Fat Loss 201: How to shed those final, frustrating pounds

Posted: August 22, 2013 in Fat Burning, fitness, fun
Tags: , , , , ,


photoshoot_July_2012

I’ve gone through the whole bulk & cut routine a few times now, and each time it seems that getting those final pounds off becomes more and more difficult.

It could be my age or the constant shifting of body mass, or it could be perhaps that my heart is two sizes too small.

No matter the reason, my glands or my heart;
It’s for certain those last pounds are the toughest damned part!

Okay, enough Dr. Seuss, here are some of the things I’ve found to be most effective for getting shredded. As a rule of thumb you might consider addressing each in the order I’ve laid out here as well…

  1. Rest & re-feed & cycle off stimulants
  2. When dieting for extended periods of time, especially when training intensely anabolic hormones and adrenal glands start to become fatigued and fat burning slows to a crawl. Strategic rest periods can help right the situation.

    Muscles won’t begin to atrophy for a good three weeks, so taking a week with little-to-no intense exercising will not hurt your past gains.

  3. Gut health
  4. Having a healthy gut means nutrients are absorbed better, organs function better therefore your overall metabolism and health will be vastly improved. This can be accomplished by adding a high quality probiotic and large doses (20-30 grams) of glutamine to your diet.

  5. Control Insulin
  6. This generally implies first removing any sugars from your diet, and replacing them with complex carbohydrates, and possibly even replacing the majority of carbohydrates with vegetables.

    Additionally, this can be assisted by the inclusion of chromium, R-ALA and cinnamon.

  7. Fat utilization
  8. We want to encourage the body to use fat as fuel and not carbohydrates/glycogen or protein/muscle.

    Hopefully by this point you are already in a caloric deficit, and preferably even calorie/carb cycling.

    Make sure to have protein every 2-3 hours. This will not only help keep your metabolism high, but help prevent muscle loss.

    Consume more fatty acids, such as fish oil instead of carbs especially for the first and last meals of the day. EFAs are known for being anti-inflamitory, supporting testosterone (not to mention mobilizing testosterone supporting vitamins) as well as positively affecting neurotransmitters. But also if you have more fat in your diet it encourages your body to use fat tissue as a fuel source.

    Make as many meals as possible whole foods and not liquid meals. Not only is this more nutritious, but also burns more calories.

    Double your water intake. Again, this will help your body as a whole function more effectively.

    CLA and L-Carnitine L-tartrate can be an effective supplement combination to help encourage the body to burn fat for fuel, especially pre-workout.

    Another sneaky way to force your body to burn fat is by manipulating your body temperature by having cold showers. This isn’t a lot of fun, but at this point every little bit helps!

  9. Boost Growth hormone
  10. This powerful hormone has an impact on muscle gains as well as fat burning, which has made it very sexy, and also led many people to abuse it.

    It can be optimized naturally, and that begins with avoiding carbohydrates at times when you want to raise it, ie. pre-workout. It is also stimulated by highly intense workouts… understand that intense can have different applications, it can mean momentary intensity which is stimulated with heavy weights, or by cumulative intensity which is related to the “burn” you get when doing more repetitions with high reps and short rest periods.

    Personally I like to hit intensity on every facet when training to shred, so I will often super-set heavy weights with a lighter weight for the antagonist muscle, ie. Heavy bench press super-setted with moderate weight barbell rows. **this method may also help to build testosterone.

  11. Reduce Cortisol
  12. An excess of cortisol often presents itself in the form of love handles and can be tricky to deal with.

    Cortisol is triggered by both mental and physical stress (including exercise).

    Reducing stress begins internally, by adopting a happier attitude. It can also be assisted by increasing magnesium, high doses of vitamin C, and phosphatydlyserine.

    When it comes to training you’ll want to strive to keep the intensity high, while keeping the volume low. I’m not referring to extremes here, just realize that cortisol levels continue to rise after long durations of training and requires rest time to normalize.

  13. Control Estrogen
  14. Estrogen is a killer when it comes to the final pounds of fat. Controlling it has to come from both outside as well as inside.

    For starters, switch to shampoos/bodywash/sunscreen that DO NOT have ingredients ending in “sulfate” or “paraben”.

    Certain foods can also boost estrogen, such as soy-based products. So cut these foods out and eat lots of foods that are anti-estrogenic like broccoli and other green vegetables.

    In addition, if you think this is an issue, consider supplementing with DIM and Calcium D-glucarate (both of which are found in broccoli btw but in smaller doses).

    Increasing your overall fiber intake may help with this as well. The best way I find to do this is simply by consuming more vegetables, and even a greens supplement.

  15. Stimulants
  16. Moderate use of stimulants can help raise your metabolism as well as give you that “buzz” that gets you off your butt and burning more calories. However as mentioned in many places within this blog, you should be careful not to become dependent on them as they will take a toll on your adrenals and eventually shut down your ability to burn fat altogether.

  17. Hypothyroidism
  18. This refers to when the thyroid is under-active and therefore slowing down your entire metabolism. This can be caused by adrenal fatigue, as well as being on a restricted carbohydrate diet for too long.

    Symptoms include: fatigue, exhaustion, depression/moodiness, pains and aches, low sex drive, fuzzy thinking/drowsiness and constipation.

    The first thing to do if you suspect this is the case would be to have a carb re-feed day if you are in a restricted carbohydrate diet.

    If it continues to be an issue, try upping Vitamin D, B vitamins zinc and magnesium. If you think it is serious that goes beyond the scope of this blog and you may need medical assistance… but I’m guessing if you are down to the last few pounds it is nothing the suggestions above won’t resolve.

Bonus Tip: By this point in the game you are probably taking a crap load of vitamins and supplements. I’ve found my best results come by creating an excel table that breaks down what I will take at the following times:

  • After rising
  • Pre-workout
  • Post-workout
  • Mid-afternoon
  • pre-bed
  • Then I have separate pill dispensers to organize pills for the week.

    I print out the excel table and put it on my fridge and update it every week based on my needs and my results.

    If getting ripped were easy everyone would have a six-pack, but it can be done!

    Related: Stubborn fat Part 1; Stubborn fat Part 2; Stubborn fat Part3; 5 factors of Fat loss


    SuperHero Physique
    superhero_physique by Shawn Buffington

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    Comments
    1. Alex says:

      Hi there,

      I really like your blog and I found it by accident while searching for independent reviews of a fat loss diet! Here are my questions:

      1.) what are good doses of L-Carnitine L-tartrate for fat loss ?
      2.) what is a good source of phosphatydlyserine ?
      3.) I train very early in the morning and I usually have a pre-workout, some MCT + 2 scoops of whey to give me some energy. Immediately after my workout, I’ll have oats and whey. What do you think of this protocol ?

      Many thanks,

      Alex

      • Hey Alex, I typically dose Carnitine at 1g doses about three times per day, generally before training and cardio. I also stack it with 2g of CLA at those times.

        There aren’t a ton of phosphatydlyserine products around just yet, but NOW makes a pretty affordable one that seems to be decent quality.

        I like your pre and post structure. Mind you I personally find that whey can bloat me a little when I get really lean, so swapping the whey with white fish and/or egg whites might serve you better when you start getting really cut!

        Good luck my friend!

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