Saturday, October 27, 2007


I read recently that the supplement industry racks up $33 billion in annual sales. The lion share of these sales is related to fat loss. The so called fat burners are rarely effective and the user risk down regulating normal metabolic function. From my experience, this trade off is far to risky.

Fat loss programs however are effective. The proper implementation of eating and activity is time tested and effective.

Rather than give you a particular program I would like to list characteristics of programs I have implemented with my athletes.

1. Most meals include protein. Protein is thermogenic. In other words, the cost to metabolize (burn) protein is high. Simple carbohydrates are easy to ingest, provide few nutrients and have a low metabolic cost.

2. Meals are frequent. Effective fat loss programs include five to six micro meals. The net calories are still low but food is consumed throughout the waking hours. While intermittent fasting doe offer merit, the individual needing to drop fat will initially do better on more meals.

3. Include clear beverage. A fast way to put more calories into the system is by consuming calorie dense beverages. Drinking water fills the stomach space, helps to flush the system, maintains regularity and comes at a zero calorie cost.

4. Include Resistance Work. Adding one pound of muscle requires that the body burn another 50 calories per day. More muscle means a bigger engine and a bigger engine burns more fuel. You are able to move better and you burn off excess calories easier. Compound movements are superior to isolation movements. Examples include: squats, deadlifts and pressing variations.

5. Training Interval Style. The old science had everyone in the fat burning zone. New science starting in the 90’s have demonstrated that interval training is more effective in that the fat as a substrate is still used but the catabolic impact from long slow distance (LSD) is diminished. Since we learned earlier that muscle aids our weight we want to improve our odds of retaining the good stuff and burning off the bad.