We’re sure that you’ve noticed how some of the weight loss articles out there these days are crossing the line between logical reasoning and wishful thinking. And the main reason behind this the dramatic exaggeration of scientific facts – more often than not, research findings get blown out of proportion and end up transformed into magical weight loss tips that don’t resemble the original information anymore.
Naturally, this cyclical creation of myths leads only to frustration and despair in the people who are willing to try anything for the purpose of shedding their extra pounds. In the hope of breaking the spell, we’d like to present you with five naked science-based facts about the way your body loses weight that could help you accelerate your weight loss on a sustainable way.
1. Calcium and Vitamin D can speed up abdominal fat loss
Unlike the fat that accumulates on the butt, arms and thighs, abdominal fat can be dangerous to your health. Multiple studies have shown that regardless of your overall, weight, having a big amount of belly fat increases your risk of cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that supplementing a reduced-calorie diet with calcium and vitamin D can help you lose more abdominal fat, compared to following the diet without the supplements.
2. Exercise increases brown fat
Brown fat is a dark-colored adipose tissue with many blood vessels and it’s involved in the rapid production of heat. Increasing the amount of brown body fat enhances the body’s natural energy expenditure, burning up to five times more calories than other types of body fat and can even help fight obesity and diabetes.
A study from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute found that besides promoting fat breakdown, exercise stimulates the muscles to use it for the production of a hormone called PGC-1alpha, which converts white abdominal fat into brown fat, thereby triggering greater fat loss and enhancing overall health. That being said, this study also showed that heavy and high intensity exercise leads to more PGC-1alpha production than less intense variants.
3. A high-protein, low-carb diet works best for weight loss
Plenty of studies support the notion that reduced calorie, high-protein diets are the best choice for fast and efficient weight loss. Protein acts as an appetite suppressant, while reducing the carb intake stimulates ketone production which fights hunger even further. In addition to losing weight faster, people in general feel less hungry when consuming a high-protein, low-carb diet.
However, this approach to dieting doesn’t work well for bodybuilders because it inhibits the production of growth hormone and essentially slows down muscle growth.
4. Include a few low-carb days per week for sustainable weight loss
The previous assertion we’ve made about the low-calorie, high-protein diet will work optimally during the first six months of a weight loss program. However, after that period, progress could stall and people usually have a hard time restricting their carb intake in the long term and that’s where the mixed diet comes in hand.
One British study found that after the initial period of significant weight loss, opting for low-carb meals on two days every week will lead to a greater weight loss than a constant high-protein, low-carb diet. So in order to keep on melting body fat at an optimal rate, bring back the carbs on most days of the week, but choose a few days when the carb intake will be restricted.
5. Blocking myostatin helps eliminate excess fat
Myosttin is a protein that is produced mainly in skeletal muscle and with which muscle cells inhibit their own growth. Blocking myostatin has no significant side effects, but offers great benefits in terms of muscle building and shedding fat. Bodybuilders who use myostatin blockers experience a dramatic increase in muscle mass in response to weight training and reduced levels of body fat, mainly because of an increased fat breakdown and an increased activity of the brown body fat, according to a study from Singapore.
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In addition, researchers at the American Diabetes and Obesity Center of Excellence found that blocking myostatin raises the body’s sensitivity to leptin, the satiety hormone, which helps curb hunger more efficiently in terms of a reduced-calorie diet.