Weight loss

Have you wondered why burning fat is so difficult? This is because the body perceives losing weight completely different than you. Let me give you a simple example of why the body is unwilling to burn fat.

Introduction to fat loss


Imagine that you are living 10,000 years ago – there are no supermarkets, electricity, cars, etc. Every day you walk for miles searching for food – hunting or collecting what you find in the wild. Whether you live on an African savannah, a European forest, or an American jungle, finding food is not easy.

Most animals are much faster, agile and endowed with much better senses than you. Once in a few days you manage to hunt some animal or find some vegetables or fruit – unfortunately, without refrigerators, you are not able to store them for a long time. So, when you have something to eat, you eat as much as you can. Your clever body stores the excess energy you consume for later, in its own “refrigerator”, which is adipose tissue. If you do not find anything to eat in the next few days or weeks, then you will survive thanks to this fat tissue that is stored.

Fat tissue is for your body nothing but “a deposit” for the future. What’s more, in a world without electricity and heat – fatty tissue acts as a thermal insulator, and thanks to it, you can survive winter or cool nights.

The more fat you can store, living in a natural environment, the greater your chances are to survive. So, we can definitely say that, in the past, fat was one of our greatest allies, but today it is considered as our greatest enemy. Why is this happening?

The mechanism of storing the energy has enabled us to survive hundreds of thousands of years in the environment that required a lot of physical activity and offered very little food. Unfortunately, nature likes to play tricks and what once allowed us to survive, nowadays is killing us. This is due to a complete change of lifestyle and a reversal of the current proportion of physical activity to the amount (and quality) of food consumed.

But that’s enough of stories – let’s cut to the chase.

Because the body is reluctant to get rid of the “savings accumulated in the account”, called “adipose tissue”, in order for the weight loss process to be effective and safe, you must approach it multidimensionally.

To avoid misunderstandings, at the beginning, let me explain to you what I mean by the term “losing weight”. So, when I write about it, I mean of course fat reduction and not total weight loss.

The majority of people are mistakenly focused on the numbers on the scale, not being aware that during a poor strategy of losing weight, they lose first of all water and muscle mass – and fat is only a small percentage of the weight that has been lost. It results with a flabby body, lack of strength and energy, poor mood and minor or major health problems.

If you really want to get rid of unnecessary kilograms, then, during the weight loss you have to consider four main aspects:

1) nutrition,
2) physical activity,>
3) health,
4) supplementation.

Only the right combination of these four things will bring you optimal and long-lasting results. In the article below, I will thoroughly describe each of them, along with providing you with practical information that will allow you to choose the right diet, exercise set and specific supplements along with their dosage.

After reading it, you will know how to lose weight properly, so that you will not need to wait for a long time to see the effects – without destroying your health, at the same time, nor exposing yourself to the effect of jo-jo.

Basics of weight loss

Before I go into the discussion of specific categories of losing weight, you need to review the basic information that applies to each of the following sections.

The wrong way to lose weight will affect your body by:

1) slowing down your metabolism
2) hormonal imbalance (thyroid, adrenal glands),
3) problems with digestion and absorption of nutrients, including vitamins and minerals,
4) drastic reduction of resistance to viruses, bacteria and fungi,
5) decrease in energy level and strength,
6) problems with concentration, studying and memory,
7) deterioration of sleep quality,
8) increased risk of muscle and joint injury,
9) unbalanced sugar level (pancreas, liver),
10) general deterioration of health and, ultimately, deterioration of the overall condition.

As you can see, it’s quite a lot of it … For many years, I have been dealing with people who have destroyed their health through various weight loss attempts in the past, and believe me, it is very hard to “put these people back together” after that. Most often this process takes months and sometimes even years.

Similarly, a well thought out weight loss strategy is:

1) acceleration or no change in metabolic rate,
2) beneficial effect on the hormonal system,
3) improved digestion and absorption of minerals,
4) improved immune system or not making it weaker,
5) maintained level of energy and strength,
6) lack of concentration, studying and memory problems, and even improvement of cognitive functions of the brain,
7) regulating the daily cycle and improving the regeneration,
8) prevention of muscle or joint injury,
9) stabilization of blood glucose level,
10) general improvement of health and, ultimately, improvement of the overall condition.

Since you already know how important it is to lose weight in a smart way, I can easily go into detail on different categories connected with fat burning.

Diet for fat loss

In today’s world everyone probably already knows that diet is an absolute basis in the process of getting rid of excess body fat. Not only is the amount of food consumed important, but also its quality. And, what if I tell you that it’s just as important when we eat, as in what form that meal is served (liquid, shredded, solid, etc.). There are many factors that influence whether or not a particular diet will work well. Below, I will discuss the main ones.

Create a proper calorie deficit

Each of us studied physics at school and got familiar with the first law of thermodynamics, which can be expressed in the following form: “the change in body internal energy equals the sum of the supplied heat and the work done on the body.”

What does this statement mean from the dietetic point of view? Well, if you want your body to start using stored energy (fatty tissue), then you have to create its deficit first. Unfortunately, too much deficit will slow down metabolism and will negatively affect the functioning of the hormonal system (e.g. thyroid). So, how to create a deficit that will allow you to effectively burn fat while not contributing to health problems and the yo-yo effect?

I admit that the golden rule is to use methods that are effective and least invasive. In this case, it will be a deduction around 200-300 kcal (in the initial phase) from our daily caloric needs (CPM).

Daily caloric needs can be calculated using several different patterns. To keep it simple, I have prepared a ready calculator that you can find here -> link.

Subtract 200-300 kcal from the result and watch what happens in the next two weeks. Obviously, every pattern of this type has a margin of error and it does not work in every case, but overall this is a good start.

Obviously, the amount of energy delivered to the body is just one factor, and unfortunately, in most cases, limiting the amount of calories consumed is not enough to get rid of excess fat. How is it possible that by creating a deficit we do not always lose weight? Well, in our body there is a whole bunch of mechanisms responsible for energy conversions and metabolism. When some of these mechanisms fails, for example due to deficiencies of certain vitamins and minerals or hormonal disturbances, some metabolic pathways (including the ability to effectively burn accumulated fat) may be impaired or even blocked.

That’s why, in the following section, I will discuss, step by step, all these factors.

Macronutrients for weight loss

Another important element is to select the appropriate macronutrients. Of course, I’m talking here about proteins, fats and carbohydrates. The percentage of macronutrients in a person’s diet depends on many things. Here are some examples:

1) If so far your diet has been low in fat or protein and you will switch to high fat or high protein diet overnight, your body may not be able to cope with digestion and absorption of food consumed. This can lead to various types of digestive problems (from diarrhea and flatulence to anemia and malnutrition).

2) If you train a lot and you are on a balanced diet (like 40% carbohydrate, 40% fat and 20% protein) and you will reduce carbohydrate levels too drastically, then, your training and energy levels will drop radically. This, in turn, will result in lack of motivation for training, decrease in muscle mass and visible deterioration of the figure.

3) If your diet is low in fat, you can expect hormonal problems after some time. This is especially true for women because to produce all the “female” sex hormones (I deliberately use common names here, which in reality has nothing to do with the truth, because there are no male and female hormones – each of us has the same hormones in our body) cholesterol is needed. In turn, in men, cholesterol is key (in terms of silhouette), among others hormones, to produce testosterone.

Selecting the right amount of specific macronutrients is only possible after a thorough interview with the individual and initial assessment of insulin sensitivity, work of the digestive system, lifestyle, well-being, etc.

There is one golden rule – namely, our body does not like drastic changes. So, if you suddenly reduce your calorie diet from 4000 calories to 1800 calories or change eating meat, from 3-4 times a week, to 5 times a day, your body will go crazy.

Make all changes gradually, so that your body has time to adapt to new conditions and doesn’t fall into what is known as “stress”.

From my experience, a diet that works well in most cases is a Low-Carb, High-Fat Diet (LCHF) with carbohydrates consumed either around training time (CT) or by night (CBL). In case of such a diet, macronutrient proportions look like as follows: 30% protein, 40-50% fat and 20-30% carbohydrate, depending on the degree and type of physical activity.

Never combine large amounts of carbohydrates and large amounts of fat in one meal.

If you want to lose extra kilograms, remember don’t mix large amounts of carbohydrates and fat in one meal. Such a meal, in a very simplistic way, will cause insulin release caused by consuming carbohydrates, which, in turn, will result with storing most of the fat from that meal into the fat cells. Unfortunately, this will happen even if your daily calorie intake was significantly lower than your daily caloric needs. Can you think about any examples of meals containing high levels of carbohydrates and fats? These are, for example, crisps, French fries fried on deep oil, pizza, kebab, cakes, French toasts, etc. …

Quality of food consumed vs. fat loss

Besides how much and what we eat, the quality of the products consumed is also very important. Reduction diet should be characterized by high nutritional density, low calorie density and low processing level. It means, in practice, that we should eat products rich in vitamins and minerals with moderate or low amount of calories. The best example are vegetables and meat of good quality.

And again the question arises – what do I mean by meat of good quality? Do I mean Argentinian beef tenderloin, costing 400 PLN per kilogram? No. It’s about free-range / grazed on a pasture (Grass fed) in a natural way, rather than being kept in a dark hall and fed with GMO corn. It can be chicken, turkey, pork, beef, game, etc. The kind of meat is not important here, but the way it was bred.

Why does it have so much influence? Because meat from naturally grazed animals has a better nutritional composition. For example, ECO beef has much more healthy fatty acids (Omega-3), but the one “produced” in the halls contains more of pro-inflammatory Omega-6 acids. Wild salmon has 10 times more creatine than farmed salmon. The quality of the food you eat really matters.

If you have health problems (such as autoimmune disease, chronic inflammation, insulin resistance, etc.), it is also worth to reduce or eliminate products rich in anti-nutrition substances and those that act as pro-inflammatory. This includes, among others, food lectins (e.g. gluten, WGA), large amounts of dairy products (case-in and lactose), phytic acid, oxalic acid, tannins or amygdalin.

Products that have the worst impact on our health are cereal products – such as bread or pasta. Very often after eliminating cereals from the diet of my clients, I observe significant improvement in their mood, energy level, work of the digestive system and even cognitive functions of the brain (studying, memory, speed of thought formulation).

The next to eliminate are simple sugars and trans fats.

In case of carbohydrates, it is a good idea to be guided by the glycemic load (link do tabeli), but in case of fat, use saturated fatty acids (e.g. clarified butter) hot and unsaturated (e.g. olive oil) cold. Also, medium chain fatty acids (MCTs) will be a great addition because they have anti-inflammatory properties, are easy to digest and have an effect on the rise of thermogenesis, and what is interesting – they are not stored in the form of adipose tissue. Large quantities of MCTs are found in oil or coconut milk. There is also the possibility to purchase extracted MCT oil in a bottle or in capsules (http://www.muscle-zone.pl/index.php?route=product%2Fsearch&filter_name=MCT, by entering the discount code: DAWID05 you will receive a 5% discount on all products).

How to distribute meals optimally during the day for weight loss

You already know how important are the quantity, the type and quality of the food you eat. It is time to move on to the next important issue, namely distributing your meals during the day.

A common myth addressed by pseudo-experts whom we can see on TV in the morning and in magazines says that you should consume 5 meals a day. Is it really so? It depends, however, in most cases the answer is NO.

During weight loss, it’s worth to focus on the improvement of the so-called metabolic flexibility. This is a state in which the body, without much problem, switches from glucose metabolism to fat metabolism – when we don’t provide enough of glucose to the body from the food we consume. Unfortunately, most of us have various metabolic disorders and a large proportion of people have serious problems with the efficient use of fatty acids as fuel.

There are simple ways to teach your body to use fat again.

  • IF (Intermittent Fasting), the so-called “Intermittent Fasts”. This diet strategy assumes a minimum of 16h fasting between one day and the other. So, if you are having supper tonight at 8:00 pm, tomorrow morning you can have breakfast the earliest at noon. It may sound weird, but it’s one of the best nutrition protocols that have been developed over the last years. Interestingly, the mechanism itself is very carefully researched and used by doctors and nutritionists around the world. This approach significantly improves insulin sensitivity, causes higher levels of the growth hormone in the blood (the so-called ‘youth hormone’), helps in detoxification of the body … I could go on enumerating the IF benefits for a long time – especially in terms of weight loss and health improvement. As you can see, this protocol doesn’t impose any kind of meal or the size of it, but only the period of fasting. It can be used on a daily basis or for a few days a week. This is a very comfortable style of nutrition that works brilliantly among those who are very busy or frequent travelers.
  • Carb Backloading (CBL) means nothing more than just eating carbohydrates in the late afternoon or at night. This is to force the body to use fatty acids for most of the day, reduce insulin release, and thereby improve insulin sensitivity not mentioning the fact that eating carbohydrates overnight helps to fall asleep and improve sleep quality (thanks to tryptophan, which is a precursor to serotonin) .

The above-mentioned nutrition strategies work brilliantly if you want to lose weight in a “smart” way and are far more effective than “five small meals every three hours.”

Another strategy, that often works, is to consume fat and carbohydrate meals alternately, assuming that carbohydrates have low glycemic load. For example, a vegetable omelette prepared with butter for breakfast, then in 3-4 hours – buckwheat with beef and pickled cucumber, in next 3-4 hours a steak in butter + salad with vinegrette sauce … Such a way of eating eliminates the risk of accumulating insulin during the day, it unintentionally makes the diet more varied and gives you more flexibility when it comes to eating out.

Digestion and absorption

During the reduction, it is important to ensure proper digestion and absorption of food. In case of obese people, very often the problems with the digestive tract appear (very often hidden) leading to a significant deterioration in the absorption of individual micro and macro elements.

If you have bloating or other stomach problems after eating a protein-rich meal, it is important to think about stomach acidification. During the first period you can use digestive enzymes (e.g. http://www.muscle-zone.pl/enzymy-trawienne/super-enzymes-90-tab, discount code DAWID05 for 5% discount). After a period of 3-4 weeks they should be set aside and if the problem comes back, then drink juice made of half of a lemon, squeezed into a glass of lukewarm water with a pinch of Himalayan salt.

To take care of intestinal health and good absorption of foods, it is advisable to use probiotics (e.g. Sanprobi) and prebiotics (e.g. Debutir). Interestingly, numerous scientific studies have shown that some probiotic bacteria (e.g. Lactobacillus Gasseri) help to reduce body fat.

Rotation diet

It is also worthwhile to talk about the rotation of nutrients. A monotonous diet will, first of all, quickly get you bored, and secondly, it can have a negative impact on your health. Some foods (particularly rich in protein), if eaten too often, can cause some allergy. The most allergenic products are: grain, white of egg, milk protein (casein) and nuts.

Remember that, the longer your body is in an inflammatory state (caused by allergies or intolerances), the harder it will be to reduce body fat.

A good practice is to eat a particular source of protein (e.g. eggs, chicken, beef, salmon, etc.) for 1-2 days and then change to another. To the product “eliminated”, we can return after 4-5 days. Such a food rotation system drastically reduces the risk of acquiring some allergy or food intolerance. In practice, it would look like this: Monday – chicken, Tuesday – eggs, Wednesday – beef, Thursday – beef, Friday – pork, Saturday – chicken, Sunday – eggs … Of course, this is a version for those who are persistent. As I mentioned, eggs and dairy products are the biggest problem – in case of 95% of people, the introduction of rotation, with respect to these two products, will be sufficient.

Periodization of diet for losing fat

Referring to what has been written at the beginning – your body “thinks” just to survive. If the calorie deficit in your diet lasts for too long, your body will slow down metabolism and will reduce the production of certain hormones (including sex hormones and thyroid hormones). In practice, this means that your body will save energy and will try to consume as little of this energy as possible during performing activities. Since there is not enough food in the environment, it means you cannot waste the energy.

Remember – your body doesn’t know that a calorie deficit is due to your conscious effort and deliberate limitation of the foods you eat.

In order to prevent the negative effects of long-term deficits mentioned above, it is worth to take into account periodization of the diet during the weight loss. Periodization is nothing more than using different nutrition strategies in a pre-planned order.

For example, if you plan to be on a diet to lose weight for 6 months, then after 2 months of being in a caloric deficit diet, do one month with a slight raise of calories – so that there is no slowdown in metabolism and hormonal regulation. After a month with zero calorie balance or a slight excess, you can again make 2-3 months of reduction.

Scientific studies have unequivocally demonstrated that diet strategies that take into account the periodization of calorific value – such as those from the example above, are much better at reducing fat, than being on a continuous calorie deficit. In other words, the above-mentioned example of caloric changes within a 6 month period will be better than being on a deficit for 6 months continuously.

Periodization can also be seen in relation to individual days and weeks – an example of such an approach is CC (carb cycling) and CFC (carb fat cycling). To put it very simply, it involves taking into account, for example, days with low carbohydrates, average carbohydrates and high carbohydrates over a week. Thanks to that, during the days of the intensive workouts, we can provide more energy to do harder training. Another plus of this approach is that we surprise the body continuously and we avoid stagnation.

This type of solution seems to be justified and very logical, because why you should consume the same amount of calories during a day of an intensive workout, as when you lie down for the whole day?

As you can see, an effective and secure diet strategy has to take into account a number of factors, and I have discussed only some of them. That’s why, I always suggest that those who don’t have much knowledge about nutrition should use help of a specialist.

Physical activity for fat loss

I hope that at this stage I don’t have to convince you about the importance of physical activity for your health and figure. The need to be active is obvious, so I will not focus on specifying the advantages, but I will go straight to discuss different types of training.

Strength training (bodybuilding)

Is strength training recommended during fat reduction? Absolutely! It is true that it’s a kind of activity in which anaerobic metabolism dominates, so during exercise, glycogen is mostly consumed, not fat. However, what we are most interested in, as far as fat reduction is concerned, is what happens after the workout. Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), increased regenerative processes, muscle mass growth, and acceleration of metabolism are included here among others.

As far as the specific type of training is concerned that works well during reduction period, there are a lot of them, and similarly like in the case of diet, they should also be subject to periodization.

For most people, both general conditioning and circuit workout (full body workout – FBW), performed 3-4 times a week, will be optimal. We should choose proper weight to be able to make about 12-18 repetitions in a given set.

If you want to burn fat, focus primarily on large muscle groups (legs, buttocks, back, chest, shoulders) and do a lot of multi-joints exercises (lunges, dead lifts, squats, pressing, pushing, pulling, etc.). Obviously, don’t forget to keep up with the correct exercise technique and take care of the correct exercise patterns.

All training methods, that contribute to increase the intensity of the woukout, are welcome during the reduction period – I mean here, e.g. giant-series, super series, combined series.

Interval Training (HIIT)

Can you burn fat by practicing only 10 minutes a day? Well, yes – and very effectively! Interval training has much to do with strength training in terms of the benefits it brings. The difference is, that when we exercise in the gym, we focus more on strength exercises, while during intervals it is mainly endurance and fitness.

I have written two separate articles regarding the intervals, so if you are interested in this topic, I invite you here: and here .

Interval training is very effective, but you have to be aware that this is extremely intense and in order to bring the expected results, you have to give a 100% of your energy.

Cardio training (SSC)

This is where the most controversies and understatements begin. During aerobic exercise (light cardio, pulse around 125-140), our body takes the energy mainly from fats.

There is only one “but”, namely about 75% of this energy comes from IMTG (fat stored in our muscles), and only the remaining 25% is energy derived from free fatty acids (fatty tissue). Furthermore, the “magic” power of aerobics ends virtually at the same time when the workout ends, as it doesn’t have much influence on our metabolism, oxygen debt and, connected with it, intensification of fat burning many hours after the end of the workout, as it is in the case of strength and interval training. So, after the aerobic session, the process of increased energy intake from fatty acids ends.

What is more, the typical (long-term) cardio workout is characterized by a fairly large cortisol release and a negative effect on insulin sensitivity (especially in case of people suffering from insulin resistance or having adrenal gland problems).

Is cardio training then completely meaningless? Not completely. There are ways to increase its efficiency. First of all, training should not exceed 40 minutes in most cases. Our body adapts fast to aerobic exercises, so these exercises should be done periodically. An effective way to burn fat is by adding 20-30 minutes of aerobic activity after the end of interval training. This method was quite accurately described by Lyle McDonald in his book “The Stubborn Fat Solution”. Before doing aerobic workouts, you can also add some smart supplements that affect cyclical adenosine-3 ‘, 5’-monophosphate (cAMP) and SIRT1 – but this topic will be discussed precisely in the section about supplementation.

Cardio training done in a smart way can help burn fat, but be aware that it is much less effective than strength training or interval training (unless it is an addition to the workout).

If you decide to do aerobic exercises, do it either after interval workout or as a completely separate training unit.

Supplementation for burning fat

To speed up the process of burning fat and, at the same time, to improve your health, it is worthwhile to use some diet supplements. Supplementation will be divided into three categories – basic supplements, fat burning supplements and thermogenic supplements.

Basic supplementation:

1) DHA and EPA (Omega-3)

Acids: docosahexaenoic and eicosapentaenoic (DHA and EPA) are one of the most important building blocks that trigger the body’s health processes. They occur in all cells of the human body. They have a beneficial effect on the lipoprotein profile, have anti-inflammatory properties, support the brain work, help to restore the efficiency of fat and carbohydrate management.

Dose: 800-1600 mg EPA and 400-800 DHA per day, during a meal with fat.

2) D3 + K2

Vitamin D3 has a beneficial effect on the condition of bones, increases insulin sensitivity (promotes weight loss), raises testosterone levels (facilitates muscle building), and lowers blood pressure. Vitamin K plays a key role in calcium management and affects blood coagulation. It is an essential supplement when taking vitamin D3.

Dose: 4000-8000 IU D3 and 250-500mcg K2, during a meal with fat.

3) Magnesium

Participates in the building of bones, lowers cortisol (calming effect), improves memory and concentration, and provides the energy necessary for muscles contraction. It is one of the basic minerals that should be supplemented if you are physically active.

Dose: 2-3g before bedtime

Fat burning supplements

As the name suggests, these are supplements that promote fat burning. Their great advantage is that they have no negative impact on the adrenal glands and the nervous system. Appropriate selection of fat burners can increase the amount of fat burned by up to 120% (that is, instead of 100% we burn 220%).

1) ALC (Acetyl L-Carnitine)

Acetyl L-Carnitine is a more assimilative form of L-Carnitine. It is involved in a number of metabolic processes, taking an active part in the body’s fat metabolism. Increases the contribution of fats for energy processes, saving glycogen and amino acids. It also plays an important role in transporting fatty acids – it builds complexes with them and moves them into the mitochondria.

Dose: 2-4g ALC in the morning on an empty stomach and 30 minutes before workout.

2) EGCg (Green Tea Extract)

Green tea extract (EGCg) contains a large amount of polyphenols and catechins. It contains the strongest antioxidants, prevents atherosclerosis, lowers blood pressure, prevents hair loss and reduces adipose tissue.

Dose: 400-1200 EGCg 30 minutes before workout.

3) Forskolin (Indian Nettle)

Indian nettle is an Asian plant that activates adenylyl cyclase and increases cAMP levels. It affects the growth of muscle mass and the reduction of adipose tissue. It also lowers cortisol levels, is beneficial for the heart, stimulates thyroid function, improves blood circulation and improves concentration.

Dose: 50-100mg pure forskolin (5-10 capsules standardized to 10% forskolin) on an empty stomach and 30 minutes before workout.

4) Inositol and Choline

Inositol and choline belong to the group of B-vitamins. They are beneficial for the nervous system, to improve the well-being and to assist in the metabolism of fatty acids.

Dose: 500mg 30 minutes before workout.

Stimulating and thermogenic supplements

Below, I will list some supplements with thermogenic and stimulant effects. When taking various stimulants, you should check how your body reacts to a given substance (start with smaller doses, don’t mix several supplements at once, etc.). If your body is sensitive to stimulants and you take them in the late afternoon, then you may have trouble with falling asleep. This type of supplements should be taken cyclically – I would recommend taking a given supplement for 4 weeks and then taking 4-6 weeks off. so that the dopamine receptors can return to a normal state.

1) Anhydrous caffeine

Caffeine stimulates metabolism, gives energy, and contributes to fat burning.

Dose: 100-200mg 30 minutes before workout.

2) Capsaicin

Capsaicin is a substance found in chili peppers or habanero. In addition to its thermogenic properties, it alleviates pain, acts as anti-inflammatory, protects the stomach, helps to fight hypertension and is a natural antioxidant.

Dose: about 400 mg, 30 minutes before workout.

3) Guarana

Guarana is a highly energetic extract of a tropical plant called ‘Paullinia cupana’ grown in Brazil. Guarana stimulates the nervous system, increases concentration, inhibits appetite, acts thermogenically, improves body condition and performance, and accelerates fat burning.

Dose: about 1000mg, 30 minutes before workout.

Bonus: Mega combination for aerobic exercises (cardio)

If, for some reason, you prefer doing cardio workouts, then I have a little surprise for you. There is a cool way to dramatically improve the efficiency of aerobic workouts.

What I mean here are supplements influencing the aforementioned cyclic adenosine-3 ‘, 5’-monophosphate (cAMP) and SIRT1 enzyme.

When you perform aerobic exercise, the fat you burn consists of 75% IMTG (intramuscular triglycerides, or triglycerides within the muscles), and only 25% is from FFA (free fatty acids, that is, fat resulting from fat breakdown or fat intake). cAMP changes the proportion of FFA burning to IMTG at 50/50.

Example: Let’s say, you do an hour of aerobic workout on a treadmill during which you burn 300 kcal. About 20% of burned calories comes from carbohydrates (glycogen) and the remaining 80% from fat … So, from the fat it was burned 240 kcal. Unfortunately, as I mentioned, only 25% of those 240 kcal, comes from fat from adipose tissue. So, after an hour of aerobics, you burn about 60 kcal of fat.

One kilogram of fat has 7000 kcal, so, to burn one kilogram of fat you will need about 117 hours of aerobics with the aforementioned intensity. It doesn’t look well, does it? Fortunately, cAMP can help in this matter.

To put it very simply, cAMP accelerates burning of accumulated fat relative to IMGT, by changing the ratio of 75/25 to 50/50. So, instead of burning 60 kcal of fat, you’ll burn 120 kcal – by analogy, the amount of time needed to burn a kilogram of fat is reduced by half.

Sounds well? But that’s not everything.

By influencing SIRT1, you can increase the amount of burned fat by 120%. So, instead of the base 120 kcal/hour, you will burn 264 kcal.

For this to happen, take it 30 minutes before workout:

1) cAMP: Forskolin, Rhodiola Rosea (mountain rosary, 200mg with 20: 1 extract).

2) SIRT1: Resveratrol (250-500mg), Leucine or HMB (2-4g).

To sum up: the addition of these supplements is + 120% fatty acid oxidation, a change in the ratio FFA vs. IMTG on 50/50, + 30% of visceral fat burning, + 60% resynthesis of muscle glycogen. In other words – AWESOME!

Each of these supplements can be found at http://muscle-zone.pl and by entering the code: DAWID05 you will get a 5% discount on all the products.


The last aspect that I want to discuss, in terms of weight loss, is health. The fact that I’m raising this issue at the very end, doesn’t mean that it is the least important – quite the opposite.

The state of our health directly affects the rate of fat burning. This is an extremely complex and multi-faceted topic on which I could write a few very thick books. That is why, I will try to convey the key information (in my humble opinion the most important) focusing on three categories.

I mean: general health, hormonal system, digestive system – the issues, that I will discuss within each of above-mentioned topics, will be described in such a way to help you understand them and not necessary in accordance with the typical medical approach.

General health condition

The general health condition for me is everything connected with the immune system of our body. A diet, with a negative caloric balance, always affects our resistance negatively. Why? Because as the name implies, we provide the body with less energy than it needs, forcing it to use the storage.

If you are among the group of people who are often sick, adding physical activity and a negative caloric balance will further increase your body’s vulnerability to all kinds of infections.

In that case, I would recommend first that you carefully take care of your health with a neutral calorie balance. Omega-3 fatty acids (DHA/EPA), high quality probiotics (Vivomixx) and prebiotic (Debutir), anti-inflammatory preparations such as Cats Claw, Devil’s Claw or Capsaicin are good for supplementation. One should also take good care of the digestive system (see below for details) and adequate amount of regeneration (sleep).

A brilliant solution is to drink the Bone Broth soup, which can be prepared from leftovers after lunch, and its nutritional density and richness of minerals and amino acids is greater than a very expensive diet supplements. You can find the recipe for this soup on my website at this address:

Endocrine system

From my experience, the main factor hindering the removal of excess fat are hormonal problems. In most cases, the greater excess in weight (overweight), the greater chance for hormonal disorders. Paradoxically, it also applies to people whose hormonal problems were not a direct cause of weight gain.

Still, not a lot of people are aware that adipose tissue is hormonally active and contributes to appetite disorders (leptin vs. ghrelin).

The most important hormonal glands in the process of weight loss are: thyroid, pancreas and adrenal glands. Below, I will briefly describe each of them, focusing on their influence on fat reduction.

1) Thyroid

Thyroid is responsible, among other things, for production of thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). Thyroid hormones stimulate the development and growth of the body, enhance the metabolic processes and are important for the development of the central nervous system. Thyroid activity is indirectly affected by the thyroid hormone TRH, produced by the hypothalamus, which stimulates the pituitary gland to produce thyroid hormone (TSH), which is a direct signal for the thyroid gland. This mechanism works on the principle of feedback, i.e. low level of T3 in blood = signal for the hypothalamus to produce TRH -> pituitary stimulation for TSH production -> thyroid stimulation for production of T3 and T4 (which is largely converted later to T3). In simplistic terms, hypothyroidism is accompanied by weight gain, hyperthyroidism causes loss of weight and weight gain problems (both fat and muscle mass).

Many physicians have a problem with the correct diagnosis of thyroid problems, being guided only by TSH level, which is absolutely insufficient to diagnose most of the problems associated with this gland.

So how can you check if you have thyroid problems? First, check if you have symptoms associated with hypothyroidism.

The main symptoms of hypothyroidism include:

  • shortness of breath
  • excessive sleepiness
  • constant cold sensation (even on hot days)
  • frequent constipation
  • muscle rigidity
  • arthralgia
  • weight gain despite lack of appetite
  • poor memory
  • poor concentration
  • swollen face
  • the so-called gill
  • swollen neck
  • menstrual disorders
  • fragility of hair and hair loss
  • dry skin
  • depression
  • water retention in the body
  • difficulties to maintain pregnancy
  • decreased libido
  • bradykinesia

If you have some of these symptoms, check your TSH level, fT3, fT4 and have a thyroid ultrasound. Of course, these results should be checked by someone who has knowledge on this subject. Unfortunately, the analysis of thyroid test results is not linear and must be correlated with appropriate interview (it is influenced by diet, physical activity, age, etc.), but if the level of fT3 or fT4 is much below the middle of the reference range, you may be falling into hypothyroidism. The ‘good’ TSH results range between 1 and 2 (the common reference range is 0.550 – 4.780). If your result is closer to 3 or 4, you should definitely consult a competent person.

Remember that you never “cure” your lab results! If your lab results are not according to or characteristic of a casebook/textbook but you have no perceptible symptoms, there is no reason to panic. In such cases, the situation should be monitored and repeated in 3-6 months.

I will illustrate taking the example of one of my client, how the term “middle of the reference range” should be understood. Michael is 25 years old and his level of fT4 = 0.99. The reference range in this lab is 0.89 – 1.76, so the middle of the reference range is 1.32 and even though Michael’s result (0.99) is theoretically within the norm, it’s actually too low for a 25-year-old person. Unfortunately, the majority of doctors would not notice a problem here, considering it as a good result.

Early detection of thyroid problems can prevent the patient from surgery, taking synthetic hormones, and destruction of various tissues and organs by autoimmune diseases correlated with thyroid gland (a very common Hashimoto disease or less common Graves’ disease).

2) Pancreas

The pancreas plays a key role in the metabolism of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. It secretes glucagon, insulin, somatostatin and gastrin. To simplify it: glucagon is responsible for the use of stored energy, insulin is responsible for storage, somatostatin blocks growth hormone secretion and insulin, while gastrin causes gastric acid secretion. Excessive load on the pancreas by consuming large amounts of simple carbohydrates (sugars) leads to its hyperactivity (hyperinsulinemia and related hypoglycemia), which then causes insulin resistance and ultimately lead to diabetes (causing hyperglycemia and cell death in the body).

It’s very rare for an obese person not to suffer from insulin resistance. Statistics from the US show that about 70% of Americans suffer from insulin resistance. This is obviously due to a diet rich in carbohydrates (bread, pasta, sugar, glucose-fructose syrup, sweets and processed foods) and physical inactivity.

Insulin sensitivity can be improved with a well-chosen diet and physical activity with sufficient intensity and duration.

The basic test that should be performed when you suspect insulin resistance or hyperinsulinism is an oral glucose tolerance test, measuring glucose and insulin levels, fasting, in 30 minutes, 1h and 2h after drinking 75g of glucose. Drinking 75g of glucose, from the legal point of view, is considered as “drug overload”, so this test can only be performed at the doctor’s request.

Interesting fact: The same amount of sugar is supplied in 3 cups of Coca-Cola, and, as you know, it is available without a prescription. It’s a great illustration of how heavy load for the body, from a medical point of view, it is to consume so much sugar in one meal.

Insulin resistance drastically slows the process of burning fat. In many cases, without a proper diet, weight loss is simply impossible – regardless of the amount of exercise.

For more information on insulin resistance, please, go to my own article on this website at .

3) Adrenal glands

There is a direct link between your lifestyle and nutrition and the condition of your adrenal glands. These glands are mainly responsible for the production of:

– glucocorticosteroids (e.g. cortisol),
– mineralocorticosteroids (e.g. aldosterone),
– catecholamines (e.g. adrenaline).

Hormones secreted by the adrenal cortex maintain the body’s water-mineral balance (aldosterone) and help with long-term stress by raising blood glucose (e.g. cortisol). Not without reason, adrenal hormones are often called “fight or flight” hormones.

In the natural environment, stress was associated, in most cases, with the need to perform physical activity (escaping from the predator, chasing the victim, etc.), that’s why, in a stressful situation, a lot of energy is released into the blood stream. This energy comes from the breakdown of liver and muscle glycogen (carbohydrates), fat stored in adipocytes (fat cells) and amino acids derived from muscle breakdown.

Now, an interesting question arises: What happens to all of this energy that has been released (from our liver, muscles and adipose tissue) if we are exposed to stress factors like a traffic jam or an unpleasant conversation with the boss? Well, it is mainly stored in adipose tissue. Thus, not only is fat stored (originally released from adipose tissue), but also liver glycogen and amino acids (after prior conversion to glucose).

The increase in blood glucose levels is particularly important in people with poor insulin sensitivity/insulin resistance, because it is always connected with release of pancreatic insulin, which, in turn, makes it very difficult for fat to be burned and has a negative effect on overall health.

Stress hormones, produced by the adrenal glands, are another example of a survival mechanism that worked very well long time ago, but nowadays, as a result of a complete change in our lifestyle, it’s doing more harm than good.

What is the main cause of problems with adrenal glands? First of all, a large amount of stress (mental and physical), use of stimulants (energy drinks, high amount of caffeine) and poor quality of sleep.

Interesting fact: A lot of fitness instructors have problems with their adrenal glands, although, theoretically they lead a “very” healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, running intensive physical classes for 4-6 hours a day, is, by no means, healthy and beneficial – both in terms of body shape and health.

Quoting Paracelsus, called the father of modern medicine:
„What is poison? Poison is in everything, and no thing is without poison. The dosage makes it either a poison or a remedy.”
In most cases, too much physical activity is as unhealthy as the lack of it.

I’ve mentioned that one of the factors that causes problems with the adrenal glands (and many other organs/glands) is the poor quality of sleep. What do I mean by the poor quality of sleep? Both too little sleep and its course.

If you are a person working intensively for 6-8 hours a day (physically or intellectually), it’s absolutely essential to sleep minimum 6-8 hours. I mean a kind of sleep, during which the body enters the so-called third (deep sleep) and fourth sleep phase (REM).

Nowadays, many people instead of trying to calm the body in the evening, they turn on the TV, laptop, tablet or sit on the phone. Well, you’re probably wondering what’s wrong with that? All the above-mentioned devices (generally all screens and most lamps) emit the so-called blue light. This is a kind of light that occurs naturally around the noon time. This light stimulates the brain to function, giving it a clear signal that it’s the middle of the day and should work rather than sleep.

Exposing your eyes to blue light alone doesn’t need to cause problems with falling asleep, but it can make it impossible to fall into a deep, regenerative sleep.

How can you check if you have problems with the adrenal glands/cortisol?

If after a night you wake up in the morning with no energy, and to get up from bed you need to set a few alarms, then you can be sure that there’s something wrong with your adrenal glands. The same applies to people who have problems with falling asleep or, for no apparent reason, often wake up during the night.

If you must necessarily use your phone or laptop in the evening, then invest at least in glasses with a “blue light blocker” (prices on allegro start at 19 PLN) and install a free program called “f.lux” on your PC/laptop which will automatically darken the screen and change its color temperature at sunset.

Recently a new update of Android system has been released that enables a “blue light filter”. To set this, go to “Settings” -> “Display” -> “Blue Light Filter”:

Which, then, can be further configured so that it switches on automatically from the sunset time to sunrise at your latitude:

Digestive system

Although the issues connected with the digestive system are discussed at the end, it doesn’t mean that they are the least important. Our body is like a set of connected vessels – the work of one organ influences the work of the other, so without the efficient digestive system, we will slowly begin to suffer from other factors affecting our health.

The basic task of the digestive system is to nourish the body and to neutralize potential pathogens. In order to perform its functions, two conditions must be met.

The first one is the proper digestion of food. Most people have no idea about the existence of so-called cephalic phase of digestion. It’s a phase in which the sensory interaction (sight, touch, smell, hearing or even taste) affects the secretion of hydrochloric acid before the food reaches the stomach. If you eat food in a hurry or do not focus on it, you automatically make it very difficult for your body to digest food. That is why, while eating, you should not watch TV or sit on the phone.

Another very important thing is the exact chewing of the food you eat. Every bite of food should be at least ten, and optimally twenty to thirty times chewed. This allows for adequate food fragmentation, stimulation of gastric juice production and pre-digestion of carbohydrates thanks to amylase contained in saliva. If you want to improve significantly the availability of nutrients, try to take to your mouth as small pieces of food as possible. I mean here cutting, blending or even consuming semi-liquid and liquid meals.

Interesting fact:

Most professional athletes eat liquid meals minimum 2x a day to relieve the digestive tract and optimize the absorption of micro and macro ingredients.

Not mentioning the food hygiene itself, the frequent use of medications from the NSAIDs group (i.e. painkillers such as: aspirin, ibuprofen, diclofenac), the PPIs group (i.e. “heartburn” medicines such as omeprazole, pantoprazole, ortanol, controloc control, nolpase) and any antibiotics, poses a huge problem.

Our intestines play a key role in further digestion and absorption of food. Effective function of our GI depends on many factors. Below, I will focus on the condition of intestinal villi and bacterial flora, as I consider them to be the most crucial in terms of health and weight loss.

The food that has been digested must then be absorbed and transported to the cells. This absorption is possible mainly thanks to the intestinal villi, which significantly increase the small intestinal absorption surface. In each villus there are blood and lymphatic vessels. Blood vessels transport amino acids, small peptides, sugars and MCT fatty acids to the liver, by the portal vein, while lymphatic vessels transport the remaining fatty acids.

The main factors that affect negatively the condition of our intestines are:

  • frequent consumption of foods rich in insoluble fiber (dry bran, seeds, pips, nuts);- antibiotic therapies,
  • consuming large amounts of simple sugars, which contribute to the formation of fungal hyperplasia (especially Candida) in the intestines (because they feed on sugars). This condition is referred to as yeast (Candidiasis),
  • weakened immune system and related bacterial overgrowth (SIBO),
  • excess of fruit sugars (fructose),
  • ignored allergies and food intolerances.

Tests for allergies and food intolerance (IgG/IgA) (they are not the same!) are a great solution. Unfortunately, these tests are quite expensive and simply not everyone can afford them. So, if you do not want to spend 400 PLN (for basic tests) or 2000 PLN (for extended tests) – you will need to keep watching your body meticulously.

If you suffer from digestive discomfort, then you have to eliminate this product as quickly as possible from your diet for minimum one month.

To support the work of your intestines, invest in good probiotics (e.g. Vivomixx) and prebiotics which will facilitate the placement of prebiotic bacteria delivered (e.g. Debutir). If you want to optimize the work of your intestines, then I recommend doing the so-called targeted probiotic therapy.

It involves a laboratory analysis of the bacterial flora from the stool sample, and then selecting specific strains of bacteria and probiotics to level them in the intestines. This is definitely the best option, unfortunately, it involves additional costs.

To sum up

If you want to lose weight in a smart way, have a nutritionally rich diet, with a low calorie deficit, and add physical activity that is adequate to your abilities and health. Introduce all changes gradually. You can use supplements to help with fat burning, but remember about periodization of stimulant preparations. Take care of your health and the quality and length of your sleep. Remember not to eat in a hurry and avoid the excess of medications that have a negative effect on the state of your digestive system. If necessary, use probiotics with prebiotics or invest in targeted probiotic therapy.

Are you ready to change your life? Do the first step now!