One of the BIGGEST reasons cardio programs and fitness classes are not effective for fat loss is because they are missing this one critical principle of fat loss exercise.
Start applying this principle to your workouts and you’ll start seeing your fat loss plateaus crumble before your feet.
Next Page ==> The True Story Of How To Lose The Last 5, 10, 20 or even 30 Stubborn Pounds — Stress-Free, Quickly and Forever
I have something embarrassing to admit: I am a recovering “Carb-o-phobe”
Ever since I can remember I’ve had a love/hate relationship with carbs and I’ve come to realize that they are not as bad (or as good) as people make them out to be.
The trick to “having your carbs and eating it too” is to be strategic in your approach.
My buddy Nate Miyaki, otherwise known as “The Fat Loss Samurai” is one of the main guys I get my information from when it comes to all things nutrition and today we want to reveal to you 3 Ninja Carb Tricks to Getting a Lean Body.
Take it away Nate!
3 Ninja Carb Tricks to Getting a Lean Body
By Nate Miyaki, ACE, ISSA
Contributing Writer — Men’s Fitness, Muscle & Fitness, Men’s Health, T-Nation, Bodybuilding.com, LIVESTRONG
There are only 3 things that scare me in this life – snakes, port-o-potties, and belly fat. I hope to rid the world of one of them.
Yet, the most formidable foe on this planet is not those slithering creatures or blue boxes of death, or even zombies. It is body fat.
That stuff is everywhere. It can sneak up on you when you least expect it. It attacks from all angles. It is definitely contagious. I’ve heard it’s even gone airborne.
The Fat Loss Ninja has been fighting the good fight against this enemy for years. Across distant lands, The Last Fat Loss Samurai has been slashing fat with a vengeance as well. With the body fat apocalypse taking over the world, and few survivors left, it was only a matter of time before our paths crossed.
The Ninja and the Samurai are joining forces and riding together on this one. And it is our duty to provide YOU with the best weapons in your own war against this unrelenting enemy.
Here are three of the most lethal weapons I suggest you use when these body fat bastards seem to be breaking down the gates.
Oh, on a side note, don’t forget to also bring a few of those paper ass gasket things for protection in battle, just in case we run into any portable outhouses on our journey. Those things are like a helmet. It is heavy, and may seem like a burden in times of peace. But when war hits, you’ll be glad you carried them along.
TRICK #1 – DON’T GO TOO LOW IN CARBS
You read that right. DON’T go too low in carbohydrates, especially if you are strength training a few days a week (which you should be).
I know this sounds counterintuitive in this Low Carb Era.
But trust me, this is one of my most trusted tricks for sustainable rippedness. I’ve personally made the mistake of going too low in carbs in the past, and have seen the disappointment and disaster it can cause, as well as the rebounding and yo-yo’ing that follows.
Here’s the thing. We know that the overconsumption of highly processed carbohydrates has led to the rapid rise of man boobs, mufn tops, and obesity across the globe.
We also know that properly managing your carb intake is important for controlling your blood sugar and insulin levels, which in turn allows the body to maximally burn fat.
So chances are you are going to have to reduce your carbohydrate intake somewhat during a max fat loss phase.
But, and I mean a big ol’ beautiful twerking butt…there comes a point of diminishing returns.
Going too low in carbs, especially when combining that with intense strength training, can lead to a ton of physiological, metabolic, and hormonal drawbacks.
The biggest one for physique enthusiasts is muscle loss.
Getting ripped is not about just slashing fat. It’s also about building, or at least preserving lean muscle mass, along the way.
Yes, you too ladies. For muscle is what provides your body with its shape, tone, definition, and tightness. If you lose muscle, you’ll still appear soft and flabby no matter how much weight you lose.
Not to get too geeky, but while your body can become “fat adapted” at rest and with low intensity activity, anaerobic metabolism (what we use while strength training) runs only on glucose. It can’t use fatty acids or ketones.
The body will find a way to get glucose somehow. One of the back up mechanisms is to convert amino acids into glucose.
And sure enough, protein use for energy is at its all-time highest when performing strength training in a glycogen depleted state.
Keeping some carbs in your fat loss diet will prevent this. That’s why carbs are considered “anti-catabolic”.
A mismatched diet and training program are why there are many Paleo dieters, cross-fitters, and strength trainers who haven’t touched a carb since 1999, yet are frustrated with their lack of results. They still are soft and flabby despite consistent, high intensity training.
Muscle loss is not the only reason. There is more to this horror story. Low carb diets combined with anaerobic training can lead to low testosterone, impaired thyroid production, and shattered metabolic rates.
Ladies, if your thyroid and metabolic rate have slowed to a snail’s pace, you won’t get ripped no matter how many calories and carbs you cut from your diet.
Gentlemen, if your testosterone is shot, and you have to live with a non-functioning wiener to see your 6-pack, well, that just ain’t worth it baby.
TRICK #2 – TIME YOUR CARBS RIGHT – FEAST AT NIGHT
What’s lost in the Carb Debate is total calories, the most bullied, yet still the most important, fat loss step.
If you are in the calorie deficit necessary for fat loss, you can STILL include some carbs in your diet and maximally slash fat.
I’ve worked with many athletes to overcome their Carbophobia, add some carbs back in their diet to better support their training, and reach all-time record lows in body fat percentage.
But how do you get the maximum fat burning effects of low carbohydrate diets with the muscle building effects of carb-based diets?
You follow both plans, just at different times of the day.
Human beings evolved on a fasting and feeding cycle.
We spent the majority of our existence fasting or eating lighter during the day while actively tracking, hunting, and gathering our food. We spent the evening relaxing and feasting on the majority, if not all, of our daily food intake.
I suggest you do the exact same thing if you want to make slashing fat and looking awesome as automatic as possible.
During the day, you keep carbs low to control insulin levels and ensure your body is maximally burning fat.
Eating concentrated carbohydrates during the day can spike blood sugar and insulin levels and blunt fatty acid mobilization for hours. In non-“coach trying to sound smart speak”, essentially you shut down the body’s ability to burn fat with frequent carb-based meals and snack packs during the day.
By saving the majority of your carbs for dinner and eating lighter, lower carb foods during the day, you control insulin and blood sugar levels, maximize fat burning hormones and cellular factors (cAMP), and give yourself a decent stretch of time where you are optimally burning fat.
Then you feast on carbs at night to induce a hyper-anabolic environment.
Think of it as two distinct nutritional periods:
During the day hours you eat lighter so you remain in a fat burning, energy production mode (hunt mode) and during the evening hours you provide your body with the raw ingredients it needs to build muscle, store energy reserves, recover from the demands of the current day, and prepare for the tasks of the next day (feast mode).
The plan is flexible, and there are a variety of ways you can go about doing this. You can graze on low-carb, Paleo style foods during the day. Or you can use a weapon the Samurai and the Ninja share in this fat loss battle — intermittent fasting.
In other words, you can low-carb graze and feast OR fast and feast. I don’t really give a shit. The key is The Feast.
TRICK #3 – DITCH THE MYTHS
I know you want to try it.
It sounds awesome, and like a sustainable lifestyle plan to you, rather than a miserable fitness diet you suffer through to get a new Facebook photo. And trust me, the clients I’ve worked with who switch to this style never go back to any other way of eating again.
But alas, you have a few burning questions due to lingering fitness myth BS.
Won’t eating a big meal with carbs at night cause me to store fat? I thought we are supposed to cut calories and carbs, starve at night, and have to go to bed wanting to gnaw of our significant other’s arm to get lean?
I have to be honest. For that burning sensation, you are probably going to have to turn to Penicillin.
As for the questions, you can turn to both common sense and science.
Eating at night doesn’t make you fat. Eating too many calories for the entire day makes you fat. If you’ve eaten large and/or frequent meals throughout the day, and then eat another large dinner on top of that, chances are you will overshoot your daily calorie needs and gain fat.
It’s the total food intake not the distribution that is the problem.
If you eat lighter during the day and are active, chances are you enter dinner in a relatively large calorie deficit with depleted energy reserves, and even a large meal with a significant amount of carbohydrates will be used to restore energy reserves first, before spilling over into fat stores.
What sounds better – going to bed satiated or going to bed starving?
In addition, insulin sensitivity and nutrient partitioning to muscle cells improve: (1) After a strength training session and (2) After a period of fasting and/or lower carbohydrate intake. If you combine these two, the effects can be synergistic.
Basically, this just means when glycogen stores are relatively depleted (after training and/or at the end of a day of lower-carb eating), carbohydrates will be used to restock these energy reserves first, before spilling over into fat stores.
Even simpler, if you drive your car around all day and the gas tank is empty, you can and should fill up for the next day.
As for the science? Well, Nate’s a freak baby, and that’s a known fact. I’ll let da geeks handle the rest:
1. Sofer et al. 2011. Greater weight loss and hormonal changes after 6 months diet with carbohydrates eaten mostly at dinner. Obesity (Silver Spring) Oct;19(10):2006-14.
This study was designed to investigate the effect of a low-calorie diet with carbohydrates eaten mostly at dinner on anthropometric, hunger/ satiety, biochemical, and inflammatory parameters… Greater weight loss, abdominal circumference, and body fat mass reductions were observed in the experimental diet in comparison to controls.
2. Halberg et al. 2005. Effect of intermittent fasting and refeeding on insulin action in healthy men. Journal of Applied Physiology December 2005 vol. 99 no. 6 2128-2136.
By subjecting healthy men to cycles of feast and famine we did change the metabolic status to the better, implying that the mismatch between our ancient genotype and the lifestyle of the westernized individual of today became smaller.
To our knowledge this is the first study in humans in which an increased insulin action on whole body glucose uptake and adipose tissue lipolysis has been obtained by means of intermittent fasting.
While indeed it is true that to get results on a fat loss program you need to limit your carbohydrate intake, doing so too the extremes can lead to muscle loss, a significant plateau in results and overall frustration.
Ditch the myths and use these 3 Carb Tricks to get into your leanest body without all of the diet frustration.
Doing so will provide you with the freedom to eat carbs, live a normal life and still get into your LEANEST shape.
Hey it’s Dan here.
Just gotta say again that Nate is one of the most knowledgable guys I know when it comes to nutrition, fat loss and FEASTING
If you’re ready to get into your best body eating carbs and avoiding all of the frustrations of dieting, check out his system he’s developed based The NEW rules for fast and permanent fat loss called Feast Your Fat Away™
This is a blog post that has hit close to the heart. You see, a couple years back I was held back by some severe lower back problems that ultimately put a stop on the way I worked out to simple things like just walking down the street.
What I didn’t realize is that the cause of these problems really didn’t reside in my lower back at all. They were all part of a bigger problem that I was facing that my friend Eric Lays out in this eye opening article down below.
If you suffer from low back or hip dysfunction or even feel like your body is just not working the way that you’d like it to then this is an article you NEED to read.
Stop Ignoring this Important Component of Fitness
By Eric Wong, CSCS
It’s taken me over 14 years to get my head out of the sand…
I first started lifting weights when I was 16 to build some muscle and be a better hockey player. I was always a skinny kid and took quite a beating when I was on the ice.
I’ve continued to train since because I enjoy looking lean and muscular, and it helps me be a better athlete and perform my sports at a higher level AND because when I get a good workout in, I get those endorphins flowing through my system and feel AMAZING.
However, like most people I’ve had a few interruptions along the way…
Sometimes, I take a break on vacations, especially when the vacation involves a white sand beach and a blazing hot sun.
But the more impactful interruptions have come because of INJURY.
Because I train mixed martial arts, injuries are to be expected. However, the injuries I’ve received on the mats and in sparring are fewer in frequency and lesser in severity than those I’ve had in the weight room.
And I’m embarrassed to say that the majority of them have come because of my failure to pay attention to the “bastard child” of fitness…
That is until I had a life-altering experience one day when I was getting a boxing workout in on the heavy bag…
I’d just finished my first round and a guy wearing a big grey hoodie asked me if he could work in with me.
“No problem,” I replied, since this gym has only one bag.
He was at least 15 years my senior and had a huge beer belly.
To make a long story short, after I saw him throw his first high kick that landed on the bag with a loud SMACK, a light bulb went off in my head.
While I don’t think you need to be slim and ripped to be able to throw a hard head kick, something just went off in my head and right then and there, I knew I had to fix my hip flexibility problems for good.
You see, even though I’d been training martial arts for years, I’d always avoided throwing kicks…
The reason why was because every time I threw one, I felt like my hips were going to tear in two and I kicked with the power of a 5 year old girl after a month of after-school Karate lessons.
Embarrassing, especially since I was known as the guy who trained UFC fighters!
Call it foolish pride or whatever you want, but I used that experience to dig in, learn everything I could and apply everything I learned to finally fixing my tight, inflexible hips.
Throughout the process, I’ve followed master Bruce Lee’s advice, “Absorb what is useful. Discard what is not. Add what is uniquely your own.”
And back in August of this year, the true test of my studies was to come – my wife and I had a vacation planned to Asia, with 2 weeks in Thailand – the home of Muay Thai.
I couldn’t go to Thailand and not train Muay Thai, so this was a huge motivator for me.
After we arrived in Chiang Mai, I searched for a Muay Thai gym that didn’t cater to foreigners. I was looking for an authentic Thai experience…
I’d been using a bunch of new flexibility techniques and was feeling great, especially in Squats and Olympic lifts – getting into and out of the hole was a lot smoother and faster.
I was a bit nervous though, because this was going to be the first time I tried throwing real kicks for years, since I first decided to avoid them because of fear of injuring my hips.
I found a gym, got the class times, then arrived 5 minutes late thanks to my Chinese navigation skills.
I jumped into the class and when it came time to throw my first kick, it felt like I had a different set of hips and I had a ton of fun in the 2 hour class!
I threw kicks all class and it felt so good, not just because throwing high kicks with some oomph is fun, but because I’d finally addressed this huge limiting performance factor.
And then it finally hit me -if you want to build strength or power or keep your body healthy, instead of pushing and grinding, sometimes all you’ve gotta do is release the brakes and your car will zoom away with the pep and power it was designed to do.
That’s what having tight hips is like – driving with the emergency brake on.
You can give it as much gas as you want, but you’ll never take off until you release the brakes.
Before this, I’d get to doing Back Squats with 250 pounds, but then my knees would start to ache. I actually suffered from a knee meniscus injury doing Squats because I tried to push my limits.
Same thing with the Deadlift – when I got to lifting around 3 plates, my back would ache for days after. And not in that good “I had a good workout” way.
Now I see it’s just because I was putting the pedal to the metal with the emergency brake on. Not only is it a waste of energy, but it’s going to wear your body out just like it would wear your car out.
That’s why I call flexibility the “bastard child of fitness”.
It’s usually an after-thought, something you do as a cool down or if you can fit it in.
But it deserves a period of time where you really focus on it and make it a priority.
Doing so will provide you with the freedom to do what you want, whether that’s working out intensely to achieve the body of your dreams or playing a sport without fear of hurting your body and with an effortlessness that comes from “releasing the brakes”.
So if you’re ready to make flexibility a priority, check out the blueprint I’ve developed based on Bruce Lee’s advice that I call the 3D Flexibility System™:
Next Page ===> The 3D Flexibility System™
Today I’m writing to you from Queen Street in Toronto. As you know I have to jump around to different places in the city to get my creative juices flowing.
Queen Street can be considered the “Hipster” street of Toronto.
You have great cafes, men in skinny jeans (and beards) walking about.
It’s a pretty unique area of Toronto that is starting to really grow on me because of its laid back vibe.
By now you know I’ve got over 70 women doing my Transformation program in my gym in Markham.
I gotta say that even though this is our biggest team to date, this is one of the most focused communities I have seen come through our doors.
We’ve got our first team weigh in coming this Saturday so I’ll keep you posted on the numbers we hit.
Inside of our group though I have to let you know that we DON’T have the same general nutrition plan that everyone goes through like most gyms do.
We sincerely believe that the BEST nutrition plan is the one that is modified to your own specific needs ..and those needs change as your body does.
So very briefly I want to school you on the 3 Levels of Diets we give to our girls in our Transformation Programs.
Level # 1- Freedom Dieting
We give girls a number of meals to eat throughout the day. It’s usually 3 but could be higher depending on their height and build.
We tell them a general idea of what to eat, let them set their own schedules and usually go by portion sizes.
Other than the first week we generally like to have them eat their carbs after their workouts to promote a positive insulin response in their bodies.
Who does this work for?
The beginner dieter who usually has 20 or more pounds to lose. They are just starting (or re-starting) the journey of eating clean and this is the easiest philosophy to adopt for fat loss.
This also works well for people who are generally lean who just want to maintain their shape. For whatever reason their bodies stay lean and they don’t need to get crazy with the counting like some of us do (ie. me)
Level #2 – Calorie Counting
This the next step up from Freedom Dieting.
I truly believe everyone should do this for 3 months just to get an idea of what their body truly needs to maintain, lose weight or even gain weight.
We use myfitnesspal for this and it works pretty well and keeps things simple.
The key here is to track your foods on a daily basis, weigh yourself, measure yourself and take a picture of yourself every week to check on your body composition.
If you’re not seeing enough results then pair back by 100 calories and see how that effects your body.
Who does this work for?
Pretty much everyone trying to get into their leanest bodies (guys would be sub 10% Body fat, girls would be 15% body fat)
I pretty much used this concept, kept my protein at 1 gram per pound of bodyweight and got into my best shape.
Oh yeah, I did squats too.
Level #3 – Macro Nutrient Counting aka. If It Fits Your Macros (IIFYM)
This is about as exact as it gets and for about 95% of people you really don’t have to get this exact when getting into your best shape.
Think of this like calorie counting..on STEROIDS.
You’ll pretty much weight and measure your foods and hit certain macronutrient goals (protein, fats, and carbs) you set out for yourself.
I’m currently testing this method out on myself as well as a couple of beta clients in my gym so I’ll shoot you more info as we go through it.
Who does this work for?
This works for the person who has about 5 or less pounds of fat to lose and wants to get into fitness model shape or is preparing for a fitness show of some kind.
Not necessarily what I would recommend for 98% of the population but for those that like a drastic change (like myself and my beta-testers) it’s a worthy challenge.
So what do you do from here?
Find out which one you are and start from there. Move up or down the levels with the one you feel most comfortable with.
I’d start with the first level and until it stops getting your results for a couple of weeks then move onto the next.
NOTE: Most people can get into their best shape just counting calories. Counting macros can be the most tedious thing in the world and drive one bonkers trying to figure it out.
Now the reason I sent this is because you obviously have to have your nutrition plan in line if want to visually SEE the results from any type of workout plan.
If you feel like you’re doing all this stuff right, but the scale still won’t budge…then you may need to SHOCK your metabolism with some intense metabolic training.
Metabolic STACKING (aka- “Finishers”) is one of the easiest ways to do this in just a few short minutes.
In fact, my good friend Mikey Whitfield who’s lost 105 POUNDS using this brand new scientific approach.
It’s all part of Mike’s newly updated Workout Finishers 2.0 System…
And best of all, you don’t have to change what you’re currently doing!
Just plug in Mikey’s “Finishers” with ANY of your favorite workouts to double your results and create a massive “afterburn” post workout fat-burning effect…
And right now, it’s 65% off.
I’ll probably be the first to admit that life isn’t necessarily all rainbows and roses…
Back in my earlier days, I was so fat that I wouldn’t take off my shirt at the pool.
Just getting started and sticking to a fitness plan was the last thing on my agenda.
The utter thought of hitting a gym and working out in front of all those “fit people” made me shutter from the sheer embarrassment.
But I did it anyways.
When I decided to quit my 9-5 corporate job to start a career doing that I loved (becoming a trainer) everyone that was closest to me told me that it was a stupid move and that I should just find a “normal” job somewhere else.
It was tough to hear that type of criticism from the people close to you but…
I did it anyways.
Again, life is not all rainbows and roses ESPECIALLY when you’re starting from the gutter working your way up.
But we have hope.
I didn’t know it back then but I created a credo of 7 agreements in my life that drive me to this very day.
These 7 agreements shaped my life and helped me evolve into the person that I am as I write this blog to you.
And today, I want to share all of them with you in hopes that wherever you’re starting from, you’ll be able to push through and go for what you really deserve in life. If it jives with you then I highly recommend to print it out and post it somewhere you’ll see it on a regular basis.
My 7 Agreements in Life
1. I Will Not Take Anything Personally
Most times we’re hurt by something someone said is due to our own self perception of what it meant.
Most times people when people say things it is just coming from THEIR perception of the situation. Realize this.
Change your perception of what it meant and you change your reality.
2. I Will always Do What I Say I Will do (98% of the time)
I can be brash and over commit at times but I always strive to do what I say and say what I do.
Integrity is a lost art nowadays. Be different. Be the person that stands by your word.
Just like your balls, don’t break them unless you really really need to.
..And yes even if you are a woman reading this you do have “balls” (figuratively of course)
3. Don’t Make Assumptions.
Get the whole story before pointing fingers at everyone. Give everyone the benefit of the doubt until they prove otherwise.
Remember your perception always equals your reality.
People will appreciate it even though they know themselves that they are being @sses.
4. Always Do Your Best.
Leave no stone unturned. Do everything possible to reach your goals and desires so you can look back with absolutely no regrets.
Take the motto of, “Be not afraid of dying … Be afraid of never trying”
One day, when you’re old and grey, you want to look back at your life and say with absolute conviction,
“I did my BEST”
And usually, your best will always give you amazing results.
5. Do the OPPOSITE of the Majority
I’ve talked about it in a previous blog but again, “If you want to be a success in life, look at the majority and do the opposite of them“
This means being a NON-conformist.
This means having your own agenda, your own goals and your own type of success.
What you have to realize is that your strand of DNA will never, ever, ever be replicated in this world. Never.
You are unique and different than everyone else.
Start owning up to it.
Just because someone likes a Mercedes Benz doesn’t mean that you should.
Just because people “settle” for eating at a fast food joint doesn’t mean that you should.
Just because people wear a certain type of clothing brand doesn’t mean that you should.
You choose your life and that means being your OWN person. Not one of the “herd”.
Create your own style, your own way of doing things. There will never be another YOU made on this earth…ever.
6. Dream BIG
The majority of people in this world don’t set goals.
The majority of people who set goals usually end up setting small ones that they feel they have the best possibility of accomplishing.
Have a BIGGER vision for your life.
What you don’t realize is that you are capable of much more and everyone has something inherent in them that no one else can provide.
Own up to this and set big @ss goals. You can do it.
You know why? Well…
7. If It Has Been Done Before Then You Can Definitely Do It
You have to understand that as humans we are all made equal.
Sure people can be born “geniuses” and “talented” but when it comes to long term success I wouldn’t put my money on them at all.
Sure people can be born into money or born with great genetics but I wouldn’t put my money on them either.
What I’ve noticed about these kinds of people is that they usually don’t appreciate ”that which is given to them easily”
The best people in life are usually the ones who have scrapped and clawed their way to achieve their own personal success.
They came from rock bottom, dreamt big, went after it with hard work, dedication, persistence and eventually …achieved it.
What could possibly lead these people to believe that they could achieve such big goals?
They ultimately knew that if someone else had done it before then they could do it. Nothing separated them from the people they hold up in a higher regard.
They realized that everyone is human and comes from an equal standpoint in life.
And just the fact that you are reading this blog probably puts you in a higher economic bracket than say someone born into a diamond mine in Sierra Leone.
This means you have more opportunity and more means than the average person on this earth to achieve what you want.
But all that aside…
When you dream a big goal and it scares the living you-know-what out of you…
When you think of a goal that makes you super uncomfortable to talk about or even think about…
You know you’re on the right track.
When that uncertainty hits and you have all doubts creep up in your mind, just think this one thought,
“If someone has done it before then I can DEFINITELY do it.”
It’s what has driven me in my very short 10 year career in the fitness industry and I hope it helps you in whatever you choose to do.
I hope this blog post found you well but we’re not done yet…
I want to know what you thought of it. Any part you liked or didn’t like?
Let me know by dropping a comment down below.
And yes I will reply back
One of the most common questions I get is about fat burners and whether or not they actually work.
Well, I’m glad to say that I’ve known the guys from Examine.com for a while, so when I got yet another question on fat burners, I thought I’d ask these guys.
For those that don’t know, they’ve been around for 2.5 years and are the most respected source on supplement information. So I asked them – “what are the top 5 fat burners that just don’t work?”
5 Fat Burning Supplements That DON’T Work (AVOID THESE)
Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) is a mixture of fatty acids, of which two of them, t10c12 and c9t11, are the most common. It is claimed that CLA can help burn fat and build muscle when taken as a daily supplement via working through a group of receptors known as PPARs.
If looking at research on animals, this is definitely true. CLA is a moderately potent fat burner in rats at modest levels of intake and extremely potent in mice (until they get fatty liver and die). That being said, CLA is also used as a good example on how animal studies don’t always translate to humans.
If we ignore the rodent research and only look at human research, it is incredibly variable, with about half the studies showing it to be useless, and the other half showing very very little fat loss (2-4 pounds over half a year). Even in studies that did show a bit of fat loss, the range was so that some people actually gained weight1,2,3.
Even under the best of conditions, CLA is extremely lackluster. Considering how unreliable the results are, it is not worth taking.
L-Carnitine is an ergogenic aid (performance enhancer) that is also sometimes used for cognitive enhancement. Since of the things limiting fat burning involves the carnitine transport, it is thought that by supplementing with carnitine, you can increase that rate.
Unfortunately, the only time that a deficiency in carnitine exists is usually for people above the age of 704,5 or vegetarians.
If not in those two demographics, it does not help reduce fat, even if obese and exercising6,7.
Garcinia cambogia is a fruit that contains (-)-hydroxycitric acid (HCA), which is the ingredient that hydroxycut was initially named after (if you can remember that supplement). In rats, it decreases appetite and also inhibits fat synthesis from carbohydrates.
Unfortunately, rats are far far more efficient at converting carbohydrates into fats (de novo lipogenesis)8, and the decreased appetite does not work in humans9,10.
Just like CLA, it was promising in animal studies, but was ineffective in humans.
At least the above had some semblance of logic or evidence. There is literally no evidence at all that raspberry ketone work!
There was one study done, and it was in a petri-dish. Even then, all it did was enhance adrenaline signalling at a dosage 1000x the normal dosage11! Considering what we know about absorption and that most raspberry ketones doses are around 200mg, it will never get enough to your fat cells.
There was another study done on rats, and it noted slight weight loss at a dosage of 350mg/kg12. For a 75 kg person, that means 26grams!
Lastly, the one study that is cited as “proof” that raspberry ketone work had only two groups – one that used placebo, and one that ingested raspberry ketones alongside caffeine, capsaicin, synephrine, ginger, and garlic (ie. a fat burner, fat burner, fat burner, and two things that might augment fat burners)13. It is quite telling that they did not compare RK directly with the placebo.
Irvingia gabonensis, also known as African mango, is a plant whose oil is said to burn fat and suppress appetite.
The only “evidence” for it was paid for by its producer14,15,16, and even then, was at dosages that are not practical (just like raspberry ketones). The single independent study17 was highly critical of that research, citing many issues and concerns. Most importantly, there was absolutely no reason gleaned as to why it would even work.
And there you have it, 5 popular fat burners that are heavily advertised on TV that we now know …just don’t work.
I’m not a guy that is huge on supplements but I have to admit that some of them actually do a great job on your body when it comes to fat loss, building muscle and overall health. The list of good ones are just too broad for a blog post like this.
If you want to know more about supplements that actually work for your body and also discover others that are just marketing BS hype, I highly recommend checking out their Supplement-Goals Reference Guide,
This is the most comprehensive guide I have ever seen on supplements and it has been thoroughly researched to ensure you are getting the absolute truth when it comes to choosing the right supplements for your physique goals.
1. Pfeuffer M, et al. CLA does not impair endothelial function and decreases body weight as compared with safflower oil in overweight and obese male subjects. J Am Coll Nutr. (2011)
2. Gaullier JM, et al. Supplementation with conjugated linoleic acid for 24 months is well tolerated by and reduces body fat mass in healthy, overweight humans. J Nutr. (2005)
Wanders AJ, et al. Effect of a high intake of conjugated linoleic acid on lipoprotein levels in healthy human subjects. PLoS One. (2010)
3. Pistone G, et al. Levocarnitine administration in elderly subjects with rapid muscle fatigue: effect on body composition, lipid profile and fatigue. Drugs Aging. (2003)
4. Malaguarnera M, et al. L-Carnitine treatment reduces severity of physical and mental fatigue and increases cognitive functions in centenarians: a randomized and controlled clinical trial. Am J Clin Nutr. (2007)
5. Villani RG, et al. L-Carnitine supplementation combined with aerobic training does not promote weight loss in moderately obese women. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. (2000)
6. Broad EM, Maughan RJ, Galloway S DR. Effects of exercise intensity and altered substrate availability on cardiovascular and metabolic responses to exercise after oral carnitine supplementation in athletes. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. (2011)
Hellerstein MK. De novo lipogenesis in humans: metabolic and regulatory aspects. Eur J Clin Nutr. (1999)
Heymsfield SB, et al. Garcinia cambogia (hydroxycitric acid) as a potential antiobesity agent: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA. (1998)
7. Kim JE, et al. Does Glycine max leaves or Garcinia Cambogia promote weight-loss or lower plasma cholesterol in overweight individuals: a randomized control trial. Nutr J. (2011)
8. Morimoto C, et al. Anti-obese action of raspberry ketone. Life Sci. (2005)
9. Gaunt IF, et al. Acute and short-term toxicity of p-hydroxybenzyl acetone in rats. Food Cosmet Toxicol. (1970)
10. Lopez HL, et al. Eight weeks of supplementation with a multi-ingredient weight loss product enhances body composition, reduces hip and waist girth, and increases energy levels in overweight men and women. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. (2013)
11. Oben JE, et al. The use of a Cissus quadrangularis/Irvingia gabonensis combination in the management of weight loss: a double-blind placebo-controlled study. Lipids Health Dis. (2008)
12. Ngondi JL, et al. IGOB131, a novel seed extract of the West African plant Irvingia gabonensis, significantly reduces body weight and improves metabolic parameters in overweight humans in a randomized double-blind placebo controlled investigation. Lipids Health Dis. (2009)
13. Ngondi JL, Oben JE, Minka SR. The effect of Irvingia gabonensis seeds on body weight and blood lipids of obese subjects in Cameroon. Lipids Health Dis. (2005)
14. Onakpoya I, et al. The efficacy of Irvingia gabonensis supplementation in the management of overweight and obesity: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. J Diet Suppl. (2013)
Have you ever hit a fat loss plateau?
I remember hitting plateaus in the past and getting extremely frustrated. It made me wish there was a way to consistently make progress with my fat loss results. But like most people, I believed that continuous fat loss wasn’t possible. After all, everyone hits plateaus, right?
You can get continuous fat loss results…but there’s a common mistake you have to avoid. If you don’t avoid the mistake you’ll learn about a little later in this article, your fat loss will stall and you’ll hit a plateau.
I got to thinking about this after a conversation I had with my friend Tyler. He told me about his unique fix to the issue of busting through plateaus and ensuring consistent fat loss.
Tyler is a functional training and fat loss expert who has studied with and gathered information from some very diverse experts in the world. He’s learned from professional strongmen (the circus kind), a Russian special forces instructor, a Cirque Du Soleil acrobat, and more!
His training gives Tyler a very unique perspective to conquering fat loss plateaus. In fact, our conversation was so interesting that I asked Tyler to send over an article about what he calls the #1 mistake of the fitness industry.
Give this article a quick read to discover what the mistake is and how to fix it…
Avoid This Fat Loss Mistakes
By Tyler Bramlett, Functional Training Expert, USAW Sports Performance Coach
I remember years ago when I hit my first fat loss plateau…
I thought I was doing everything right. I consistently ate a clean diet and exercised at least 3 days a week. But, my fat loss results stalled no matter what I tried. I didn’t know it then, but I was making a huge mistake.
It’s the same mistake that 99.99% of people make when they face a fat loss plateau.
What is this critical mistake that stopped me and is probably stalling your fat loss too?
The mistake that 9,999 people out of 10,000 make:
They Focus On Sets, Reps, And Resistance While Ignoring Progressive Movement!
Ask yourself this question… How many workout programs use sets, reps, and resistance as the main focus of their workouts? If you think about it objectively, every exercise program out there focuses on getting results through adding sets, reps, and resistance.
While there’s nothing wrong with this approach, it eventually results in plateaus. So, if you want continued fat loss, you MUST learn how to use progressive movement technology to your advantage. Once you do, your workouts and your fat loss results will never be the same again.
Knowing about something and using it are two different things. Therefore, the rest of this article will be dedicated to teaching you the basic principles of progressive movement technology and how you can use them to bust through plateaus for non-stop fat loss results.
Before you learn how to use progressive movement, let’s go over a few basics of what it is and why it works to keep you burning fat.
Progressive movement is easy to understand when you think about a real life example. Who would have a better looking body?
- A person who can do rapid fire jumping lunges, clap pushups, and explosive pullups
- A person who can only do basic bodyweight squats, kneeling pushups, and light dumbbell rows
Obviously the first person’s body will look better, right?
That’s because of this simple principle… Form Follows Function
The greater your body functions (i.e. movement complexity) the better it will look—the better it has to look!
Your body will unavoidably change if you learn the EXACT path from exercises like basic squats to rapid jump lunges or even one-legged jump squats. Progression is the real secret to constant improvement, unlimited fat loss, and a sculpted body! You can learn how to do it (regardless of your starting point) and the amazing results can be yours!
How do you use progressive movement technology in your workouts?
It’s simple. All you have to do is start with the basic foundational exercises of the human body—things like squats, deadlifts, presses, pulls, pushes, rows, and core stability—and create a series of more difficult variations for each of the exercises.
Once you master the basic exercise, in order for you to get consistent results you MUST change the exercise to the next one up the progression and focus on mastering it. (However, you also need to start with the basics. Jumping in at a level you’re not ready for is a recipe for injury and burnout…the secret is in progression.)
Here are examples for the upper body and lower body. Once you can do 3 sets of 10 reps on each (A) exercise, simply move on to the next variation (B, C, etc.) until you can again do 3 sets of 10 reps of the new exercise..
UPPER BODY EXAMPLE:
(A) Kneeling Pushups —–> (B) Regular Pushups —–> (C) Clap Pushups
You can even break it down to more progressive movement steps like in the lower body example below…
LOWER BODY EXAMPLE:
(A) Bodyweight Squats —–> (B) Jump Squats —–> (C) One-Legged Assisted Squats —–> (D) One-Legged Assisted Jump Squats
You can create movement progressions for every single common exercise. All you have to do is start with a basic exercise like the bodyweight squat, and then create a series of steps that make the movement more difficult and more explosive.
The basic goal behind using progressive movements in your workouts is to constantly challenge yourself to make exercises harder—as the exercises and workouts change and become more difficult, your body will unavoidably change too. Say goodbye to fat loss plateaus and hello to the body you’ve always wanted!
Awesome article Tyler!
This article relates back to my own philosophy of fat loss which is: Fat Loss = “IN”effciency
If your body is too ”efficient” at doing a certain exercise or workout, then the inevitable result is minimal fat burn at best and a weak effect on your metabolism.
NOTE: This is the very same reason why if you go to the same fitness class in your local gym you’ll find the same people in that class without any damn changes to their bodies.
The more INefficient you can make your body work at doing any exercise or workout the more demand you’ll place on it to burn more fat work itself back to get efficient again.
As you can see, Tyler is the real deal and I know for a fact that he has helped over 500 people transform their bodies using his progressive movement techniques. His little known approach is currently only found in the most advanced training facilities and has yet to hit the mainstream …until now.
And the progressive movement techniques Tyler outlined above are just a glimpse into what Tyler’s created with his new Progressive Fat Loss System called CT-50.
He’s taken all of the knowledge he learned from his unique and interesting mentors and tested them in his private training and transformation programs to design an easy to follow system that will make it IMPOSSIBLE for you body not to change.
The idea is simple… As the workouts and exercises change (i.e. through the use of progressive Movement technology) YOUR BODY CHANGES!