Coming to our hypothetical subject let’s see what "X" is upto. A quick recap and some numbers to make the case study clearer. Subject “X” haven’t had anything to eat in 2 days, he’s drinking
like a camel and pissing like a horse, though. His liver glycogen stores are empty, his insulin is very below normal, body wide catabolism in the presence of copious amounts of norepinephrine
& epinephrine is burning his energy stores aka eating up tissues (fat and muscle tissue) for survival. Why the muscle tissues are burned even when "X" has 35 lbs of fat to burn? Read on.
Glucose coming from carbs is the first preference of every tissue in our bodies, Fat is the second on that list of energy sources. In case of absolute starvation or zero carbohydrate intake, problem arises due to the peculiar demands of our Brain and Central Nervous System. They can only function on Glucose and if they don’t get it, our bodies will kick start a process named “gluconeogenesis” which basically is a fancy term for creating glucose out of anything available, it can use lipids, it can use triglycerides and it can use amino acids (protein) coming from our lean tissue.
As long as the glycogen from liver has maintained the blood sugar levels, Brain and CNS were functioning ideally, but after the glycogen depletion subject "X" is facing brain fog, fatigue, nausea and ravenous hunger unless ketosis kicks in. The 20% lean tissue being oxidized is to fulfill the needs of Brain/CNS system, all the other organs are ready to function on fat alone, hence the 80% catabolic rate of it. I don’t want to get into specifics of ketosis now, but know that deeper anyone goes into a zero carb fast, more and more fat starts to be utilized as fuel in the form of ketones, even brain/CNS adapts a little but their need of glucose remains irrespective of how “deep” the ketosis is. Hence, the constant need to catabolize lean tissue.
Every gram of glycogen stores 4 grams of water with it, plus our fat and protein stores hold 20% water as well. 5-10 pounds of pure water weight flushes out in the first few days on extreme calorie/carb restriction. Adding all of that, our subject X has lost .85 + 1 + 5 = 7 pounds of weight in the first two days! Assuming 1 pound lean tissue and .85 pounds fat loss every day, let’s see what happens after 2 weeks.
In 2 weeks mr."X" has lost 14 lbs of muscle tissue and 12 lbs of fat. Total WEIGHT loss = 14 + 12 + 7 = 33 lbs Considering the loss of lbw and resulting lowered DEE, let’s settle on 30 lbs in 2 weeks. I can iterate and re-iterate for each day but that would be boring for you guys. Maybe I would develop an App just for that. Anyway, X’s stats after 2 weeks are BW = 180 – 30 = 150 lbs.
LBW = 144 – 14 = 130 lbs. Fat mass = 36 – 12 = 24 lbs and his body fat percentage is |24 (fat mass) / 150 (bw)| x 100 = 16%.
Now, that’s some serious progress. From 180 to 150 lbs and 16% body fat from 20% in just two weeks. Dayuuumm! What was his diet though? Well, we gave him water and black coffee as much as he could drink and multivitamin pills to swallow daily for two weeks while lying in a bed 24x7. This is the kind of “magical transformation” fat-camps and weight-loss centers promise and replicate on naïve and fat middle-aged suburban customers.
They put obese individuals on an all aerobic training regimen with “salad” diets. Little to no protein and never a decent weight/resistance training program. Shows such as Biggest Loser are so ridiculous if you think about it, basically fatter a person is easier is to lose fat for them. Restrict the calories severely and that’s it. Rapid fat loss is ideal for them until the body fat % reduces to 15-17%. Now, the case of X is hypothetical, in real life settings with optimal protein and weight training regimen, almost all of the lean body mass can be preserved.
Mr X is unhappy about being a guinea pig for us, losing 14 lbs of lean tissue is not a pleasent experience either. Well, fret not Mr X; Truth Dealer is here to your rescue! This game changing research paper is a roundhouse kick in the face of all the Nutritionists, Muscle gurus and “gym-bros”. Only on an 800 calorie liquid diet (protein and carb blend shake) with proper weight/resistance training, all the muscle mass is preserved, while the control group with the same stats, performing only cardio/aerobic training lost large amounts of Lean tissue(LBW).
Anyone reading this series intently must have figured the drill by now. If you're really fat ( greater than 25% body fat) rapid fat loss is your best bet until you reach 15%, even after that, with a decent diet and weight training you can lose fat like a champ till you hit 10%. Things get esoteric after that. I will cover it all in subsequent articles. In the third part we will put mr X on a “performance-diet” and weight training regimen to have him lean out at 10% body fat. Let’s make mr X ripped!
Check out the Part 1 of this series.
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