“In order to experience rapid fat loss, you should drastically lower your food intake and consume far fewer total calories.”
When most people make the decision to lose weight and get into shape, the first thing they do is make large reductions to the amount of food that they eat and place extreme restrictions on their caloric intake.
Their logic is simple: “the less food I eat, the more weight I’ll lose.”
To put it bluntly, this is one of the most harmful and counterproductive things you could possibly do if your goal is to lose fat and keep it off permanently.
It’s because severe calorie reductions actually program your body to burn fat at a slower rate!
The human body is a highly complex and sophisticated system that is setup with the ultimate goal of keeping you alive and healthy at all times. When you try to lose weight by starving yourself, your body’s hard-wired defense mechanisms kick into gear as a natural survival response.
Your body has no idea that there is a fridge full of food 10 feet away, and when you deprive it of the calories it needs each day for optimal functioning, it makes the necessary adjustments to respond to this perceived “famine”.
2 major adjustments are made, and they are directly counterproductive to your goal of a lean, defined and healthy body.
First of all, the fat burning metabolism comes to a screeching halt.
Body fat is simply a stored form of energy, and in an effort to conserve this energy for future use, the body will begin holding onto it rather than burning it. During periods of severe calorie restriction, the metabolic rate can slow down by up to 40%.
Secondly, your levels of lean muscle tissue will rapidly diminish.
Muscle is metabolically “expensive” tissue and requires a lot of resources to build and maintain. In an effort to further conserve energy and to obtain a source of much-needed protein, the body will begin breaking down and wasting away your muscle mass.
In fact, around HALF of the weight that you lose during a crash diet is muscle tissue.
To sum these 2 points up…
When you deprive your body of the calories and nutrients it requires, you begin storing more body fat while simultaneously losing muscle mass.
It’s the ultimate “double whammy”, and is the exact opposite of what you should be trying to achieve.
Work WITH your body, NOT against it!
Stick to only a very slight reduction in calories (about 15-20% lower than what is needed to maintain your current weight), and focus on stripping off body fat at a gradual pace each week.
Such an approach will keep your fat burning metabolism elevated, preserve your lean muscle tissue, and will set you up for healthy, long-term fat burning results that no crash-diet could ever produce.
“You should consume a smaller number of meals each day if you want a lean and attractive body.”
Just as the majority of people looking to lose body fat dramatically reduce their overall daily calorie intake, they also decrease their meal frequency as well.
In an attempt to achieve quick and rapid weight loss, they try to endure long periods without any nutrition at all, barely squeezing in 2 or 3 small meals a day.
The reality is that if you want to burn body fat and transform your physique as quickly and efficiently as possible, you should actually focus on eating MORE frequently throughout the day rather than less.
It may seem counter-intuitive, but it’s true. It all ties in with the body’s natural defense mechanisms that we previously outlined.
Not only does an excessive calorie reduction trigger the body to store fat and lose muscle, but insufficient meal frequency does as well.
You see, thousands of years ago we didn’t have the luxury of a readily available source of food. The conditions were harsh and uncertain, and we often had to endure extended periods without any nutrition at all.
Because of this, the body had to develop a way to prolong our survival when food was scarce. It accomplishes this by slowing down the fat burning metabolism as a Brought To You By means of conserving energy, and by breaking down muscle tissue to obtain a source of protein.
This mechanism kicks into gear much faster than you might think, and will begin operating whenever you go for about 3-4 hours or more without a nutritious meal.
This is precisely why the traditional notion of “3 square meals a day” (or less) consumed every 5-7 hours is far from optimal when it comes to an effective fat burning nutritional approach.
In fact, if you want to experience the best possible results in the shortest period of time, you should flip this method directly on its head and do the exact opposite…
Instead of consuming 2-3 meals a day once every 5-7 hours, you should instead focus on consuming 5-7 small meals a day once every 2-3 hours.
This method of “grazing” throughout the day will keep your fat burning metabolism operating on over-drive and will keep your levels of lean muscle tissue intact.
Since the body will be provided with a constant external source of nutrition, it will have no incentive to store additional body fat or waste away lean muscle mass.
On top of its positive effects on body composition, small and frequent meals will allow you to maintain a high level of energy throughout the day, control your blood sugar levels and food cravings, and improve the efficiency of your body’s digestive processes.
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