How To Lose Weight?
Do fat burners really work?
Many of the so-called fat burners available in stores are useless, but certain types of fat burners do actually “work” – in increasing your metabolism above normal levels.
These specific fat burners are based off of the “ECA stack” – a cocktail of ephedrine, caffeine, and aspirin. The ephedrine slightly speeds your body’s metabolism (up to 10%) and the caffeine and aspirin serve to amplify and prolong this effect.
Additionally, the compounds suppress appetite and provide a short-term energy boost (familiar to anyone who has consumed shots of espresso).
While these compounds do have an actual thermogenic (fat-burning) response, they should not be used as a substitute for proper dietary modifications.
In other words, if your diet is a mess and/or you’re eating too many calories, taking a fat burner pill is not going to do anything to help you lose body fat.
Is it possible to lose weight and gain muscle at the same time?
Unless you’re a novice exerciser or someone’s who’s lost a lot of muscle and is regaining it, I’m afraid not. The reason for this, while physiologically complex, is logically simple – the body can’t make an apple into an orange.
In order to lose fat, your body must perform lipolysis – the breakdown of fat into its constituent parts – fatty acids and triglycerides – for utilization as an energy source by the cells of the body.
In order to gain muscle, your body must synthesize new muscle tissue from its constituent parts – amino acids. You can’t build muscle tissue from fatty acids, ergo, you can’t gain muscle and lose weight at the same time.
Here’s another way to think about it (again, greatly simplifying the very complex metabolic science) – think of your body as an ATM machine: Calories in vs. calories out. To build muscle, you need to take in more calories than you need in a day to run your body’s basic processes (since you can’t build muscle from fat). So, your bank balance must be positive.
To lose weight, you need to take in fewer calories than you need in a day to run your body’s basic processes (so your body is forced to withdraw the deficit from your “savings” – energy stores in your fat cells). In this scenario, your bank balance must be negative.
How can your bank balance be both positive and negative at the same time? You’re right; it can’t – and that’s why you can’t lose weight and gain muscle at the same time.
The novice exerciser seems to defy this basic law, but he really doesn’t. All that’s happening in this person is that they are so de-conditioned that nearly any activity will cause the person to stimulate muscle gain in the absence of enough raw material to build muscle tissue.
Odd, but true. While this is a true scientific phenomenon, it doesn’t last long, and without enough calories (especially from protein sources), the novice’s gains will soon stall.
How long should each cardio session run?
If you’re doing it properly? Not long at all – 17 minutes, if you’re doing things the Ralph way! Forget about doing an hour of cardio on the treadmill or bike.
You won’t burn much in the way of calories, and if you’re not attending to diet properly, you’re spinning your wheels anyway.
I want to drive home the point that cardio should be your last consideration in a fat loss program; consider it the icing on the cake.
The foundation of your fat loss should be proper diet, followed immediately by strength training to maximize metabolism.
Cardio should be performed only if you’re firing on all cylinders in the other two disciplines. Maximize your efforts and get the biggest bang for your buck!