Your Ultimate Fat Loss
Plan by Phil Kaplan - Special For eDiets
Everyone wants it to be quick. Everyone
wants it to be easy. Everyone also wishes it would rain winning Lotto tickets.
The day wishes become reality, fat loss will become quick and easy. Right now,
effort is involved.
I know what youre thinking. The fat
burner ads, the tummy trimming devices and the happy, smiling people dancing
away fat on videos promise its easy. So do the diet centers, the drug
companies and the sellers of cellulite cream. Years ago, a man I very much
respect paid me a compliment I found both accurate and valuable. He said, "Phil
doesnt tell people what they want to hear, he tells them what they NEED
to hear." If you want to lose fat, you NEED to hear this!
Oh, wait, theres also a part B.
Its up to you to exercise and eat
I know, I know, that sounds like such a
cliché. However, the problem in the past has been that nobody really
told you what exercise and eating right means if fat loss is the goal. Thats
about to change. Im about to share an eight-part exercise and nutrition scheme
that has proven to serve as the ultimate fat loss strategy.
First, Ill list all eight parts of
the fat loss puzzle. Then Ill address them one at a time.
1. Perform intense resistance exercise
in pre-exhaustive supersets for 30 40 minutes per day, 6 days per week.
2. Perform staggered intensity aerobic exercise immediately following
resistance for 20 - 30 minutes.
3. Do not exceed 75 minutes in exercise
4. Avoid simple sugars, refined carbs and adding saturated or
hydrogenated fats to foods.
5. With a 6-meal per day foundation, use the
caloric stagger or carb manipulation for a four week period.
your bodyweight by .55 to determine the number of ounces of water to be
7. Use 100 - 200 mg of caffeine daily for 3 consecutive
days per week for four weeks.
8. Take 1 tablespoon of flaxseed oil with
the morning meal.
Ive come to know human nature.
People, still believing a quick fix exists, will read the 8-part list and pull
out one or two parts -- believing they now hold the secret. I want to make it
clear that these 8-parts are synergistic and will be limited in their ability
to deliver results unless all eight are in place! Sure, you can run to the
health food store and buy flaxseed oil and grab some Vivarin tablets (caffeine)
at your local pharmacy, but youll likely wind up having trouble sleeping
and then wonder why your fat isnt going anywhere.
At this point, Im sure you
understand. Effort is required, a complete strategy is necessary and there
arent any shortcuts. If youre still willing to proceed beyond this
point, allow me to warn you. You have much to lose! Namely, adipose tissue
OK, youre still reading, so here it
the ultimate fat loss strategy:
1. Perform intense resistance exercise
in pre-exhaustive supersets for 30 40 minutes per day, 6 days per week.
While aerobic exercise does increase
momentary metabolism, it is a mistake to believe that it is the secret to fat
loss. Muscle is metabolically active tissue. When fat is burned, it actually
has to be released into the bloodstream and shuttled into a muscle cell, where
it is burned as fuel. Muscle, therefore, is the fat burning machine. If you
increase muscle mass even slightly, you increase caloric burn, not only while
you exercise but while you eat, sleep and think.
Resistance exercise is a vital key to any
fat loss program, whether it is incorporated to increase muscle or simply as a
method of preserving the size of the fat burning machine. Allow me to define a
superset. We can break exercise movements into two types, isolation
movements and compound movements. Isolation movements, as the name implies,
work to isolate a specific muscle or muscle group and usually revolve around a
single joint. An example would be a leg extension, where the thigh is fixed in
place and a resistive force presses against the shin with the knee bent. The
act of extending the knee (straightening the leg) isolates and calls to action
the muscles of the frontal thigh (the quadriceps).
A compound movement would bring in
assisting muscle groups and is a multi-joint exercise. As an example, a squat
would have you extending the knee as you push upward against resistance, but
you are also extending from the hip joint. The quadriceps are still involved,
but the powerful gluteal muscles are called in to help. A superset pairs two
movements, performed one after another without any rest in between. In this
type of program, the supersets use a pre-exhaustion technique, pairing an
isolation movement with a compound movement. The isolation movement is
performed first -- selecting a resistance level that will bring you to a point
of momentary muscle failure (where you cant perform another consecutive
rep in strict form) between 12 and 15 repetitions. At that point obviously the
target muscle is too fatigued to continue.
Because the compound movement brings in
assisting muscle groups to help, you can push the pre-exhuasted muscle further,
bringing it to yet a new level of fatigue. This intense type of training
increases caloric expenditure (as compared to conventional sets and reps
training) and quite efficiently overloads muscle (which is key to muscle
development and improvements in body composition).
2. Perform staggered intensity aerobic
exercise immediately following resistance for 20 30 minutes.
While, as I mentioned, aerobic exercise is
not the single fat loss solution many mistake it to be, it certainly has its
place and must be integrated into a fat loss program. Its essential, if
you are going to optimize fat loss, that you perform your aerobic exercise
AFTER your resistance training. Heres why. When you are in an aerobic
state, which means youre meeting momentary oxygen demand (as you would if
you were to walk, jog or climb stairs) your body has two options for fuel. It
can burn fat and/or it can burn sugar (glucose, stored in the muscles and the
liver as glycogen).
When you perform anaerobic exercise, which
is a short term, all out burst of energy (as in each set of your resistance
exercise), your body burns exclusively glucose (sugar). If you were to do an
exhaustive aerobic exercise workout before weight training, you would burn
stored glycogen. If you deplete glycogen stores, your fuel reserve will be
limited for your weight training session. In order to supply fuel, your body
might opt to break apart muscle to convert amino acids into glucose, and as you
already know, a loss of muscle is to be avoided at all costs. If you do your
aerobic exercise AFTER your resistance training, you can utilize glycogen for
the weights and then tap into fat stores to fuel your cardio.
Muscle tissue remains intact. Its
also helpful to stagger the intensity of aerobic sessions while keeping the
intensity in what is referred to as your Target Heart Zone (THZ). THZ is
estimated by subtracting your age from 220 and multiplying the result
first by 65 percent, then by 85 percent. The resultant two numbers would equate
to the low and the high ends of your Target Zone, which is measured in
heartbeats per minute. When you are near the lower end of the zone, you will
burn proportionately more fat. However, when you are nearer to the higher end,
you will burn a greater volume of calories. There is virtue, therefore, in
staggering the intensity of the sessions. Day #1 might be a low intensity,
longer duration session. Day #2 might be a high intensity, shorter duration
session. Day #3 might incorporate interval training, where you shift the
intensity throughout the session for a moderate duration. Then you return to
Day #1 and the process repeats.
3. Do not exceed 75 minutes in exercise
Overtraining is one of the most common and
most detrimental mistakes exercisers make. Too much exercise can either lead to
a loss of muscle, injury, undue fatigue or excessive connective tissue trauma.
By limiting the duration of the entire exercise session to 75 minutes, assuming
your body is properly fueled and hydrated (and assuming youre getting 7
or more hours of sleep as well as some relaxation time), you can optimize the
benefit of your exercise session and reduce the risk of overtraining.
4. Avoid simple sugars, refined carbs
and adding saturated or hydrogenated fats to foods.
Heres the eat right part.
There are notorious nutritional enemies of fat loss -- better known as sugars
and refined carbohydrates. Simple sugars would include anything ending in
-ose (glucose, sucrose, fructose, etc.) and most of the foods we
would normally consider sweets. Fruit juice, sugared cola, cakes
and cookies (even those labeled fat free) contain enough sugar to
throw pancreatic hormones completely out of whack -- severely limiting the
potential for fat release.
Sugar intake can also lead to erratic
energy levels, food cravings and sudden fatigue due to insulin spikes and
residual blood sugar drops. Refined carbs include white flour and bleached and
processed grains. These foods have very little actual nutritional value and the
carbs are rapidly broken down into glucose, which takes us into the simple
sugar challenge. In addition, they are easily converted into triglycerides and
stored as fats. Speaking of fats, the essential fats are vital (as the name
implies) but the fats that are solid at room temperature, such as the fats in a
marbled steak, butter or the hydrogenated oils found in butter substitutes have
little place in an effective fat loss program. By developing an awareness of
the sabotage foods, youll be equipped to make better nutritional choices
keeping fat release at its peak.
5. With a 6-meal-per-day foundation, use
the caloric stagger and carb manipulation for a four week period.
Its not only a question of what to
avoid -- but even more important -- your results depend greatly upon what you
do ingest. For decades, bodybuilders (who have become masters at shedding fat)
have relied upon frequent meals, usually a meal every 3 3 ½
hours, amounting to six meals per day (high level bodybuilders often consume up
to 8 daily meals). Each meal should contain a mix of lean protein, starchy
carbohydrate and fibrous carbohydrate. To amplify fat loss, you can employ a
technique Ive named the caloric stagger. To simplify the concept, you alternate
a regular day, where you consume lean protein, starch and fiber every 3 hours
with a lower calorie higher protein day.
On the protein day, you eliminate the
starch and increase the protein size (in each meal) by approximately 25
percent. This manipulation of calories and carbs allows the body to release and
access greater volume of stored fat with reduced likelihood of muscle loss (the
higher protein on the lower calorie days provides ample amino acids to prevent
the body from turning to muscle as a fuel source). In a 7-day week, days #1, 3,
5 and 7 might be regular days, and days #2, 4 and 6 might be the protein days.
The end result is a reduction in weekly caloric intake without the protective
mechanisms that act to slow metabolism in times of calorie deprivation being
Fat loss is amplified, metabolism stays
stoked. This nutritional system works well for four weeks, but to keep the body
from adapting, its best to return to a more balanced nutrition program
immediately following the fourth week. If additional fat loss is desired,
consider employing this system again after 8 weeks of supportive
eating with consistent caloric intake. If you want to do this by the
numbers, you can estimate the number of daily calories that might be best
during this four week fat burning period by multiplying what you perceive your
ideal weight to be by 15 for men or 12 for women. Divide that number by 6 to
determine per-meal calories. You might get 45 percent of your calories from
protein, 10 percent from essential fats and the remaining 45 percent from an
equal mix of starch and fiber (of course on the protein days the percentages
shift to higher protein and near zero starch).
6. Multiply your bodyweight by .55 to
determine the number of ounces of water to be consumed daily.
Your body is predominantly made up of
water. It doesnt look that way in the mirror, but I assure you, without
water youd be nothing but a pile of assorted amino acids, minerals and
some fatty acids. If we were to consider a single human cell, wed be
looking at a molecular structure thats between 70 and 85 percent water.
Water is the primary component of blood. Water transports oxygen throughout the
body. Water is an essential nutrient and perhaps the most neglected nutrient
among individuals attempting to figure out the best diet.
When you perspire, you lose water and
thus it becomes even more vital for anyone committed to an intense exercise
program. While the old, but unsubstantiated rule of 8 glasses per day has held
up just fine, multiplying your weight by the number .55 would provide a pretty
good estimate of the number of ounces of water an exerciser should consume in a
day. If you live in a warm climate and/or youre in a hot environment all day,
be it for outdoor construction or fueling an indoor furnace, you should make a
concerted effort to increase that number a bit further. If you dont want to do
all this math and measure ounces, I suggest you always have water with you. A
bottle of spring water should be fine. Sipping it throughout the day, even if
you are not experiencing thirst, can act as a valuable step in helping to
mobilize fat and keep the cells healthy.
7. Use 100 200mg of caffeine
daily for 3 consecutive days per week for four weeks.
This is not a must but research
indicates that caffeine can have not only a performance enhancing effect but
also a thermogenic fat releasing value. The catch is, this effect has been
noted primarily in individuals who do not regularly use caffeine. Using
caffeine 30 minutes prior to your workout on alternate days (3-4 days per week
for a 4-week period) might allow you to release and burn additional fat. If you
are a regular caffeine user, you might find benefit by avoiding coffee,
caffeinated drinks and products for 3-4 weeks before beginning this fat loss
During that period of time, work out at
least 3 days per week with resistance, at least 4 days per week aerobically,
and allow your bodys natural energy systems to restore. You may
experience headaches and fatigue for a few days, but after a week or two you
should find you can function surprisingly well without your coffee fix. If you
dont use caffeine regularly, you might start out in this four week fat
loss period with 75 mg., gradually increasing up to but not exceeding 200 mg
depending on how you feel (according to J. Leblanc, some people get jitters
when they use even small amounts of caffeine). I want to repeat that this is
not a must. However, since were discussing the ultimate, it does merit
mention as a tool for an extra edge.
8. Take 1 tablespoon of flaxseed oil
with the morning meal.
The value of essential fatty acids
(EFAs), namely the omega 3 fats (alpha-linolenic acid) and the omega 6
fats (linoleic acid) warrants a complete article in itself, or even a series of
articles. In order to simplify the value of these fatty acids, understand
simply that the omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids, which promote
performance, contribute to muscle increase and fat mobilization. They also
contribute to cell repair and maintenance. These fatty acids are not produced
by the human body -- thus it becomes essential that we consume them. That
doesnt necessarily mean we have to supplement.
Essential fats are found in fresh produce,
fish, nuts and even meats from animals fed a diet high in natural foods rich in
EFAs. Think of flaxseed oil, which is a source of both omega-3s and
omega 6s, as extra support to make certain you are getting your essential
fats. Id suggest making 1 morning tablespoon of flaxseed oil (purchase
the liquid sold in a dark container that has not been exposed to heat or light
-- it should be refrigerated in the store you purchase it from) a habit, and on
protein days. Consider taking another tablespoon with one of the mid-day meals.
There it is. You now have the eight parts
of the ultimate fat loss strategy. Ive used this strategy with thousands
of clients and customers seeking fat loss for dramatic, sometimes astounding
fat loss results. This is incorporated in some form in all of my programs both
for athletes and for non-athletes seeking positive physical change. By
understanding and employing the eight parts, you should be able to apply this
strategy to your own routine.
Phil Kaplan has developed a reputation
as one of the worlds most in demand fitness professionals.