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The Ultimate Guide To Fat Loss

There are a ton of posts & articles around the internet and in magazines with different tips and tricks for losing fat – and a lot of them unfortunately end up being contradictory. I figured that it would be helpful if we could just create an “ultimate guide” here on LoseBellyFat.com that would go through every main component of fat loss, and the things to be aware of, so that we can get rid of all of this confusion and have a straightforward (and simple) fat loss guide to follow.

This guide was inspired by Sean Croxton of Underground Wellness, and a lot of the concepts in discussed here you can learn more about in his recently released book, The Dark Side of Fat Loss

So first and foremost, let’s talk about some basic fat loss concepts. One of the biggest mistakes and lies that I see perpetrated in the fat loss industry is that it’s all about calories in vs. calories out. Calories in vs. Calories out is a weight loss theory that is based on something called The Law of Thermodynamics. It basically says that energy cannot be created or destroyed – energy will just change from one form to another. So the conclusion that popular media (and bad science) has drawn is that if you eat too many calories and do not burn those calories off, then they don’t just disappear – they are stored inside of you in the form of fat on your thighs, hips, and of course, your belly. 

The problem is, this law cannot possibly apply to the human body. This is a gross oversimplification of a much, much more complicated problem. There are plenty of reasons why the law of thermodynamics doesn’t work for fat loss, but the main one is that this law is based on something called a “Closed System”. Basically, this law only applies to a system that has no interaction with any outside environment, or any other system. 

Which is NOT the human body, as we have a TON of interaction with the outside environment (we breathe air, we drink water, we go outside, we eat food, etc.). So we are not a closed system. Done deal. But just to really hammer this concept home – let’s say you weigh 180 lbs right now, and 10 years ago you also weighed 180 lbs. In order for you to have kept your weight the same for those 10 years, you would have had to eat the EXACT amount of calories you burned. For TEN YEARS. 

Meaning, if you ate 10 calories extra per day (which is equivalent to about 2 almonds), you would have put on 10 lbs over those 10 years. And I can pretty much guarantee that there is no one on planet earth (and probably in the entire universe, seriously) who has been able to keep track of, and maintain a calorie balance like that. And yet they still weigh the same.

So yeah, calories in vs. calories out makes no sense for fat loss, and ultimately is a waste of time. Fat loss is really broken down into a couple of main categories:

1. Balancing Your Hormones

2. Eating Real Food

3. Reducing Stress

4. SLEEP!

5. Improving Your Digestive System

6. Reducing Your Toxic Load

7. Exercise

While you could argue in some other components here (such as mindset), these are the main seven things that if you follow and do, you will see significant improvements in not only the amount of fat on your body, but how you feel on a regular basis.

So let’s talk about each one of these things, shall we? I’ll go through each topic briefly and then link to another article where I cover them more in depth.

Balancing Your Hormones 

Our body is an incredibly complex system of systems – and your endocrine system, which produces hormones, plays a huge part in what makes you human. Hormones will help you manage stress, your heart rate, and blood pressure. They help you with your digestion, and they tell your body whether to burn fat, or store it. Hormones will help you wake up in the morning, and go to sleep at night. They basically are chemicals that the cells of your body what they need to do. If your hormones are out of wack, the messages that they send will be incorrect, and can lead to a massive health disaster.
Ultimately, if you’re trying to lose fat, but your hormones are out of balance, you are doomed to failure. But fear not, while balancing hormones is not an easy thing to do, it is most definitely not impossible. And while it is most definitely a complex subject (many textbooks have been written about hormones alone), I’ll attempt to break it down into simple terms so that it’s easy for you to follow and understand. 

Leptin

Leptin is a called the “master hormone”, at least for fat loss, because it is secreted by your fat (your white adipose tissue, to be specific), and helps monitor how much fat your body has. Leptin communicates with a specific gland in your brain called the hypothalamus. When you’re healthy and your hormones are able to communicate properly, and your body has “enough” fat on it, leptin will tell your hypothalamus that you don’t need to store any more fat, and that you it should keep your metabolism moving along, while keeping your appetite low, because you do not need any additional fat right now.

This system was originally created to keep us from starving when there was no food. Before grocery stores and 24/7 food availability, humans (or our ancestors, I should say) NEEDED to store fat on their body so that they could survive through famine – specifically, so they could survive through winter, when food availability was quite sparse. It’s not like they could drive over to their local whole foods and grab some meat. There was simply no food available.

So when there was no food, and our fat stores started to diminish, our hypothalamus would get less leptin. When there’s less leptin talking to the hypothalamus, it’s thinking “Oh crap, we’re running out of fat storage. If we totally run out, we’ll probably die!”. When this happens, the hypothalamus will communicate with other parts of our body, specifically, the thyroid, to slow down our metabolism. Because the last thing we need when there’s no food and we’re starving is a high metabolism. Along with that, the hypothalamus increases your appetite – telling you to EAT SOME FOOD! 

You might be starting to see the picture clearly now – when you aren’t eating enough food (or putting your body through a famine), your body will start to freak out and slow down your metabolism, and increase your appetite. This is obviously a survival tactic that has worked exceptionally well for us in the past – and it does not care for your attempts to lose weight with a low calorie diet. This is why low calorie diets basically don’t work for fat loss, and just lead to extreme hunger.

Oh yeah, and when you finally do start eating, your metabolism has slowed down so much that your body will attempt to store as much fat as possible. Not good for burning fat. 

So you might be thinking, okay, so then how come people with excess fat don’t have super high metabolisms and low appetites? Why do they struggle to lose weight?

Well, the answer is complex and simple at the same time – everything in moderation, right? Your body likes to have just the right amount of fat. It is obviously not good for survival if you have are carrying around an extra 100 lbs of fat. Good luck escaping from a sabretooth tiger at 350 pounds. Just sayin’.

Anyway, if you end up having too much fat on your body, combined with things like frequent blood sugar surges (which happen when you have high sugar, processed foods), high triglycerides, excessive fructose, and chronic stress, your body gets something called “Leptin Resistance”. This means that even though your body has a ton of fat on it (and remember, fat produces leptin), and the leptin is going to your hypothalamus saying “INCREASE MY METABOLISM! LOWER MY APPETITE!” your brain can’t hear it, and consequently, you’re in trouble. Now your brain thinks that there’s LOW leptin, and that you are in a famine and that you need more food (even though the complete opposite is the case). It, of course, will now decrease your metabolism, and increase your appetite – even though you’re overweight! 

Ultimately, we are still learning how to regulate leptin correctly to avoid leptin resistance, however, the biggest keys in regulating your leptin are the rest of what I am about to discuss in the rest of this post – regulating insulin, eating real food, sleeping, lowering stress, getting rid of toxic chemicals, and improving your digestion. 

Insulin

Insulin is the hormone that is responsible for your body’s accumulation of fat. Now, don’t take that the wrong way. While you might see that as a bad thing, insulin is extremely important to your body and without it, or the ability to produce it, you’ll be dead, or have type 1 diabetes. Not fun. 

Here’s how insulin works. When you eat something with carbohydrates, your body breaks down the carbohydrates into fructose or glucose. This glucose is absorbed, and then enters into your bloodstream. Having high levels of glucose in your blood stream (glucose in the bloodstream would be “blood sugar levels”), is extremely dangerous, and having too low levels of glucose in your bloodstream can kill you as well.

Anyway, point is, your body wants to regulate your blood sugar to a decent, healthy level. So, once you’ve eaten this carbohydrate and the glucose has entered into your bloodstream, your pancreas releases insulin, who’s job is to move this blood sugar into your muscles and liver (as glycogen), and into fat cells, to be converted and stored as fat. The goal of this is again to bring your blood sugar levels to a healthy “normal” range, so that you don’t have too high or too low levels of blood sugar. 

Here’s the thing. When you eat processed carbohydrates, high glycemic and high sugar foods, your insulin spikes massively. And if you are eating these foods as a main part of your diet, then your insulin levels are going to be chronically high. And when your insulin levels are up, an enzyme called Lipoprotein Lipase is also up (this enzyme is used for fat storage!). 

So here’s the problem. When you eat these kinds of foods, along with not following the other guidelines in this article (proper sleep, lowering stress, removing toxins, exercising, etc.) you start to compromise the insulin receptors on your muscles and your liver. Meaning that even though your pancreas is releasing insulin into your bloodstream, it can’t connect properly to your muscles and liver. So your blood sugar stays at a high level, and because it’s still at this high level, your pancreas will continue to release insulin to try to get rid of it. 

Along with this, while insulin is high, other chemicals that are designed to burn fat, such as glucagon, and hormone-sensitive lipase are shut down. So it basically becomes impossible to lose fat. AND having high insulin will promote inflammation, which releases cortisol, which increases your blood sugar even further! This is a very, very bad situation to be in. Unfortunately, a ton of americans are living this nightmare every day. 

So how do we regulate insulin? How do we make sure that insulin resistance doesn’t happen, and keep our body a fat burning furnace? Well, I’ll tell you one thing – it’s not from lowering your calorie intake. It’s about living a healthy lifestyle – and one of the most important parts of that is eating REAL food. So let’s talk about real food.

Eating Real Food

Oh boy. Just like with hormones, entire books can be written on eating real food. And unfortunately, navigating our modern food labeling system is not always as easy as it should be. Turns out that calling a food “natural” is meaningless, and there are literally no regulations on what foods you can call natural, and what you can’t. So much food in our country is irradiated, nuked of all of it’s nutrients, made from sick animals, grown in dead, unhealthy soil, covered in pesticides, and on and on.

All hope is not lost, though. Healthy food is still available all around us, so no need to fear. So let’s jump into what foods are healthy, and what foods you should avoid.

First and foremost, as much as possible I will stick to food that is organic, unprocessed, and unrefined. I stick to eating animals that are healthy and pasture raised, period. The reason being (aside from the fact that I truly believe that these foods taste better!) is that you are what you eat, right? And if you’re eating low quality, processed garbage, or meat from animals that are raised with 10 of their family members in a cage filled with their own feces, well, what does that make you?

Paul Chek of the CHEK institute has a great quote about this, and it’s “You can’t get healthy from eating sick animals” (this obviously applies to plants as well). 

If you’re eating sick, stressed out animals that are literally living in their own poop, can that food really be good for you?

So let’s go through some specific guidelines for picking healthy food.

Beef, Lamb, Buffalo, Pork: 100% Grass Fed. This means that the cow has been raised on grass and pasture from it’s birth until it was sent to the slaughterhouse. If you’re looking to eat healthy beef, this is the way to go. Everything else is not as high quality, however, 100% grass fed beef is not always possible to get. So if you can’t find 100% grass fed beef, “Grass Finished”, and “Grass Fed” (not 100%) and “Organic” are all okay — you want to make sure they are antibiotic and hormone free, though. That’s a whole other blog post – but I don’t want to be eating antibiotic filled meat, do you?

Poultry & Eggs: Free Range. Ultimately the best way to get high quality chicken is to go to an actual farm and see how they raise the chickens there. And a lot of the times, you can get the best prices on chicken that way. Other acceptable chicken labels are “USDA Free Range”, “Free Roaming”, and “Organic”. And as always, you want them to be antibiotic and hormone free. Again, hormones and antibiotics in your food is a big no-no. 

Fish: Wild-Caught. Farmed salmon basically are raised in pens filled with fish poop, antibiotics, and pesticides. It’s disgusting. Stick to wild caught.

Dairy: Honestly, there’s a lot of proponents for raw “real” milk, and while I don’t have anything against it, I just avoid dairy altogether. Most dairy that you buy in stores is pasteurized and lack real nutrients. Also, most dairy that you buy in stores is made from cows treated with antibiotics and recombinant bovine growth hormone. I’m good on cow hormones in my food. No thanks.

Organic Fruits & Vegetables: If it isn’t organic, it’s likely grown with pesticides (which I ASSURE you in ANY dose are not good for you), chemical fertilizers, and chemical growth enhancers. Again, I’m good. I don’t think our ancestors were eating foods with these chemicals in them — so I don’t need them either. One thing I will say is that unfortunately, organic food is usually more expensive than “conventional”. So if you can’t afford to always eat organic, there is a list at www.ewg.org that will tell you which “conventional” foods are okay to eat, and which you need to ALWAYS avoid. 

Healthy Fats &  Oils: Contrary to popular belief, fats are NOT bad for you. I generally stick with unrefined extra virgin olive oil, or coconut oil – which to me is one of the healthiest foods there is. I stay away from canola oil, corn oil, and anything with soy in it.

Grains: It seems that our country has an obsession with “whole grains” being the ultimate healthy food. However, there’s a LOT of research piling up that’s showing that grains are not as healthy as we thought they were – specifically from the “Paleo” movement, and through a ton of other high-profile nutrition and health experts and scientists. I personally believe that most people in America have a gluten intolerance, and it’s a food that most people should not be eating due to the damage that it does to your digestion. I will write a separate blog post on gluten and grains, but for now you can learn more here: Details on Gluten. I will tell you that I do not eat any grains or gluten and I feel much better now than when I did eat them. I would highly recommend doing your own research into grains and whether you should be eating them or not.

Foods To Avoid:

Soy: I won’t eat anything with Soy in it. Soy is a “fake” health food as far as I am concerned – and has been shown to promote estrogen production, compromise your bodies ability to digest protein, and screw up your thyroid. Also, the majority of soy in the united states is genetically modified – a practice which we have yet to determine is safe or not (though of course, this genetically modified food is still for sale in our supermarkets).

Artificial Sweeteners: The keyword is artificial. While you won’t die instantly from eating artificial sweeteners, why would you want to put artificial chemicals in your body? A lot of these sweeteners are in the same chemical group as certain pesticides – no thank you.

High Fructose Corn Syrup: Yes, HFCS is very similar to refined sugar. Refined sugar is bad for you. HFCS is bad for you. I avoid it like the plague. 

Those are some main guidelines for you to follow. The real point is that you just want to be eating real food – or JERF as my buddy Sean Croxton calls it. If you stick to eating healthy plants and healthy animals, then you will have no problems – you don’t need to count calories or worry about macronutrient ratios. 

Reducing Stress

This is a big one, and in fact, I wrote a whole post on Adrenal Fatigue a few months ago covering what happens when you get stressed out. Basically, the main forms of stress can be broken down into physical and mental. Mental stresses would be related to emotional stress (relationship issues, family issues), financial stress (worrying about money all the time), and “life” stress – meaning everything involved with your happiness and your “purpose” in life.

Physical stress would be stressors such as chemicals in your body and in your environment, your digestion and it’s function, exercise and if you’re overtraining, and nutrition and the food you eat.

I’ll give you a run down of what happens when you’re stressed out – and you can read the Adrenal Fatigue post above to learn more about it. 

Your body’s hormones are separated into two categories – sex hormones (testosterone, estrogen, etc.) and stress hormones (cortisol). When you’re constantly stressed out, from any of the stressors mentioned above, your body will start to produce a lot of cortisol to help manage the stress. Cortisol is a hormone designed to help you manage stressful situations. It helps the “fight or flight” reaction, and helps mobilize your body to prepare itself to either fight, or run from a stressful situation. Like if a bear attacked you, or something.

Anyway, cortisol isn’t all bad, in moderation. However, when it’s elevated all the time (due to chronic stress), things start to get QUITE messed up. Cortisol by it’s nature will increase your blood sugar. When it’s constantly elevated, your blood sugar will be constantly elevated as well. And as you read before in the insulin section, having constantly elevated cortisol levels is no good. Along with this, cortisol creates a catabolic environment in the body – which means that it will metabolize muscle and bone – all while it’s promoting fat storage. Again, not good.

Again, your body is only designed to produce cortisol once in a while, for survival. It can’t produce it all the time – and if you are chronically stressed out, you’ll end up taxing your adrenal glands so much that you will start to limit the production of cortisol. This is what is called Adrenal Fatigue. Over time, your body can’t keep producing cortisol, and it’s cortisol levels will start to lower. You’ll start to feel tired in the afternoon, and eventually, have trouble even waking up in the morning. And, all of this focus on the stress side of your hormones leaves your sex hormones neglected — so chronic stress can actually lead to lower testosterone and estrogen (I can tell you this from personal experience, as I was in stage 3 adrenal fatigue, and my 57 year old mother had higher testosterone than I did. I’m a 23 year old male. THAT is messed up.).

Stress can be hard to manage, but some simple tips are – for emotional stress – make sure you have someone to talk to about personal stuff, make sure you’re being active and social (trust me, being isolated from other people for long periods of time is DEFINITELY stressful), make sure you’re responsible with your finances (duh!), and don’t internalize everything. Ultimately, emotional stress has to do with your perception of the environment around you – so always keep that in mind and if something is really bugging you, take a step back and really think about whether it’s worth getting upset about, or if it really even matters at all.

For physical stress, just follow what’s in this guide!

SLEEP!

This is going to be a pretty short section, as there are only a few specific guidelines to focus on for sleep. First off, try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every night. If you can get to bed before 11 o’clock every night, you will most definitely have higher quality sleep, as those earlier hours are when your body is able to do the most repair to itself. I also recommend waking up early as not only is it awesome for productivity, but it feels great. The more consistent you are, the better you will feel. Also, try to get 7-8 hours of sleep every night. Some other things to keep in mind are to make sure that the room you sleep in has NO light in it, as it’s been shown that any small light can throw off your circadian rhythm. I use blackout curtains, though I’ve been told that sleep masks will help as well. Another thing to consider is waking up naturally with natural light – if you can’t leave your windows open due to lots of city lights, you can use one of those “sun” alarm clocks like this one: Sun Alarm Clock. I definitely would not recommend waking up to a loud alarm, I think it’s extremely disruptive and throws you off for the whole day. When in doubt, stick to how our ancestors would do it!

And that’s really it for sleep. Screwing up your sleep is one of the unhealthiest things you can do – in fact, all nighters were recently labeled as a carcinogen by the center for disease control. Lack of sleep can also contribute to insulin resistance, among hundreds of other problems. Fixing my sleep schedule has been one of the biggest contributors in making me feel good – I promise you that nothing is worth staying up until 2 am for! Get to sleep!

I’m really not doing these subjects justice as each one deserves it’s own book. Again, if you want more information on all of these topics I would highly recommend checking out The Dark Side of Fat Loss , which covers each one of these topics extremely in-depth, and has a lot more recommended resources as well. Alright, on to digestion!

Improving Your Digestive System

The truth is, something like one third of all american adults have some sort of digestive issue. From parasites, to bacterial imbalances, to leaky gut, gluten sensitivities, and so on. Our digestion is an extremely important part of fat loss, as if your digestion is messed up, then even if you’re eating great foods, the benefits from doing so will be limited, to say the least.  So let’s talk about the main digestive challenges that most people face – that is, parasites, fungal infections, dysbiosis, and leaky gut.

Dysbiosis

 In your gut, there are millions and millions of bacteria. “Bacteria” generally gets a bad rap, however, this kind of bacteria is actually good for you – they help you absorb nutrients, and digest food. There IS bad bacteria that you want to avoid getting in your gut – however, we’ll talk about them in just a second. There are two main groups of bacteria inside of you – bifidobacteria and lactobacilli. Bifidobacteria are found inside of your colon, and lactobacilli are found in your small intestine. 

Here’s where you run into problems. When you eat processed, crappy food, or take antibiotics (which are the biggest destroyer of “good” bacteria in the gut), you can throw off the bacterial production inside of your gut. Antibiotics, for example, do not distinguish between “good” and “bad” bacteria. They just destroy everything. So when you take antibiotics, you can do significant damage to your “good” bacteria, and consequently, screw up your digestion. When you have too much bad bacteria, and not enough good bacteria (or the balance is out of wack), you get what is called Dysbiosis. I should also mention that when your gut bacteria is out of balance, you can significantly throw off your metabolism, hampering your ability to burn fat.

The way that I’ve countered dysbiosis for myself, and what is usually recommended is taking a probiotic. These will help promote growth of the “good” bacteria in your gut, and get you back to being balanced.

Fungal Infections

Another problem that I dealt with when I was in poor health was fungal overgrowth – specifically, candidiasis, or candida overgrowth. Basically, a systemic yeast infection. Candida lives inside of us naturally, helping with production of certain B vitamins and vitamin K. Candida is generally held in check by the good and bad bacteria balance inside of your body. So, when you take antibiotics and throw your bacterial balance out of wack, because Candida is not a bacteria, it is not affected by the antibiotic. However, because the antibiotic has destroyed your balance of good & bad bacteria, Candida can now overgrow in your body without consequence. This can lead to all sorts of serious problems – including leaky gut (which I’ll talk about in a second) along with external fungus (which usually means you have a serious fungal problem). 

There is no simple fix for Candida, unfortunately, because it is almost always a symptom of a great problem. For me, I worked with Dr. Kalish of The Kalish Research Institute and took his supplement called “Clear 3″ and “Clear 11″, which are combinations of oregano oil, thyme oil, and some other natural oils that help remove fungus. 

Leaky Gut

Leaky gut is another extremely common digestive disorder in our country.  When you eat anything, obviously that food ends up going through your intestines on it’s way out of your body. Inside of your intestines, bacteria and fungus will help you digest nutrients and absorb your food. Occasionally, a parasite or virus might get in – and your intestines are great at protecting you from these sorts of things. You definitely do not want the bacteria, candida, parasites, viruses, or even food particles getting into your bloodstream – and your intestines protect you from this with something called your intestinal barrier. This barrier is designed to help you absorb the nutrients and break down your food, and also protect you form having the aformentioned bacteria, etc. from entering in your bloodstream.

Unfortunately, when you take antibiotics, or eat crappy, processed food, you can severely damage this intestinal barrier, and lead to what is called “Leaky Gut”. Leaky gut basically means that your intestinal barrier’s function is compromised, and small particles of food, bacteria, whatever it may be, are able to get through the lining of your gut and into your bloodstream.

And let me tell you, from personal experience — this is absolutely NOT something you ever want to have happen. When food particles enter your bloodstream, your body immediately sees them as foreign invaders, or “antigens”. When they see this, your immune system will immediately send down a squad to remove these foreign invaders. Now, your immune system is designed to do this – it’s designed to protect you from foreign invaders, obviously. But it’s not designed (the same way your cortisol is not designed to be elevated at all times) to be constantly fighting “invaders”, which is what happens if your food is constantly going into your bloodstream. There are a few things that can start to happen from leaky gut – one is that you can start to develop food sensitivities. If you eat a lot of turkey, for example, and have a leaky gut, those turkey particles will be going into your bloodstream on a regular basis. Eventually, your body starts to develop a sensitivity to turkey – and you’ll start to feel like crap whenever you eat it. For me, when I was in my worst stages of leaky gut, there were 28 foods that I was sensitive to and could not eat. Whenever I would eat them, I would feel like crap – tired, ready to go to bed, no matter what time of day it was.

Along with food sensitivities, if your immune system is constantly overactive and fighting invaders, you can develop autoimmunity issues. This is something that can take a long time to develop, but is extremely serious and very important to be aware of. Basically, if there are constantly new food invaders in your blood stream, eventually your immune system gets tired and starts to have trouble distinguishing this invader from other parts of your body…for example…your brain. When this happens, your immune system basically starts to attack it’s own tissues, or organs. This can be extremely dangerous and deadly, so it’s important that you are aware of it, and take the proper steps to prevent it. 

One of the biggest ways to prevent leaky gut is to simply cut out gluten. Gluten is extremely hard to digest, and a large majority of americans have some level of sensitivity to it. It is one of the biggest causers of leaky gut. If you’re looking to learn more bout gluten & leaky gut, I would recommend watching my buddy Sean’s tv show discussing it here: Gluten Sensitivity With Dr. Thomas O’Bryan. You can also learn more about gluten here: Mark’s Daily Apple.

Parasites

 This is one of the most undiagnosed problems in our country, and yet is the cause of a TON of common health problems. Parasites are obviously not something you want inside of your body, and can contribute to all of the above digestive disorders. Basically, if you’ve ever been to mexico or outside of the country, or really, feel “off” since your last trip – It’s important that you get tested for them. A lot of these bad boys can live inside of you for a VERY long time and absolutely wreak havoc. You can get tested by a Functional Medicine practitioner (such as Dr. Kalish or a Naturopathic Doctor.

There’s a lot more to know about digestion, but to keep it as simple as possible for you guys – it’s important to be aware of all of the above problems. As always, you can get more information from speaking to a functional medicine practitioner, or by clicking any of the links above. 

Reducing Your Toxic Load

There are unfortunately a ridiculous amount of toxic chemicals that we come into contact with every single day of our lives. Completely removing toxins is almost impossible, considering even the air we breathe has them. However, you can most definitely reduce your toxic exposure by following a few simple steps. 

The first toxin that we commonly come into contact with, and unfortunately, digest, is chlorine. It’s frequently found in city water, and while it’s good for making sure our water isn’t filled with bacteria and funguses, it’s not something you really want to be digesting on a regular basis. And it’s not just in your drinking water, it’s often in your shower water as well. This can be a problem because the hot water evaporates and you end up digesting large amounts of chlorine.

It’s relatively easy to get rid of this chemical in your water – and that is simply by using a water filter on your drinking water, and a shower filter on your shower. I bought a shower filter from whole foods for $50, and it took about 5 minutes to put together. As a side benefit, it’s made a huge difference in how my skin and hair feels when I get out of the shower – I used to have very dry skin whenever I would shower — that is no longer a problem.

The other main toxins to avoid are ones that are in popular personal care products, like shampoo, makeup, soap, and toothpaste. It’s important to make sure that you’re not using hyper-toxic products – and the easiest way to find out whether the product you’re using is okay or not is to go to www.CosmeticsDatabase.com and enter in your product there. It will tell you it’s level of toxicity. 

Ultimately, I am not a fan of rubbing toxic chemicals all over my body – and I think that you probably shouldn’t be either.

Another common source of household toxins are cleaning products. When you spray cleaning products in your house and you smell these products  - that means that particles of those toxins are getting inside of your system. And if this is a product that if you were to drink it, for example, would kill you, I can promise you that inhaling it is NOT a good thing either. So it’s important to make sure that you’re using non-toxic cleaning products. You can find a ton of good ones at whole foods or local health food shops. 

Some other things to be aware of, to wrap this up, are the majority of plastics, specifically ones marked with the #7 – they have something called Bisphenol A in them, which can cause leptin and insulin resistance. If I’m storing food, I always use glass or stainless steel. 

Cookware – You just want to get rid of non stick, teflon cookware. It’s filled with toxic chemicals that you absolutely do not want to be ingesting, or cooking your food in. Stick to stainless steel, or even cast iron cookware. 

Just by following the guidelines above, you can dramatically lower your toxic chemical exposure and remove chemicals that can be impeding your fat loss efforts. It might seem like a hassle (and trust me, I debated for a while about getting the shower filter, for example) but it’s well worth the cost and the health benefits, and avoiding a ton of common health problems connected to toxic chemical exposure.

Exercise!

I’m going to keep this one short, as we have a whole exercise section here on Lose Belly Fat with a ton of articles for you to look through. But basically, here’s how I look at exercise:

1. Exercise often, but not too often: I go to the gym 3-4 times a week. I try to at least walk for an hour a day, even if I don’t make it to the gym. While exercise is extremely important in growing strength, losing fat, and general health, overdoing it can cause serious problems and you want to make sure that you’re not overtraining. There’s no need to be in the gym for more than 45-60 minutes at the most.

2. NO Long & Slow Cardio: I absolutely despise jogging, and all forms of long distance running. Regardless of what you hear, and this is obviously debatable, I am a firm believer that long distance running, especially doing it often, is extremely bad for you. It creates free radicals in your body, elevates your cortisol, catabolizes muscle, and promotes inflammation. Not something you want to be doing. Also, it’s boring! But that’s just me.

3. Involve High Intensity Work: I think it’s important to do high intensity training at least once or twice a week – just to keep your metabolism roaring and it’s been proven to be great for fat loss. And, sprint training is a ton of fun. 

The Wrap Up

So this is by no means an all inclusive guide, as every subject in here can be expounded on significantly, however, it’s a good starting point and hopefully you were able to glean a few nuggets from this article. If you have any questions or comments about it – make sure to let me know in the comments section below. Let us know what you think! 

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