Obesity has become epidemic like here in the United States and is becoming a world wide problem and along with it has grown a weight loss cottage industry. It almost seems everyday a new weight loss diet fad or exercise fad hits the media and this has caused confusion among potential consumers which approach is best for their situation. Obesity has been correlated with several factors by research and these factors together or sometimes singularly can cause obesity. The factors that have contributed to the obesity epidemic are the following:

* Poor dietary choices
* Poor exercise habits/Sedentary lifestyles
* Body systems dysfunction
* Lifestyle status, family, relationships, mental, emotional and spiritual issues

As varied these factors are so is each person’s pathway to obesity, thus when integrating any corrective solution to any and all of these factors is must be specific to the individual’s unique obesity pathway and status if long term success is the goal.

Implementation of corrective solutions to obesity is where we often have a hit or miss approach leading to frustration with regaining most or all the weight back after short term weight loss so let us look at a more systematic approach for long term success.

NUTRITION

It has been shown that fructose, refined carbohydrate products, trans and hydrogenated oils/fats and artificial sweeteners are causative factors of obesity in terms of nutrition. Also it must be noted that the above nutrients reek havoc in disturbing body systems functioning. Thus avoiding or implementing a process of eventual elimination of these obesity causing nutrients from one’s diet is important for long term weight loss success. The next step is implementing a nutrition plan that allows for weight loss and health enhancement over the long term. Such a plan would include good protein sources (plant and animal), carbohydrates (fruits, vegetables and fiber) and fats (omega 3,6,9 fatty acids, small amounts of good saturated fats such as coconut oil/butter, ghee or palm oil). It must be noted that this author advocates organic produce and grass fed animal protein sources. Also drinking adequate amounts of good quality water daily and there is varying schools of thought on the amounts, however let the color of your urine(pee) be your guide. If your urine is a light amber or colorless you are drinking adequate amount of water. Another rule of thumb is drinking at least half your body weight in ounces of water daily so for example if you are 200 lbs then 100 ounces(3 liters) of water would be the minimum you need to drink daily.

Another nutritional strategy for weight loss is calories the old adage that if one expends more calories than one ingests = weight loss. However it is the hormonal response to everything one ingests is the more important factor for weight loss and health enhancement. This is simply how the body functions; “To say someone “overeats” or “eats a lot” immediately raises the question, compare with whom? One of the most reproducible findings in obesity research, as I’ve said, is that fat people on average, eat no more than lean people. (From Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes). Food sensitivities and intolerances also elicit immune, inflammatory and hormonal stress response to the detriment of the individual at a sub-clinical level, therefore it is important to educate one’s client about the responses to a meal that is good or bad.

Good and bad responses after 1-2 hours after a meal

* Appetite – Not hungry Good, Still hungry Bad
* Cravings – Loss craving/none Good, Still craving Bad
* Physical – Better/improved Good, Same or worse Bad
* Energy – Better/improved Good, Same or worse Bad
* Mind – Better/improved Good, Same or worse Bad
* Emotions – Better/improved Good, Same or worse Bad

Thus nutritional strategies for long term weight loss and health enhancement must also factor in food choices that are based on overall hormone responses to ingestion to those food choices and throw the calorie is a calorie strategy to the wayside.

Nutritional Strategies for fat loss

* Eat breakfast within 15 minutes of waking up (gets your metabolism rolling)
* Eat a significant breakfast containing protein, carbohydrates, good fats
* Every meal and snack should contain protein, carbohydrates and good fats
* Note your responses 1-2 hours after a meal as outlined above
* Avoid sugar, fructose, refined carbohydrates, trans and hydrogenated fats/oils
* Eat at regular intervals it could be 3-4 hours everyone is different

FAT LOSS EXERCISE

There is a difference between exercise to lose weight versus exercise to reduce fat. A sound fat loss reduction exercise program enhances muscle growth while reducing fat, whereas a weight loss program is simply about losing weight and often participants in such exercise programs also lose muscle in the process. The basis for exercise program design were the following principles;

* The human body’s preferred fuel for energy at rest is fat
* The human body responds well to exercise with short bursts that depletes its muscular glycogen stores. Such exercise causes a metabolic disturbance and continues to burn calories up to 38 hours after exercise and you know which energy source it being used the preferred fuel at rest fat!
* Aerobic cardiovascular exercise of moderate intensity preferred fuel is fat, however the body’s response is to create more fat for fuel from dietary sources for the next time.
* Low intensity cardiovascular exercise like walking preferred fuel is carbohydrates like high short burst exercise.

Here is an example and process of taking a 250 lb woman through a fat loss exercise program following a comprehensive assessment of her structure and functional movement skills.

1. First phase of her exercise program, base conditioning is to develop and enhance flexibility/mobility, joint/core stability and requisite strength required to do the movement patterns for daily living (squatting, lunging, pushing, pulling, twisting, bending, stepping up and walking, jogging and running). Exercise choices included floor exercises, Swiss ball exercises, TRX exercises, cable exercises and walking. Exercise session duration would be 20-45 minutes 3-4 times a week and sets of 40-50 seconds and short rest periods 30-90 seconds between sets or rest as needed. Program variables would include station to station training, super-setting and circuit training. Note she would be encouraged to take walks beginning with 15-30 minutes duration and increase duration as her conditioning improves. No running because she would not have the requisite hip, leg and core strength for running and it is typical to see an “average weight” women not having the requisite strength in these areas thus when they run consistently knee, back and lower leg pain is often the result.
2. The following phases are built onto each other and the intensity increases using modalities of metabolic acceleration training and functional strength training. Formats of circuit training, density training, super sets, tri-sets with sets lasting from 30-50 seconds with short rest periods 30-90 seconds and low intensity days of walking or leisure pace cycling.
3. I cannot emphasize more strongly that before embarking on any exercise program check with your physician and you must enhance/develop your flexibility/mobility, core and joint strength/stability as part of any exercise program or pain will be inevitable!

FAT LOSS EXERCISE STRATEGIES

* Corrective exercise and stretching/mobilization must be part of base conditioning to enhance joint/core strength and stability for more progressive exercise and prevents pain/injury
* Metabolic acceleration training/functional strength training has been shown by research to be the most efficient exercise modality for fat loss, followed by anaerobic cardiovascular training, then aerobic interval training, steady state aerobic cardiovascular training.
* Protocol for metabolic acceleration training can be 5-8 stations working for 30 seconds at each station and resting only when you have completed the desired number of stations for 30-90 seconds and repeat up to 5 times. Density or circuit functional strength training choose 5 -6 exercises including an explosive exercise and reps are 10-12 lasting 40-50 seconds do continuously for desired block of time 10-30 minutes(density training) or do the circuit(circuit strength training) and rest for 30-90 seconds and repeat as many as 4-5 times. This can be done 3-4 times a week with 2 metabolic acceleration training days and 2 functional strength training days.
* Add walking to the program as a low intensity day for 30-60 minutes.

BODY SYSTEM DYSFUNCTION

There are several body system dysfunctions that are resistant to long term fat loss or fat loss and some of these systems are as follows:

* Inefficient/dysfunctional Gastro-intestinal tract
* Dysfunctional detoxification systems(particularly liver/gall bladder. kidney and colon insufficiency
* Neuro-transmitter imbalances
* Adrenal exhaustion/Fatigue
* Metabolic Syndrome/Thyroid insufficiency particularly Hypothyroidism
* Hormonal imbalances

These imbalances are detected through Functional lab testing and questionnaires and once detected a protocol to correct them is recommended. Such a protocol would include targeted supplementation, nutrition modification, lifestyle modification and a Functional Detoxification.

Putting these three pillars as the foundation of your long term fat loss program will enable success! Along with your understanding of the process of change.

Author's Bio: 

Basil Butcher is a former National level under 19 cricketer and tennis player in his native Guyana. Basil has been educated in the health and fitness fields by the CHEK Institute; C.H.E.K. Level IV Practitioner and Holistic Lifestyle Coach Level III. National Academy of Sports Medicine; Sports Fitness Specialist and International Sport Sciences Association as a Fitness Trainer, Fitness Therapist and Specialist in Sports Conditioning. He is also a certified Neuromuscular Therapist(St. John Method), certified Advanced Metabolic Typing Advisor Level II, certified in Functional Diagnostic Nutrition and Functional Diagnostic Medicine.

Basil has consulted with the following organizations: Guyana National Cricket Team, Demerara Cricket Board, New York Cricket Region Youth Cricket Program. He is the Physio/Trainer for the Atlantic Cricket Region U-19 and Senior cricket teams. He was the Physio/Trainer of the USA National U-19 Cricket team that played in the 2006 ICC Youth World Cup in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

He has worked with West Indies cricketers such as Ramnaresh Sarwan, Reon King, Colin Stuart and Neil McGarrell. He has worked with 7-time World Masters Power Lifting Champion and world record holder Ellen Stein, LPGA Golf Pro Mary Enright, World and National Masters swimming champion Kristin Gary and drummer Cindy Blackman. He has worked with people from all walks of life and athletes from sports such as baseball, basketball, cricket, cycling, golf, power lifting, wrestling, swimming, soccer and American football.

Basil has presented seminars and lectures in Guyana and throughout the New York Metro area on topics such as Functional Back Training, Functional Shoulder Training, Holistic Program Design, Stress and Your Health and From Injury to the Playing Field.

Basil has maintained an Integrative Performance Enhancement Coaching private practice in New York City for the past 12 years.

Basil specializes in the following areas:

Personal Training/Coaching

Rehabilitation Conditioning for Back, Neck, Shoulder, Hip and Knee Conditions/Pain.

Integrated Weight Loss/Functional Diagnostic Medicine

Advanced Metabolic Typing

Performance Enhancement for Life/Sport