But first, before I get into that, let's just take a very quick look at the term "lose weight".
By the end of this, I hope that you will abolish that term because not only is it incorrect, it is very counter-productive to your goals.
It's also one of the main reasons why many people can never seem to end their struggle with "weight loss".
Let's first look at the term "lose" in "lose weight".
If you actually think about it, "losing" weight makes absolutely no sense.
How on earth do you "lose" weight? Can you miss-place it? Or hide it somewhere and forget where you hid it? Or even better, maybe you can get somebody to steal it from you, that way you will have definitely lost it! So if you can't lose weight, how do you get rid of it? The answer, is that you have to USE it.
Look at that again - You can't "lose" weight, you can only "use" weight.
Now, this isn't just a play on words.
It's how our brains and bodies are designed.
Our brains are set up in a way to prevent us from "losing" weight.
And if you begin with this intention (i.
e goal), then you are doomed to failure before you even start.
We'll get to that in a sec, but first lets look at the term "weight".
Most people that try to change their body composition are looking for one thing.
They want to look good.
Now that's fine, but the problem comes when you use a weighing scale as a measure of your progress.
Just like the term "lose", this makes absolutely no sense.
Your weight on a weighing scale has very little to do with how you look.
How you look has much more to do with your body composition, or in this case your fat to muscle ratio.
If you want to look good, then a better aim would be to shift your fat-muscle ratio from more fat/less muscle, to less fat/more muscle.
Now that's a very simplistic view, but the point is this, people who want to look good don't want to use "weight", they want to use FAT.
Muscle is included in your weight, so do you want to lose weight (and lose muscle in the process)? Of course not! Instead, what you really want, is to USE FAT.
Phew! Hopefully that clarifies things.
if you want to change your body composition and look good, you don't need to lose weight.
You need to use fat.
This, you will learn, is a very significant distinction.
So the obvious question then, is how do you use fat? In order to answer that we first need to look at why we store fat in the first place.
Humans, would you believe it, have more fat cells than a polar bear.
Accumulating fat has obviously been something very very important for us then.
The main reason is because until recently, food wasn't very plentiful.
Sure there were times when crops were in season, and getting food wasn't problem.
But in nature, there is also the opposite, and that is periods when food is scarce.
So to deal with these times of famine, our body needed a mechanism to ensure we would survive.
The strategy we came up with was to store some of the food for the time when it wasn't available anymore.
The only problem with that is that real food goes bad quite quickly.
The solution is brilliantly simple - the best place to store food turns out to be in our bodies - in terms of fat.
That way we will always have it for a "rainy day".
This "rainy day" is one where there is no food available, so we use the fat stores in our bodies for energy instead.
This happens when we are in what is called a "fasted state".
It's quite simple actually.
We only have two states - the fed state and the fasted state.
Fat is reserved for the fasted state.
That's when it's released.
So how do you use fat? You use it when you are in a fasted state.
The problem with people trying to use fat is that they never reach the "rainy day".
It never comes.
Fat was designed to be released from our stores when we needed it - when food wasn't available.
Nowadays however, not only is food constantly available, we are always eating it.
We never give the system a chance to work in a way that it was deigned to.
Humans have a built in mechanism to regulate their food intake over a life-time.
It works perfectly when we adhere to our natural physiology.
Our natural physiology dictates that most of the time we need to be in a fed state, but there are also times when we should be in a fasted state.
When we eat all the time this system becomes dis-regulated.
Basically, we are not supposed to eat all the time.
You can return to your bodies natural rhythms by intermittently fasting.
The concept of fasting can take many different approaches, but a simple method is, once a week take a period of 24 hours and don't eat.
It's entirely up to you how you wish to do this, but the principle works like this - as soon as you finish eating, your next meal should not be until 24 hours after that.
If you finish your breakfast at 8 a.
m for example, then your next meal can be at 8 a.
m the next day.
Fasting in this fashion will allow your body reach the fasted state.
This is when you start to use fat.
That's why we store fat in the first place! Chronic calorie restriction (dieting) on the other hand, doesn't work if you want to use fat.
It works for weight loss, but if you are reading this then I imagine that you have lost plenty of weight in the past, but it always found it's way back! Intermittent fasting, such as a 24-hour period without food (usually for once a week) will activate your internal self-regulating mechanism.
You will use fat.
So the message is this, you need to be in a fasted state to use fat.
But don't over-do it! Fasting once a week is a perfect strategy to help shift your body back to its natural set-point.
It works because we are designed to shift from the fed state to the fasted state and back again.
That's normal and expected.
Restricting food like you do on a diet is not normal and not expected, and your body doesn't like it.
That's why it doesn't work.
If you have some fat to use try out some periods of intermittent fasting.
It may be strange at first, but you'll soon learn that it's really quite simple.
Just don't eat for 24 hours.
Your body will release your fat and finally use it.
That's how it works, and that's how you "lose weight".