For those of you out there who feel like you are doing all the right steps to lose weight by eating right and exercising often, but you can’t seem to lose any weight, there may a secret solution to your weighty dilemma.
In the book, Crack the Fat-Loss Code, personal trainer and performance nutrition specialist, Wendy Chant, MPT, SPN, lays out a pretty thorough and comprehensive plan for why you’ve hit your diet plateau and what you can do to break this stagnant cycle.
Relying on a system that has you eating a set amount of carbs each day over an 8-week period, Chant’s system tries to trick your body’s metabolism into munching on your conserved fat stores rather than eating your muscle or slowing down your metabolism, two survival techniques that your body does when you reduce your caloric intake. Chant spells out the body’s complex but brilliant mechanism for conserving energy and illustrates why our bodies’ aren’t equipped to handle the enormous amounts of food we available to us and how our bodies hate to diet. In fact, when our bodies think they are on a diet, they do all they can to kidnap and keep safe what we just eat in fear that it will be its last meal.
Cracking the Fat-Loss Code on your body relies on taking two days out of each week to reduce your glycogen levels just enough for your body to grab fat. Then you replace those glycogen levels so that your body won’t kick into starvation mode. For those of you whose last biology class was a few decades ago, glycogen is energy that is stored in your muscles following carbohydrate consumption. Cracking the Fat-Loss Code is a distant cousin to the Atkins diet, since Chant has you reducing your carb intake to only 20 grams of certain carbs for the first seven days of your 8-week cycle. But it separates itself from many of the high protein, low carb diets by allowing you to eat carbs, the yummy carbs too like pizza and pasta, on your “carb-up” days: days when you replace those glycogen stores.
It’s a pretty cool concept: To trick our hard-wired metabolism that has been set in place since our hairy ancestors feasted on just game, nuts and berries to survive until their next meal which might not come for days or longer. I’m half-tempted to test it out. I’m not in the market to lose weight, but I’m curious to see how years of dysfunctional eating patterns has thrown a curveball or two into my metabolism and knocked it out of balance. Many of the testimonials are quite remarkable from those who have cracked the Fat-Loss Code, but I felt the book could have done a better job at spelling out portion sizes and exercise requirements for those of us who don’t know what a reasonable serving of rigatoni looks like or whether walking briskly through the grocery store in tennis shoes constitutes a work-out. So if I decide to test the Fat-Loss Code, I’ll keep you posted.