Obesity researchers have formulated a new theory – we now understand more about what makes people fat than ever before. Even better, we can use this knowledge to burn fat faster and easier in the future.
This theory, here referred to as the Lean Tissue Quality Maintenance Theory of Obesity (really rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?), states that the brain is interested in maintaining the working function of the body’s lean tissue (muscle, bones, organs, generally important stuff), and determines appetite based on the needs of that lean tissue. According to the theory, if you have vitamin or mineral deficiencies, your brain will increase hunger in an effort to encourage you to eat food, which will increase the chances of intaking the required nutrient(s). It also keeps you from burning fat.
So if you want to burn fat fast (or not gain any), the theory dictates that you should eat nutrient-dense foods.
What does the research say?
For the theory to hold any water, two things would have to be true:
- Obese people are often micronutrient deficient.
- Correcting micronutrient deficiencies in the obese results in increased fat burning.
It turns out that the first point is an accepted fact among obesity researchers, but for confirmation, you can look to this meta-study. What is still a subject of debate is whether there is any causal connection present here. Checking the nutritional status of volunteers is purely observational, and offers no insight beyond correlation.
As for the second point, researchers in China studied and published on the subject a few years ago. The bullet points:
- 96 obese women received either a placebo, multivitamin, or calcium supplement in a 26-week randomized double-blind intervention study.
- 87 women completed the study.
- The multivitamin group lost an average of 7lbs of body fat, mostly in the stomach area. They also saw LDL (“bad cholesterol”) reduce an average of 27% and HDL (“good cholesterol”) increase an average of 40%.
- The multivitamin group also saw an increase in resting energy expenditure (they were burning more calories sitting still), indicating that their brain is attempting to reduce fat mass.
Can I Just Take a Multivitamin?
At this point, you’re probably asking, “Can’t I just take a multivitamin instead of eating right?” Turns out that’s not the best plan of attack here.
- Eating bad food can reduce or prevent nutrient absorption – nullifying your multivitamin.
- Micronutrients are in their most bioavailable form in animal foods, they tend to be in their cheapest (and often less readily-absorbed) forms in multivitamins.
- Reductionism is a dangerous game to play. There’s a good chance that nutrient-dense animal foods like liver are superior to multivitamins in ways we don’t yet understand.
- In multivitamins, micronutrient concentrations are often poorly controlled – you’re running the risk of toxicity. Real food tends to be naturally quantity limiting in a number of ways.
- Multivitamins don’t seem to improve overall health in the long-term. In fact, a 2010 study found that multivitamin supplementation increased risk of death from all causes in middle-aged women.
Here’s What to Do to Burn Fat Fast
Your one easy thing is something you already do – eat. You just need to focus on eating nutrient-dense foods, and cut out the crap. Here are some quick tips:
- Skip the soda, candy, pastries. These have basically zero micronutrients (i.e. empty calories)
- Eat nutrient dense whole foods, like meat, egg yolks, liver, fruits, and vegetables.
That was easy!
Of course – as you learned in the book – you should already be eating Real Food and passing on Fake Food. For those of you following the six week guide, this should just be a little extra incentive to stay on track.
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