TCC The Science of Fat Loss Series Part 5.2 – What Have We Learned So Far?

Below is a summary of the main points we have learned on our journey so far. These are the things to keep in mind as we start tying this whole thing together.

What we have learned so far:

  • Fat cells are MAINLY regulated by hormones, not “calories”.
  • Fat cells are in a constant state of flux. This flux is regulated by enzymes. Hormones in turn regulate these enzymes.
  • The main regulator of your fat cell is insulin. The MAIN regulator. NOT THE ONLY regulator. Insulin signals fat storage and also inhibits fat breakdown.
  • The main antagonist to insulin for your fat cell is adrenalin (for the liver it is Glucagon)
  • The main substrate that influences insulin is carbohydrates.
  • Substrate availability also influences your fat cell flux both directly and indirectly. For example, glucose availability drives certain reactions inside your fat cells and glucose availability also influences insulin.
  • Fat cells are therefore under substrate AND hormonal control. Substrates availability can in turn affect SOME of these hormones but NOT ALL OF THEM.
  • The ideal storage environment is typified by what scientists call the “fed state”
  • The opposite to this is the “fasting state”. This is typical of a fat burning state but does not constitute the ideal fat burning state as far as recompositioning goes.
  • The other hormones involved in fat storage and fast loss will be explored in future posts. From this we will determine what is the ideal fat loss environment and how you can go about creating it.
  • ANY diet or weight loss plan you could ever go on in your entire life will work through regulating one or more of the hormonal, substrate and metabolic factors involved.

When people say “cutting calories always works”. This is not an incorrect statement. But what they fail to appreciate is that it’s not just the substrate availability that has been affected. By cutting calories you also inadvertently cut down the insulin response indirectly as well, which in turn also affects the fat cells. What they don’t tell you though is that it is widely accepted in the literature that cutting calories is actually an INEFFECTIVE means of treating obesity. This is widely accepted in the scientific community as numerous journals and textbooks make mention of it repeatedly. Obesity is a multifaceted issue and one that can’t be tackled with just simple calorie cutting.

The good news is: we can affect nearly ALL of these factors that affect the accumulation of body fat with some meaningful changes that are under your control. You will learn what all of these are very very soon.

Other helpful things we have learned (from these and other recent posts)

– After a fasting period (or a relative period of low carbohydrates) your liver will make its own glucose if it’s own stores are depleted.

– your liver will stay in this state of gluconeogenesis even after you ingest carbohydrates until it’s own stores fill back up. This “shunting” of ingested glucose ensures your muscles and your brain have “first dibs”

– fructose can only be processed by your liver. If you ingest fructose with glucose post workout, this will result in greater muscle glycogen replenishment as the liver will shunt the glucose to your periphery while trading care of the fructose.

– if you ingest whey protein with fast acting carbohydrates post workout there will be greater muscle protein synthesis and greater muscle glycogen replenishment than either one on their own.

– you can do this without affecting how fat is processed

In Part 6 we now FINALLY get in to juicy bits you have all being waiting for!!! The main hormones that influence Fat Loss!

Calories Don't CountBen Minos has Bachelor degrees in both Physiotherapy and Exercise Science (Human Movements). He has worked as a Personal Trainer for 20 years and a Physiotherapist for close to 15. Ben has authored a book on nutrition titled Calories Don’t Count, available through iBooksAmazon and most online retailers. He has also authored many articles for Ironman Bodybuilding Magazine and also co authored Australia’s first Kettlebell instructor certification course. He has competed in Natural Bodybuilding over a number of years, as well as prepared numerous clients for the stage.