October 15, 2003

The 5 VIPs of Fat Loss
and the Fat Loss Do's and Don'ts

Why do so many people “exercise and eat right” and still fail to get results?  Sometimes the answer lies not in a lack of effort, but rather in a lack of understanding the little biochemical players that work at the cellular level.  In other words, if the effort is there but the environment isn’t suitable for fat release, results can be nil.  Unfortunately, too many abandon the effort rather than ever coming to understand little shifts that can work to create the optimal fat loss environment.

Results are my business.  Results are the foundation upon which I’ve built my reputation.  Results always follow empowerment.  My seminars have consistently proven to empower people to take control of their bodies, and on November 1, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, I’m conducting what promises to be my greatest Breakthroughs seminar ever.  Not only will I be sharing the realities behind nutrition and exercise that allow people to take control of their bodies, but I’ll also explain in detail precisely how the body “decides” whether to store or burn fat.  I’ll convert the biochemical mystery into something everyone understands. 

With an understanding, you become the sculptor, your body becomes the clay.  There are two primary challenges in seeking understanding of biochemistry.  It’s complicated and it’s boring.  I remember my high school chemistry teacher.  I remember my 9th grade biology teacher.  I also remember falling asleep in class. 

Keeping those former teachers in mind, I work hard to avoid sending people into snooze land when discussing complicated scientific topics.  It isn’t an accident when people leave my seminars with huge smiles on their faces, empowered and “fired up” with an awareness their lives are about to change.  I’ll try to deliver the information in this article in much the same fashion as it comes through in a seminar.  If you start snoozing, well . . . at least give me points for trying.

Let’s put both your brain and imagination to work.  Imagine a ceremony in which I am presenting awards to . . .

The five VIP’s of Fat Loss!

 “Ladies and Gentleman, the first of the Very Important Players in the Fat Loss Arena, The Pancreas.”  The crowd goes wild as the pancreas takes the stage to accept the award and I begin my opening dialogue. 

“The pancreas is extremely deserving of this award because of his incredible production ability.  Yes, on a daily basis, this tough organ is called to act every time food enters the digestive tract, and he has proven incredibly reliable in his production of both insulin and glucagon.  Insulin is the “storage” hormone, and acts to transport glucose molecules into the muscles and into the liver to be stored as a fuel reserve.  Glucagon is the fat release hormone that allows adipose material to escape the walls of the fat cell and travel within the bloodstream to be burned as fuel.”

The pancreas has its challenges.  Every time you put a simple sugar, a meal high in refined carbs, or some snack chips into your mouth, you send a rush of tiny glucose molecules into the bloodstream.  As a result blood sugar skyrockets and the pancreas has to make a sudden shift.  It has to shift to “insulin dominance,” cranking out significant amounts of the storage hormone so all of that sugar can be stored and blood sugar can return to normal.  In an insulin dominant environment, fat loss ability is crippled.  When the pancreas is forced to produce an abundance of insulin, it backs off on its production of glucagon (remember, that’s the hormone that allows for fat release). 

In the fat loss arena, if you throw off the insulin:glucagon balance, if you create an insulin dominant hormonal environment, you throw a cog in the fat loss mechanism.  The pancreas will continue to work hard to maintain the necessary balance, but it requires your assistance.  Rather than spiking blood sugar, keep blood sugar constant.  How do you do that?  Firstly, by avoiding those simple sugars, bleached flours, and refined carbs that complicate things for the hard working pancreas.

“The next award goes to . . . our good friend, another hard working member of the team, Miss Thyroid.  She lives in the neck and never sleeps.  Miss thyroid acts in a supervisory role, constantly working to regulate metabolic function.  She, like the pancreas, produces hormones, primarily the hormones T3 and T4, both of which won awards for their acting at last year’s ceremony.  Unfortunately, T3 and T4 cannot be here tonight as Miss Thyroid has run into some issues.  She did her job quite efficiently, but an estrogen storm prevented T3 and T4 from making it to their destinations.  Normally T3 and T4 take the progesterone limousine but they just couldn’t get past the flood of estrogen.”

T3 and T4 work to regulate body temperature as well as to orchestrate many other players in the hormonal cascade.  When they are blocked by estrogen increases, stress related hormones, or the chemical interactions that result from dietary irregularities, they fail to do their job efficiently.  The thyroid doesn’t give up.  It keeps trying, but as the pancreas, also needs your assistance.  When you back off on calories, when you diet erratically, or when you exercise excessively and fail to nutritionally support the effort, the thyroid attempts to make metabolic adjustments to help you survive.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite understand why you’re doing what you’re doing.  It senses too little fuel is coming in to support metabolic activity, so it backs off on its hormonal production to keep you alive.  Metabolism is simply the speed at which your body converts fuel (food) into energy.  If you are not taking in enough fuel, a metabolic slowdown keeps you functioning, although if fat loss is a goal, the absence of adequate fuel is a sure ticket to failure. By eating small to moderately sized meals containing lean proteins, a small starchy carb from a natural complex source, and a fibrous vegetable every 3 – 3 ½ hours, not only do you further assist the pancreas in maintaining balance, but you reassure the thyroid gland that all is well and it’s OK to keep metabolism at its peak.

Please, save your applause for the end.  We still have three more VIP’s to introduce.

“Will the distinguished Sir Pituitary please come up to the podium?  Ah, Sir Pituitary, you are indeed an amazing artist and director and it is no wonder you are at times referred to as the Master Gland.  Although you’re smaller than a pea, you manage to artistically repair and rejuvenate cells, but you also direct a major part of the hormonal orchestra.”

The pituitary gland creates thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) which signals the thyroid to pump out her hormones.  We can also count on the pituitary to produce Growth Hormone, a key to optimizing the growth of lean body mass and the loss of fat.  In creating Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) and Leutenizing Hormone (LH) it also signals the ovaries and the testes to balance out appropriate testosterone and estrogen levels and acts to regulate cortisol (the stress hormone) levels.  To keep Sir Pituitary working at his best, it’s important that you regularly challenge resistance, that you get adequate nutrition, and that you get proper rest and relaxation.

By now you should be able to sense how vital the interaction between these glands is.  Too much estrogen?  Fat loss becomes challenging.  Too little GH?  Muscle tissue may disintegrate.  Too little T4?  Metabolism slows.  By negatively impacting one hormone, you actually send the entire hormonal cascade into a chaotic state of mayhem and the ability to release and burn fat is quick to suffer.

Let’s go back to the awards ceremony, as two more awards have to be granted.

“Clear the stage.  C’mon, c’mon make room.  The next VIP is a biggie.  You’ve seen his artful mastery at Gold’s Gym in Venice, on the Mr. Olympia Stage in Vegas, and in the World’s Strongest competitions on TV.  Yes, the next award goes to none other than, the Muscular System!  While renowned for its strength and definition, the muscular system is rarely recognized for its role as “The Fat Incinerator.”

The muscular system is the actual machine that burns fat.  After fat is released, it travels into the mitochondria of the muscle cell to be burned as fuel.  Any loss of muscle (which often accompanies diet-induced weight reduction) results in a metabolic slowdown and a decrease in momentary fat burning ability.  One of the tricks in optimizing fat loss is preserving that vital fat burning engine, “muscle.”

“There’s still one more award to be granted, and that has to go the system responsible both for feeding the cells and for transporting those little fatty acids to their ultimate destination.  Yes, the final VIP award goes to the circulatory system.”

The heart does an incredible job of pumping blood, which is really oxygenated and nutrient filled water, to every cell in the body.  At the cellular level, by optimizing blood flow you optimize metabolic function including the healthy rebuilding of cells and the efficient release and burning of fat.

So now that you’ve visited with us at the VIP awards, now that you know the Five VIP’s, how can you use this information to optimize fat loss?

The Fat Loss Checklist – DO’s and DON’T’s

DO assist the pancreas in keeping blood sugar stable – frequent meals containing protein, fiber, and slow release carbs from natural unrefined sources help maintain the balance of pancreatic hormones necessary for consistent and ongoing fat release

DO NOT think of “feedings” as “snacks.”  Snacks are typically low nutrient high sugar or high fat foodstuffs.  They typically contain those refined carbs that inhibit the optimal fat loss environment.  Even “healthy’ snacks are typically fruit which when consumed by themselves can spike blood sugar and effect insulin levels.  Forget the term “snack” and think in terms of meals, every “meal” containing protein and natural unrefined carbs.  Rather than “a snack” of raisins, consume the raisins mixed in some sugar free fat free yogurt to make up a meal.  Rather than “a muffin” which is full of sugar and bleached flour, consider a piece of whole grain bread wrapped around some turkey breast, tomato, and spinach.

DO challenge your muscles, optimize circulation, then relax (in that order). This works to healthfully optimize the process of protein synthesis and fat release.  Weight training is fueled by stored glyocen in muscle tissue, and if aerobic movement follows exercise that depletes glyogen stores, hormonal shifts amplify fat release.  Resistance exercise stimulates increases in GH production which actually take place during down time.

DO NOT train with weights after an intense aerobic workout or train beyond your body’s ability to adequately recuperate.  The pituitary may reduce GH production and increase  production of the “stress hormone” which may break down muscle tissue.

DO commit to brief but intense exercise sessions 5-6 days per week integrating both aerobic and anaerobic movement as this optimizes blood flow and strengthens not only the muscular system but the heart.

DO NOT consume foods that are high in simple sugars, white flour, bleached and processed grains, or hydrogenated fats.

DO supplement with an antioxidant formula.  A quality formula containing Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Zinc, and other free radical scavengers can work to optimize blood flow and rid the body of tiny toxins which left uncontrolled can do cellular damage.

DO NOT rely on herbal stimulants compounds labeled “thermogenic” “anabolic” “lipotropic” etc.  These often contain substances that may have long-term adverse effects on pituitary and thyroid activity.

Obey the DO’s and DON’T’s and fat loss can be ongoing and consistent until the body that stares back at you from the other side of the mirror brings a huge grin to your face, and that grin leads to a positive impact on virtually every aspect of your life. 

If fat loss fails, don’t throw in the proverbial towel.  Just fix the fat burning machine!


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