What does it take to turn around somebody who is significantly over weight? A lot is the answer, there are a myriad of issues we have to deal with here to help people like this shed body fat. There are many physiological and psychological considerations at large here; if we can tackle them the right way then great things can be done.
Purely for examples sake, let’s take a case study -
. 34 years old
. 60lbs over weight
. Sedentary lifestyle
. Eats when he can
. Snacks every day on convenient sugar based snacks
. Often goes hours without food
. Over half of his diet consists of carbs
. Works long hours
This has all the classical makings of a recipe for insulin resistance, low immune function, digestive issues, stress issues which all ultimately lead to fat gain and low morale. Every time this man reaches breaking point he will eat comfort foods, the pain is eased for a short period of time before the cycle then repeats itself. The brutal truth is that this guy is going to have to make a great effort to break the cycle, largely due to physiological mechanisms which have developed due to his lifestyle over such a long period of time.
These issues include –
. Insulin resistance which means that we now need to eliminate carbohydrates initially (bar green veg) to help turn this around. Typically we will look to reintroduce them in 4-5 weeks after resistance sessions and work from there. A higher fat and protein diet will be the best way forward. This means he will have to deal with not snacking on the usual convenient foods he is accustomed to.
. False hunger could very well play a huge part in this guy’s day to day life. Every time he smells food his insulin response (only at a basal rate) will lead to a bought of hunger. What’s more if he has digestive problems where he potentially suffers with leaky gut syndrome then he could even have parasitic issues which feed off sugar. As a result they send signals to the brain for sugary foods.
. It is highly likely he relies heavily on caffeine as well which means his adrenal gland and thyroid will probably be down-regulated, forcing his metabolism down.
. Due to high body fat levels, diet and environment his testosterone levels are likely to be low due to the fact the aromatase enzyme which lives in fat cells has converted it into estrogen creating common stubborn fat characteristics associated with this such as ‘’man boobs.’’
This really is quite a puzzle to solve. Having said that due to the all of the factors being of an extreme nature the remedy is actually relatively simple in this man’s case, at least for the next 2-3 months.
These are –
. Eat a diet from single ingredient foods only. Meat, fish, nuts, organic eggs, green vegetables and the likes of. Portion control isn’t a massive issue at present, the key is to switch your calorie source to quality foods and avoid the ones which have causes this mess. In doing so we give the pancreas a rest which means we can eventually improve insulin sensitivity (carb tolerance) to some degree at least. We can also support hormone health, promoting testosterone production and estrogen regulation for starters.
. Drink more water, this is the fastest way most people can speed their metabolism up.
. Get this man moving. Fast walking a handful of times a week and lifting some weight 3 times a week would be ideal. The post lifting window also presents an ideal opportunity to reintroduce carbs when appropriate in small quantities (4-5 week’s time).
. Basic supplementation including Omega 3s, ZMA and a greens drink will be a great addition to the new plan to further address the imbalance in testosterone and estrogen.
People in this scenario have a lot of issues to deal with on a day to day basis where fat loss is concerned. Many physiological issues outlined above lead to psychological problems which make making the relevant changes a big challenge. The good news is the start is the hardest part and once you get the first 4-5 weeks under your belt the size of it will inevitably be down!