This is a post that I have been meaning to write for some time, and feel that it could be greatly beneficial to many of my low-carbing friends out there. Many people lose a large amount of weight on a low-carb diet, then hit a plateau even though they may have more pounds to lose. The following is an almost guaranteed way to break through a weight loss plateau when following a low-carb/ high-fat diet. It is also a great way to jump start weight loss when starting a low-carb lifestyle.
Most people may disagree with what I'm getting ready to write, and many nutritionists are probably shaking their heads or rolling their eyes. I would like to say that I myself AM a certified sports nutritionist/personal trainer, and have been for many years. I also have a diploma in general fitness and nutrition, with post secondary studies in children's nutrition (obtained from the Stanford School of Medicine). So please, read what I have to say.
I know what the textbooks say regarding weight loss plateaus, but I also know that everyone does not fit into the mold of what the authors of these textbooks want them to fit in to. Some people must take semi-drastic measures in order to shock their bodies into fat-burning mode. The following method is unorthodox, but I will break it down for you and explain why it works.
What exactly is this strange method I am referring to? An egg fast.
How Eggs Help You Lose Weight
Before you can thoroughly understand how eggs can help you lose weight, you must first understand how the liver works. Why the liver? Because it is the organ responsible for metabolizing fat. Think of your liver as a sort of filter that removes toxins and nutrient byproducts from the blood. It produces bile to assist digestion by breaking down fat, and plays a part in regulating insulin and glucose. In order to lose weight, the liver must work at optimal levels and receive all the support it can get. This is where the eggs come in.
In order for the liver to properly metabolize fat, it needs a steady supply of a water-soluble nutrient called choline. When an individual has a deficiency in choline, they can develop non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which means the liver cannot properly metabolize fat. Egg yolks contain extremely high levels of choline, making them beneficial to anyone looking to lose weight.
Another element pertinent to weight loss is an amino acid called methionine. I want to give you a moment to take a guess as to which food contains the highest known amounts of methionine........ that's right. Egg whites.
Now you can see why eggs are the perfect food for revving up the liver's fat-burning abilities and blasting through a weight loss plateau.
****Here is just a side note regarding liver function: if you experience symptoms such as insomnia, brain fog, fatigue, indigestion, bloating, acid reflux, constipation, rashes or acne, blood sugar imbalances or high cholesterol levels, you could greatly benefit from following an eggs fast, as these are all signs of an overworked and toxic liver.
What is an Egg Fast?
An egg fast is exactly that. A fast from all other foods except eggs (and a bit of cheese and butter).
Isn't an Egg Fast Fattening?
On an egg fast, you will consume large amounts of fat from healthy sources such as pure butter, cheese and the eggs themselves. The body uses two types of foods for energy: fats and carbohydrates. When you completely remove carbohydrates from the diet, you must increase your consumption of healthy fats. When the fat is derived from wholesome sources, your body will use this as its primary source of energy, therefore burning the fat before it has a chance to deposit itself on your stomach, butt or hips.
Do NOT try to restrict calories on this fast in order to speed up your results. Eat until you are full, and don't worry about the calories.
Can Substitutions be Made?
If you absolutely can not and will not consume dairy products, leave out the butter and cheese, but substitute in another healthy fat such as coconut oil. Do NOT use cheese substitutes as these are usually made from various nuts and will not assist you in losing weight on this fast.
What Can You Drink on an Egg Fast?
Aim for at least 100 ounces of water per day. Black coffee is also fine. If you must add cream to your coffee, only use heavy whipping cream. Keep in mind that too much dairy will hinder weight loss. If you are not losing weight on this fast by the second or third day, consider cutting back on the cheese and cream a bit, but not the butter or coconut oil.
Now that you understand what the plan is and how it works, let's take a look at what you can eat. Yes, this may get a little monotonous, but you want results, right? I suggest doing this fast for at least three days, with five days being the ideal length.
For every egg you eat, you also want to eat an additional tablespoon of fat. If you eat one egg, cook it in one tablespoon of butter or coconut oil. If you eat two eggs, cook them in 2 tablespoons' worth, etc. If eating boiled eggs, pair them with cheese, but no more than one ounce per meal. Only eat full fat cheese with a carb count of one gram or less per serving, such as cheddar or string cheese.
Breakfast: 2 eggs scrambled in 2 tablespoons of butter
Snack: 1 string cheese
Lunch: 2 boiled eggs, 1 ounce of cheddar cheese
Snack: 1 string cheese
Dinner/Supper: Omelet made with 3 eggs, 3 tablespoons of butter and 1 ounce of cheese
This may sound a little boring, but you can use any condiment you like that has a carb count of zero and no sugar or artificial sweeteners, such as mustard or hot sauce to spice things up a bit. Vary the types of cheeses you use. Instead of cheddar cheese in your omelet, try blue cheese. Instead of plain boiled eggs, mash the yolks with a bit of mustard and make deviled eggs. Instead of scrambled eggs, try fried ones. As long as you do not deviate from consuming only eggs, pure butter, any type of cheese that contains 1 gram or less of carbohydrates per serving, and zero-carb condiments, you're good to go.
Do not follow this fast for more than 5 days without a 2 day break in between fasts. It is normal to gain back anywhere from half a pound to a pound after you stop the fast, so don't be surprised if this happens.
As always, it is up to you to assess how you feel on this or any other diet plan, and stop if you need to.
Kettlebell training has a large number of different advantages, and lets you train your body from different angles in a far more functional range of motion. But what’s really great about the kettlebell is versatile it is as a tool and how it allows you develop your fitness and health in numerous different ways.
If you want to build bodybuilder-type muscle, then you can do so by using single joint isolation movements and heavy resistance. This will create muscle fiber tears, flood your muscles with metabolites, and generally help you to encourage more growth. At the same time, you can also use a kettlebell to lose weight.
The great thing about the kettlebell is that it allows you to perform resistance cardio. This means you are using cardiovascular training that increases your heartrate and helps you to burn fat. You are also lifting weight, which protects your muscle from breakdown and increases the challenge, thereby increasing the amount of calories burned and the amount of effort involved.
Also useful, is that the kettlebell allows you to train in this manner on the spot and without a lot of tools. Unlike running, you can enjoy kettlebell training in any weather, and in a short space of time.
To get the very most out of your kettlebell training session, you can combine the kettlebell as a tool with the HIIT modality. HIIT is ‘high intensity interval training’ – a form of exercise that challenges you to alternate between brief bursts of high intensity exertion and shorter periods of relatively steady-state exercise. In this case, for example, you might perform the kettlebell swing for 1 minute, and then rest for 30 seconds before going again.
The kettlebell swing is an ideal movement for resistance cardio that involves swinging the kettlebell between your legs and then straight back up in the air using a slight hip thrust movement to provide the forward momentum.
We all know that building muscle is a great way to lay a strong foundation for a weight loss journey, but to actually lose weight, this training must be combined with proper nutrition.
I personally prefer a low-carb, high-fat diet which involves high levels of protein. This way of eating shifts the body's focus from burning stored sugars as a fuel, to burning stored fat, therefore accelerating weight loss and revealing toned muscle tissue much more quickly.
By consuming more protein, you are supporting more muscle growth while reducing fat storage. Combine this with 4 workouts a week, lasting about 20 minutes each, and you should start to see the results you’re looking for using just this one tool and one movement.
Remember though, weight loss is only achievable if you change your entire lifestyle and habits. It is not enough to simply add in an exercise and forget about it! Walk more, spend less time in front of the TV and reduce unhealthy snacks for optimal results.
In the last few years, the face of fitness has changed a great deal. We’ve seen a move away from very static, single-joint movements like the bicep curl and a move towards more adventurous and engaging forms of training. These include things like kettlebell training, TRX (suspension training), Indian club training, weighted stretching, squatting, dead-lifting and more.
These types of exercises effectively allow us to use our body in the way it was intended: by using all of our muscles together rather than in an isolated fashion. The result is that we produce more growth hormone and testosterone (triggering greater muscle growth) and that we build a more stable and functional body.
The problem is that this type of training often doesn’t extend to the home gym. It’s not easy to fit a squat rack in your front room… so what can you do?
Here are some items that will allow you to build an awesome, functional and unique home gym that might be a little different from the other gym bros…
The first thing you need to make your home workouts more functional is a kettlebell. This will immediately challenge you more by providing a more dynamic workout and by moving the center of gravity in unpredictable ways.
What’s more, is that kettlebell training allows you to perform movements like squats, dead-lifts and more that you couldn’t train on your own otherwise.
Here is a simple tool that everyone can use in order to train and that not enough people have in their home. Parallel bars usually cost about $40 and allow you to perform dips, hand stands, planche, inverted push ups, neutral grip pull ups and much more. They’re fun, easy to store and build incredibly dynamic strength.
Gymnastic rings can be used for many of the same exercises as parallel bars. The big difference is that you have to balance them and hold them steady while you train. They cost a lot less than TRX and have the added bonus of letting you perform dips too, so they are far superior in that sense.
Indian Clubs are the lesser-known little brothers of kettlebells. These let you train with similarly unconventional shapes and another uneven center of gravity, this time using a tool that looks a fair bit like a bowling pin! Grab onto the end and swing, push, lunge and generally sword fight an invisible opponent. That’s a fun way to build strength!
If you want to make any movement more challenging, more functional and more interesting then simply perform it while standing on a balance board. This will force you to balance while also moving the weight, which is much more challenging for your entire body.
A rope can be used for all manner of exercises. One of the simplest ways to train with it is to hang it over a pull up bar and then perform neutral grip pull ups with it. This will build grip strength as well as allowing you to train your biceps and lats. Otherwise, you can perform rows or even wrap it around your weights and pick them up that way!