You’re stuck. The scales won’t move. The body fat won’t budge. You’ve “pla-teaued.”The problem with a plateau is the mental frustration that goes along with it. So the faster you can push through the plateau the better. I will outline how to do that in this column. But for some perspective first: A major reason why most people plateau is that they’ve been living and eating in a caloric-deficient state for too long. If this describes you, it means that your body has adjusted to that caloric level and it stops burning fat. When denied food, your body begins to feed on the protein in your mus-cles.
Because muscle is the body’s most metabolically active tissue, depleting it interferes with your ability to burn needed calories and start losing again. Plus, stay-ing in a caloric-deficient state lowers your metabolic rate, making it harder for your body to burn fat.To break your plateau, follow this four-step process .Step 1: Move into a caloric-surplus state.This eat-more-calories advice defies conventional wisdom, but it works. In-creasing your calories will help recharge your metabolism. For a period of two to four weeks, gradually increase your calo-ries – even to the point of gaining weight! Yes, you read that correctly: Gain some weight to ultimately lose more weight. Try to gain weight at the rate of one pound per week for every 100 pounds you weigh. But let me qualify this: I’m not talking about any type of body weight; I’m talk-ing muscle.
This is the time to tweak your weight training routine to concentrate on heavy pyramid sets for greater muscle weight. Increasing your muscle in this fashion will boost your metabolism so that you can burn fat at an accelerated pace.If you’re still not convinced, look at it this way: if you gain a pound a week for four weeks and lose a pound a week for four weeks, you’ll gain more mass and be much leaner than if you tried to lose first and gain later. So try to put on weight for several weeks. You will be amazed by how much bigger and leaner you will get. Depending on your sex, size, activity level, and present metabolic state, you should eat enough calories a day to gain at the desired rate . For some people, this will be around 3000 calories a day; for others, as many as 8000 to 10,000 calories daily .Step 2: Select plateau-busting foods.Yes, there are such foods, and they are the same foods you use to burn fat and construct new muscle. These foods include those from all the Parrillo Food Groups: lean proteins (fish, white meat poultry, and egg whites), starchy carbo-hydrates (potatoes, yams, rice, legumes, and whole grain cereals), and fibrous carbohydrates (salad vegetables, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, etc.).After meeting your daily lean protein and carbohydrate requirements, be sure to include a certain amount of fat in your diet. Good sources are safflower oil, sun-flower oil, linseed oil, and flaxseed oil.
These dietary fats provide essential fatty acids and help the body absorb fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin D, and vitamin E. I recommend that you eat up to one tablespoon a day of these fats.You must increase your calories from these foods because they are the choices that will help create the desired benefit of a leaner body. The reason is, the same number of calories from different foods has different effects on the body. This is very easy to prove. Just try replacing 1000 calories of potatoes and brown rice with 1000 calories of candy and ice cream in your diet, and see what happens to your body fat levels. (Clue: You’ll get so big you’ll have to sit down in shifts.)Step 3: Use metabolic- support supplements.Supplements don’t burn fat per se, but they can support your body’s metabolism. That being so, make sure you are us-ing our Advanced Lipotropic Formula™. It contains fat-mobilizing nutrients your body needs to efficiently metabolize fat. For example.Choline. Present in all living cells, choline helps prevent fat from building up in the liver and works to shuttle fat into cells to be burned for energy. What’s more, choline levels can drop during hard exercise. This affects brain chemicals involved in the production of muscular energy.
Theoretically, by supplementing with extra choline, you could work out harder and burn more fat as a result.(1 )Inositol. Working together with choline, inositol helps prevent build-ups of fat in the arteries and keeps the liver, heart, and kidneys healthy. Biotin. This B-complex vitamin is re-quired to activate specific enzymes in-volved in metabolism. Without it, your body can’t properly burn fats. Biotin also influences the body’s ability to properly metabolize blood sugar (to avoid low-en-ergy periods).Vitamin B6. This nutrient helps keep the body’s water balance in check, plus helps regulate blood sugar so you don’t get swings in blood sugar and the crav-ings they cause. Restrictive diets can deplete the body’s supply of vitamin B6, and supplementation is extra insurance against a deficiency. Methionine. This amino acid has been linked to weight control. In combination with another amino acid – phenylalanine – methionine apparently assists in the breakdown of fat. (2) (Our Max Endur-ance Formula™ contains 200 mg of DL-phenylalanine.)Carnitine.
This nutrient shovels fat into the cells’ mitochondria (cellular furnaces) to be burned for energy. It also cleanses the mitochondria by removing cellular waste products. Thus, carnitine is abso-lutely vital to metabolism.When combined with chromium picolinate, carnitine ap-pears to boost fat loss — potentially up to two or more pounds a week. Chromium Picolinate. Chromium may stimulate the growth of lean muscle if you lift weights. In one study, 10 college men attending a strength-training class twice a week took either chromium supplements (200 mcg a day), or a placebo. After 40 days, the chromium supplementers gained an average of 4.84 pounds of muscle, with-out gaining any fat. The placebo group did not fare as well. They gained barely a pound of muscle, on average, and their body fat increased by 1.1 percent. (5)Enzymes. Advanced Lipotropic For-mula™ contains two important enzymes: pancreatin and betaine HCL. Enzymes such as these help ensure that our bodies properly break down the foods we con-sume so that they can be properly utilized by the body for growth and repair. I recommended that you take one cap-sule with each meal – which means four to six capsules daily, depending on how many meals you consume.
That way, your body receives a continuing supply of im-portant fat-mobilizing nutrients through-out the day . Step 4: Perform pre-breakfast aero-bics.Do your aerobics every morning for 45 to 60 minutes — before breakfast. At that time, your glycogen stores are low because you’ve gone all night without eating . With glycogen in short supply, you begin burning fatty acids for energy. You become leaner as a result, while bust-ing past that plateau . Later, the nutrients you eat, including natural, starchy car-bohydrates, are efficiently re-supplied to muscles, without being turned into body fat. Plus, your metabolism is activated for the entire day . There are many types of aerobic ac-tivities from which to choose: jogging, running, cycling, rowing, stair climbing, walking, swimming, jumping rope, to name just a few. Exercise so that you’re breathing hard but can still carry on a labored conversation. Always strive to increase the duration, intensity, and fre-quency of your aerobics. Doing more aerobic work improves the muscle fibers’ ability to oxidize fats for energy, and you get leaner as a result . The harder you work out aerobically, the better.
1. Kanter, M.M. 1994. Antioxidants and other popular ergogenic aids . From the proceedings of Nutritional Ergogenic Aids, November 11-12, Chicago, Illinois.
2 . Taylor, D .S . 1989 . Amino acids aid in weight control. Better Nutrition, May, 10-12 .
3. Trent, L.K., and D. Thielding-Can-cel. 1995. Effects of chromium picolinate on body composition. Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 35: 273-280 .