of fat burning.
When you make natural yogurt and after eight hours it’s not completely solid, the liquid part is whey. It’s an excellent source of protein, so don’t throw it away! Or, if you’re not into making your own yogurt (a pretty easy thing to do, by the way), you can buy good quality whey powder.
Whey protein is considered a “complete protein,” in that it has all the amino acids you need to sustain life. Depending on the brand and the flavor, there are some choices out there that are actually pretty good. And by adding some sugar-free flavored syrups (like they use in coffee shops), you can incorporate some good variety and make very tasty shakes.
When choosing a whey protein to use in this diet, be sure to choose a brand that allows you to keep carbohydrates as low as possible (no more than 2 grams per scoop). During the diet, you will want to keep fat as low as possible as well (also no more than 2 grams per scoop). This will ensure the best possible conditions for your weight loss goals.
Depending on your weight, you may need more than one scoop. If you take two scoops, just be sure that you are not exceeding 4 grams of carbohydrates, which will not have much of an impact on your blood sugar.
Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) has excited many researchers over the past few years. The fact is, numerous studies have shown that CLA provides a host of benefits, including combating diabetes, building lean muscle mass, thwarting cancer, keeping fat cells from becoming larger, and dramatically reducing body fat.
CLA helps to move the fat you eat into your muscle cells instead of its being stored as body fat. It then activates certain enzymes in your body to force your muscles to burn that fat, especially during exercise. As mentioned, CLA has also been shown to prevent fat cells from getting fatter, so even when you’ve finished The 3 Week Diet, CLA can help keep the fat from ever coming back. When combined with The 3 Week Diet, CLA can nearly double fat loss when 6-8 grams per day are consumed.
As you may recall, leucine is an essential amino acid that is found in dietary protein. While researchers have known about leucine for decades, they have only recently discovered the amazing benefits that it has for the body.
Due to its ability to switch on the body’s muscle building process, as well as preserving lean muscle mass when dieting, leucine is an extremely valuable branched chain amino acid (BCAA). Leucine has been proven to be the most important amino acid to muscle building.
Researchers at the University of Illinois conducted studies that examined weight loss diets containing 10 grams of leucine per day, with 125 grams of total protein and a minimum of 2.5 grams of leucine at each meal. In two separate studies, the groups consuming high leucine diets had greater weight loss, greater fat loss and better preservation of lean body mass. Whey protein is a complete protein which is a great source of Leucine. However, additional leucine may be added to the diet to ensure that we are getting enough every day.
Now that you understand the reasons behind The 3 Week Diet, we can jump into the specifics on how to set up and make this diet work for you. In the “Diet” manual, you’ll learn how to calculate body fat and determine how much protein you need every day to ensure you are burning fat and maintaining lean body mass. You’ll also learn the “secret” method for maintaining your ideal body weight forever.
In The 3 Week Diet Exercise manual, you’ll get some incredibly effective, fat-burning exercises that combine with the diet portion of The 3 Week Diet to produce unbelievable amounts of body fat loss.
And in the Motivation & Mindset manual, you’ll learn some very effective ways to make weight loss easier and more enjoyable.
In conclusion, The 3 Week Diet seems to represent the state of the art in fat loss. For further information, see http://www.realfood4healthandweightloss.com/go/3weekdiet.