The Complete Physique Alteration Series Part 3
By now we hope that everyone has seen some pretty impressive results from following the diet/cardio plan we have set up for so many of you. If you have yet to see these results then, well, you are not following the plan!! I hate to sound so aggressive but half measures will not yield half results. There is no room for mistake with the diet. It is of utmost importance to have successful low days and just as important to have successful very high days. Without the very high day this diet will yield diminishing results after the first few weeks. As we reduce our calorie intake, our bodies adjust metabolically to compensate, eventually slowing to match the calories we take in. The very high day prevents this from happening, it forces our thyroid to produce a large amount of T4 (thyroid hormone) which directly increases metabolism. This allows for the following six days to be very successful with fat loss. So it is of utmost importance to have this very high carb “re-feed day” once a week. Some however may opt to keep this day out for the first 3-4 weeks depending on current body fat percentage and current diet. Many have been dieting for months on end whose results have plateued need to throw this day in, maybe 2 back to back, to jumpstart thyroidal production that long ago came to a screeching halt. If you are unsure where to go from here, a visit to all pro is in order to discuss this right away.
To conclude on my reiteration of diet importance, it almost goes without saying that we must not overeat on our low carb days. This would lead to the potential for fat storage on the higher days. We MUST be somewhat glycogen depleted going into our high and very high days.
Let us also revisit the importance of making regular adjustments to our diet/cardio plan. We must realize that as our bodies change, so must our plan. For those of you that are no longer progressing with fat loss, you may have neglected to make an adjustment to your plan, or have not made the correct one. The best guide for these adjustments is knowing what changes your body is making. This is where getting a body fat analysis preformed regularly comes in handy. Sign up for bi-monthly body fat analysis at All Pro Nutrition the 1st ad 3rd Thursday of every month (often other Thursdays as well) from 5:30-8 pm. Sign up for a 10 min slot during the mentioned times through email firstname.lastname@example.org analysis is $10 per visit or 5 for $40. Analysis is preformed by Chris Eschboch, former head professor at Meredith College’s Human Performance Laboratory. I strongly discourage the use of hand held body fat analysis devices. These often produce inaccurate readings, many even producing multiple different readings throughout the day. For example, the one at a nearby gym projected Patrick Richardson to be nearly obese when he was in contest ready shape. 7 point caliper measurements performed by a qualified professional are the way to go.
Recall from our previous newsletter that the adjustments made to our plan will be in one of three categories: cardio duration and/or frequency, calorie intake, or supplements. Please feel free to seek advice from Patrick or I on what adjustments would be necessary given the changes your body has made. That is what we are here for and both would enjoy helping you reach your goals!
The Complete Physique Alteration Series: Getting Lean
Part 3: Supplement Discussion/Plan
The three categories of concern for fat loss are, as previously mentioned, cardio duration and/or frequency, calorie intake, and supplements. One may think that as a retail store for sports supplements we would have discussed the importance of supplements in part 1 instead of many months later in part 3. Well if you have ever walked through the doors here at All Pro Nutrition and inquired even the slightest about what will help you reach your goals, you would know that we don’t jump up and say “this product right here!! This will get you ripped up and shredded in no time!!” You may hear something like that at one of our competitor’s stores where their top priority is making a sale at all costs, but here at All Pro Nutrition the diet talk always comes first. Supplements are intended (just as the name suggests) to SUPPLEMENT a good diet and training routine. There is nothing that will make up for neglect to diet. Training is secondary and honestly of small concern so long as you are doing it often, heart rate during cardio however being very important. See Part 2.
You can trust that our number one concern is making sure that each and every customer who cares to know has a solid understanding of what it will take to reach their goals, especially when it comes to diet. Now that we have a diet and cardio plan set forth lets discuss what types of supplements will help us reach our goals that much faster.
We all know by now that diet is the most important component when it comes to fat loss so let it be no surprise that we discuss meal replacements first. If you find it hard to follow the diet plan because of the sheer hassle of having to fix a whole food meal or having one prepared every 2.5-3 hours, then a meal replacement is your solution. We cannot afford to miss meals; this throws everything off in the diet and can have lasting impacts on fat loss for the rest of the week. There are many to choose from to fit your specific diet, from something as simple as a ready-to-drink meal replacement to an all inclusive meal packet or simply purchasing a protein powder and adding the appropriate carbs or fats that your meal calls for. However, it is important to remember the value of whole food and not to rely on meal replacements too much. We recommend no more than 3 of your 6 meals to come from shakes, the other 3 or more need to be from whole food sources. There are many micronutrients and naturally occurring growth factors needed in our diets that are only found in whole food sources.
Understanding Fat Burners
I can’t tell you how many people I have heard tell me that “fat burners don’t work!” Most people are completely oblivious as to how these products should be used. They assume they can just pop a pill or two every day and watch the fat magically fall off of them. Wouldn’t it be nice if things were that simple? Well they are not, and just as everything else in life worth having, it takes some work to get it. What I would say to these people (which btw are not All Pro customers, b/c our customers are educated on this) is that “the fat burner did indeed work if you took it, it did exactly what it was intended to do!” These fatburners simply cause fat stores to release/mobilize free fatty acids (ffa) into the blood to be used as fuel, nothing more, this process is referred to as lipolysis. Your diet will determine if these ffa will be used for fuel or simply redeposited as adipose tissue (fat). It would be silly to expect this fat to be used for fuel if it is not needed. Say in the example of consuming above maintenance calories. Yes this means you cannot continue to eat whatever you want and burn fat. First off, the ffa released from stored body fat will only get used as a fuel source if there is not excess blood glucose available, as glucose (carbohydrates break down into glucose in the blood) and its stored form of glycogen are always the preferred source of energy. It should go without saying that excess amino acids and fats should not be present in the blood aswell. More simply, if you consume carbohydrates and excess calories all day long, these ffa that are released by the fat burner will simply get redeposited into fat stores and no fat loss will ever take place, while all along, the fat burner would still be actually “working”. So you see, you could even get fatter while taking a fat burner! Again, fat burners are supplements intended to “supplement” a good diet and training routine. THERE IS NO MAGIC PILL.
For those that are curious as to how these fat burners initiate lipolysis, continue reading. Those that don’t care to hear the scientific mumbo-jumbo, skip right on past the next few sections.
Most fat burners have stimulants in them that can be classified as beta-2 and/or 3 adrenalceptor agonists. These would include: ephedra, caffeine, synephrine and others. These ingredients agonize the beta adrenalceptors, causing a release of norepinephrine. Norepinephrine then initiates lipolysis, the release of ffa into the blood. This is great for those that are on a low carb diet, as these ffa will then be used as fuel and the end result is fat loss! However the problem we run into with norepinephrine is the time frame in which it is active. You see, norepinephrine is part of a negative feedback mechanism that signals its own production to stop. This signal is sent by it agonizing the alpha-2 adrenalceptor.
Now here is where yohimbe comes into play and all of its forms. Yohimbe is classified as an alpha-2 adrenalceptor antagonist. It “occupies” the receptor per say, preventing norepinephrine from binding to it, and in turn no signal is sent to stop norepinephrine production. It acts like a brick placed under the break pedal of a car, that car is not stopping nor is fat loss when yohimbe is thrown into the mix. This means a longer active time frame for norepinephrine to stay present work for us, assuming blood glucose levels are and stay low.
The third class of ingredients one needs to look for in a fat burner would be those that stimulate the thyroid directly. There are many ingredients that do this, too many to list, but not every product has them (we can certainly guide you in choosing these). Everybody’s thyroid behaves somewhat different, in fact it is the main contributor to what separates body types, along with insulin resistance/sensitivity which we will discuss supplements that work with this as well. The thyroid produces a hormone called T4. Some people produce a lot, some don’t. T4 is then converted in the body to T3. Some people have a high conversion ratio, some don’t. The amount of T3 active as an end result to this process is what determines the speed of one’s metabolism. Many ingredients in the thyroid stimulating category increase the production of T4 while others may increase the conversion ratio of T4 to T3. We would want a fat burner that has both such as the 3,3 and 3,5 diido compounds among others.
Put em’ all together
Stack the best known ingredients from each of these three categories and you have got a very worthy product. In fact, we analyze the ingredients of each product long before we decide to place it on our shelves here at All Pro Nutrition. We have a very appropriate filtering process here before we place an All Pro price tag on it. Can you say the same for ANY other store in town?? This knowledge and in turn the educating of our customers to the extent that they may care to learn is what we pride ourselves in, it has earned us a great deal of respect over the years, and we believe this most certainly sets us far above our competitors. Our loyal customers tend to agree!
What works for me works for you
In this business it is very common to hear the phrase “well what works for you may not necessarily work for me, I have to find what works for me.” This statement is far from true and not at all what the title of this section refers. The human body performs the same no matter race, age, or gender. Now there are small variances in hormonal production when age and gender is considered, as well as the previously mentioned thyroidal differences and insulin efficiency. When it comes to fat loss however there is one definitive certainty, the process in which my body breaks down and mobilizes fat for fuel is the same for everyone else in the world!! So trust me when I say, “What works for me WILL work for you.” This holds true with our diet and cardio plan as well.
What varies from person to person, male to female, is lean body mass. This variable is of course what makes up the major differences between each individual plan. So no matter if you are a 120lb female or a 270lb bodybuilder, our diet plan will work for you! We are NOT offering a bodybuilder plan when we give diet and cardio/training recommendations like the one found in parts 1 and 2. In fact there truly is no such thing when it comes down to it, there are fat loss plans and muscle gain plans. What works for me, works for you, works for him, and works for her!
Bodybuilders are not made from specific diet plans and workout routines, bodybuilders are made from genetics. Anyone can follow Patrick Richardson’s diet/training/supplement regimen. However, do not expect to share his results, as you do not share his genetics!! Diet/training/supplements when implemented properly can maximize an individuals genetic potential. That is it! Ok, enough on that argument, hopefully you are convinced. If not I you to prove me wrong! I promise you will not wake up one morning, look in the mirror, and say “holy **** I look like the next Mr. Olympia! This is not at all what I wanted! Those darn guys at All Pro, I never should have listened to them!” Ok, enough rambling, lets get back to these fat loss products.
Choosing the Right Product for Your Body Type
The most significant thing to consider in choosing a fat loss product is being sure you will be physically comfortable with the CNS stimulating effects that so many of these products have. Some people find it tolerable, others flat out enjoy it. Still others may find that less than the recommended dosage is what they prefer. For those that prefer no stimulated feeling at all there are some products that contain little to no stimulants yet still target fat loss from all 3 angles/categories mentioned in the previous section. Whatever your preference may be, these products are essential and not to be ignored when dieting for fat loss.
Also the current amount of body fat one has at the start of using these products is of importance when considering which one to use. The ones that contain a larger amount of stimulants can have more of an undesired muscle wasting effect than the products with less or without. This however is not a concern for males above 10% body fat or females above 18%. Once you get closer to your goal and closer to these percentages it would be smart to switch. For those of you that are already near/at or below these figures, just looking to shed a few more fat pounds, you may want to choose the less aggressive approach in regards to stimulants and a more aggressive approach in regards to your current diet and cardio plan.
Diet and more specificly carbohydrate choices will go a long way in helping to develop healthy insulin sensitivity. Many of us have abused our pancreas and its ability to produce insulin and in turn our bodies response to this insulin from years of poor diet. Getting the function of this key hormone in balance with our diet is very important for weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight. There are many products to help with this process. They are called insulin mimickers or nutrient partitioners. They work hand in hand with insulin to dispose of blood glucose properly and transport nutrients to their proper destination, minimizing any potential fat storage or prolonged high blood glucose levels. These products include chromium picolinate, vanadyl sulfate, alpha lipoic acid, corosolic acid, and gymnemic acid to name a few. All of these are natural ingredients found naturally in foods and food extracts. Not syntheticly built in a laboratory. We carry many of these products and combinations of them in the store. They should only be taken with carb based meals and are of most importance on our high and very high carb days, ensuring the storage of these carbs into muscle tissue as glycogen and not converted to adipose tissue (fat). We can instruct you further on how to take them, just inquire during your next visit to All Pro.
When to cycle off
Depending on the potency of the stimulants in the fat burner being used and also considering the current/previous intake of stimulants, the time period it which one may develop a “tolerance” to it will vary. This time frame can vary from 4-12 weeks considering all of these variables. For those that care to know, this “tolerance” you have built up to the product, just as a daily coffee drinker will experience, is due to down regulation of the beta-2 and/or 3 adrenalceptors. As I mentioned previously, the key stimulants contained in these products are beta adrenalceptor agonists. Well over time these adrenalceptors, due to constant use, down regulate or decrease in population density. So as the number of available adrenalceptors for these stimulants to bind to decreases, so does their ability to initiate their effects on the body. This is the “tolerance” that we notice as the cycle progresses.
We can give a general recommendation as to how long the product you use will have effect, given your current use of caffeine and other stimulants, but the symptoms will present themselves enough to where one can recognize themselves when they need to cycle off.
When coming off of the product it is important to avoid all stimulants, that is if one has the intention of getting back on as soon as possible. This will speed up the process of beta-2 and/or 3 adrenalceptor up regulation. This period varies from 2-4 weeks. During this time frame the potential for weight rebound is a very real possibility, but easily prevented.
Avoiding weight/fat rebound
So now that our mission is either accomplished or we are at the very least much closer to our fat loss goal, how do we keep the weight off? Many people stumble here and make some major errors. It is important going into this part of the fat loss phase to understand that appetite is likely to return strongly here as we are in a slightly malnourished/depleted state where our bodies are desperate for nutrients. Glycogen stores are likely low and depleted. Intracellular triglyceride levels can even be affected. With the absence of a strong fat burner the appetite can get out of control and much of the weight we worked so hard to lose can surge back on in no time.
First off, many supplements that so many neglect to use at this time can help the fat burning process continue and prevent such a rebound, so long as proper diet and cardio remain. This is the time where we must dot all our i’s and cross all of our t’s per say. Its time to step our game up a notch and not cheat on our diet. With the absence of a strong fat burner this will be more difficult, but anyone with half the will and determination to get lean can make it through this period.
Such supplements to consider at this time are CLA, L-Carnitine, Green Tea Extract, Rasberry Ketones, 7-keto, Forskolin, and Green Coffee Bean extract just to name a few. Each of these will continue to help the fat burning process in many different ways without interfering with the up regulation process of beta adrenalceptors we are waiting on. To go into the science behind each one is outside the scope of this article but feel free to pick our brains at the store at anytime and we will be glad to educate those that our curious. After about 4 weeks of using these and white knuckling it through the carb/calorie cravings we shall be back on another 6 week fat burner cycle to hopefully complete our fat loss plan.
Mmmm… So then we take a pill and watch the fat melt away??
Wouldn’t it be nice to get something for nothing! Now we have outlined a lengthy approximate 16 week fat loss supplement regimen. However do not expect to lose a pound or continue to drop weight past the 4th week without consistently changing your diet/cardio routine regularly. Once again, I cannot say this enough: as our bodies change, so must our diet/cardio efforts. Do not hesitate to lean on us for help with changing your diet along the way here. The plan set forth in part 1 of this series must be altered approximately every 2 weeks. If you did not get this plan, we have copies available at the store as well as links to part 1 and 2 on our facebook site. Also feel free to email us at email@example.com requesting them and if you need any help interpreting the charts for the diet plan please stop by the store.
Thanks to all for your loyalty to us at All Pro Nutrition! We look forward to seeing you soon and helping you reach your goals. Stay tuned for Part 4 of the Complete Physique Alteration Series where we will discuss anabolic rebound and muscle gain. The oh so comfortable big eating bulk season is just around the corner!!