Hello and Happy Monday! Hope you are enjoying the long weekend. :)

With our recent push we have hit a new level in challenging our fitness at GUMSABA Boot Camp. Many of you have expressed the desire to shed “the layer” you feel over on your muscles. I hear “I feel the muscles growing, but I still have that layer” a lot.

In order to help you in your quest to conquer the “layer” I have done some serious research. These are 9 great ideas to help you in your quest. I hope you find this information I have compiled helpful. It is a mix of many resources I have access to, I have attempted to put it into the most succinct and efficient wording I can, so if you have any questions leave them in the comments and I will expand on the topic.

EAT 5-6 meals per day.

Food’s consumption involves digestion of foods and absorption of nutrients. Digestion and absorption require energy to occur. So, food consumption leads the body to spend energy to support digestion and absorption processes. When you consume the right food often, (like 5-6 meals a day!) your body will be forced to increase the daily energy expenditure because of the frequent activation of digestion and absorption processes induced by the repeated food intake throughout the day.

High levels of thyroid hormones increase metabolism, low levels of thyroid hormones depress metabolism leading to fat gain. The old theory of 2-3 meals a day does not work. Such meal frequency puts the body into a starvation/food deprivation state, so the body replies by decreasing the metabolism through the lowering of thyroid hormones. You can imagine what it does to the body to starve oneself.

Include high quality proteins every meal.
In every one of your daily meals, make sure you include foods that contain high quality protein if your goal is to increase your metabolism. Proteins I choose are various beans (my new crush is azuki), nuts, seeds, sprouted tofu. Whatever you choose quality is key. Here is a protein comparison chart you might find useful.

Eat Carbohydrates With A Low Glycemic Index.

Glycemic Index (GI) is the rate at which a carbohydrate contained in a food is converted into glucose (simple sugar) and enters into the bloodstream. So, the higher the GI of a carbohydrate the faster it enters the bloodstream, the lower its GI the slower it enters the bloodstream.

Carbohydrates trigger insulin secretion. The faster a carbohydrate enters into the bloodstream the higher the insulin secretion. Insulin is an anabolic hormone. As such it’s also responsible for the growth of the adipose tissue (fat gain) through an increased conversion of carbohydrates into fats.

Limit Consumption of Fructose rich foods to the morning.

Our body has only 2 main deposits for sugar storage: “muscle glycogen” and “liver glycogen”. Fructose can’t be stored in muscle as glycogen, it can only be stored in the liver. If liver glycogen depots are already full, an extra intake of fructose will spill over the storage capacity of the liver and thus get converted into fats. The best time to consume fructose then, is in the morning. During the overnight sleep, your liver glycogen depots get depleted (consumed) in order to feed and meet the energy needs of your brain with simple sugars. The brain needs sugars to live, and if you don’t supply your body with sugars for several hours (just like it happens while you sleep), the sugars for your brain are provided from the liver glycogen. Upon rising in the morning the liver glycogen depots are almost empty (your brain ate them!) and this is the most optimal moment of the day for fructose intake since it will be driven to fulfill the depleted liver glycogen depots and not converted to fat!

Perform High Intensity Free Weight & Body Weight Training To Lose Fat

High intensity weight training translates into optimum fat loss for 2 main aspects:
1. High intensity increases the levels of “Epinephrine” and “Noradrenaline”. Epinephrine and Noradrenaline are hormones. These two hormones target specific receptors located on the fat cells that are responsible for fat loss.
2. High intensity weight training promotes the production of a high quantity of lactic acid. Research has shown that lactic acid increases the secretion of Growth Hormone (GH). Growth Hormone is also one of the most powerful fat loss agents. In other words, increase your workout intensity and trim down your “layer”!

A little extra Cardio In The Morning…

Aerobics Is Well Known For Its Fat Loss Properties. Fat loss is more a matter of manipulating hormones favorably rather than merely manipulating calories.

Fat loss is more related to increasing the secretion of fat loss hormones as discussed above, and inhibiting the secretion of fat gain hormones like Insulin. This is far more important than shifting negatively the total daily calorie balance through an increased calorie expenditure (with exercise) and reduced calorie intake (with a calorie restrict diet). Cardio in the morning on an empty stomach will put the pedal on the metal in terms of fat loss because of this favorable fat loss hormonal environment.

After the several hours of overnight sleep and fasting, insulin levels are very low. Blood sugars are needed to feed the brain and to meet the energy needs for physical activity, but since you are coming from a fasting state and there’s no food consumption at all, then the body gets sugars from stored energy depots (Liver glycogen). This is accomplished through the secretion of the hormone named “Glucagon”. Glucagon breaks down the liver glycogen into glucose so that an increase in blood sugar is satisfied.

Drinking a high quantity of water increases your metabolic rate.

Scientific studies show that drinking 17 ounces (approximately 500ml) of water increases the metabolism by 30%! In order to increase your fat loss potential drink 500ml of water in the morning before your aerobic session. Make sure your total daily water intake is at least 4 litres a day and not less.

Eat Calcium Rich Foods
Scientific research found that calcium intake increases fat loss! Researchers hypothesize that calcium from food is more effective for fat loss than supplemental calcium because of the other nutrients in the food.

A good night’s sleep is a potent stimulator of growth hormone secretion.

As mentioned above, GH is one of the most powerful fat loss hormones within the human body. Scientific studies show that an adequate night’s sleep is essential in order to get the six pack.
Scientific research shows that the inhibition of GH release during night’s sleep shuts down the fatty acid mobilization from adipose tissue. The take home message, is that not getting an adequate quality and quantity of sleep at night will blunt your efforts toward fat loss.