How does the matter that makes up the fat of your fat cells ultimately leave your body--following weight loss?

How does the matter that makes up the fat of your fat cells ultimately leave your body--following weight loss?

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I'd like to get some clarification on specifically how the matter from the fat reserves of the Adipocyte physically leaves the body.

In other words, if you were to somehow follow every atom in the fat reserves of the cells of a dieting person, then, via what hole would these atoms ultimately exit the body?

Is the answer to this question merely "exhaling through the mouth"? Or do they come out in feces too?

Note 1: This question is not to be confused with the question: "How does mass leave your body in general?" For there are several ways to accomplish this. (e.g. shedding skin cells, cutting off your arm, cutting your hair, sweating, dehydration, liposuction, bleeding, spitting, blowing your nose, etc… )

Note 2: Please see this other similar StackExchange post here:

Yes, they are mostly exhaled. The carbon, hydrogen and oxygen that the fats are made of recombine to become $CO_2$ and $H_2 O$ and are exhaled.

It's the same overall chemical reaction as if the fats / carbohydrates were burnt, except it's by a different pathway, and the energy produced goes (mostly) towards driving other chemical reactions rather than becoming light and heat.

A high fat diet leads to overeating because of faulty brain signaling

Defective signaling in the brain can cause overeating of high fat foods in mice, leading to obesity, according to one of the first research articles published in the new open access journal Heliyon. The body controls food intake by balancing a need for food to survive with a desire for food for pleasure. By shifting the balance between these systems, defective brain signaling can cause pleasure to take over, resulting in overeating and obesity.

The researchers, from the Neuroscience Program in Substance Abuse (N-PISA) at Vanderbilt University, USA, say understanding the mechanisms behind overeating could help prevent it and reduce the incidence of obesity.

"We have always been struck by how much animals -- and even people -- will over-consume tasty high-fat foods, even though they might be technically feeling full," said Dr. Aurelio Galli, one of the authors of the study. "A high fat diet causes people to eat more, which ultimately impairs the ability of obese people to successfully control their caloric intake, lose weight and maintain weight loss. We have conducted several studies trying to understand why a high fat diet has this effect."

Worldwide, obesity has more than doubled since 1980. Today around two billion people are overweight, and 600 million of these are obese. A number of factors contribute to the obesity epidemic, including economic stresses, changes in the built environment and changing food trends.

Biologically, obesity is the result of defects in the central nervous system that mean the body can't match its energy intake through food with its energy expenditure. The amount we eat is controlled by survival and reward (hedonic eating) the body's metabolism and our pleasure senses, like taste and smell. When specific signals in the brain are impaired, these two systems can fall out of balance, resulting in overeating.

The new study reveals a novel mechanism behind overeating high fat foods for pleasure. A specific signaling pathway in brain cells that control motivation, movement and attention determines the amount of high fat foods consumed. When the signaling is defective, the person only overeats high fat foods.

"We distilled the neurobiological mechanisms involved specifically in overeating for fat," said Dr. Kevin Niswender, one of the authors of the study. "We defined the why, where, and how of 'hedonic' obesity and found that disrupting a specific signaling pathway in the brain can lead to overeating specifically food high in fat."

The researchers studied one particular signaling pathway in the brain -- insulin signaling -- and the way it works in specific brain cell circuits. Defects in insulin signaling can override the body's natural homeostatic mechanisms in favor of the reward mechanisms, leading to obesity.

Rapamycin complex 2 (mTORC2) is a group of proteins involved in insulin signaling in the brain. The researchers wanted to find out how insulin signaling and mTORC2 affect how rewarding high fat foods are. They genetically altered brain cells in mice by taking out a part of mTORC2 and found that the mice without a functioning mTORC2 ate high-fat food excessively. However, when provided only with low-fat food they did not overeat.

Furthermore, they found that the mice whose mTORC2 does not function also had less dopamine in specific regions of the brain. Lower dopamine transmission in brain cells is associated with obesity in humans and animals, and also in escalating substance abuse.

"Our findings reveal a system that is designed to control eating of rewarding foods that are high in fat and possibly sugar," said Dr. Galli. "This system can be hijacked by the very foods that it is designed to control. Eating a high-fat or high-carbohydrate diet feels rewarding, but also appears to cause changes in the brain areas that are involved in controlling eating, by causing for example insulin resistance. Our study shows that when specific signaling in these areas of the brain is disrupted, it leads to a vicious cycle of increasing, escalating high-fat diet intake that likely further cements changes in these brain areas."

The researchers now plan to find out whether the effect of disrupting the signaling system works. They plan to restore mTORC2 signaling in obese mice to see whether it leads to them eating a normal amount of calories.

You can flush the fat

Body cleanses or so-called detoxes are widely advertised and available at grocery stores and health food shops. But are these effective? Christen Cupples Cooper, Ed.D., RDN, director of Nutrition Programs at Pace University in Pleasantville, NY, told me that they aren't, and can actually be bad for you. "There are many remedies for 'belly fat,' called anything from 'fat flushes' to 'body cleanses.' These products are usually costly and amount to nothing more than a glorified laxative."

She continued, "If you 'cleanse' your body of one of the heaviest substances in it — water — of course the scale will appear to register pounds lost." He told me that he often reminds people that the body has ways of detoxifying itself without help. "In fact," he says, "such cleanses can be harmful for some people. But in order to truly lose pounds in fat, it is necessary to take in fewer calories than the body burns. This is best done over time, cutting 250 to 500 calories a day and adding in exercise to assist with calorie burn."

2. Myth: Losing weight is all about willpower.

Reality: “Physiologically, as humans, we are not created to lose weight,” Fitch notes. Hanging on to fat helped our ancestors survive, so we have evolved to keep the weight we gain. “I tell people struggling to lose weight that it's your chemistry, not your character,” she says.

Yes, some people may be blessed with a faster metabolism that helps them shed pounds a little easier than others. But metabolism tends to slow down as we age, making it even more difficult to lose those pesky extra pounds.

And when people do lose a lot of weight quickly, their bodies try to return to their previous “set point.” This could also affect their metabolism and make them feel hungrier. Indeed, a study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) found that for every two pounds lost, participants ate about 100 calories more later on.

Michael Greger, M.D., author of How Not to Diet, puts it this way: “The battle of the bulge is a battle against biology, so obesity is not some moral failing. I can't stress enough that becoming overweight is a normal, natural response to the abnormal, unnatural ubiquity of calorie-dense, sugary and fatty foods."

Our weight-loving genes, combined with easy access to fast food, candy and other unhealthy food, may indeed explain why nearly 40 percent of Americans are overweight and almost 8 percent are severely obese, according to a study in JAMA. So what can you do? Greger espouses a plant-based diet to help keep you at a healthy weight. Ditch the processed food, and make sweet stuff like cake and ice cream an occasional treat.

Metabolic Adaptation To Weight Loss And How To Fix It

Have you suffered metabolic damage? Has your body gone into starvation mode? Are you experiencing metabolic adaptation to weight loss? If you’ve struggled with ongoing weight loss or weight regain, I’m going to suggest that the answers to those questions are no, no, and yes. I’ll explain why in this comprehensive post…

Ever tried to lose weight? If so, you know that progress doesn’t always come in a straight line. More often than not, you lose weight at first, but then your weight loss slows down. It gets harder over time. Weight loss also seems unpredictable. You keep following the same plan, but you might lose two pounds one week, only a pound another week and nothing at all some weeks. And at the end of course, the work is only beginning. Maintenance is the real challenge.

Why isn’t weight loss easier ? Why isn’t weight loss more linear? Why don’t your results seem to match the calorie math you did when you started? Why is weight regain so common?

There are many reasons. Some are psychological. Some are social. Environment is big one. In today’s modern society, we are bombarded with so much gastronomic temptation that weight loss experts call it an “obesogenic environment.” Not only that, most people are under a ton of stress and eat to soothe themselves.

But if your weight loss progress has slowed over time, there’s also a biological reason. When you diet, your body adapts in ways that make you burn less and want to eat more. Collectively, all of these mechanisms are called metabolic adaptations.

In a recent issue of The Journal of Strength And Conditioning Research, an excellent scientific paper about metabolic adaptation was written by Brandon Roberts and Mario Martinez-Gomez. Citing 211 different studies, the authors explained exactly what’s going on in your body when it adapts to weight loss. That includes many hormonal changes. They also asked the question, “Is there anything we can do about it?”

In this post, I’ll recap these findings. I’ll also add my own thoughts to help answer both questions: What is metabolic adaptation and can we fix it?

The bad news is you can’t stop metabolic adaptation to weight loss completely. When you cut calories and lose weight, certain changes happen in your body automatically. The good news is, there are ways to mitigate metabolic adaptation. More good news is that if you apply these strategies, you’re not doomed to fail or to regain weight.

What Metabolic Adaptation Is NOT

Before you check out the 7 strategies, it’s important to first understand the real science behind metabolic adaptation. If you buy into common myths about metabolic adaptation, that can lead to making bad decisions about nutrition and training. It could also lead to feeling frustrated or even giving up.

The biggest myth is the one about starvation mode. Some people believe that if they drop their calories too low, their metabolism will slow down so much, they’ll stop losing weight. When the weight loss stops, they say to themselves, “I must have gone into starvation mode.” The truth is, “starvation mode” is not even a scientifically recognized term.

Your metabolic rate does slow down after being in a calorie deficit and losing weight. That’s part of metabolic adaptation. But what really happens is you simply lose weight a little slower than you predicted on paper. The idea that you could stop losing weight because you’re eating too little is false. In fact, it’s absurd if you think about what happens to real victims of starvation.

Metabolic adaptation is also not “metabolic damage.” Usually, metabolic damage is said to be not only a major drop in metabolic rate, but also failing to return to normal for a long time, or ever. Like starvation mode, metabolic damage is not a scientific phrase. But even if you want to use the term, it’s arguable whether it happens except in extreme scenarios.

When contestants from the weight loss reality show The Biggest Loser were studied, researchers found that each participant had an unusually large drop in their metabolic rate. On average, their basal metabolic rate was 500 calories lower than what you’d predict based on their drop in bodyweight. But the most shocking part was that this suppressed metabolic rate appeared to persist as long as six years after the weight loss competition ended.

Couldn’t this be held up as proof that metabolic damage is real? Some people think so, but these results have been questioned due to methodology (measuring energy expenditure is tricky). Even if they’re accurate, we shouldn’t extrapolate these findings to others because you would never see a situation as extreme as the Biggest Loser in real life. These men and women were doing ridiculous amounts of exercise, (90 minutes of intense daily training and up to several hours per day in total), combined with an equally extreme 1200 calorie per day diet. They lost insane amounts of weight – an average of 128 pounds.

The fact is, while metabolic adaptation to weight loss has been well documented, under normal circumstances, the adaptive thermogenesis part of it is usually not a huge drop. Here’s what most follow-up studies have found: Even among physique athletes who do pretty extreme diets themselves – metabolism goes back to normal within a short time after you bring your calories back to maintenance and your weight is stable.

A recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition followed 171 women for 2 years after they lost 26.4 pounds (16% of their initial weight). Metabolic adaptation did occur, but was only 50 to 60 calories per day (3% to 4%) below predicted levels. In this group, 52% had regained the weight after 1 year and 83% after 2 years. Avoiding weight regain is always a challenge. However, the regain did not correlate to the metabolic adaptation. Also, the reduced metabolic rate was no longer detected after the women were weight stable.

The idea of “metabolic damage” meaning a huge drop on metabolic rate that lasts long after weight loss is stopped is not well supported, or at least seems the rare exception not the rule. In the more recent study, the subjects were on an 800-calorie per day diet, and yet even with a calorie deficit more severe than the Biggest Loser contestants, their metabolic rate was back to the predicted level in just over 4 weeks of weight stability.

“Starvation mode” and “metabolic damage” are terms many of us used nonchalantly in the past. We still hear them quite often throughout the weight loss world today. But because they are somewhat hyperbolic, fear-inducing and easily misunderstood, we’d be better off if we dispensed with them.

Metabolic adaptation on the other hand, is real. It’s a normal response. It happens to everyone. And it goes beyond a drop in BMR. It also includes changes in hormones that make you want to eat more and move less. That’s what we’re talking about here.

To Understand Metabolic Adaptation, Understand Energy Balance

Energy balance is another way of describing “calories in versus calories out.” There are three general levels:

1. Positive energy balance (calorie surplus): You’re eating more than you’re burning.
2. Negative energy balance (calorie deficit): You’re burning more than you’re eating.
3. Neutral energy balance (calorie maintenance level): You’re eating the same amount that you’re burning.

The most basic principle of energy balance is that if you want to lose fat, you have to be in a calorie deficit.

You get into a calorie deficit by adjusting your food intake or your activity level. When we say activity, that can include your planned workouts as well as incidental activity and walking around during the day (non-exercise activity).

Ideally, you do a little of both at the same time, but almost everyone agrees that the diet side of the energy balance equation is the highest priority. That’s because it’s so easy to out-eat any normal amount of exercise the average person might do.

Diet gurus are notorious for suggesting that weight loss happens because you eat only specific foods, avoid certain foods, cut out carbs, control hormones, eat only at certain times of the day, remove toxins and a long list of other reasons. They’re wrong. When a diet works, the reason it works is because it helps you get into a calorie deficit.

It’s always oversimplifying to say, “weight loss is only about calories.” Many factors influence how many calories you eat and how many you burn. You’ll see just how true that is when we talk about hormones. But weight loss is still an energy math equation.

Let’s assume you agree that these laws of energy balance are true. Why then, does weight loss still seem so difficult, even when you calculate your proper calorie target and do your best to track your intake? Why does it seem like the math equation isn’t working out?

Answer: The math equation changes! Energy balance is dynamic, not static.

When you lose body mass, your total daily energy expenditure goes down. The rule of thumb is: bigger people require more calories at rest. Smaller people require fewer calories at rest. Hauling around a bigger body means you burn more exercise calories too. And vice versa.

After you’ve lost a lot of weight, you’re a smaller person, right? That means you don’t need as many calories anymore. If you’re still trying to lose more weight eating the same amount as you did at the start of the diet, your weight loss will be slower.

With a smaller, lighter body, there’s a different calorie math equation. That means to keep weight loss coming at the same rate, you have two options. One is eating a bit less than what you were before. The other is increasing your activity to a level higher than it was before. Or you could use a combination of both.

When this concept clicks in your mind, you suddenly realize why so many people gain back weight they lost. It’s not easy to eat less than you were used to eating for years and move more than you were used to moving for years. That’s the sobering reality.

And we’re just getting started with explaining metabolic adaptation to weight loss! When you eat in a deficit and lose weight, that triggers a whole cascade of adaptations that make it harder to keep losing more weight.

One metabolic adaptation to weight loss that we already mentioned is the decrease in your resting metabolic rate. Known as adaptive thermogenesis, this is an additional decrease not accounted for by the drop in your body mass alone. It’s usually not a huge drop, but it could amount to 10% or even 15% in extreme cases. That alone is enough to explain why you don’t always lose weight at the speed you’d predict based on your initial calorie calculations.

Put these two adaptations together – a drop in your calorie requirement after weight loss and adaptive thermogenesis, and then your calorie math equation has changed even more significantly.

Metabolic adaptation doesn’t stop there either. Metabolic adaptation is not just burning less, it’s also the way your body adapts to “trick you” into eating more. When you restrict calories and lose weight, hunger hormones go up, satiety hormones go down, so you keep reaching for more food.

But wait, there’s even more!

When you’re in a deficit and you’re losing weight, your body also “tricks” you into moving less. Part of this is you’re simply tired and low on energy when you’re not eating as much, but it’s deeper than that. Your body detects falling fat stores and less energy coming in, so it automatically (like a thermostat) reduces your level of non exercise activity thermogenesis.

Translation: You move less without even thinking about it. Your step count drops and little activities ranging from housework to fidgeting are spontaneously reduced.

Now do you see why weight loss can be so hard, so non-linear, so unpredictable? When you’re dieting and you’re losing weight, your calorie deficit is being assaulted from both sides!

Metabolic adaptation means you’re burning less (lower BMR and lower activity), and you’re eating more (and may not even realize it). When the weight is not coming off, this is where a lot of folks say, “my metabolism is broken” or “I must be in starvation mode!” As you now understand, your metabolism does slow down. But in some cases the increase in appetite and the decrease in activity are the bigger problems.

What can you do to reduce metabolic adaptation to weight loss?

Once you understand the science behind why your body adapts and you’re aware of what’s happening in your body during weight loss, you can adjust your behavior to at least partially compensate for the sneaky stuff your body does when it’s calorie-deprived.

You can put safeguards in place to make sure you stay active – all day long, not just during scheduled workouts. You can become more mindful so you don’t snack outside your planned meal times or under-estimate your food portions.

There are also specific diet and exercise strategies you can use to mitigate adaptation. In the next section, I’ll tell you about the hormonal changes that happen during metabolic adaptation to weight loss. Then, I’ll list each one of the 7 strategies to reduce it as much as you can.

But first however, let me explain one more bit of important background info. Let’s look at why we have these adaptive mechanisms in the first place.

Why Do Our Metabolisms Adapt? (Evolutionary Origins)

If obesity is so unhealthy, and if we’re genetically wired for survival of the species, then you’d think our bodies would develop adaptations to make it harder to gain fat, not easier. In one sense, our bodies are wired this way. The human body has mechanisms to maintain body weight homeostasis.

Unfortunately, our environment today overrides our biology. With cars, trains, elevators, and all kinds of labor-saving devices, plus jobs that keep us on our butts all day long, we move a lot less than our ancestors did.

Being surrounded by ultra-processed, hyper-palatable, easily-accessible food pushes our energy balance even further in the wrong direction. So even if we really do have some kind of “fat thermostat” that should normally keep our weight stable, it’s not enough to overcome these influences in our modern world.

Evolution may have also wired us to more easily preserve body fat stores. “The thrifty gene hypothesis” is the idea that throughout history there were many periods of famine. During those times, humans who were more resistant to starvation would live to reproduce and pass on their genes. Through a process of natural selection, more and more humans would posses these starvation survival genes.

Surviving a food shortage would mean having a physiology inclined toward easily putting reserve fat away in storage during times when food was available. It would also mean having a physiology that makes us inclined to increase food-seeking behavior, and conserve energy during times when food was scarce.

From the evolutionary perspective, these kinds of adaptations would perpetuate the species by allowing people to make it through long periods of food scarcity. The problem is, if we do carry these genes today, they work against our weight control efforts. In our modern environment, where food is over-abundant, these adaptations lead to obesity and disease.

This hypothesis about how we’ve adapted genetically may be an over-simplistic explanation to a multi-factorial problem. However, it does give us an easy framework for understanding adaptations that clearly exist, for one reason or another.

A different way some obesity experts explain how body weight is regulated is with the set point theory. This suggests that your body has a weight regulating mechanism that helps hold your weight close to a certain point without your need to consciously manage it. This has been compared to a thermostat in your home, in fact, some people call the mechanism an “adipostat” or “lipostat.”

Suppose your weight starts creeping too far in the direction of depleting your energy stores (body fat). The mechanism will automatically turn on and activate body systems that nudge you back to that normal point of homeostasis where you have a “safe” amount of energy in reserve.

Some experts prefer to look at it as a “settling point” rather than a set point, because a set point implies that if you lose weight at all, you’re doomed to always drift back to your normal set point. The less fatalistic settling point theory suggests that while your body resists weight change, you can settle in at a lower or higher body weight and then the system resets.

Another idea is that there’s a dual intervention point control system. This model says that your body fat has a fairly wide range where your weight will drift up or down in response to your environment and behavior without being opposed by physiology. But if your weight reaches a certain point either too high or too low, then the physiological systems flip on full force to bring you back into the normal range.

Our understanding of these systems is still developing, but we do know that the general concept of your body weight being regulated or “defended” because of metabolic adaptations is accurate. It also seems clear that your body defends a whole lot better against weight loss than weight gain!

How Specifically, Does Your Body Adapt? Hormones Are A Big Part Of It

Energy balance – whether you’re in a calorie deficit or calorie surplus – is the undeniable explanation for whether you lose weight or gain weight, respectively.

But if you are in a calorie deficit, all kinds of hormonal changes take place that collectively conspire to close the gap between the calorie deficit you were trying to sustain and your actual level of energy balance. Summed up simply, your metabolism drops, you move less, and you eat more.

The bad news is, you have little control over most of these adaptions. The good news is, you do have control over your behavior. The more you learn about how these adaptations work, the more vigilant you can be and the more you can adjust your behavior to reduce the effects of metabolic adaptation to weight loss.

With all of this background out of the way, let’s now look at some of the hormonal adaptations that can happen when you’re dieting in a deficit and losing weight.

Hormonal Control Of Energy Balance

Leptin is a hormone released by your fat cells which sends signals to your brain about how much fat you have in storage. If your fat reserves are high, your leptin is higher. This send a signal that your body is well fed and has plenty of energy in reserve. But if your body fat levels get low, your leptin level drops. This sends a signal that you’re running short on energy reserves. When your brain gets that signal, it flips on those systems to “help” you restore your body fat: hunger hormones go up, fullness hormones go down, and metabolic rate goes down.

Thyroid is well known as a hormone that regulates metabolic rate. When you lose weight and get leaner, thyroid levels drop. It doesn’t take an extreme amount of weight loss to trigger this. In some studies, people who lost lost as little as 5% of their bodyweight saw significant reductions.

Insulin helps regulate food intake as well as body mass. When insulin levels are higher, it sends a signal that energy is available and to stop eating. Insulin, like leptin, drops when calories are restricted and that sends the opposite signal and promotes food intake.

Grehlin is a hormone released in the stomach and its primary function is to help regulate hunger by increasing how hungry you are. When you’re in a calorie deficit and losing weight, levels of ghrelin go up. People who are overweight have an additional challenge: When lean people eat a high calorie meal, their ghrelin drops like it’s supposed to. But when overweight people eat a high calorie meal, ghrelin often doesn’t work right and it doesn’t drop, leaving them still hungry.

GLP-1 is another satiety hormone that is released in the small intestine after you eat. The more weight you lose, the lower your level of GLP-1 and the less full you feel.

PYY is a hormone released from your GI system that make you feel fuller. (It’s a satiety hormone). When you eat, PYY levels go up, which sends a full signal. Research has shown that PYY levels drop after weight loss.

These aren’t the only appetite and energy intake-regulating hormones, but they’re some of the major players.

The idea that “weight loss is all about hormones, not calories” is incorrect. However, it’s true that hormones regulate your body weight and now you can see how. Hormones can influence you to eat more or to eat less and your body adapts to weight loss and calorie restriction by increasing the hormones that make you feel hungrier.

In the end, weight loss always comes full circle to energy balance, but how many calories you eat and how many you burn are heavily influenced by hormones. If you were ever confused about whether weight loss is a matter of calories or hormones, now you know the answer is both.

How To Mitigate Metabolic Adaptation

You now understand what metabolic adaptation is (and isn’t). Mainly, you feel like eating more, and also, your body burns less and you move less.

But the question still remains – what can you do about? How do you fix metabolic adaptation?

Again, the bad news is, you can’t stop metabolic adaptation. These responses are hardwired into your biology, right down to your genes. The good news is, you can mitigate some of the effects with smart nutrition and training strategies. In the Journal of Strength And Conditioning Research review, 7 strategies were listed and confirmed to be scientifically sound.

Most of them revolve around achieving two important goals:

1. Decreasing hunger (or increasing fullness).
2. Minimizing the decrease in energy expenditure.

Don’t expect to see anything novel or “magical” on the list. These solutions are simple concepts that most people are already familiar with. What they often don’t realize is why they work and how important it is to do them consistently.

Even if these strategies seem simplistic, don’t brush them off. Instead ask yourself how many of them you are using and how consistently. If you’re already applying all these strategies, then pat yourself on the back for doing just about everything that you can. There’s nothing else you need to do except to stop worrying about metabolic adaptation.

7 Strategies To Combat Metabolic Adaptation To Weight Loss

1. Don’t lose weight too fast.

It surprises most people when they hear that losing weight faster doesn’t increase your risk of regaining it, because that’s a common belief. But studies show that, at least if slow weight loss is defined as 0.8 pounds to 1.5 pounds per week and fast weight loss is defined as 2.6 to 3.9 pounds per week, then there is no connection between losing faster and weight regain. In fact, it’s likely that quicker early weight loss increases motivation to keep going.

But there are downsides of losing weight too fast. One thing that does correlate with more rapid weight loss is a loss of lean body mass. One study found that people who lost 1.4% of their body weight per week lost more muscle than people who lost only 0.7% per week. It’s also well known that the leaner you are, the higher the risk of losing muscle. So lean people who try to rush it are taking a big risk.

Anything you do whatsoever that triggers a drop in muscle will make the effects of metabolic adaptation worse. Maintaining your LBM is the utmost priority when you’re in a deficit dieting for fat loss.

Heavier people can lose more fat each week than leaner people, but it’s still best to drop weight slow and steady. The rule of thumb has always been to aim for one to two pounds per week or 1% per week maximum.

2. Keep your protein intake high.

Want another reason not to lose muscle? Hunger hormones aside, another reason hunger increases when dieting is because muscle loss has occurred. Losing muscle is another signal to increase appetite, which makes sense because losing muscle could be interpreted in the body as a “starvation.”

Out of all three macronutrients, protein is the most important if you’re trying to reduce metabolic adaptation because it helps preserve lean body mass. Protein also has a higher thermic effect, so it helps support continued fat loss.

In addition, protein helps suppress appetite more than any other macronutrient. The hunger hormone ghrelin is not only responsive to food in the stomach, it’s profoundly responsive to specific macronutrients, namely protein. When you include protein with a meal, ghrelin is suppressed more, and you feel fuller longer.

How much protein, exactly? If you look at the science, the recommended range for people resistance training is .73 to 1.0g per pound of body weight per day. The classic rule of thumb for protein intake in the bodybuilding community is 1 gram per pound of bodyweight per day (which matches the upper end of the evidence-based range).

For lean people in an aggressive deficit, there’s a rationale for eating even more protein to help protect lean body mass. Some researchers suggest that the leaner you are and the bigger your deficit, the higher you scale up your protein. This is why some bodybuilders take in even more than 1 gram per pound during contest prep.

Protein prescription can be more nuanced than following the traditional bodybuilder’s rule. If you are overweight or obese and you use 1 gram per pound of bodyweight you’ll overestimate your protein target big time. For this reason, a different formula is needed. We could prescribe the protein by pounds of lean body weight but most people don’t know their lean body mass. A simple formula is 1 gram of protein per pound of goal body weight. Evidence from the scientific literature usually sets the guideline between .55 to .7 grams per pound of bodyweight for people who are overweight.

If you’ve had a hard time hitting protein goals before, do keep in mind that there’s a range for acceptable protein intakes and it’s not that hard to at least hit the low end of the range. On the other hand, if you’re lifting hard, in a deficit, and already lean or dieted down and if you want to optimize your results, it’s usually wise to aim on the higher side than the lower side.

3. Customize carb and fat intake for your own personal preference.

There’s a common belief in the low carb diet world that insulin is a major player in fat gain. Known as the carbohydrate-insulin hypothesis of obesity, it says that if you eat carbs, that stimulates insulin and then the insulin promotes the storage of those carbs as fat while keeping existing fat trapped inside the fat cells.

A lot of people who follow low carb diets made their choice for this reason, but the evidence doesn’t support the hypothesis. Low carbohydrate diets can work if you can stick to them, but they don’t work because they control insulin. They work for the same reason every other diet works – a calorie deficit.

Sometimes low carb diets look more effective, as it’s not uncommon to see impressive weight loss right out of the gate. But quick weight loss during the early stages on low carb diets is usually explained by the loss of water and glycogen. Long term weight loss studies show that low carb diets are no more effective than any other diet.

With this in mind, the research today suggests that how many grams of carbs or fat you eat is not as important as most people think. The best approach may be to set your calories, set your protein and then fill in the rest with carbs and fat any way you want. For fat loss, calories and protein are the bigger priorities.

Given this freedom of choice, a lot of people may still opt for lower carb intakes and that’s fine. But thinking about metabolic adaptation, there is a good argument to not get extreme with carb cutting. Not only is leptin highly responsive to carbs, but also there are lines of research showing that thyroid levels drop when carbs get down under around 120g a day or so.

Also, carbs can help support training performance when you’re in a calorie deficit. If your resistance training performance stays 100% with lower carbs, that’s one less thing to worry about. But if your performance drops because cutting carbs killed your energy, then increasing carbs is the better option. Ultimately, your best bet is to set macros based on what you can most easily stick with as well as what supports your performance in the gym the best. Low carb may not be as advantageous as many people think.

4. Focus on fiber

Eating enough fiber is important not only for good health but also for successful weight loss. High fiber diets are consistently associated with better weight loss. On a simple level, high fiber foods require more chewing and eating more slowly is well known to help reduce calorie intake. And because the calorie density is usually low in fibrous foods, it’s a lot harder to overeat them (especially vegetables).

What many people don’t know is that high fiber foods can affect your satiety hormones including GLP-1 and PYY. Those same hormones that decrease due to metabolic adaptation, can be increased by focusing on fiber.

Gastric emptying is also slowed down when you eat meals high in fiber. When food leaves your stomach more slowly that means you feel fuller longer (again, counter-acting one of the effects of metabolic adaptation). One study showed that oatmeal (a high fiber food), lowered the rate of gastric emptying substantially more than corn flakes (a lower fiber food). Carbs are not bad, but choose your carbs wisely. Focus on fiber and carbs that make you feel fuller.

According to the FDA, 25 grams a day is the recommended amount. Some health organizations recommend up te 35 grams a day. The DRI (daily reference intake) is slightly higher at 14 grams per 1000 calories expended per day. (For example, 28 grams at 2000 calories per day or 36 grams at 2600 calories per day).

There’s no upper limit set for fiber because it’s not considered bad for you to take in higher amounts than the standard recommendations. However, it doesn’t look like there are any extra benefits of going beyond 40 to 50 grams a day. Plus, at really high levels of fiber intake, it’s possible to start getting gastrointestinal symptoms that you surely don’t want.

5. Implement the diet break and refeeding strategies

There is nothing terribly wrong with dropping down into a calorie deficit and staying there for the duration of a typical diet phase. This is called continuous energy restriction. But it’s not the only approach, and there may be a better way.

Intermittent energy restriction (not to be confused with intermittent fasting) is where you are in a deficit most of the time (because you want to lose fat), but at strategic intervals you raise your calories out of deficit and up to maintenance level. Diet breaks and refeeds are the two most common ways to do this.

The refeed is not a new technique at all – it’s been around the bodybuilding diet world for years, but only recently has it started to be mentioned in scientific journals. A refeed is where you raise your calories to maintenance (or even slightly higher), usually for one or two days a week. When you take two refeed days, you can either split them up (like three days low and one day high), or take two days in a row (like five days low and two days high).

A diet break is similar because you periodically raise your calories to maintenance level. A significant difference is that you keep your calories higher for a longer period of time. The typical diet break is at least one week long, and preferably two weeks long.

For both refeeds and breaks, you eat the same mostly unprocessed, healthy foods. This is absolutely not to be confused with “cheat” days, you simply eat more of the same nutritious, healthy foods you were during the deficit phase. The difference is, the increase in calories during the higher days comes mostly in the form of carbohydrates. One reason is because we know that leptin is responsive not only to increased calories but specifically to carbohydrate calories. It has been theorized that this could restore this hormone closer to normal, non-dieting levels.

In the past, some people would describe that as “spiking the metabolism.” This may occur, but current evidence suggests that if it happens, it’s not that significant, especially for a one day refeed. Therefore, refeeds probably don’t increase fat loss in the short term. After all, you’re eating more calories. With a longer diet break, there may be some restoration of metabolism-regulating hormones that got zapped from calorie restriction.

But even though scientists are still debating whether refeeds and diet breaks do anything to help hormones and metabolism, a proven benefit of both strategies is helping you to retain your lean body mass when you diet. If you stay in a deficit all the time, the risk of muscle loss is higher. If you raise calories periodically, your chances of maintaining all your hard earned muscle is higher. Maintaining muscle means maintaining your metabolism better.

As I mentioned before, leptin is especially responsive to carbohydrate intake. Furthermore, carbs will increase insulin. Most people in the diet world are conditioned to think insulin is a “bad hormone” (mainly because of low carb diet dogma). But insulin is an anabolic hormone that helps maintain fat free mass. It can also reduce protein breakdown and it stimulates MTOR, which is the signaling pathway for muscle growth.

Many athletes also report improved training performance when they use refeed days. Anything you do that improves your weight training performance is going help you maintain your muscle. That in turn will help maintain your metabolism and mitigate metabolic adaptation.

One more benefit, and it’s a huge one, is that taking refeed days and or diet breaks can increase your adherence to a diet over time. While it may seem like inserting periods of maintenance calories across the duration of a fat loss program would decrease your rate of fat loss, studies have shown the opposite. The MATADOR study showed that a group taking 2 week breaks throughout the diet in the end, finished with the same amount of fat loss as the group that stayed in the deficit the whole time.

It doesn’t seem to make sense on the surface, or you might think for sure, the breaks must have spiked metabolism and maybe they did a little. But the primary explanation is probably that the people who were always in a deficit were suffering more from hunger and deprivation and went off their diet more so they weren’t in as much of a deficit overall as they thought they were. The group taking diet breaks strategically and intentionally achieved the same fat loss but with less discomfort or struggle.

6. Counteract the drop in energy expenditure by increasing your physical activity

By far the biggest component of your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) is your basal metabolic rate (BMR). BMR is all the energy you burn just to maintain normal body functions. That includes the energy needed by your internal organs and brain. This can be as much as 70% of your TDEE. BMR stays fairly stable through life, though it slowly decreases with age if you don’t maintain your lean body mass with resistance training.

Your TDEE also includes an activity component. Exercise activity thermogenesis (EAT) is your formal training like an intense weight lifting session or cardio workout. In most people who are not full-time athletes this adds up to only 5% to 10% of your TDEE. . Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) is all the other activity you do every day, including from housework, yardwork, leisure time activities, and even little unconscious body movements like fidgeting or pacing around the room. NEAT could account for as little as 15% of TDEE if someone is sedentary to as much as 50% in someone highly active.

One of the adaptations to weight loss and dieting is a reduction in NEAT, and it’s often unconscious and imperceptible. Most people simply don’t realize that they move less all day long after they’ve dieted down and lost weight. Most people’s attention is focused on formal workouts and think that ramping up cardio is the way to keep fat loss going or ramp up the rate of fat loss.

If you increase your intentional exercise activity (like doing more cardio), that is indeed one way to offset some of the metabolic adaption. This is why you see the majority of dieters who exercise increase the amount of their exercise over the course of their fat loss phase. This is also why smart fat loss seekers start a cutting phase with a fairly modest amount of cardio, maybe only three or four days a week for a half an hour, and then increase the cardio based on their results. If you start with high volume cardio from day one, you end up doing a ridiculous amount of cardio that is unsustainable or simply not practical.

What most people miss is the power of the NEAT component. When you think about how formal exercise only makes up a small part of your TDEE, it pays to think about increasing NEAT as well. The calories burned from NEAT can add up to far more than you could ever achieve from formal exercise.

Once you become consciously aware that your overall level of daily activity usually drops after you’re dieted down, that alone is enough for most people to make adjustments to counter it. Fitness trackers with step counters can be a big help. While 10,000 steps may be a good goal for many, the best idea is to know your usual baseline and make sure you don’t fall below that number, or ideally, increase it a little bit as you get leaner. Many people set their fitness tracker to vibrate on the hour as a reminder to get up move for 5 minutes before getting back to work.

It’s not worth worrying about the tiny little things that make up NEAT, but it is worth it to start doing things like taking the stairs and not the elevator. Also, adopting a mentality that exercise doesn’t have to come in 30, 40 or 60 minute chunks is helpful. Smaller bouts of “micro exercise” spread out across the day can make a big difference and many people will find this easier than going for the typical 150 minutes a week in 30 minute continuous sessions. Beyond keeping your calorie expenditure up, you can get health benefits from as little as 10 minutes of continuous walking at a brisk pace (around 3mph)

You may realize that when you’re restricting calories you don’t have as much energy. You may feel tired and aren’t very motivated to move. You can overcome that with a little discipline. The main thing to remember is that one of the metabolic adaptations to weight loss is a drop in your activity level throughout the whole day, which may be unconscious, so you don’t notice it. When you’re consciously aware of this, you can make conscious efforts to counteract it – not only with your usual workouts, but also keeping up your walking and other non-exercise activity.

7. Make resistance training with progressive overload the primary focus of your exercise plan.

No strategy is more important than doing progressive overload resistance training, and doing it consistently.

It’s ironic, but most people who are trying to lose weight believe that the ideal type of exercise for reaching their goal is cardio. Cardio training is vital for your health. It also helps increase and maintain weight loss and it does so very well as long as the diet is controlled and you don’t out-eat your exercise.

But cardio alone is not enough. Most types of cardio won’t help you maintain lean body mass. In fact, if you do extreme amounts of cardio, attempting to lose fat faster, it can increase the risk of muscle loss when you are in a calorie deficit.

If you’re trying to reduce metabolic adaptation, you have to maintain your lean body mass. That means resistance training should be your highest exercise priority. When you combine resistance training with an optimal protein intake, those two strategies alone reduce the risk of muscle loss more than anything else you can do.

Standard weight training programs with straight sets usually won’t burn as many calories as steady state cardio, and burning calories is not the main reason we do it. But it does contribute to your exercise activity energy expenditure at the same time it helps you build muscle.

It can be challenging to increase weight training volume over the course of a diet. But as fat loss progresses, increasing the training volume and frequency can sometimes be another option to boost energy expenditure. Plus, there is a direct relationship between resistance training volume and muscle growth, so if you can another day of weight training or increase the sets slightly and still recover from it, that’s yet another strategy you can add to your list.

Always remember that exercise and nutrition programs must be customized. Using a metabolic adaptation protocol is no different. All human bodies operate under the same physiological laws, so the same strategies apply to everyone. To minimize adaptations and optimize results, everyone needs to eat enough protein. Everyone needs to do resistance training. Everyone needs to stay active. However, you have a lot of room to adjust your approach based on your preferences and your lifestyle.

Your choices for training, for example, are endless. Choose a weight training style you like. Choose a type of aerobic exercise you like. Stick to walking if more intense types of cardio don’t suit you. Even when choosing a protein goal, there are recommended ranges, not a single target you must hit. All you have to do is make sure you at least hit the minimums and it’s up to you if you want to aim for the maximums.

Don’t be afraid to experiment – not only with training but also with strategies like refeeds and diet breaks. Even though it may seem like your body is fighting you every step of the way, and you’re cursing that damned metabolic adaptation, keep tweaking and adjusting your approach. Ditch what doesn’t work for you, keep doing more of what’s working, and you will reach your weight loss and fat loss goals.

PS. Which part did you find most helpful or enlightening? How many of the 7 strategies do you consistently use? Post in the comments below or join our conversation on Facebook.

About Tom Venuto, The No-BS Fat Loss Coach
Tom Venuto is a natural bodybuilding and fat loss expert. He is also a recipe creator specializing in fat-burning, muscle-building cooking. Tom is a former competitive bodybuilder and today works as a full-time fitness coach, writer, blogger, and author. In his spare time, he is an avid outdoor enthusiast and backpacker. His book, Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle is an international bestseller, first as an ebook and now as a hardcover and audiobook. The Body Fat Solution, Tom’s book about emotional eating and long-term weight maintenance, was an Oprah Magazine and Men’s Fitness Magazine pick. Tom is also the founder of Burn The Fat Inner Circle – a fitness support community with over 52,000 members worldwide since 2006. Click here for membership details

Scientific References

Roberts B, Martinez-Gomez M, Metabolic Adaptations to Weight Loss: A Brief Review, Journal of Strength And Conditioning Research March 2021.

Fothergill E et al, Persistent metabolic adaptation 6 years after The Biggest Loser competition, Obesity, 24(8): 1612–1619, 2016

Martins, C, et al, Metabolic Adaptation is Not a Barrier to Long Term Weight Maintenance, Am J Clin Nutr, 1112(3):558-565, 2020.

Fructose Metabolism

Ok, so we know that glucose gets into our blood quickly and is used by all cells, stored temporarily in glycogen, and stored long-term in fat cells. But what about fructose?

Structurally, here is the exact difference between glucose and fructose:

As you can see, both have six carbons, but the fructose carbon ring is smaller (the other carbon is hanging off as an additional CH2OH group). But why does this matter? Well, for one, fructose tastes sweeter to us (which is nice, I suppose). Second, fructose is absorbed into our blood via a slightly different route than glucose, and is relatively slower to do so unless ratios of glucose to fructose are similar. Third, once in your blood, fructose can only be processed by your liver, where — when introduced in reasonably low concentrations — it is converted to glucose and mainly stored in glycogen:

However, in higher concentrations, and especially when there is plenty of glucose around, fructose can do unhelpful things, including a more direct route to storing TAGs in our fat cells and a propensity toward non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD):

Fructose does not stimulate insulin like glucose does, so in small amounts fructose participates relatively harmlessly with our normal energy storage and supply. But, indeed, part of the reason why soft drinks with HFCS are so “bad for us” is because it’s easy for us to drink too much, which thereby sends a significant percentage of it into our fat cells (especially around the liver).

Review | Get Lean Belly 3X By Beyond 40 - Weight Loss Pills With Scientific References

April 10, 2021 01:36 ET | Source: FitLivings Reviews FitLivings Reviews

Queens, NY, April 10, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Lean Belly 3X Reviews - You're about ready to discover the real reasonwhy your body's cells continuously store more and more fat inside them after 40 years old.

. No matter how hard you diet or exercise.

Never before told by powerful food and drug companies who survive by making you fatter and sicker.

These facts were presented in double-blind placebo-controlled human studies published in the prestigious:

  • American Journal of Clinical Nutrition [17]
  • Journal of International Medical Research [14]
  • And premier journal Lipids [15]

This is a newly released report on Lean Belly 3X reviews and where to buy Beyond 40 Lean Belly 3X online.

Lean Belly 3X by Beyond 40 is a new dietary supplement in the market co-founded by Karen and Shaun Hadsall. As stated on the official website, the LeanBelly 3X supplement targets obese people and work on helping them lose stubborn pounds.

This natural ingredient uses the power of two major ingredients i.e. safflower seed oil and BioPerine to aid in accelerating metabolism and toning the body. These pills only comprise natural ingredients and do not likely contain any stimulants, gluten, caffeine, or GMOs, which can make it a safe yet effective solution for weight loss.

Aging is an inevitable process that can bring about many cruel changes in your body. Some of these changes include hormonal imbalances, slow metabolism, and barred energy production. Since most of the people who suffer from this process are busy with their professional and personal lives, they usually neglect these changes and fail to pay sufficient attention to these on-going issues. As a result, these problems exacerbate and create much bigger issues inside the body, one of which is obesity.

This obesity is usually extremely stubborn and fails to go away no matter what is done. Moreover, most conventional strategies to get rid of this extra body weight are too difficult and time-consuming that not many muster up the courage to go for them in the first place. In such circumstances, the only effective and safe option is to opt for natural weight loss supplements, and one of them can be the Lean Belly 3X supplement.

Combined with minor changes in diet and general lifestyle, Lean Belly 3X pills can aid in accelerating metabolism and losing weight. But is it a reliable option? How does this product work and what can you expect from it? This Lean Belly 3X review will discuss all of it in detail.

Lean Belly 3X Review

The Lean Belly 3X dietary supplement is a powerful fat-burning formula with a unique formulation that can help users shed off all extra pounds. It basically works by targeting the main culprits behind belly fat and a low metabolic rate and helps fix it. Manufactured by a company named Beyond 40, this formula has been specially designed for middle-aged people who are unable to follow the conventional weight loss measures to lose weight.

As mentioned before, aging can lead to a number of problems in both men and women. A lot of these problems, such as sluggish metabolism, hormonal imbalances, increased inflammation, etc., can directly alter your body’s ability to regulate its weight. As a result, you start packing on pounds that cannot be lost unless the underlying issues are addressed.

With the regular use of Beyond 40 Lean Belly 3X weight loss pills, it can now be possible to fix all these issues at hand and allow users a better chance at regulating their body weight, that too without exercising a lot or following harsh diet plans. The natural ingredients included in its formula can increase metabolism, control blood pressure, and provide other associated benefits without damaging any other part of the body.

Lean Belly 3X weight loss supplement has been designed for adult users of all genders who are particularly worried about their multiple fat layers deposited all across their bodies, particularly around the abdomen, thighs, and hips. With the daily use of this supplement, such people can expect to see these fat layers melting off in a completely natural and harmless way.

According to the Lean Belly 3X official website, this product can achieve all the weight-related benefits with the help of two ingredients only. Both of these ingredients have been taken from premium quality sources that are completely natural. Then, they have been compiled together in adequate and carefully measured doses in a facility that has been approved by the FDA and has been running as per the good manufacturing practices.

Since it is a natural dietary supplement, you do not necessarily need a prescription to purchase Lean Belly 3X weight loss capsules. All you need to do is visit the official website to place an order online. However, make sure that you must not abuse these pills even if they do not contain any chemicals. Excess of everything is bad for the body and that goes for natural supplements as well.

How Does Lean Belly 3X Work? The Two-Step Mechanism To Eradicate AVAT

To understand how Lean Belly 3X can help you lose weight, it is important to understand the concept of AVAT. AVAT is the abbreviation used for Acute Visceral Adipose Tissue and refers to the fat deposited around different vital organs of the body. The problem is extremely prevalent in most Americans and has been regarded as the “death fat” since it is related to a very high rate of death. This problem is particularly prevalent in people over the age of 40.

The reason why AVAT is so common among middle-aged people is the fact that as they age, their bodies naturally increase the production of a fat-storing enzyme inside the body. This fat-storing enzyme is known as Lipoprotein-lipase and mainly exists on the surface of all fat cells where it constantly keeps pushing fat molecules into the tissue.

As long as you have higher levels of this hormone in your body, you are unable to lose weight. No matter how hard you work out or whatever diet plan you choose to follow, you will first need to turn off this enzyme so that the constant process of fat storage can be reduced.

As per research, the insulin hormone is in charge of regulating LPL activity in fatty tissues, which means, if the LPL enzyme is impaired, it is due to cells in the liver, fat, and muscles refusing to break down at insulin’s call for glucose and accumulating fat. As a result, such people experience weight gain, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol levels.

To help turn off this potential “fat switch,” users can consider trying the Lean Belly 3X weight loss supplement that can help trigger the store fat into triglycerides which can then be utilized for energy. To make this happen, the following two routes are adopted:

As mentioned on, AVAT normally occurs in the users due to two reasons, one of which is insulin resistance. Millions of Americans are currently in a pre-diabetic stage where their blood glucose levels are borderline normal and diabetes can hit them any minute. This condition prevails mostly because of an underlying insulin resistance which occurs due to the typical low-fat, high-grain diet that is prescribed by physicians to most of these individuals.

While most people believe that following this dietary pattern may help them combat diabetes and obesity, it actually leads to a spike in insulin hormone and creates a potential ‘fat-burning environment inside the body. Ultimately, the user develops issues like high blood sugar, poor insulin sensitivity, and a lot of visceral fat.

To combat all these issues and firm up the belly while keeping your body in a fat-burning mode, the manufacturers suggest using Lean Belly 3X pills along with their special list of 7 fatty foods which include nuts, whole eggs, seeds, fatty fish, olive oil, avocado, and coconut oil.

Each of these foods is loaded with several minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants in addition to health-boosting fatty acids and inflammation-curbing omega-3s. Others can help with appetite regulation and metabolism boost, both of which help in body weight regulation.

As per the manufacturers, there is a super fat that works in conjunction with the fatty foods mentioned above to maximize fat burning while stopping further storage of AVAT. This super fat is found inside safflower and is known as conjugated linoleic acid or CLA.

What this super fat does is it sends all the fats coming from your food to your muscle tissue where the body rapidly breaks them down to release energy. In other words, it does not let lipoprotein lipase to store these fats as AVAT. This super fat has been included as the top ingredient in the LeanBelly 3X weight loss pills and, in this way, can help users shed unwanted weight.

What Does Beyond 40 Lean Belly 3X Supplement Do?

Multiple Lean Belly 3X reviews online have reported numerous benefits that can be attributed to the daily use of this supplement. Some of these benefits include the following:

  • Increasing the sluggish metabolic rate by fixing all the underlying issues
  • Protection from premature aging
  • Balancing all the hormone inside the body
  • Melting off visceral fat to generate energy
  • Increasing the quality of life as well as longevity
  • Supporting a natural and healthy weight loss without involving harmful chemicals, stimulants, or any such thing
  • Helping body maintain optimal blood cholesterol levels
  • Regulation of the blood pressure
  • Optimization of blood sugar levels by controlling insulin resistance
  • Strengthening the immunity and improving the body’s protective barriers against foreign attacks
  • Improving the functioning of all digestive enzymes
  • Better heart health
  • Improving the activity of all enzymes primarily related to digestion.
  • Improved self-esteem and added confidence due to a slimmer body

Remember that the exact benefits of LeanBelly 3X dietary supplement can differ to some extent in different users. This is because these results are mostly dependent on several individual factors like the current body weight, dietary habits, lifestyle, age, sex, and more.

Who Has Created Beyond 40 Lean Belly 3X Supplement?

Lean Belly 3X weight loss pills have been launched into the market by a couple named Karen and Shaun Hadsall both of which have personally benefited from this supplement, as mentioned on the official website. These are also the co-founders of Beyond 40, the company behind manufacturing this weight loss product. The pair have mentioned how they have always taken a keen interest in dietary supplements but noticed how most of them only worked for younger individuals. Feeling a lack of dietary supplements that particularly target middle-aged people, they came up with this company.

The story of Shaun and Karen and how they came up with Lean Belly 3X is available on the product’s official website i.e.

Evaluation Of the Lean Belly 3X Ingredients List

As stated on the official website, Beyond 40 Lean Belly 3X comprises only two ingredients that have been added to its capsules in sufficient amounts. If you take a look at the ingredients list of other weight loss supplements in the market, you will see how they are loaded with various agents and components to help with their promised benefits. Compared to such products, the Lean Belly 3X ingredients list may seem odd to a lot of people. However, according to the manufacturers, this supplement can help users achieve similar weight loss benefits without overloading the body with nutrients that can otherwise be taken from the diet.

Hence, this supplement only focuses on two ingredients to help fulfill any potential deficiencies that might be behind your weight gain problem. These two ingredients include BioPerine taken from black pepper and CLA taken from safflower oil.

Let's explore both of these ingredients in detail.

CLA or conjugated linoleic acid present in the Lean Belly 3X Beyond 40 supplement has been taken from safflower seed oil. This ingredient has been labeled as a type of super fat that is found in a lot of other weight loss supplements owing to its exceptional properties in weight management and sugar balancing.

Some independent research done on the effects of CLA on fatty acids has shown that it did reduce body weight, LPL activity, and lipogenic enzyme activities without affecting intake of food or insulin levels. Side effects such as fatigue, diarrhea, and nausea have been reported but only in some cases.

BioPerine is a black pepper extract that can be prepared easily. It helps bind the safflower oil strongly, allowing the body to digest it easily. Because of its simple preparation, it is also widely found in health supplements. Inside the body, this ingredient can help trigger a faster metabolism leading to efficient weight loss.

In addition to the two main Lean Belly 3X ingredients, you may also find a couple of other components mentioned on its product label. These include caramel color, gelatin, glycerin, and purified water, none of which is harmful or holds any nutritional value for the users.

Unlike most other supplements on the market, Lean Belly 3X does not contain any stimulating or addictive components in its composition. As a result, you do not need to worry about getting habitual of using these pills. In fact, you can start and stop its consumption according to your own preference without the fear of any withdrawal symptoms.

Also keep in mind that Beyond 40 Lean Belly 3X is a non-GMO product and does not contain any gluten or caffeine. Therefore, most people can easily fit it into their regular routine. Because it is a natural supplement, you do not need to obtain a prescription from the doctor before using it.

Also check out what Lean Belly 3X customer reviews are saying about this product. Does it really work for weight loss? Find Out More Here!

Where to Buy Lean Belly 3X Pills? Discount Price and Refund Policy

The best thing about Lean Belly 3X is that it is available for purchase online. This means that you do not need to leave your home to get your hands on them and can directly visit to place an order today.

The company is offering the customers a chance to avail amazing discounts by purchasing bulk deals. The pricing of these deals as well as individual bottles is explained below:

  • Get a one-month supply of this supplement for $59 per bottle instead of $79, saving 25% of your money
  • Get a three-month supply of this supplement for $49 per bottle, saving 39% of your money
  • Get a six-month supply at the rate of $39 per bottle and save 51% of your money

Keep in mind that one bottle of this supplement is enough for a month, so in the three and six-month supply packages, you will get three and six bottles of this supplement respectively. For those who have never consumed any supplement before, it is advised to order a single bottle pack and use it for one whole month.

However, if you wish to lose more pounds while saving money, the company advises getting the bundle packs. These bundle packs can easily last you a few months while maximizing your chances of losing weight. Moreover, LeanBelly 3X comes with a long shelf life so you do not have to worry about the pills getting expired. These bundle packs also allow users to share the supplement with their family and friends while saving on shipping costs as well.

Remember that these discount deals are available for a limited time only. Therefore, place an order today before they expire or the product goes out of stock. Be careful of getting into any Lean Belly 3X scam and order this product through the official Beyond 40 website only.

At the moment, the company is providing shipping service for all domestic and international orders. The local orders, which include orders placed from the United States and Canada are usually delivered to their destinations within seven working days. However, international orders may take up to three weeks, according to the time required for customs clearance.

If you place an order for Lean Belly 3X today, you can get access to a bonus eBook named “7-Day Fat Burning Meal Plan.” This book can help users get a stepwise blueprint that can work synergistically with the supplement to provide a handful of benefits. Moreover, it also helps users understand how to time their meals properly so that their Growth Hormone levels can be boosted.

It also provides tips on how to combine foods so that you can fight and minimize insulin resistance so that your body can stay in a fat-burning mode. All strategies outlined in this book are in accordance with the body type and nature of people above 40 years of age so that they can melt all stubborn fat from their bodies.

Lean Belly 3X Refund Policy

Investing your money on something online is always a risky business and not many people are willing to do it. This is because there is always a danger that the product you are interested in may not work and lead to a total loss of your invested money. This is why many people are still hesitant in making online purchases. However, there is no such case with the Lean Belly 3X supplement.

To increase the customer’s confidence and trust, the company is currently offering a money-back guarantee on every order that users place through its official website. This guarantee lasts for 60 days from the day you place your order. During this period, you can continue using Beyond 40 Lean Belly 3X supplement and if they show you no effects, you can easily contact the company to get your money back.

As soon as the company gets your refund request, it will confirm your order details and once it is done, your refund request will be initiated and your spent money will be returned to you in a few days. Overall, it seems like a good offer and also serves as a guarantee that your money will not go to waste.

Keep in mind that there are no Lean Belly 3X Amazon listings currently available on the internet. You will also not find it in physical stores, including Walmart and Amazon. To maintain quality control and minimize the risk of scams, the company regulates all its orders itself.

Are There Any Lean Belly 3X Side Effects?

Even though Lean Belly 3X can help people from all walks of life, its individual benefits for weight loss can differ in different users. These benefits are dependent on a variety of factors, such as diet, genetics, lifestyle, age, current body weight. However, the company ensures that users can expect to observe changes in their body weight after using it for a few weeks on a daily basis.

Most Beyond 40 reviews indicate how most users were able to get Lean Belly 3X results within three months of using this supplement. However, to ensure these results and to accelerate them, it is important to combine this product with healthy dietary habits and light physical activity.

As far as Lean Belly 3X side effects are concerned, the risk is next to negligible, mainly because the supplement is built using only two ingredients, both of which are natural. Therefore, the side effects that most users dread are not likely to occur because of a complete absence of any chemicals in its composition.

Lean Belly 3X Dosage and Usage Guidelines

Lean Belly 3X weight loss supplement is available in plastic bottles, each containing 120 capsules. Every user has to consume 4 of these pills on a daily basis with water. Two pills must be consumed at breakfast time while the other two can be taken with dinner.

For faster results, the company urges the users to stick to the official guidelines for use. Any changes in the daily dose of this supplement may lead to reduced efficacy or side effects.

Lean Belly 3X can be taken by both males and females above 18 years of age. However, in some special circumstances, it is best to stay away from this supplement. These circumstances are mentioned below:

  • During pregnancy as there is a risk to the mother and the developing baby
  • Active breastfeeding as the safety of this supplement has not been evaluated in these circumstances
  • The presence of any coinciding medical condition as the supplement may exacerbate its symptoms
  • Combining with other OTC or prescription pills as there is a chance of cross-reaction

Moreover, if you suspect that the primary cause of your obesity is a medical condition, refrain from using Lean Belly 3X pills unless you resolve this issue at hand first. For more information, it is better to contact a healthcare physician.

Lean Belly 3X Reviews - Conclusion

Lean Belly 3X is a dietary supplement that can help with weight loss, especially in people above 40 years of age. It can melt off stubborn fat layers and optimize metabolism that might be affected due to the natural process of aging, especially in middle-aged people. The supplement makes use of two ingredients only, both of which have been derived from natural sources. Hence, the risk of side effects with this supplement is negligible.

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Scientific References

  1. Bosello, O., & Zamboni, M. (2000). Visceral obesity and metabolic syndrome.Obesity reviews, 1(1), 47-56.
  2. Merat, S., Casanada, F., Sutphin, M., Palinski, W., & Reaven, P. D. (1999). Western-type diets induce insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia in LDL receptor-deficient mice but do not increase aortic atherosclerosis compared with normoinsulinemic mice in which similar plasma cholesterol levels are achieved by a fructose-rich diet. Arteriosclerosis, thrombosis, and vascular biology, 19(5), 1223-1230.
  3. Garg, A., Grundy, S. M., & Unger, R. H. (1992). Comparison of effects of high and low carbohydrate diets on plasma lipoproteins and insulin sensitivity in patients with mild NIDDM. Diabetes, 41(10), 1278-1285. raise plasma triglyceride and VLDL-cholesterol concentrations and reduce HDL-cholesterol levels,
  4. BORKMAN, M., CAMPBELL, L. V., CHISHOLM, D. J., & STORLIEN, L. H. (1991). Comparison of the Effects on Insulin Sensitivity of High Carbohydrate and High Fat Diets in Normal Subjects*. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 72(2), 432-437.
  5. Carey, D. G., Jenkins, A. B., Campbell, L. V., Freund, J., & Chisholm, D. J. (1996). Abdominal fat and insulin resistance in normal and overweight women: direct measurements reveal a strong relationship in subjects at both low and high risk of NIDDM. Diabetes, 45(5), 633-638.
  6. Despres, J. P. (1992). Abdominal obesity as important component of insulin-resistance syndrome. Nutrition (Burbank, Los Angeles County, Calif.), 9(5), 452-459.
  7. Volek, J. S., Sharman, M. J., Love, D. M., Avery, N. G., Scheett, T. P., & Kraemer, W. J. (2002). Body composition and hormonal responses to a carbohydrate-restricted diet. Metabolism, 51(7), 864-870.
  8. McAuley, K. A., Hopkins, C. M., Smith, K. J., McLay, R. T., Williams, S. M., Taylor, R. W., & Mann, J. I. (2005). Comparison of high-fat and high-protein diets with a high-carbohydrate diet in insulin-resistant obese women. Diabetologia, 48(1), 8-16.
  9. Volek, J. S., Sharman, M. J., Love, D. M., Avery, N. G., Scheett, T. P., & Kraemer, W. J. (2002). Body composition and hormonal responses to a carbohydrate-restricted diet. Metabolism, 51(7), 864-870.
  10. Mårin, P., Darin, N., Amemiya, T., Andersson, B., Jern, S., & Björntorp, P. (1992). Cortisol secretion in relation to body fat distribution in obese premenopausal women. Metabolism, 41(8), 882-886.
  11. Epel, E. S., McEwen, B., Seeman, T., Matthews, K., Castellazzo, G., Brownell, K. D., … & Ickovics, J. R. (2000). Stress and body shape: stress-induced cortisol secretion is consistently greater among women with central fat. Psychosomatic medicine, 62(5), 623-632.
  12. Kumari, M., Badrick, E., Ferrie, J., Perski, A., Marmot, M., & Chandola, T. (2009). Self-reported sleep duration and sleep disturbance are independently associated with cortisol secretion in the Whitehall II study. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 94(12), 4801-4809.
  13. Jevning, Ron, A. F. Wilson, and J. M. Davidson. "Adrenocortical activity during meditation." Hormones and Behavior 10.1 (1978): 54-60.12
  14. E. Thom, et al. Conjugated Linoleic Acid Reduces Body Fat in Healthy Exercising Humans. Journal of International Medical Research 2001 29: 392
  15. Smedman A, Vessby B. Conjugated linoleic acid supplementation in humans--metabolic effects. Lipids. 2001 Aug36(8):773-81.
  16. Nuria Laso, et al. Effects of milk supplementation with conjugated linoleic acid (isomers cis-9, trans-11 and trans-10, cis-12) on body composition and metabolic syndrome components. Br J Nutr. 2007 Oct98(4):860-7.
  17. Gaullier JM, et al. Conjugated linoleic acid supplementation for 1 yr reduces body fat mass in healthy overweight humans. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 Jun79(6):1118-25.
  18. U RiseÂrus, et al. Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) reduced abdominal adipose tissue in obese middle-aged men with signs of the metabolic syndrome: a randomised controlled trial. International Journal of Obesity (2001) 25, 1129-1135
  19. Blankson H, Stakkestad JA, Fagertun H, Thom E, Wadstein J, and Gudmundsen O: Conjugated linoleic acid reduces body fat mass in overweight and obese humans. J Nutr 2000 130: 2943-2948
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  22. Mensink, R., & Katan, M. (1987). Effect of monounsaturated fatty acids versus complex carbohydrates on high-density lipoproteins in healthy men and women.The Lancet, 329(8525), 122-125.
  23. Raquel Hontecillas DVM, PhD, et al. Activation of PPAR ? and a by Punicic Acid Ameliorates Glucose Tolerance and Suppresses Obesity-Related Inflammation. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 28:2, 184-195
  24. Vladimir Badmaev, M.D. et al. Piperine, an Alkaloid Derived from Black Pepper, Increases Serum Response of Beta-Carotene During 14-days of Oral Beta-Carotene Supplementation. Nutrition Research (1999) 19(3) 381-388
  25. Fernie, C. E., Dupont, I. E., Scruel, O., Carpentier, Y. A., Sébédio, J. L., & Scrimgeour, C. M. (2004). Relative absorption of conjugated linoleic acid as triacylglycerol, free fatty acid and ethyl ester in a functional food matrix.European journal of lipid science and technology,106(6), 347-354.
  26. Gaullier JM, et al. Conjugated linoleic acid supplementation for 1 yr reduces body fat mass in healthy overweight humans. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 Jun79(6):1118-25.
  27. Raff M et al. Conjugated linoleic acids reduce body fat in healthy postmenopausal women. J Nutr. 2009 Jul139(7):1347-52. doi: 10.3945/jn.109.104471. Epub 2009 Jun 3.
  28. Riserus U, Basu S, Jovinge S, Fredrikson GN, Arnlov J, Vessby B. Supplementation with conjugated linoleic acid causes isomer-dependent oxidative stress and elevated C-reactive protein: a potential link to fatty acid-induced insulin resistance. Circulation 2002 106:1925-9.
  29. Kent State University, University of Memphis, University of Wisconsin, USDA Western Human Research Center, Medstat Research Ltd. in Norway, Uppsala University in Sweden, University of Kumanoto in Japan and University of Tours in France (
  30. Harvard School of Public Health: Low fat diets are not a cure-all

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How many calories do you need?

A calorie is a unit of energy. In nutrition, calories refer to the energy people get from the food and drink they consume, and the energy they use in physical activity.

Calories are listed in the nutritional information on all food packaging. Many weight loss programs center around reducing the intake of calories.

This MNT Knowledge Center article focuses on calories associated with food and drink, as well as the way the human body uses energy. MNT covers what a calorie is, how many calories humans need each day, and how to get calories in a way that benefits overall health.

Share on Pinterest The nutritional information on all food packaging will advise how many calories it contains.

Most people only associate calories with food and drink, but anything that contains energy has calories. 1 kilogram (kg) of coal, for example, contains 7,000,000 calories.

There are two types of calorie:

  • A small calorie (cal) is the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of 1 gram (g) of water by 1º Celsius (º C).
  • A large calorie (kcal) is the amount of energy required to raise 1 kilogram (kg) of water by 1º C. It is also known as a kilocalorie.

1 kcal is equal to 1,000 cal.

The terms “large calorie” and “small calorie” are often used interchangeably. This is misleading. The calorie content described on food labels refers to kilocalories. A 250-calorie chocolate bar actually contains 250,000 calories.

The United States government states that the average man needs 2,700 kcal per day and the average woman needs 2,200 kcal per day.

Not everybody needs the same number of calories each day. People have different metabolisms that burn energy at different rates, and some people have more active lifestyles than others.

The recommended intake of calories per day depends on several factors, including:

  • overall general health
  • physical activity demands
  • sex
  • weight
  • height
  • body shape

The human body needs calories to survive. Without energy, the cells in the body would die, the heart and lungs would stop, and the organs would not be able to carry out the basic processes needed for living. People absorb this energy from food and drink.

If people consumed only the number of calories needed every day, they would probably have healthy lives. Calorie consumption that is too low or too high will eventually lead to health problems.

The number of calories in food tells us how much potential energy they contain. It is not only calories that are important, but also the substance from which the calories are taken.

Below are the calorific values of three main components of food:

  • 1 g of carbohydrates contains 4 kcal
  • 1 g of protein contains 4 kcal
  • 1 g of fat contains 9 kcal

As an example, here is the breakdown of how a person would get calories from one cup of large eggs , weighing 243 g:

23.11 g x 9 kcal = 207.99 kcal

Protein: 30.52 g

30.52 x 4 kcal = 122.08 kcal

Carbohydrate: 1.75 g

1.75 x 4 kcal = 7 kcal

243 g of raw egg contains 347 kcal. 208 kcal comes from fat, 122 kcal is taken from protein, and carbohydrate provides 7 kcal.

Fast food in American diets

Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a report in 2013 showing that 11.3 percent of calories consumed by people in the U.S. come from fast foods.

Nutritionists and healthcare professionals say this figure is too high.

As people get older, they tend to get fewer of their daily calories from fast foods. Fast foods make up only 6 percent of the daily calorie intake of older adults.

However, with the number of highly calorific meals served in restaurants or aimed at younger individuals, it is important that people pay close attention to where they get their calories.

When should you eat?

The time of day at which a person eats can shape how effectively their body uses calories.

Researchers at Tel Aviv University wrote in the journal Obesity that a large breakfast containing approximately 700 kcal is ideal for losing weight and lowering the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and high cholesterol.

A large breakfast may help to control body weight. When people eat matters as much as what they eat.

Empty calories are those that provide energy but very little nutritional value. The parts of food that provide empty calories contain virtually no dietary fiber, amino acids, antioxidants, dietary minerals, or vitamins.

According to, a diet management tool from the USDA, empty calories come mainly from solid fats and added sugars.

  • Solid fats: Although these exist naturally in many foods, they are often added during industrial food processing, as well as during the preparation of certain foods. Butter is an example of a solid fat.
  • Added sugars: These are sweeteners that are added to foods and beverages during industrial processing. They are filled with calories. In the U.S., the most common types of added sugars are sucrose and high-fructose corn syrup.

Added sugars and solid fats are said to make foods and drinks more enjoyable. However, they also add many calories and are major contributors to obesity.

Alcohol can also contribute empty calories to the diet. One normal serving of beer can add 153 kcal to a person’s intake for the day.

If beer is not your drink of choice, you can use this calorie calculator provided by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism to work out how many calories alcohol adds to your diet.

Sources of empty calories

The following foods and drinks provide the largest amounts of empty calories:

Solid fats and added sugars

Added sugars

Sugary drinks are the leading source of empty calories for people in the U.S.

More than half of all people in the U.S. have at least one sugary drink each day.

There are ways of sourcing products with less solid fat or empty sugars. Rather than choosing the standard hot dog or a fatty cheese, for example, a person could choose low-fat options for either.

However, even the lower-fat options are no replacement for calories consumed from sources that also provide nutritional benefit. Rachel Johnson, a spokesperson for the American Heart Association (AHA), shared the following with MNT:

“ Sugar-sweetened beverages are the number one single source of calories in the American diet and account for about half of all added sugars that people consume.

Most Americans don’t have much room in their diets for a completely nutrient-void beverage. One recent study showed that drinking more than one sugar-sweetened beverage a day increases your risk of high blood pressure.

It’s better if you can avoid them altogether and instead consume water, fat-free or 1 percent fat milk, 100 percent fruit juice, and low-sodium vegetable juices.”

The intake of empty calories can be avoided or dramatically reduced by incorporating fresh, healthy food and drink into the diet.

Calories seem to be linked only to weight gain and obesity, but they are vital for health. They only pose a health risk when people consume more than the recommended amount.

When thinking about calories, you should not be considering just your diet but also your level of physical activity. A high intake of calories can be countered with regular, high-intensity exercise.

Set Point Theory: 5 Ways Your Body Is Actively Striving To Stop You From Losing Weight.

So you decide to go on a diet. Here are the ways your body will try to actively fight you not just from losing weight, but especially from maintaining it.

Note, that these are physiological changes that are triggered because you’re losing weight. You won’t need to do something too special to get them to happen to you. They just come together with weight loss.

Also note that while this is depressing to read, there’s more to the Set Point Theory, so don’t start gathering tissues yet.

1. As you lose weight, your metabolism may slow so that you need fewer Calories.

Funnily enough, your body is built to survive, and over the course of dieting when you’re providing it with insufficient energy to meet its daily requirements, adaptive mechanisms will kick in.

In other words, your metabolic rate will drop to some degree when you diet. Whilst the extent of this drop in metabolism is often blown way out of proportion, it does still happen (2,3).

Your metabolic rate can be broken down into 4 components: resting metabolic rate, exercise activity thermogenesis, non exercise activity thermogenesis, and the thermic effect of feeding (2,4).

They all have a role to play in the set point theory in one way or another…

As covered previously when addressing the Biggest Loser Study, your resting metabolic rate refers to the energy your body expends when you’re in a sack of potato like state doing nothing but merely staying alive. Your resting metabolic rate may decrease by up to 20% when dieting which may be the result of physiological changes like muscle loss and hormonal changes (2,3).

2. Meet the Thermic Effect of Feeding: You eat less, so you burn less.

When you eat, regardless of whether you’re stuffing your face with donuts or a bowl of lettuce, your metabolic rate goes up. This is because it requires energy to digest and process food. This rise in metabolism is known as the thermic effect of feeding and it accounts for roughly 5-10% of your daily energy expenditure (2,5).

Because the process of dieting will generally require you to consume less food (unless you decide to ramp up the exercise you do instead), the energy you burn to digest/process will drop.

As an example, you might have been eating 2500 Calories prior to dieting. 10% of that to account for the thermic effect of feeding is 250 Calories. If you dropped to 2000 Calories when dieting, the thermic effect of feeding would go down to 200 Calories (10% of 2000 Calories). That’s an instant 50 Calorie drop in your metabolic rate. Nothing to call home about, but it all adds up and making you more likely to go back to your body weight set point.

3. While losing weight, you burn fewer Calories to move around a lighter body.

Meet Exercise Activity Thermogenesis: As the name suggests, this the energy burnt during exercise. Because dieting requires a deficit of Calories, you won’t have as much energy to fuel your performance when dropping the pounds. That means your performance may suffer to some degree, which may have a knock on effect on the Calories you burn during exercise.

Unsurprisingly, it also takes less effort to move around a lighter body, so as you drop weight, you won’t burn as many Calories to lug yourself about the gym (2).

4. You get less energy from food, so you may become more sluggish, burning even fewer Calories.

Ever found yourself sat at a desk tapping your foot, stretching your arms, or finding an excuse to get up and pour yourself a coffee? Yeah, I thought so. Well, all these activities/movements are examples of non exercise activity thermogenesis.

In a nutshell, non exercise activity thermogenesis accounts for the energy expended doing any form of activity/movement that isn’t exercise. That includes anyth
ing from talking and walking, to the energy your muscles use to keep you sat upright and fidget.

This is one of the most adaptive components of metabolism and as you diet, chances are you’ll start slouching more, walking about less, and just being lazier in general.

You know what sucks about this? A lot of these sloth like behavioral changes are involuntary and as you diet, they will result in a drop in your metabolic rate. There is a lot of inter-individual variation here though, and some people may not become as much of a couch potato as others (5-7).

What all the sciency stuff above means is that at the back end of a diet when you’ve dropped a dress size and toned up your tum, the energy you expend day to day will have most likely decreased for one reason or another. Ultimately that makes keeping weight off all the more difficult and increases the chances of you returning to your weight set point.

There is more though, unfortunately.

5. Dieting increases your appetite, making you want to eat more (as if you didn’t know that!)

If you can’t hold back from that extra helping of cheese cake post diet, it’s just your motivation failing you, right? Well sure, motivation is very important when it comes to dropping weight and keeping it off post diet as there’s no doubt that putting less food in your belly when dieting will make you want to consume more once you’ve reached your goal.

But it’s not as simple as willpower and motivation, and there’s more going on under the hood that drives you towards your weight set point post diet.

Remember earlier when I mentioned how some hormones may be influenced by dieting? Well, leptin is one of them. Leptin is produced by fat cells and when it binds to its receptor in the brain it causes the suppression of hunger hormones, and the increase in anti-hunger hormones. In other words, high levels of leptin reduce hunger (except in those with leptin resistance), whereas low levels of leptin increase hunger (8).

Leptin also impacts energy expenditure and if your leptin levels are high, you’re hit with a double whammy of low appetite and high energy expenditure, whereas if it’s low, your hunger goes up and your energy expenditure goes down (8).

Because leptin is produced by body fat, high levels of body fat promote low appetite and high energy expenditure.

Now guess what happens when you diet?

Yup, you guessed it: as you drop the pounds, the levels of leptin in your body decrease, resulting in a leaner, but hungrier and less active you. This is one of the adaptive mechanisms that helps conserve energy as you lose weight and means that at the end of your diet when you’ve lost a lot of body fat you’re more prone to packing back on the pounds and going back to your body weight set point (8).

When the link between leptin and body fat was discovered in 1994, it provided scientists with evidence to support the set point theory as leptin gives the feedback signal to the brain indicating the levels of body fat. Similarly to a thermostat, the brain then causes the body to respond accordingly (9):

  • High body fat and leptin drives down appetite and ramps up Calorie burn
  • Whereas low body fat and leptin ramps up apperite and drives down Calorie burn

So the biological responses to weight/fat loss outlined above can also happen in reverse when you gain weight as your brain is able to sense the extra fat and respond by upping Calorie expenditure and/or decreasing Calorie intake.

Gaps in the Set Point Theory: While your body is good at preventing weight loss, it won’t strive as much to keep you from gaining weight.

Unfortunately, your body doesn’t seem to fight as hard to prevent weight gain as it does to stop weight loss. In other words, your metabolic rate and appetite won’t be influenced by overfeeding as strongly as they will by underfeeding (1).

Lyle McDonald suggests that this may be because throughout human history our survival has never been at risk from being overweight. On the other hand, starvation has been much more of a threat, so adaptations when under eating/dieting have evolved to be stronger than those when overeating (10).

Hence while it’s true that your body will adjust its appetite and metabolism based on your physique, it doesn’t work as neatly as a thermostat if it did, your body would fight off weight gain the same way it fights off weight loss.

Also, if the weight set point theory was accurate then obesity levels wouldn’t have soared like they have done in recent years and none of us would ever have to adjust which notch we used for our belt buckle. There’s more to the story about why our weight is going up and the Weight Set Point Theory simply does not cover it.

Weight Loss & The Power Of The Mind

Peeling The Weight Loss Onion

For those of us looking to shed our excess baggage forever &mdash the stats look grim.

According to a UCLA analysis of 31 long-term diet studies &mdash more than 80% of people who successfully lose weight gain it all back (and more) within just two years.

So, why is the yoyo diet the rule rather than the exception? Why are so many of us stuck on the "gain→lose →gain" weight loss merry-go-round?

Layer after layer, when you peel an onion all the way, what is left? The core.

Likewise, after stripping away all of the reasons we human beings put on weight (including poor diet, low motivation, and lack of exercise), what is at the root? The mind.

Here, we will dive into why our mind is the most critical weight loss component, and why meditation is the world’s best tool for shedding the pounds. forever.

Programming Our Mind With "Suboptimal" Choices

As the storage vault for our experiences, emotions, and beliefs &mdash any svelte body goal that we set must click with our subconscious mind or our efforts will be for naught.

The problem is, many of us have programmed our minds with years and years of, let’s say, "suboptimal" choices.

From raiding the fridge at midnight, to snacking on junk food between meals, to filling up when we are feeling down, every decision we make digs our pathways that much deeper.

While we may be able cut carbs and follow P90x to drop a quick ten pounds, if we want to be permanently lean and mean then we must make sure the nature and quality of our thoughts are on the highest level.

What’s the best way to do this? Meditation.

Meditation Unleashes Our Subconscious Mind Power

The human mind is often compared to an iceberg.

Since our deeply rooted compulsive thoughts ultimately play out in our "above the surface" conscious mind, we need to dive deep below the surface to identify and correct the problem.

Since meditation is, in essence, the very act of interfacing with our deepest mind layers, the millennia old practice is the perfect tool for the job.

When we gain awareness and eventual mastery of our subconscious mind through meditation &mdash the weight loss game shifts.

By tapping into our inner "Indiana Jones treasure trove" on a daily basis, we repave any belt-stretching "feed me now. or else!" thought ruts we may have dug ourselves into over the years.

With our mind clear of self-destructive "chocolate cake is love. make sure every cubic inch of your belly is full of love" toxic impulses, attaining our ideal body shifts from wishful thinking to reality.

What does this mean for those of us looking to tighten up the old waistline?

No more lust for junk food, no more polishing off a tub of Ben & Jerry's to feel "complete," no more devouring a whole bag of Doritos because you simply can’t "stop" &mdash old habits are easy to break with meditation.

Knowing The Mind On A Deeper Level

By interfacing with our mind on the deepest level, meditation gets to the nitty-gritty of why we emotionally turn to food:

"Am I eating because I got chewed out by my boss today? Did the frustration of getting stuck in traffic for an hour cloud my dinner time judgement? Am I using calories to smother my loneliness? Am I stuffing myself because I have nothing else to look forward to?"

This higher awareness allows us to know when our food cravings are the result of "emotional hijacking" versus when our cells actually require nutrition (as nature intended).

By shining a light on the boogeyman hiding under the bed of our conscious mind, meditation clears out the shadowy reasons we unconsciously numb ourselves with food.

How Meditation Disciplines Our "Inner Fat Kid"

When it comes weight loss, the link to our mind runs deep. The struggles some overweight adults face often stem from childhood.

"I’ve been fat since kindergarten, it’s who I am…"

While a bit of a harsh term, our "inner fat kid’s" voice can have us dreaming of Snickers, Butterfinger, and Reese’s Pieces (or the adult equivalent) even decades down the road.

Luckily, meditation shines a light on the deepest, darkest depths of our mind, allowing us to purge any shadow that may be holding us back.

In other words, meditation ships our inner fat kid off to boot camp, puts him through the ringer, and builds him back into a highly disciplined warrior.

For folks struggling to conquer their weight loss demons, meditation can be the only real long term solution.

"Thought Diets" Blow "Food Diets" Out Of the Water

Neuroscientists believe that the human mind thinks 70,000+ thoughts per day. Pulling out our trusty TI-85 graphing calculator, that’s about one thought every two seconds!

And that’s just for normal folks. Those of us at war with the scale often have a far busier mind.

"I hate my body… What does it matter if I eat the whole box, I’m already fat anyway… What a crappy day at work, finishing off this angel food cake will make me forget my worries… I am doomed to be chubby, I have always been this way and always will… Losing weight is impossible, I am hopeless…"

By putting us on a highly nutritious "thought diet", meditation infuses our "vitamin deficient" mind with precisely what it needs for us to make healthy lifestyle choices.

In addition to making us far more mindful of what we put in our body, meditation’s powerful quieting and stilling of the so called "monkey mind" erases two of the key reasons many of us overeat in the first place: anxiety and depression.

Above and beyond becoming a master of the bathroom scale, meditation opens up a whole new world of benefits &mdash with creativity, great sleep, success, less anxiety, less depression, and supercharged health just the beginning.