Health writing by Stas Medvedev

Fat Loss Workouts Do Not Exist!

physical health
Sad, but true fact — fat loss workouts do not exist.

Whatever called “fat loss workout” is marketing or misconception.

Would you like to get rid of some extra body fat ballast?

The only non-surgical way of doing is to turn on fat burning regime of your organism.

It doesn’t work instantly and takes some time for your organism to get into such mode.

It doesn’t matter what physical activity you do, but what matters is your metabolism, which processes are activated at a certain moment.

Fat is the source of energy. That is the primary function of fat for our organism.
Energy can be consumed or stored by our organism.

When our body needs energy, it first uses the one which is readily available. That’s the food you eat. The macronutrients (fat, carbs, proteins) are broken down to the elements and with the bloodstream transported to their destinations.

Our body needs energy 24 hours a day to maintain body temperature, breath, heart beat, etc. Human organism is very smart in regulating energy consumption and aims to do that the most optimal way.

The easiest way of obtaining the energy for current needs is from the food we eat.
If we overeat and consume an excessive amount of macronutrients than our organism needs at the moment, it will store the energy for the future needs.

There are two storages:
  1. Small pocket in your liver. Easily accessible and rather cheap way of fulfilling the energy needs. The only limitation it is very small.
  2. Body fat. Expensive way of getting energy. Organism doesn’t like doing that. It takes lots of efforts to break down that fat into consumable energy. So it is the last resort of energy our body refers to.

It goes in the following order: food -> liver -> body fat. Body fat that you would love to burn will be consumed as the energy only after all the energy from recently consumed food is used as well as the small pocket energy storage in your liver gets empty.

Average body daily energy consumption is 2000–2500 calories.

That is how much you spend a day.

When you do sports, you increase your energy consumption. Fair point.

How much of this energy will come from burning your body fat? Unfortunately, not too much.
Just to give you an indication. For a 70-kg marathon runner, the total energy required to run full 42.2km marathon is about 2950 calories. How often do you run marathons? How often do you engage in such intensive exercises?

1g of fat equals 9 calories.

Let’s simplify and pretend that you fulfil your energy cost to run a full marathon at the expense of burning body fat. That would total in 2900/9=322 g of fat loss.

Not so impressive, right? Just think of it…

Running whole f*cking marathon to burn only 300 grams of your body fat?!

Now imagine how hungry you will be after your finish. Think of a big glass of beer or a large plate of your favourite pasta to treat yourself for such an achievement. Your body will crave for it to compensate.

I suggest that you treat sports or exercises as the means to improve your physical activity, well-being, health. Not as the means for weight loss or more importantly fat loss.

You might think: “Okay, you convinced me. There’s no such thing as fat loss workout. But I still want to burn that damn fat!! What shall I do?”

Now we are talking the real stuff! ))

So how do you turn that metabolic switch on to burn the body fat?

The most effective and optimal healthy way of doing that is FASTING.

Yes, I mean the willful refraining from eating for a period of time.

How long should be that period of not eating?

The scientific, precise answer is

Periods of dietary energy restriction sufficient to cause depletion of liver glycogen stores trigger a metabolic switch toward use of fatty acids and ketones.

Universal gold standard is at least 16 hours.

Consider intermittent fasting regime 16:8. That means that within 24hr day cycle you restrict your eating to 8 hours window and the remaining 16 hours you refrain from eating.

If you do it once in a while, it won’t help. You must embed it in your life.

Is it worth it? Shall I rather run marathons more often?

Let me try to convince you by sharing some extra perks you might get by adopting this alternative lifestyle. And I apologize if I get too scientific, but I promised to convince you.

During periods of fasting, triglycerides are broken down to fatty acids and glycerol, which are used for energy. The liver converts fatty acids to ketone bodies, which provide a major source of energy for many tissues, especially the brain, during fasting.

Periodic flipping of the metabolic switch not only provides the ketones necessary to fuel cells during the fasting period but also elicits highly orchestrated systemic and cellular responses that carry over into the fed state to bolster mental and physical performance, and disease resistance.
Collectively, the organism responds to intermittent fasting by minimizing anabolic processes (synthesis, growth, and reproduction), favoring maintenance and repair systems, enhancing stress resistance, recycling damaged molecules, stimulating mitochondrial biogenesis, and promoting cell survival, all of which support improvements in health and disease resistance.

Intermittent fasting stimulates autophagy and mitophagy while inhibiting the mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) protein-synthesis pathway. These responses enable cells to remove oxidatively damaged proteins and mitochondria and recycle undamaged molecular constituents while temporarily reducing global protein synthesis to conserve energy and molecular resources.
Cells and organ systems adapt to this bioenergetic challenge by activating signaling pathways that bolster mitochondrial function, stress resistance, and antioxidant defenses while up-regulating autophagy to remove damaged molecules and recycle their components. During the period of energy restriction, cells adopt a stress-resistance mode through reduction in insulin signaling and overall protein synthesis. Exercise enhances these effects of fasting. In recovery from fasting (eating and sleeping), glucose levels increase, ketone levels plummet, and cells increase protein synthesis, undergoing growth and repair. Maintenance of an intermittent-fasting regimen, particularly when combined with regular exercise, results in many long-term adaptations that improve mental and physical performance and increase disease resistance.

In humans, intermittent-fasting interventions ameliorate obesity, insulin resistance, dyslipidemia, hypertension, and inflammation. Intermittent fasting seems to confer health benefits to a greater extent than can be attributed just to a reduction in caloric intake.

Studies in animals show that intermittent fasting enhances cognition in multiple domains, including spatial memory, associative memory, and working memory.

Intermittent fasting improves multiple indicators of cardiovascular health in animals and humans, including blood pressure; resting heart rate; levels of high-density and low-density lipoprotein (HDL and LDL) cholesterol, triglycerides, glucose, and insulin; and insulin resistance. In addition, intermittent fasting reduces markers of systemic inflammation and oxidative stress that are associated with atherosclerosis.

Improvements in cardiovascular health indicators typically become evident within 2 to 4 weeks after the start of alternate day fasting and then dissipate over a period of several weeks after resumption of a normal diet.

Similarly, intermittent fasting is thought to impair energy metabolism in cancer cells, inhibiting their growth and rendering them susceptible to clinical treatments.

Activation of these transcription factors and downstream targets through intermittent fasting may provide protection against cancer while bolstering the stress resistance of normal cells.

Epidemiologic data suggest that excessive energy intake, particularly in midlife, increases the risks of stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease.

Because it reduces inflammation, intermittent fasting would also be expected to be beneficial in rheumatoid arthritis, and there is evidence supporting its use in patients with arthritis.

Not bad! Are you in?
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