02 March 2007

Credit where credit is due...

Back in December I ordered Afterburn. I received it a little before New Years, read it through, and got all ready to follow it. I did follow it, faithfully for a few weeks. And it works. For the past monthish I've been following it kind of half heartedly and it's still been working kind of half heartedly. I'm really hooked on it.

So, what is this you might ask. It's a fat loss program that makes incredible sense and works for me. The program is basically a calorie restriction of 20% and a weight training and cardio program (short bouts of high intensity). The author, Alywn Cosgrove, says that long bouts of cardio do nothing for your fat burning mechanism. You need to build muscle and do focused cardio in order to turn on the fat burners and keep them going. He, of course, says it way better than I do but that's the general idea. He also advocates a nutrition ratio of 40% protein/30% carbs/30% fat. But all these elements, calories, ratios, weight training, cardio, change every 4 weeks as your body changes. It's a simple, amazingly effective program.

Now none of the stuff he presents is new. It's just all put together in a simple to understand program that really works. All of the information and theories he presents are things that I have been figuring out for myself in the past year or so, he just put it all together for me.

I know that severe calorie restriction doesn't work and just last year I figured out that if I ate every 2-3 hours my body quit storing fat so much. I also found that, and this sounds bizarre, that by eating that often I eat a whole lot less calories and still feel full. I'm shooting for a daily caloric intake of about 1800. Before I would have tried to keep each meal around 500 calories and left 300 calories for snacks. By the end of the day I would be absolutely starving, I would have actually spent most of the day fighting my hunger. Now I eat 6 times at 200 - 300 calories each which puts me between 1200 - 1800 calories. Although I'm never exceptionally hungry, on the 1200 calorie days I always have to larger dinner to bring it up to at least 1600. I've also worked on increasing my protein intake and that makes a huge difference. Like most women, my protein intake was too low and my carb intake too high.

I had come to the realization that high amounts of cardio were not doing what I wanted it to do - burn fat. In fact, I was getting seriously upset because it seemed I could not do enough exercise to burn fat. What I didn't realize is that I was doing too much of the wrong type of exercise. Now even Alywn says there is a time and a place for extensive aerobic exercise, like training for an Ironman, but for fat loss it may not be the best way to go. As I said, I was coming to this realization. When I first started losing weight aerobic exercise worked great. But the closer I get to my goal the less it works. Now I see why and am combating it.

Anyway, the last couple of weeks I've been following the eating plan but the exercise hasn't been as frequent as it should. In spite of that I've still managed to drop a couple of pounds over this time. My goal for the next 6 weeks is to stick to the program religiously. If it works when I don't follow it exactly imagine what will happen when I do!!!

So I just thought I'd share that. I know there are lots of folks out there trying to lose weight and I thought I'd give you another option.


Ellie Hamilton said...

Sounds a lot like Body for Life, maybe with a "Zone" hue (40-30-30.)

Sounds interesting. I think the connections between endurance cardio and fat-burning is that it's supposed to enhance your ability to use fat, of which most of us have more than enough, rather than glycogen, which is limited, over long periods of extended exercise. But I've found it very hard to lose weight doing mostly LSD, that's for sure.

sharon said...

Is this a book or video? I have always felt the 40-30-30 was the way to go with nutrition. But, I've never heard the theories of LSD NOT being the best way to burn fat. I certainly agree based on my own experience, training for 2 1/2 ironmans and one full. The LSD did absolutely nothing for my weight loss. Even with putting in 25 hours training/week my weight held steady. You have peaked my interest in this book, I'll look into it.

Deb said...

I agree completely. Weights and interval training are awesome fat burners.Now, it's just making that happen. Hmmmmmmmmm. ;)

Unknown said...

But...but...but....I don't like weights or interval training. :(

The end is near

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