Get started to a fitter body ……………….. quickly!!
A number of patients that I see on a regular basis are people with Musculoskeletal issues, joint pain / muscle pain etc, who are overweight and have been for some time but struggle to keep the weight off or even battle to get started with becoming fitter. It’s a tricky issue and tricky place to be, to break long term habits and change lifestyles.
I love sports science and I just adore the way that sports science is now leading the way, not only with elite athletes, but with all sorts of techniques and processes for training, competing, winning, exercise and nutrition. The reason I like this approach is that there is no side to the information, no tricks and no hidden agenda.
Example, think about weight loss, Why would Weight Watchers want you to lose weight, get to your goal, manage your eating, change your lifestyle and be in control on an ongoing basis? Let me let you into a secret, they wouldn’t. This is a multi billion dollar global industry that thrives on people losing weight and then putting it all back on again, yo yoing, spending more and more money on short term gains and keeping going back to the same old source. There are hundreds of companies making huge profits encouraging and keeping people going round the same old loop. A famous quote: “Insanity is keeping on doing the same old thing and expecting a different outcome” Yet we all know people who are caught in that trap.
So let’s try something new but firstly just a little bit of science and why most people don’t lose weight.
So how does the body get it’s energy, well let’s first understand how it stores it, basically in three ways, sugar in blood (blood sugar), glucose stored in various parts of the body (it stores it in the liver and muscles. This stored form of glucose is made up of many connected glucose molecules and is called glycogen) and finally in various forms of energy in fatty tissue.
So that’s where its kept. To use these stores the body has to extract the energy from it’s various vaults. To assimilate blood sugar, the easiest form of energy, there is no processing and no time limit, it just gets absorbed into wherever it is needed, instantly. Secondly it will absorb the reserves stored in muscles and other soft tissues, this takes about twenty minutes. Lastly it will draw on reserves from fat, about five hours.
Conclusion: In attaining energy the body will assimilate the easiest sources first.
Firstly. Blood sugars, immediate.
Secondly. Glycogen stored in soft tissue, twenty minutes.
Thirdly, Energy stored in fats, five hours.
So if we just put that into perspective, if you have a high sugar diet and thereby copious stores of sugars and Glycogen the body will absorb them first and lastly the fats. If you have a high sugar diet the body may never get round to processing the fats, because of the timescales. You may never lose the fat content in your body and may never reduce your weight.
So the last bit about weight before I get you started. Let’s understand weight, Muscle weighs more than fat, so if you burn fat and build muscle you will weigh more. So let’s take an example, two people with the same BMI, let’s say 40, both termed as morbidly obese and as far as the NHS is concerned both overweight and treated in the same way when it comes to treatment / surgery.
But one of them is a “normal” person, high body fat content and is very unfit, the other a professional rugby player, built like a brick ****house, with a body aft content of four per cent and can cover a hundred meters in just under eleven seconds, to class him as “morbidly obese” is absurd.
So how do we measure? NOT BMI, as it doesn’t make sense and I’ll come back to this in a future article. Body shape and fat content. If you are happy with your body shape and have a fat content of ten per cent or less, bingo you’ve cracked it. Measure yourself on these parameters not the out of date stupidity that has no scientific basis.
On with the program.
It seems like there is a new “trick” to weight loss going viral every five seconds, and it’s getting almost impossible to keep up with. From the Law of Attraction to nature’s Ozempic to workouts that people swear will transform your body, each method varies drastically, making it hard to ever know what can work for you if you are on a weight loss journey. And let’s face it: TikTok videos and testimonials just aren’t enough to decipher whether a method is right for you, and realistically, not everything will work for everyone. Find out what works for you, try new ideas, and then repeat.
So a senior body scientist has studied the facts, the science, behaviours and the physical and chemical make up of our bodies and come up with a way to start the body on it’s way to transforming your body shape. The method in question? The 30/30/30 method. Ahead are the details, how it works, and even some tips for trying it out yourself if you’re interested. But rest assured: Everybody is different, and the best weight loss method is the one that feels good for you. If you’re overwhelmed by the overly abundant methods and advice out there, eat more plants, move your body more, prioritize sleep and stress relief, talk to your doctor, and lean into self-love wherever possible (that’s really all the health advice you need!). But if you’re interested in biohacking your weight loss journey and ready to try a new method that’s backed by a top human biologist, then read on.
The 30/30/30 method was made viral by human biologist, researcher, and biohacker Gary Brecka, but the concept was first coined by Tim Ferris in his book titled The 4-Hour Body. In one of Brecka’s videos, he says “I’ve never seen anything in my life strip fat off of a human being faster than this,” which is a bold claim, but he believes in this method so deeply that he says that he wishes he was the one to patent the idea. So what exactly is it? The goal is to eat 30 grams of protein within 30 minutes of waking up in the morning, followed by engaging in 30 minutes of steady-state cardiovascular exercise (think: low-intensity exercises like walking), ensuring that your heart rate is at or below 135 BPM. Brecka claims that after one month of consistent practice, “you will watch your weight eviscerate.” Those are some extreme statements, so let’s dive into the science.
This method seems easy enough to follow, but how does it work? Well it’s pretty simple really, eating protein first thing in the morning helps stabilize your glucose and insulin levels. When you wake up and drink coffee on an empty stomach or eat something high in sugar and carbohydrates like a bagel or cereal, it causes a huge spike in cortisol, due to caffeine, and insulin, from sugar or simple carbohydrates. This can not only lead to weight gain or inability to lose weight but can also damage hormones. Protein first thing in the morning can help keep glucose levels stable, boost metabolism, and reduce cravings for the rest of the day. The 30 minutes of steady-state cardio aids in digestion, reduces inflammation, decreases cortisol, and increases serotonin and dopamine.
Most people will wake up, drink coffee or tea, and then do an intense workout and expect to lose weight, exercising without sugar in the bloodstream means the body needs a new energy source. The body has about a 20-minute reserve of glycogen for energy, and after that 20-minute reserve is up, your body needs to get more energy. It takes three minutes to liquify lean muscle and five hours to turn fat into energy, so your body opts to burn lean muscle, rather than fat. Therefore, many people are sabotaging their goals by building muscle through exercise but then burning muscle as an energy source. Getting protein first thing in the morning ensures your body has a steady source of energy so it won’t have to pull from lean muscle. Because the body burns fat at rest, steady-state cardiovascular exercise (your heart rate should be at or below 135 BPM) ensures that your body is burning fat. If it rises above 135 BPM (i.e. more intense cardio), the body switches energy sources and therefore may burn lean muscle rather than fat.
These days it’s so easy to get thirty grams of protein, remember the body doesn’t know the difference between protein sources, it doesn’t know the difference between an egg, piece of chicken, protein shake or any other food. There is no such thing as bad protein, just the one that suits you, again try different sorts, get creative.
Personally, and yes I am trying this with you, right now, I’m using the Arla Protein yoghurts with twenty grams of protein in them, supplemented with a ten gram protein bar. Thirty grams dead easy, no prep and eaten in about five minutes. All of the supermarkets are selling the protein yoghurts but personally I’ve found it easier to go to Tesco, better range and pretty much always in stock. With the protein bars DO NOT buy them in the supermarkets, in there they will cost two pound each, but hunting around I bought twenty ten gram protein bars on Amazon for fifteen pounds, huge saving. Just a tip on the protein bars go for low sugar content, check the protein, must be ten gram min, then check the sugar content, must be less than one gram, don’t worry about the fat content. But if the above doesn’t float your boat, get creative use boiled eggs, use whatever, check on the internet and see what else will give you what you need, just get the thirty grams of protein.
Now the thirty minutes of low impact exercise, pretty much it’s going to be walking, don’t forget, low intensity and you’ll be burning fat, up the intensity and your body starts to eat itself digesting blood sugar and lean muscle.
During steady-state exercise, you should be able to talk on the phone, read a Kindle, and even take notes during a meeting; you should not be panting or huffing and puffing, which means you can seamlessly fit it into your routine. This could look like walking on a treadmill or static bike for 30 minutes, taking your dog for a long walk, or going on a leisurely bike ride around your neighbourhood. It doesn’t have to be complicated and it definitely shouldn’t run you down, what matters is that you’re getting movement in at a steady pace that you can maintain and that you enjoy it. When you enjoy the exercise you are incorporating into your day, you’re more likely to stay consistent.
Don’t get too caught up with the numbers, while we love guidelines that take the guesswork out of healthy habits, anything with numbers can cause us to get too obsessed, or make the practice more difficult to add to our daily routine, meaning we are less likely to keep up with it. The important part is you’re getting protein as soon as you can after waking up, and then getting in some light exercise.
Within 30 minutes of getting up.
Eat 30 grams of protein.
Low intensity exercise for 30 minutes.
So easy 30 / 30 / 30
Please, please, please try it. It’s so simple, extremely low cost, but it does need a bit of organising.