pizza

Overcoming a fat loss plateau #1: Leptin

Overcoming a fat loss plateau #1: Leptin

Let me put you in a nostalgic scenario: You wake up in the morning from a sweet slumber, you dreamt  that you had a harem of girls (or for you ladies, guys), flock toward you on the beach amazed by that body of yours. Your sexiness leaves the captive audience so breathless there's paramedics on stand-by and the mere sight of your stomach brings world peace.

funnybeach

To all the sexy ladies out there at the beach, please be careful of what you wear. This guy was a friend of a friend of a friend that I knew. He saw someone so sexy that he frothed in the mouth, had nose bleeds, his body contorted, had a heart attack, ejaculated and finally, his head fell off. This is a phenomenon called hornissimus headido mortis. It takes the lives of 40% of males every summer when in contact with a beauty like you and is a serious issue.

Refreshed and invigorated, you know that today is going to be one step forward toward your goals. You've been keeping track of your food, you've been training consistently, and you've prayed to all the 100 gods out there including the mythical ones to bestow you on your gainzzzzzz. You know what today is!

WEIGH IN AND MEASUREMENT DAY!!! HECK YEAH!

You proudly step on the scale. "Hmmm, no weight lost! That's good! seems like I've kept muscle or gained some! No biggie!" So then you proceed to crack out the measurement tape and measure your arms, shoulders, waist, chest, hips, other parts you're curious about (you know the one), etc.

"EH?! I HAVEN'T LOST ANYTHING? (well, okay, guess I should be thankful I didn't lose anything in my sausage nigels but...) WHAT!? Let me check again!"

You measure once. You measure twice. You measure THRICE...by the heat of George Foreman's grill! "I HAVEN'T LOST ANYTHING! WHHHHHHHHY?!" You then proceed to grab a sledgehammer and smash everything you see, strangle the next person that says hi to you...how bloody dare they...And blow up a mailbox, toilet, whatever, with fireworks or your magical boom-stick to restore the natural balance of things...

explosion

You can tell this guy didn't lose any body fat for awhile

Someone get you a medic! It seems you've developed a serious case of a fat loss plateau! But how in the world did you contract it? I mean...You've took all the necessary measures to ensure your fat loss! So what gives? Will you get over this hurdle? What do you even do about it?!

Signs that you are nearing or are at a fat loss plateau

  • You've been "dieting" for months upon months on end and it seems your body fat has come to a screeching halt the past 2-3 months or you just plain aren't losing as much as you need to be
  • No reductions at all in the waist or anywhere else, and you don't look any different or "feel" any different from 2-3 months ago.

How does this happen? How do you even contract the fat loss plateau?

As I briefly mentioned in the first point of the "signs" you've possibly been dieting for months upon months on end. Keeping the calories consistent, or, if you haven't even counted the calories and have just eaten so minimal for a LONG time, then, believe it or not, this is how your body won't lose fat. Now, now, before you think I'm just yanking your whenis, let me explain.

Your body isn't a dumb thing. You don't simply just starve yourself and expect that you'll keep all your muscle and your body will willingly lose all the fat it has, and gladly too, if you freak your body out by severe calorie restriction/or any other term and phrase to call it self-induced starvation on a long-term basis, your body will go into "survival mode" which means that you'll not only, NOT lose fat, but you'll lose muscle too!

biggestloser1

Don't let this be you...

Which means that when you do go back to eating normally, you'll be hungrier which means you'll eat more, and you'll be fatter with less muscle! No es bueno! So for you extremists out there, don't just not eat anything you have to have a modest calorie restriction that is manageable!

BUT! I've been following a modest calorie restriction, not an extreme one, so why aren't I losing any more fat then?

If you've been restricting your calories ongoing and further taking a little off here and there when adjusting your intake to ensure you're losing fat at a continual rate, then your body simply needs a break. You need to let your body know that you aren't starving, that everything is okay, and once your body knows this then it can continue losing fat and NOT muscle.

How do you let your body do this? Enter, Leptin.

Leptin and the fat loss plateau

There is a hormone in the body that is responsible for our hunger levels and to be aware if we are actually in a famine. You have to ask yourself, how is it that our body knows when food must become available and how does it exactly know to conserve energy to protect our vital organs and functions from harm? The answer is this hormone called leptin.

Leptin is an adipocyte-secreted hormone that regulates appetite and energy balance of the body and has an important role in adaptation during underfeeding and overfeeding. It takes a significant task in controlling hypothalamic-pituitary growth, adrenal and gonadal functions.” (1)

Control this hormone and you can control your fat loss. This can be your best friend or it can kick you in the genitalia, when trying to lose fat. Our aim? We must kick it in the genitalia before it kicks us!

kickedingroin

This is how you kick leptin in the balls for making you not lose fat...with style. Probably could do with a haduoken somewhere there too.

A word of warning if you have quite a bit of fat to lose still before thinking of leptin

Most of the strategies I'm going to outline later might not effect you positively and I'm purely basing this on people who have been dieting for awhile, have a reasonable amount of leanness (basically trying to say, not obese). If you have a lot of fat to lose, then the main things you should focus on is knowing how much to eat to lose fat (having a moderate caloric restriction that you can find out by going HERE), and just plain getting off the damn couch and being active! Heck, if you didn't half-ass workouts and kept more active than you were resting you almost wouldn't need to think about diet!

If you think I'm being mean and just holding out, I'm not there's a reason:

leptin are increased in proportion to body fat stores as a result of increased production in enlarged fat cells from obese subjects” (2)".

Which means that, your leptin levels are so high that you shouldn't see a fat loss plateau for a long time. What constitutes as beginning to be lean? For women it's 22% and for males it's in the 12-14% mark.

body-fat-percentage-picture-men-women

If you want visuals this is a good one to go by. Thanks to Marc Perry from builtlean.com for this go check out the builtlean man himself sometime

(and also before anyone tries to hate-mail me, please ensure you're healthy, have no thyroid problems and your adrenal and liver is functioning properly because that in itself can cause fat loss to come at a halt and health in general).

Another thing to consider is you might also be leptin resistant. The good news is however, just by training and losing the excess fat, over-time you'll be able to make your leptin more sensitive. Don't just rely on cardio but do your resistance training since it  "provides higher weight reduction and fat mass loss in obesity  treatment. It also seems to have further beneficial effects on leptin resistance, as indicated by decreases in leptin levels expressed per kilogram of fat mass" (11).

So with that said, let's get onto how to kick leptin in the balls and break through your fat loss plateau!

Overfeeding to please leptin and smash fat loss plateaus

pizza

This pleases leptin

To please leptin, and bust through your fat loss plateau you need to restore leptin to a level that thinks your body isn't starving, and to do that you need to have a period of refeeding/overfeeding. You read right! I'm telling you to over-eat! But before you produce fluid in your pants due to excitement, you have to do this strategically. There is a method to the madness! Yes your Mom was right when she told you that you could do anything.

musclecloud

Overfeeding can be done in a few ways:

  • Cheat meals: where you OVERFEED yourself and eat all the forbidden goodies. That means no holding back either! Eat to your hearts content! Pizza nights along with alcohol, chips etc the works!
  • Have a period of 2 weeks where you eat at maintenance caloric intake or just a little over till your body is satisfied that it doesn't need to hold on to fat stores because you aren't starving.
  • Healthier version of cheat meals where you have one or two days where you have very high caloric intake and eat healthy food. This can go well if you were a ketogenic dieter to get all the nutrients your missing (like I outlined on my ketogenic diet book) and eat carbohydrate type foods.

Before I detail specifics on how I'd go about doing this and how you can too, let's look at the benefits:

Benefits of refeeding to make leptin happy

  • Overfeeding can be shown to increase the response from your adrenal glands and replenish your sex hormones plus speed up your metabolism (speed up metabolism if the meal was a mix of carbohydrates and fats, I'll get to this soon, and if you did not have much fat left to spare) (3).
  • "leptin may have a stimulating effect on fat oxidation...subjects with greater leptin sensitivities are more successful in reducing weight." (4).
  • Just to show how powerful leptin is, when even a leptin was administered even in a low-doseage to subjects who were to maintain a 10% decrease in body-weight (and with the 10% decrease in bodyweight it made their thyroid production slow down, energy expenditure and other metabolic markers, meaning, the dreaded fat loss plateau), the subjects restored their metabolic markers, daily energy expenditure, and hormonal functions back to when they first started dieting! (5).
  • What the above point also means that when you are losing fat you'll be able to better preserve your muscles and strength! and for the nerds: "Elevating circulating  leptin concentrations to concentrations comparable with those of obese  individuals increases human in vivo skeletal muscle signaling through the AMPK  pathway and causes an increase in skeletal muscle fatty acid oxidation."(10).
  • in summary, it makes you keep on losing fat (7) while preserving muscle.

Excited to bust through that fat loss plateau like a bull in a china shop? Let's get into the specifics on how to do this.

bullinchinashop

Let's all admit we've thought about just randomly destroying every delicate thing, being everything at a china shop before.

How to use overfeeding effectively First method: Cheat meals

Overfeeding is best done after a period where you focus on losing weight or when you restrict yourself from carbohydrates.

The reason why it is good to restrict carbohydrates leading up to when you decide to overeat is because when you do overeat and you have your abundance of carbohydrates, carbohydrates have a more significant effect on increasing leptin (in overfeeding with carbohydrates alone “increased plasma leptin concentrations by 28%”) while fat does not (in overfeeding with fat alone “did not significantly change plasma leptin concentrations”) (8).

Again it can't be stated enough: when overeating you MUST overeat. No holding back. You have to eat your fill. Enjoy your pizza and chocolate sundae and stop whining about why he/she dumped you and you're now getting fat for crying out loud! 

The purpose of this is so your leptin stores are high and your body knows it isn't in a state of starvation and therefore will lose fat when you get back to dieting. It takes roughly 24 hours to get your leptin back to normal levels and it is all from the meal that you eat.

increases in serum leptin starts to occur approximately 4-7 h after meals. Increasing evidence indicates that insulin, in concert with permissive effects of cortisol, can increase serum leptin over this time frame and likely contributes to meal-induced increases in serum leptin.” (9).

As for how frequent you should do this, if you are super lean (super lean being 5-8% bodyfat) you can do this once every week, and possibly twice if you're smart about it. If you're roughly in the 10% mark and stalled for months on fat loss you should do this once a week to two weeks just until you're sure you're losing again. You might only need to do it the once.

So with all that said, we know how to structure our cheat meal. I know. You're excited you're going to get to eat pizzas.

amazedcat

Here's the steps on how to do just that

The down and dirty way for cheat meals

STEP 1: Restricting carbohydrates and calories.

A no brainer already is restrict your caloric intake as per normal as you were already when you stalled. The day before you decide to have your big cheat meal you restrict your carbohydrate intake as little as you can. Under 50g minimum.

STEP 2: The day of your cheat, stuff to do leading up to the meal

Have things like chicken with broccoli etc. Also best to train before you eat. How long before? Doesn't matter just train so the meal can have a more beneficial effect.

STEP 3: Eating.

There's no set limit nor time here, just EAT! You don't have to scale it down to one meal either. If you're having dinner, eat that, and if you want something later eat that too. The time ends when the next day comes.

BONUS ALTERNATIVE:

If you aren't a big eater you can use the whole day of cheat meals instead.

TIPS:

Drink plenty of water, and you'd be wise to use digestive enzymes. If you want to drink alcohol, you also can on this day. I detailed a post on how you can drink alcohol and lose fat HERE. Also have fun and do insane crazy stuff you normally wouldn't do.

drunk-dude-11

Who knows what his night was like, but this guy has totally had his cheat meal and alcohol right

Overfeeding method to bust fat loss plateau 2: Eating at maintenance for a period of time

This one is super simple. Without the risk of you going back to your old ways via cheat meals making it an every day event, here you can actually focus on gaining muscle for a short period with little to no fat and replenish your leptin.

STEP 1:

Find out what your new caloric intake is for maintenance of your body weight and add 100-200 to that (again to calculate your caloric intake go HERE).

STEP 2:

Keep at that caloric intake for 2 weeks then go back to a modest caloric restriction of 500 calories less of your maintenance. Do step 1 if you stall again.

You get to eat better foods on this, make sure your body is in an anabolic state for longer and you get to make sure you aren't mineral deprived.

Overfeeding method to bust fat loss plateau 3: high caloric intake (alternative to cheat meals or days)

Follow the same steps of the first method, but this one is for those of you who want to eat healthy and of course, me being a health freak, this one I'd advise. Ideally you'd want 2 days of this. If I had to give you an aim to shoot for calorie wise since it's a bit hard to eat healthy and go over the limit depending what you have, 1.5 times your maintenance calories is a good goal to shoot toward. So if 3000 was your maintenance, aim for 5000 calories the two days.

Don't have any fruits or vegetables these days because they tend to make you full so you'd want anything else other than that go wild!

The training to make leptin more beneficial

chinupfail

If the volume of your training with pull ups isn't enough that you're tearing ceilings, you aren't doing enough. Look at this guy. He's so strong that he didn't pull himself up, he's so strong he pulled the whole ceiling down.

As was briefly mentioned above, you do want to train and train with resistance not just cardio alone. For the day of your cheat meal you'd want to keep the volume high, and in fact when you're trying to lose fat it's better to keep the volume high to burn more in the session. Of course, you should listen to your body and have easy days and hard days (high volume and low volume), but as I said you should strive for the high volume workload on the days of your refeeding, high calorie days, cheat meals, whatever you want to call it.

And there we have it! Pick one method, and get to it! Smash the fat loss plateau, deliciously, with a sledge hammer and be ripped! What more could you ask for?

PAIN DOESN'T HURT

Now, Like my facebook page by clicking HERE and subscribe to this site if you’re such a mythical dragon that you’re so magestic that you breathe fire no matter where you go. - See more at: http://paindoesnthurt.com/low-carb-recipe-chicken-wings/#sthash.kU7gVf4i.dpuf

 mewithhammer

Now, Like my facebook page by clicking HERE and subscribe to this site if you don't want me to continue my adventures with my sledge hammer.

hitingroin

This guy didn't like my page. Don't let this be you. Be lucky I don't kick you there and use an external object to diminish my strength because that would be worse...

groinattack

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REFERENCES

(1) Soliman, A.T., Yasin, M., Kassem, A. (2012). Leptin in pediatrics: A hormone from adipocyte that wheels several functions in children.

2) Fried, S.K., Ricci, M.R., Russell, C.D., Laferrere, B. (2000). Regulation of leptin production in humans. J Nutr. Dec;130(12):3127S-3131S

3) Matsumoto, T., Miyawaki, C., Ue, H., Kanda, T., Yoshitake, Y., Moritani, T. (2001). Comparison of thermogenic sympathetic response to food intake between obese and non-obese young women.

4) Verdich, C. et al. (2001, August 9). Leptin levels are associated with fat oxidation and dietary-induced weight loss in obesity. Obes Res. (8):452-61.

5)Rosenbaum M., et al. Low dose leptin administration reverses effects of sustained weight-reduction on energy expenditure and circulating concentrations of thyroid hormones. J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. 2002;87:2391–2394. doi: 10.1210/jc.87.5.2391.

6) Rosenbaum M., et al. Low-dose leptin reverses skeletal muscle, autonomic, and neuroendocrine adaptations to maintenance of reduced weight. . J. Clin. Invest. 2005;115:3579–3586. doi: 10.1172/JCI25977.

7)Heymsfield, S.B. et al. (1999, October 27). Recombinant leptin for weight loss in obese and lean adults: a randomized, controlled, dose-escalation trail. JAMA. 282(16):1568-75.

8)Dirlewanger, M., di Vetta, V., Guenat, E., Battilana, P., Seematter, G., Schneiter, P., Jequier, E., Tappy, L. Effects of short-term carbohydrate or fat overfeeding on energy expenditure and plasma leptin concentrations in healthy female subjects.

9)Fried, S.K. Et al. (2000). Regulation of leptin production in humans. J Nutr. Dec;130(12):3127S-3131S

10)Wolsk, E. et al. (2011, December). The role of leptin in human lipid and flucose metabolism: the effects of acute recombinant human leptin infusion in young healthy males. Am J Clin Nutr. 94(6):1533-44. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.111.012260. Epub 2011 Nov 9.

11) Ozcelik O., et al. (2005). Effects of different weight loss protocols on serum leptin levels in obese females. Physiol Res. 54(3):271-7.

Ceps Weston Domingo is a personal trainer and nutritional consultant, and best selling author of the 30 day paleo weight loss plan, 30 day paleo slow cooker recipe cookbook, and (where many recipes like the above was from) The ketogenic diet weight loss plan and recipe cookbook: How to lose weight fast, meal plans and 50 recipes the low carbohydrate way

 

Copyright © Ceps Weston Domingo

 

Disclaimer: All content on this web site is provided for information and education purposes only. Individuals wishing to make changes to their dietary, lifestyle, exercise or medication regimens should do so in conjunction with a competent, knowledgeable and empathetic medical professional. Anyone who chooses to apply the information on this web site does so of their own volition and their own risk. The owner and contributors to this site accept no responsibility or liability whatsoever for any harm, real or imagined, from the use or dissemination of information contained on this site. If these conditions are not agreeable to the reader, he/she is advised to leave this site immediately.

- See more at: http://paindoesnthurt.com/low-carb-recipe-chicken-wings/#sthash.kU7gVf4i.dpuf

Ceps Weston Domingo is a personal trainer and nutritional consultant, and best selling author of the 30 day paleo weight loss plan, 30 day paleo slow cooker recipe cookbook, and (where many recipes like the above was from) The ketogenic diet weight loss plan and recipe cookbook: How to lose weight fast, meal plans and 50 recipes the low carbohydrate way

 

Copyright © Ceps Weston Domingo

 

Disclaimer: All content on this web site is provided for information and education purposes only. Individuals wishing to make changes to their dietary, lifestyle, exercise or medication regimens should do so in conjunction with a competent, knowledgeable and empathetic medical professional. Anyone who chooses to apply the information on this web site does so of their own volition and their own risk. The owner and contributors to this site accept no responsibility or liability whatsoever for any harm, real or imagined, from the use or dissemination of information contained on this site. If these conditions are not agreeable to the reader, he/she is advised to leave this site immediately.

 

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