Weight Loss: The Truth As We Know It
Weight loss, at its core, comes down to “calories in'' vs “calories out”. A calorie is a unit of energy. Our bodies need calories to function and we harvest calories from food in the form of sugars, fats and proteins. This is a rudimentary explanation, but when we take in more calories than we use to function, the leftover energy is stored as backup energy in the form of body fat.
Weight loss Basics:
We’ll be quick because we’re sure that you’re aware of these laws of weight loss.
- No added sugar (Honey and Fruit are great)
- Move your body (a lot)
- Decrease your alcohol consumption
- Get good sleep
- Figure out what you should be eating, and how much.
- Get the proper amount of protein (most of us are deficient)
- Take your goals seriously and find support. Losing extra weight is as important as it can get.
Get organized- Plan meals, plan shopping lists, invest time in organizing your fridge so it is a positive experience when you go in.
Common Weight Loss Myths:
Targeted fat burning. Doing crunches to burn belly fat is “Like using a bucket to empty one corner of the pool”. Fat tissue is stored, and burned, by your metabolic system. Your abs may be burning, but it’s not because the fat is cooking off your belly. Muscles can’t demand energy from the nearby fat. Your system will metabolize fat in-general and use it to supply energy downstream. Now, doing crunches will build the muscles in your stomach, so when you lose weight a nice six pack might appear. If that’s what you want, crunch away!
“It's all genetic”. Not totally. It’s definitely possible to be genetically predisposed to certain health issues and behaviors which cause a higher rate of fat storage. But, if it were all genetic, then it would be impossible to see an increase in number of obese people over time. If it’s all genetic, then a similar number of our ancestors would have been overweight, and the percentage of overweight individuals would not increase in the way we are seeing today.
“The older I get, the harder it is to lose weight”. Of course this is “true”. Anyone who’s aging can tell that things have gotten “different” over time. But this is more likely because of an increase in stress due to responsibilities, a lack of time to exercise, the use of alcohol, and some other pretty understandable things. What’s interesting is that it turns out aging does not impact your metabolism as rapidly as we thought. A study of 6,600 people from 29 different countries, ranging from one week old to 95 years, revealed that a person's metabolism slows by about 3 percent each year until their 20s, but then it levels off to a gradual .7% per year. The metabolism doesn’t seem to begin to slow more rapidly until after age 60. For a lot of us, this means our “glory days” might still be ahead of us, we just need to find the time to make them.
Again, the most likely cause for the difference in weight (fat tissue) between two individuals will always be dietary habits. Make sure to really get a good picture of your eating (and drinking) before chasing down the other possible causes.
The Dark Horse of Weight Loss:
The Gut. Not “the gut” that you're trying to lose, the gut that helps you lose.
Trying to burn fat while your gut biome is not healthy is like trying to tie your shoes without hands. If your gut microbiome is not rich and diverse, you cannot metabolize certain chemicals that are used to burn fat for energy. Without a rich and diverse gut microbiome, your entire system finds itself missing the incredibly important tools that it needs.
The Awkward Weight Loss Question:
“But why can I eat the same diet, and do the same workouts as a “skinny” person and still not lose weight?” Or, say you and your sibling grew up eating the same meals, you played outside together and ran around, you had the same bed-time and even played the same sports…but you’re overweight, and they’re not. What the heck is that all about?
If you’re honest, and totally rule out the possibility that you might be snacking, or drinking soda more than the other person, there are a few things that this difference could be caused by, and it’s not as simple as “they were born with a better metabolism”.
-Your gut biome may be less healthy than theirs. Perhaps this is because your sibling was naturally born while you were born through cesarean. Or, each of you were fed differently as infants (E.g. formula vs breast milk). Maybe you were sick as an infant and were given heavy doses of antibiotics while your sibling was not. Early life antibiotic use predisposes a person to obesity and other chronic diseases later in life due to the negative impact of antibiotics on the gut biome. You can use fermented foods and the plant-based meal replacement to begin cultivating a healthy gut biome that will help your system begin to use fuel more effectively.
-Poor sleep (causes poor glucose regulation and poor hormone regulation)
-Stress. Stress and anxiety can seriously increase the likelihood of weight gain.
Here’s where your genetics may play a part:
-Insulin resistance does not allow your body to efficiently use the glucose in your blood for energy. This disrupts how much subcutaneous can you store before it builds up and becomes dysfunctional and spills into visceral fat and then adipose tissue (the really stubborn stuff).
-Iron deficiency disrupts your ability to burn energy at a cellular level. This means that people who are Iron deficient may not be using as much energy (calories) as they think. In fact, iron supplementation has been proven to promote weight loss without any changes in diet and exercise.
Nonoptimal diet is the most likely cause for the difference in weight loss between individuals, so we suggest starting with giving your diet a housecleaning. Then, seek professional advice in order to learn more about your personal weight loss requirements and limitations.
How VADE helps Weight Loss
You will not lose weight just because you are taking-in more protein. However, studies have confirmed that higher protein intake increases metabolic rate and encourages calorie usage and fat burning. People who use whey protein have significantly lower blood levels of the hormone ghrelin than people eating carbohydrates. Ghrelin is a hormone that helps regulate food intake. The higher the concentration of ghrelin, the more hungry somebody feels. The lower the concentration of ghrelin, the fuller somebody feels. So, you eat less, or consume fewer calories, which allows your body to use the calories you have consumed rather than storing them as backup energy (fat).
An interesting study showed that individuals using whey supplements lost significantly more body fat and showed a greater preservation of lean muscle compared to subjects consuming a control beverage. Preserving lean muscle is important. Muscle burns more energy, even while resting. So, the more muscle you build, the more fat may be burned.
We made sure that our whey isolate products only included 90 calories and 1g of carbs per serving. We also didn’t add any sugar so that you can get all the benefits of a high quality protein without slowing down your progress.
Try VADE Nutrition's Whey Isolate Protein today!
So, you cut down on your calories, which is the foundation of weight loss- but are you accidentally cutting out other important nutrients? This is one of the primary struggles that people have while trying to lose weight. Losing out on these nutrients can slam the breaks on your weight loss progress.
One of the best weight loss methods is to replace one or two of your meals throughout the day with a nutrient dense, low calorie, meal replacement. We created our meal replacement with 26 Vitamins and Minerals, 16 G of vegan protein (from peas and brown rice), an organic greens blend, chicory root fiber, and 10 superfoods. This means you can get full meals-worth of nutrition while only taking in 140 calories.
The Plant-based meal replacement is also loaded with pre-biotics in order to provide your gut biome with the tools it needs to get itself in order. A healthy gut biome is understood to be one of, if not THE, most important factors in weight loss and overall health.
If exercise is a major contributing factor in fat burning, then pre-workout may need to make its way into your supplemental tool box. VADE’s pre-workout products are designed to help you work out harder, and longer- increasing your calorie burning sessions. The amino acids that we included in our recipes also put your muscle building functions into overdrive. Muscle uses more energy and brings your overall fat burning potential into the big leagues.
MCT stands for medium chain triglycerides, which are a type of fat that is more easily absorbed and used by the body for energy compared to other types of fats. Studies have suggested that MCT oil helps to increase metabolism and reduce appetite, which leads to weight loss.
The Hot Debate:
We can’t talk about fat and weight loss and not address the recent emergence of the heated debate; Linoleic Acid vs Saturated Fat.
We won’t get into the weeds here in this article; but if you’re feeling brave, go ahead and comb through the opinions that are zipping all over the internet right now. It’s fun (shakes head).
Basically it comes down to this; For years, the common understanding was that saturated fat, which we’ll call butter, causes obesity and increases the risk for heart disease. Starting in the early 1970’s, Americans cut butter out of their diets in-mass and we have been slow to bring it back. We began using vegetable oils which are high in linoleic acids. What’s interesting is, if you look at a graph of the increase in American obesity over the past 50-40 years, it directly correlates with the increase in the use of oils containing linoleic acids. Correlation is NOT causation, but it’s worth looking into. You can find recent studies that support the opinion that linoleic acids increase fat tissue, and you can find studies that support the exact opposite.
That’s All For Now:
Weight loss is a touchy subject. But we need to keep touching it.