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A Quintet of Quasi-Queer Quips to Quicken Your Quest to Quell Your Corpulence

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(Or, 5 Tips for Faster Fat Loss, If You Wanna Be Lame About it)

I’m sitting at the gym, stuck here on this gorgeous day, when I should be outside running with my shirt off past the local college women’s field hockey team.

Who started practice earlier this week.

(I heard.)

Anyway, since I can’t enjoy the weather, I’ll help you get hotter so you can enjoy it in my stead.

That in mind, I’ve put together a list of 5 simple tricks and tips you can use to increase your rate of fat loss. Check out mine—and then let me know your favorite strategies in the comments.

1. Skip Breakfast

Yes, I’m serious. Fasting until you’d normally eat lunch is one of the most powerful, foolproof, controversial, and totally effective methods to lose fat and improve your hormonal profile around – I even wrote a book about it.

Really quickly: Fasting past breakfast will:

  • Increase the secretion of growth hormone. This is connected to faster fat loss and a greater propensity for muscle gain.
  • Increase insulin sensitivity. The higher this is, the easier and more efficiently your body utilizes carbohydrates for energy, and the less likely you are to store carbs as fat.
  • Manipulate leptin. Leptin levels decrease when fasting, but you get a big boost the minute you start to eat again—but I’ll get to the benefits of leptin later in this post.

Before you start up with me, no, fasting won’t slow your metabolism. The idea that not eating will slow your metabolic rate is based of the fact the eating increases your metabolic rate; the increase occurs when you eat due to something called the Thermic Effect of Feeding (TEF). Basically, you expend energy to break digest, absorb, and utilize the food you eat. This part is true.

Here’s the part that’s not true: the suggestion more often you eat, the more often your metabolism will increase, therefore not eating often can lead to metabolic slowdown. For years, you’ve been told that eating 5-6 small meals per day helps you keep your metabolism elevated. Again, not true.

The fact is that TEF is determined by your total energy intake, not how often you eat. So, it doesn’t matter if you have 2 meals or 8, as long as you’re getting the same number of calories, the effect will be the same.

All of which is to say that skipping breakfast will help you burn fat and reduce your calories. If you’d like these benefits without cutting your calories, simply eat your day’s calories in the window from lunch to dinner.

2. Get More Sleep

I’m a big fan of sleep.

Why? It’s simple: lack of sleep is associated with:

  • More fat
  • More hunger
  • Lower LBM
  • Irritability
  • Higher stress
  • Earlier death

Not sure about you, but none of that sounds good to me. But what’s more is that there are hormonal implications as well. It’s been found that sleep less than 6 hours per night for as little as two weeks can lower testosterone levels by 10-15%. That’s insane—and it also means less muscle and more fat. On a similar, hormone-y note, deep, restful sleep releases plenty of our fat loss-friendly pal growth hormone, as well as lowering cortisol, which directly contributes to belly fat storage.

So, if you want to compromise sex drive, have trouble focusing, and die earlier, all while sabotaging your fitness efforts… by all means, keep thinking you’re “fine” with just 5 hours per night.

3. Brush Yo’ Teef

This is an interesting trick that I picked up in high school from a fellow wrestler—one who seemed to have a much easier time dieting down to make weight than anyone else. Here’s the skinny (I love puns, have you noticed?)

If you ever find yourself teetering on the edge of committing a dietary faux pas, grab your toothbrush and start scrubbing your chompers. There are a few reasons this works.

First, nothing kills a Krispy Kreme kraving like a mouth full of Peroxide. To make this more effective, get yourself a few tubes of the strongest, nastiest-tasting baking soda/peroxide/hydrochloric acid combination toothpaste you can get your hands on. Something else you can do is pick up a tooth-whitening product. In much the same vein, you can toss these on when you’re feeling a craving, and (aside from not being able to even speak, let alone eat for 30 minutes), you won’t want to eat anything. That stuff tastes terrible.

The second reason the teeth-brushing trick is effective stems from psychology. Like it or not, much like a bunch of salivating dogs, we have all been conditioned to some extent to have specific reactions to specific stimuli. In this case, assuming you have decent dental hygiene, you’ve grown up with the habit of brushing your teeth after you’ve eaten. Again: you do this after you’ve eaten—when you have been fed and are no longer hungry.

As a result of the fundamental tenets of Pavlovian conditioning, we have formed an association between brushing our teeth and feeling sated. By brushing your teeth in the face of a craving, you can often trick yourself into thinking that you’re not even hungry.

Of course, this has the added benefit of making your pearly whites even more pearly white. A pretty sweet bonus, considering that most people diet to look better, and nothing says, “I’m sooooo pretty” like a shining white smile.

4. Be a Diet Whore

(or, Learn How to Use “Cheating” to Your Advantage)

Cheating isn’t always bad. Just ask my ex-girlfriend (cue rimshot). Kidding, kidding.

Anyway, unless you’re like, super hardcore, you’re bound to give into a craving(s) and binge your ass off at some point during your quest for leanness. Don’t sweat it though, because if planned appropriately, cheating on your diet can make your dieting efforts a hell of a lot less psychologically taxing and can even accelerate your rate of fat loss.

Basically, there is a hormone called Leptin which regulates a lot of your metabolic processes. Leptin is known as the anti-starvation hormone—which means when you are not starving, you have a lot of it. When you eat less, Leptin levels drop.

Which probably doesn’t sound bad, until you realize the profound physiological effects this can have.

Essentially, when Leptin levels are high, your body burns fat faster. When they are low, your body is more inclined to hold onto fat.

In dieting terms, that means when you are eating too little, your Leptin levels drop, and you actually burn fat at a rate slower than when you are not on a calorie restricted diet.

Instead of falling victim to the trap of either settling for slowed fat loss, or constantly lowering calories, you have the option of “cheating” on your diet.

Kind of like how cheating on your boyfriend leads to accelerated loss of respect, cheating on your diet can lead to accelerated loss of fat.

Yes, that’s what I said.

Not the respect part, the fat loss part.

If planned well, a weekly binge fest can actually triple your rate of fat loss.

For more information on how to effectively incorporate “cheating” into your dietary schedule, check out CheatYourWayThin. Written by my good friend Joel Marion, CYWT is a diet based around using the manipulation of Leptin via cheating. (On your diet.)

5. Sync With Your Cycle

This one’s just for the ladies.

I often recommend overfeeding or cheating to many of my clients, several of whom are female. One thing I have begun to pick up on is that women are especially susceptible to cravings when they are at the apex of their menstrual cycle.

Which brings me to my point: a few years ago I came across an interesting bit of information in the form of a study that stated that cravings women get during their cycle are really not healthy to deny.

It seems these cravings are greatly influenced by the specific hormonal response the craved foods trigger. As an example, if you’re craving pretzels or pickles, chances are it isn’t the food that you’re craving, but rather the high sodium content. Of course, I’m not an endocrinologist, so please take what I say with a grain of salt (pun intended).

Denying yourself these cravings can possibly lead to a less than desirable hormonal environment, and makes you very cranky… which creates a less than desirable environment for those of us who have to be around you. (I can’t wait for the hate mail. I’m joking, ladies.)

To avoid both, if you’re someone who plans cheats and/or overfeeds, make the effort to schedule one when you know your cravings are going to be the worst. I cannot say exactly when during your cycle that will be—you know your body better than I do—but assuming you keep careful track of your menstruation, you should be able to get a general idea.

Make it easier on yourself, and have your cheat when you need it the most.

…besides, anyone bleeding from the genitals for five days is entitled to a little chocolate.

What are your favorite fat loss tips? Drop just 1 in the comment section and get the party started!

About the Author

John Romaniello is a level 70 orc wizard who spends his days lifting heavy shit and his nights fighting crime. When not doing that, he serves as the Chief Bro King of the Roman Empire and Executive Editor here on RFS. You can read his articles here, and rants on Facebook.

  • Jason

    My Favorite tip is more of a montra that I developed when I dropped from around 280 to 160 in 9 months (I'm not saying this was healthy by any means):

    “Will I care that I ate this cake in a month, a week, a day? How much will I care that I'm fat in a month, a week, a day?”

    If you can run that through your head and say well I'll still love that piece of cake I ate yesterday more than the fact that I'm fat, well then you sir don't care anymore. I'm not sure if that's good or bad though.

    Since then I've learned about cheat days and all sorts of stuff (mostly from you Roman, thanks!!!).

  • Lydua

    Hi – I read your blogs, and do really like and get everything that you say. It all sounds so simple, but my problem is this – how do I get started – like where do I start – it is all overwhelming. I need to lose 15lbs or so. I am on my feet all day at work – standing for long periods of time and I am not someone who has “worked out before”. I have 4 kids and tons of after work running around with them to do. I want to – really really want to lose the weight, but I am truly confused about where to start. It is mostly midsection weight. Please guide me – much appreciated!!!

  • Excellent! Glad to hear you're enjoying the blog! Keep checking back and let me know how I can help you!

  • mechanomoll

    No fat loss tips here, I'm afraid! I went from 265 to 200 by moving continent, although it was more likely the fact that the food here doesn't have preservatives in it the way food in the USofA does. On the other hand, I also stopped moving (house, that is). I liked your comments about cheating monthly thereby not being a social pariah at “that time of the month”. Personally, I enjoy indulging in a box of Pringles, a Snickers and a regular regimen of B12. The first two stem the cravings, and the last stems the other reason women are such bitches once a month – CRAMPS!

    I will continue reading your blog. I am enjoying it.

  • Tony Roe

    I just brushed my teeth, and it helped. Thank you.

    One of my favorite “tips” is probably just something everyone does. Think about how completely shitty you'll feel after you've even the food (outside of a planned cheat or something of the sort, of course). Is it worth it? Won't you feel wayyyyyyyy better about yourself by not caving in? Yes, yes you will.

  • Slimming world encourages participants to include physical activity in their daily routine through the “body magic” programme. The plan starts by introducing physical activity gently like walking two flight steps than doing a long leg lift and finding forms of activity which can be done in daily living. A member can get a gold, silver, bronze and platinum award by participating in Body Magic. One can achieve a platinum award when a member exercises five times a week, 30 minutes at a time. But we have different so called pride. Just make sure you make your own diet plan.

  • Edwin de Dios

    “Kind of like how cheating on your boyfriend leads to accelerated loss of respect, cheating on your diet can lead to accelerated loss of fat.”

    dude, awesome. hahaha

  • Originally Posted By Jacintahehehe that last line will definetily get the mail a coming!! hehe makes perfect sence though…

    also wanted to ask if I could use the Prograde Workout shake as a meal replacement during the day as well as before/after my morning workout? thanks! :)

    I would recommend against this. Mainly because Workout is pretty highly glycemic, and using it as a meal replacement would have you insulin spiking and crashing a few times a day.

    Workout is awesome as a pre/post workout shake, but for a general meal replacement, I'd say go with Lean (also by ProGrade).

    If price is an issue, and you just want to use a single supplement, i would say you're going to run into less issues using a meal replacement after your workout, than using a post workout shake as a meal replacement.

    The simpler option is to just get a decent whey shake. You can use it for both with moderate success.

    I would say as a meal replacement, if you are using a whey shake just make sure you get in fiber and nutrients elsewhere during the day.

    Using whey post-workout, just make sure you have a fast digesting carb source to get the insulin up.

  • Originally Posted By doctorpatHi John,

    First time visitor to your site, (Joel Marion mentioned you in his newsletter) and I've got a couple of comments on this post.

    1. The toothbrushing thing totally works. I heard about this a few months ago and it rocks.

    2. Traditional chinese medicine has a whole lot of stuff about what women should and should not eat at certain times of the month. Even to what sort of tea they should drink. When my chinese wife first told me about this I thought it was rubbish, but there does seem to be a lot to it. For example, the chinese women I know find PMS in Australia to be much milder than in China. Probably due to diet.

    Hi and welcome to the site =) Glad you're enjoying it.

    In terms of the foods and teas to eat/drink during a period, do you have any tips? Or know of anywhere we could find more information? I think readers would love to know more.

    -Roman

  • Jacinta

    hehehe that last line will definetily get the mail a coming!! hehe makes perfect sence though…

    also wanted to ask if I could use the Prograde Workout shake as a meal replacement during the day as well as before/after my morning workout? thanks! :)

  • doctorpat

    Hi John,

    First time visitor to your site, (Joel Marion mentioned you in his newsletter) and I've got a couple of comments on this post.

    1. The toothbrushing thing totally works. I heard about this a few months ago and it rocks.

    2. Traditional chinese medicine has a whole lot of stuff about what women should and should not eat at certain times of the month. Even to what sort of tea they should drink. When my chinese wife first told me about this I thought it was rubbish, but there does seem to be a lot to it. For example, the chinese women I know find PMS in Australia to be much milder than in China. Probably due to diet.

  • Jacinta

    Hey John…you are a crack up! I love your puns and your humerous writing skill :) Glad that Joel flicked me a link- subscribed and loving it. Look forward to some more great tips…(dot.dot.dot HAHA) J

  • Ralph

    Well after about a ten year layoff Ive finally decided to get off of my skinny fat ass and get myself into shape. The plan is to get my bodyfat levels into the single digits. I have spent more time reading about diet/nutrition and exercise then actually applying that knowledge. (can you say information overload /paralysis by analysis? )

    The truth is that I have crap genetics but I'm not using that as an excuse. I have your typical skinny fat look… you know the one where you look skinny/ok in clothes but look like chewed up bubble gum when you take your shirt off lol. Today is day one of my journey and I have decided to use a combination of eat stop eat and Joel's Cheat to loose. I'm 6ft 1' and about 19% bodyfat and I weigh 195lbs . I started the cheat day yesterday and today I'm fasting and I will be working out tonight. Wish me luck! By the way, any tips would be greatly appreciated. This site is awesome.

    Ralph

  • If I recall, at the time that photo was taken, I did a 9 site caliper reading and got about 5%, possibly a little less. I have been leaner and not photographed as well – the fact that the picture came out as it did is really a credit to the photographer.

    Normally, I try to stay within striking distance of photo-ready shape; that is, generally I try not to let my bodyfat get above 8%, even when gaining muscle. Currently, I'm at about 6%.

    Regarding your meal – that sounds pretty much perfect. Generally I don't have nuts with my breakfast, but mostly because I snack on them throughout the day. I normally recommend trying to include a piece of fruit in one of your first two meals.

    Concerning cheating strategies, I really recommend looking into it. Joel's diet is particularly effective, and I've used it for years. In fact, the CheatYourWayThin program is the diet I used to prepare for the photos in the header. I love the diet and think just about anyone can benefit.

    Finally, depending on how many meals you eat and how late your last one is in relation to bedtime, I would say try to avoid carbs for your last two meals – but as it is you're off to a great start.

  • Per

    Speaking of fatloss, may I ask, in the pictures above (in the page header the one where you are covering your eyes with the hand) what are/were your BF %? Just as a reference of what to aim for, hehe.

    Concerning breakfast I was initially calculating the calories trying to make it my ideal first meal and it matched quite well. Lately (but before reading this particular post), since I've heard that most of the carbs and cals should be consumed during breakfast I tend to just throw in whatever I've come to know is healthy.

    For instance, 1 scoop of protein powder, 7 (or so) almonds, 7 (or so) hazelnuts, a tablespoon (or so, well, remainder of measurements will be “or so”) of whole flax seeds, half a deciliter of oats, some cinamon, a little cacao, all mixed together with active low fat yoghurt (acidophilus variant) and some blueberries or a sliced banana. Sometimes I run all of it (minus the nuts) in the blender and have it as a smoothie instead.

    Weekends the same thing but usually with the addition of a slice of crisp bread (no wheat, mainly rye, oats etc) with cottage cheese and an egg or two.

    Had the latter today at 10AM after some intervall training before breakfast and it kept me full until 3PM.

    Concerning the cheating-part, that's what I've heard from many sources and is since the start of the year a part of my half-deliberate strategy to get a six pack.

    Concerning other, self used strategies, I have started not eating any carbs with my last meal but just protein and fat. Hopefully this also gives an even faster utilization of fat reserves when doing cardio the day after in the morning before breakfast.

  • Hey Chris,

    Thanks for reading, and thanks for the kind words. Hopefully some more of my writing will making it overseas. Keep reading and commenting, I love the feedback. Thanks again.

  • hey john, so happy to found your website! your blogs are great! you just made me laugh so much cause you are telling the truth and get so direct in your writing. people should better listen what you're saying! i'm a personaltrainer here in europe and will come back to your page and get some tipps as well.. wishing you always lots of success in career as well as in life! Greatings from austria, chris

  • Well, I'm headed to Mexico on Friday, but I plan to do a blog post or two from South of the Border.

    Other than that, I have one coming that I think you'll get a kick out off. And of course I have some Q&A's waiting, and always looking for guest bloggers. Stayed tuned =)

  • You know John, I've been waiting a while to comment to this post so I could write something quick and witty. But, I don't know if I could cap your amazingly awesome alliteration skills. So this is all I came up with.

    What's next?

  • Ralph

    Originally Posted By John RomanielloThanks! Keep checking back, have some really killer stuff planned for the next month. If you like what we've got so far, you'll love what's to come.

    You are very welcome and I'll definitely keep checking in!! I'm really looking forward to what's to come!!

    Hope all is well!

    ~R~

  • Thanks! Keep checking back, have some really killer stuff planned for the next month. If you like what we've got so far, you'll love what's to come.

  • Ralph

    Awesome stuff!!

  • @Louise – I have been having problems with the rating all night. It looks like it's a small problem between the plugin and my interface. I should have it resolved slightly.

    In terms of breakfast, what if you had maybe 2-3 breakfasts that you rotated through daily?

    I actually have seasonsal breakfasts. That is, I find myself eating the same thing every day during the summer, and then something different every day during the winter, etc, mainly because of scheduling. But there is also variety and temperature.

    In the winter, I normally have a bowl of oats or grits, mixed with 2 scoops of chocolate protein powder. If you use on that tastes good (Like LEAN) it mixes great with just fork and tastes great. Warms you right up and keeps you full.

    Spring and summer I like to have a small shake mixed with ice water, then some greek yogurt and fresh berries. Although I also tend to keep a dozen hardboild eggs in the fidge at any given time, so sometimes I'll snack on them as well.

    During the fall I tend make eggs every morning. Not sure why. I think it's because I still get that 'back to school' feeling and I just love a good omellete.

    I'll post that recipe later in the month =)

    I do recommend trying to make breakfast the largest meal, though. Try it for about 2 weeks and I promise you won't go back. You just stay fuller longer and snack less all day. Give a shot, I'd really love to see your results. And that's coming from someone who dirnks at least a FULL liter of water with breakfast.

    As always, thanks for the kind words, and we'll try to get the rating system fixed asap.

    -Roman

  • Louise

    Just forget about the easy access – (Sometimes I'm just a bit too blond, happens too often tho- I swear!!)

    Found the previous email and went staight to your site……………. (tsk tsk)

  • Louise

    I'm clicking, I'm clicking…… I AM clicking – No, your star rating and your thumb(s) are not working. (and I was even trying to give you a good score;-)

    So try again. Another thing that would be really good, is a one -click access from the E-mail – if you know what I mean… So I don't have to copy and paste to get to your website, it just automatically pops up in a new window.(I know I'm lazy, but you did ask)

    About article: Thank you for allowing us (Women) Chocolate, I highly appreciate that:-D (- the trouble is sticking to a little!!!!!!!)

    Sticking to the same breakfast though I would find boring, I do love my breakfast – wouldn't go without it, but after a few weeks of porridge (and I also love my porridge) I need a bit of TOAST…… just a day or too with a bit of cheese,hmmm. Oats, milk and raisins aint bad either.. but not to sure about making it the biggest meal, as I usually have half a liter of water before I get to breakfast – there just isn't room!!

    I think that's enough for now;-)

  • @Taslim Ladha –

    Tas – of course I remember you! My memory has not yet grown faint in my old age.

    Firstly, thank you for the kind words =) I appreciate the support.

    As to the post. Obviously you're correct when you say most people aren't consuming anywhere near the number of Calories that I am. But for athletic people I think the ratios are probably the same even if the overall quantity is dfferent.

    I actually gave two different methods. The first – the one I personally follow, is to have your breakfast be 50 percent more Calorically dense than all of your other meals.

    So, If you eat roughly 1800 Calories per day, and you have 6 small meals per day, I would say most people could easily structure their eating to allow for a breakfast consisting of 525 Calories and each subsequent meals to be about 275 Calories.

    I am basing this more on anectdotal evidence and firsthand experience with myself and my clients.

    The second, which is based on a more recent study (2008 I believe) calls for eating half of you total daily Calories for breakfast.

    So using the same 1800 Calorie diet, 900 calories for breakfast and each of the 5 remaining meals being about 180 Calories each. I am going to have to agree with you and say that–for most people–this seems like a generally excessive way to go.

    Although the study seems sound and I don't think the method is flawed, I personally wouldn't recommend it across the board.

    Having said that, the study was conducted using people who were not athletic/training/active etc so it really wouldn't be applicable to most people inthe fitness field.

    I don't have the actual PubMed abstract handy, but here is a bit more about the study, out of interest:

    “”””In this study, the researchers demonstrate that long-term effectiveness of the diet depends on the ability of the diet to provide satiety and a sense of fullness that would in turn bring down the craving for carbohydrates. In this study, the researchers recruited a total of 94 obese individuals with metabolic syndrome aged 31.6 years [ or -] 7 yrs, with a mean BMI of 33.8 kg/[m.sup.2] [ or -] 4 kg/[m.sup.2] of which 46 physically inactive women were grouped to consume a very low carb diet and 48 individuals were grouped together and recommended to adhere to a new diet called the 'big breakfast (BB) diet', where the diet recommended for lunch and dinner is low carb, but the breakfast consists of a high carb diet with proteins. The study was conducted for a period of eight months. The diets recommended to both the groups were low in fat and total calories.

    Women on a low carb diet (LCH) consumed food that is 1085 calories (17 grams carbohydrate, 51 grams protein and 78 grams fat). In this diet plan, breakfast was the smallest meal that contributed 290 calories. In the BB diet women consumed 1240 calories (97 grams carbohydrates, 93 grams protein, and 46 grams fat a day). In this diet plan, breakfast was the largest meal that contributed 610 calories. Jakubowicz says, “In the study we compared the effects of both the diets on (a) outcome of weight loss; (b) changes in appetite; (c) changes in carb-craving scores; and (d) changes in the markers of brain serotonin and satiety.” The first 4 months of the study aimed at weight loss and the last 4 months on weight maintenance.

    The results show that the weight loss in the LCH group was 12.6 kg [ or -] 2 kg, and the BB diet group showed a weight loss of 10.6 kg [ or -] 3 kg. In the first four months of the study there was no significant difference observed in both the groups. At the end of 8 months, the LCH group women regained an average of 8.2 kg and the BB diet group women lost another 7.5 kg.

    Jakubowicz comments on the results of the study: “We found that after the 'big breakfast diet' breakfast, the hunger and prospective food consumption were significantly diminished, while the fullness and satiety were significantly enhanced, when compared to the LCH breakfast. Fullness after the breakfast was also significantly enhanced for the BB group. Moreover, the fullness after lunch and throughout the rest of the day was remarkably increased after the BB diet breakfast, compared to that of LCH group. Alertness was also significantly increased in those patients tested who were on the BB diet”. She also adds: “Craving for sweets was remarkably increased in the LCH group, while it was ameliorated with the BB diet group. Craving for fast food declined as well with the BB diet.” To finally conclude consuming a diet consisting of a high carbohydrate and protein breakfast facilitates weight loss by reducing hunger and reducing carbohydrate craving. Effective weight loss strategies for obese individuals should focus on controlling appetite and carbohydrate craving.

    Details: Daniela Jakubowicz, MD, Clinical Professor of Virginia Commonwealth University, Hospital de Clinicas Caracas. “”””

    Aaaanyway I probably will not be consuming a 1500 Calorie breakfast anytime soon, but the research looked like something you all might be interested in.

    As I said earlier, I think the first method is a bit more user friendly.

    What are your thoughts on that?

  • Taslim Ladha

    Wow John!! I am definitely impressed with everything that you have accomplished. WAY TO GO!!! I agree with everything you have stated, except for consuming about 50% of your caloric intake in the morning. Yes breakfast within an hour of waking up is crucial. I would love to read the studies that you have found. The average person isn't consuming 3300 calories a day. Most people consume approx 2000 ( lets say for argument sake… women even less) if you are consuming 40% – 50% of your calories for breakfast 800-1000 calories and that leaves you nothing to feed your metabolism for the rest of the day. Energy is being used all day…I might be able to come to terms with 50% for someone like you or a athlete but for the average person who has a 9-5 job I couldn't imagine that being beneficial…let alone make them fall asleep at their desks.

    Good luck John!!!

    Not sure if you remember me…lol