Exercise Scientist’s Masterclass On Losing Fat - Dr Mike Israetel

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Exercise Scientist’s Masterclass On Losing Fat - Dr Mike Israetel

Fundamental Physiology of Fat Loss (00:00:00)

  • Body fat serves as an energy reservoir, lubricates joints, and provides structure to cells.
  • Humans evolved to efficiently store energy as fat due to intermittent food availability in the past.
  • Consumed food is broken down and distributed throughout the body, with excess calories stored as body fat.
  • Humans can accumulate excessive fat because there was no evolutionary pressure to limit fat storage.
  • To reduce body fat, a calorie deficit must be created, meaning you burn more calories than you consume.

Do Calories Matter? (00:09:50)

  • Calories are the most crucial factor in losing body fat.
  • Some individuals claim that calories do not matter, either due to personal experiences or misinformation spread by certain content creators.
  • Specific food choices can impact food consumption and activity levels, leading to reliable weight loss.
  • The myth of calorie balance is perpetuated by misinformed individuals and resonates with those who have experienced weight loss without calorie counting.
  • Counting calories is not mandatory for success but provides a reliable method for achieving a calorie deficit and losing fat.
  • If you are not losing weight despite your efforts, counting calories can help you identify and adjust your calorie intake.
  • Calorie counting helps you understand your maintenance calorie level and make informed adjustments to create a calorie deficit for weight loss.
  • Regular self-weighing provides valuable insights into your progress and helps you stay on track.

How Often You Should Weigh Yourself (00:17:30)

  • If you are maintaining a healthy lifestyle, weigh yourself once every month or two weeks.
  • If you are actively trying to lose weight, weigh yourself at least once a week, but consider water weight fluctuations.
  • Weighing yourself two to three times a week is recommended for an accurate trend of your weight changes.
  • Consistent weigh-ins before and after vacations or short trips are sufficient.
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The Truth About Set Point Theory (00:23:14)

  • Settling point theory suggests that individuals have a range of weights that their bodies will settle into based on factors such as diet, exercise, and lifestyle, rather than a single set point weight.
  • Factors like food environment and availability can influence an individual's settling point weight.
  • The United States has the highest number of obese and very obese individuals compared to other countries.
  • Settling points can fluctuate over time due to changes in lifestyle and environment.
  • Genetics play a significant role in settling points, particularly hunger levels and food pleasure response.
  • The obesity epidemic is linked to the widespread availability of palatable, convenient, and affordable food, combined with individual differences in hunger and food enjoyment.

Why Modern Society is So Fat (00:30:16)

  • The primary cause of obesity is the overconsumption of tasty, calorie-dense foods.
  • Modern pharmacology, particularly GLP-1 agonists like semaglutide (Ozempic) and tirzepatide (Mounjaro), offer effective solutions for weight loss.
  • Newer GLP-1 agonists, such as tirzepatide, have shown greater efficacy and fewer side effects compared to older drugs.
  • GLP-1 drugs for weight loss work by reducing hunger, leading to decreased food intake.
  • Some people have negative attitudes towards pharmaceutical interventions for weight loss due to anti-capitalist or anti-corporate sentiments.
  • Using weight loss medication is not cheating as humans have been using tools and technology to improve their lives since the beginning.
  • Weight loss can be achieved through willpower or with the help of medication, freeing up willpower for other aspects of life.
  • There are many other challenges and problems in the world that require our attention and effort, so relying on medication for weight loss can be beneficial in freeing up our mental resources for these other pursuits.

Managing Protein, Carbs & Fat (00:38:18)

  • Protein is essential for building and maintaining muscle mass. A good rule of thumb is to consume just over half a gram per pound of body weight per day, or up to one gram per pound for serious fitness enthusiasts.
  • Calories and protein intake are the most important factors for fat loss.
  • Carbs and fats are not as important as protein for fat loss but should still be consumed in moderation.
  • The ideal balance of carbs and fats depends on individual preferences and activity levels.
  • Good sources of healthy fats include olive oil, canola oil, and other plant oils.

Are Seed Oils Actually Bad for Health? (00:44:07)

  • Seed oils are generally healthier than saturated fats, but a balanced diet should include mostly plant fats and about one-third saturated fats from sources like eggs and beef.
  • Ultra-processed foods with trans fats should be limited due to their negative long-term health effects.
  • The composition of fats matters less for individuals with a low total fat intake compared to those on a high-fat diet.
  • Reheating fats and oils has not been proven to be harmful and requires further research.
  • Demonizing individual food components often comes with highly processed, calorie-dense foods that should be consumed in moderation.
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Optimal Mealtimes for Weight Loss (00:49:46)

  • Meal frequency does not significantly impact weight loss but affects muscle growth and retention.
  • For optimal muscle growth and maintenance, consume at least four evenly spaced, high-protein meals per day.
  • Spreading meals throughout the day is more important for fat loss than meal frequency.
  • Eat within a few hours of waking up and avoid long periods before bedtime for muscle retention and sleep quality.
  • Sleep is crucial for fat loss and muscle gain, so eat in a way that optimizes sleep.
  • Spreading meals out and finding what works best for you is more important than backloading carbs or front-loading protein.
  • Biasing carbohydrates closer to the workout may provide a slight advantage for energy during training and recovery.

Best Foods to Make Fat Loss Easier (00:57:20)

  • Calorie balance is crucial for fat loss, regardless of food groups.
  • Highly palatable foods can lead to overeating, so choose less flavorful and more satiating foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean meats.
  • Prioritize foods that keep you fuller for longer, such as those with high fluid volume and fiber.
  • Gradually reduce the palatability and increase the fullness factor of your food to lose fat.
  • Some good food swaps include creamy sauces to non-creamy sauces, dry rubs instead of sauces, and whole grains instead of refined grains.
  • Eventually, most of your carbohydrate consumption should come from fresh fruits and green vegetables.
  • Potatoes are a good source of starch and can help with satiety during a diet, especially when minimally processed and boiled.
  • Pasta generally does not provide as much satiety as potatoes.
  • Creatine gummies are a tasty and convenient way to take creatine daily, which can safely and effectively build lean muscle, improve muscle recovery, and improve brain health and longevity.

How Our Body Expends Calories (01:10:13)

  • Physical activity is not the cause of the obesity epidemic.
  • There are three options for physical activity when it comes to losing fat:
    • Eat very little and be very physically inactive.
    • Have a moderate level of physical activity (e.g., 10,000 steps per day) and a slight calorie reduction.
    • Continue to eat a lot and try to out-exercise your food intake (not recommended).
  • Out-exercising a poor diet is challenging and unsustainable.
  • Diet is more important than physical activity for weight loss.
  • The leanest people are those who eat differently.

The Facts About Cardio for Fat Loss (01:21:50)

  • Step tracking is a convenient, sustainable, and enjoyable way to measure physical activity and can be easily incorporated into daily routines.
  • The intensity of exercise doesn't significantly impact fat loss and weight loss compared to sustainability.
  • Choose physical activities that you can sustain long-term and incorporate variety to prevent boredom and injuries.
  • Aim for a minimum of 8,000 steps per day, but adjust this goal if you're very physically active outside of walking.
  • Consistency is crucial for fat loss and overcoming challenges that may arise during dieting and exercising.

Does Resistance Training Help You Lose Weight? (01:33:28)

  • Resistance training during fat loss preserves muscle tissue, leading to better health, appearance, and well-being compared to dieting alone.
  • Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to gain muscle while losing fat, especially for beginners who start weight training during their fat loss journey.
  • Resistance training can result in significant fat loss while maintaining or even gaining muscle, leading to a more attractive and fit appearance.
  • Women in their 40s and 50s should incorporate resistance training into their fat loss plans to achieve transformative results without the fear of becoming overly muscular.
  • Muscle mass changes the shape of the body and improves overall appearance.
  • During a fat loss phase, most people can maintain the same resistance training routine as they would for muscle growth.
  • Towards the end of an extreme fat loss phase, consider reducing the load and increasing repetitions to minimize injury risk and maintain muscular endurance.
  • Aim to add weight and repetitions to the bar progressively to maintain strength progress.
  • Avoid reducing training intensity during a fat loss phase to minimize muscle loss.
  • Train as hard as possible while dieting to maintain or even gain muscle.

The Key to Getting Abs (01:42:56)

  • Abs are revealed by reducing body fat, not through specific exercises.
  • Training abs while losing fat can result in some growth, but it won't be significant.
  • Training abs is similar to training other muscles: 2-4 times a week, multiple sets close to failure, full range of motion, increasing loads and reps over time.
  • Compound exercises and weight training can make abs big, so extra ab training may not be necessary for those who already lift weights regularly.
  • Training abs for the purpose of developing a stronger anterior chain can be beneficial for certain activities like Jiu-Jitsu.
  • For contest bodybuilding, focusing on overall leanness and muscle development may be more important than specifically training abs.
  • Training abs 2-4 times a week with conventional resistance training approaches and exercises that work full range of motion can be effective.
  • Visible abs typically require a body fat percentage of around 10-12%.

Supplements That Help With Fat Loss (01:51:18)

  • Modern anorectics like OIC and tepati can offer an edge for fat loss.
  • Stimulants like caffeine can have a marginal effect on reducing appetite and improving mental clarity and focus, but tolerance can develop quickly.
  • Yimin and other similar supplements can have a small effect on fat loss but have side effects.
  • Real supplements that directly work for fat loss don't exist.
  • Modern anorectics are the most effective supplements for fat loss, as they reduce hunger.
  • Fat burners work but mostly cause anxiety and sleeplessness due to their stimulant base.
  • Non-stimulant fat burners are not very effective.

Why Do So Many People Fail at Diets? (01:55:02)

  • Unrealistic weight loss goals and unsustainable diets often lead to failure and weight regain.
  • Successful dieting involves adopting long-term healthy habits such as portion control, prioritizing protein, and regular meals.
  • Fad diets are ineffective and do not promote healthy eating habits.
  • Appetite and hunger are the main causes of weight gain, and can be managed by consuming a high-protein diet, having a meal schedule, and eating fibrous vegetables and fruits.
  • Avoid making diet food too palatable to prevent overeating.
  • Stay hydrated, prioritize protein and vegetables, and be mindful of caloric intake.
  • Small behavioral changes, such as establishing a health-focused identity and prioritizing health and fitness, can significantly impact weight loss.
  • Temptation should not influence food choices when dining with others while on a diet.

Mike’s Favourite Fat Loss Tactics (02:06:27)

  • To avoid impulsive and unhealthy food choices, have an arsenal of meal ideas and stick to a shopping list when grocery shopping.
  • When dining out, research restaurant menus beforehand and choose dishes that align with your diet goals. Don't hesitate to ask for modifications or substitutions to accommodate your dietary needs.
  • Opt for restaurants that offer healthier options, such as Subway or Chipotle, where you can customize your meal.
  • Focus on consuming primarily meats, vegetables, and a small amount of rice and beans to lose fat.
  • Avoid establishments like McDonald's that lack healthy options.
  • Choose restaurants that provide grilled meats, rice, and vegetables, such as Flame Broiler or Panda Express.
  • Stay committed to your plan and avoid unhealthy options, even if it means sacrificing some enjoyment.

How to Lose Fat With a Sweet Tooth (02:11:31)

  • Artificial sweeteners (non-nutritive sweeteners) are safe, effective, and do not disrupt the gut microbiome.
  • Fresh fruits can satisfy a sweet tooth and provide necessary carbs.
  • Enlightened ice cream and Halo Top ice cream are low-calorie alternatives to regular ice cream.
  • Legendary Foods' protein pastries and cinnamon rolls are tasty and low-calorie options.
  • If diet foods taste too bad, it's better to skip them and eat regular food when hungry.

Diet Transitions & Diet Breaks (02:15:15)

  • After dieting for 6 to 12 weeks, take a maintenance break of at least 6 weeks to avoid diet fatigue and extreme hunger.
  • Gradually increase your caloric intake after the diet, but stick to healthy foods.
  • Allow yourself a cheat meal or two after a few weeks, but don't go overboard.
  • Keep weight training and maintaining a high level of activity.
  • If you want to lose more fat, diet again for 2/3 to 1 times the length of the previous diet, followed by a maintenance phase or slow bulk.

Where to Find Mike (02:21:17)

  • Mike Israetel appreciates the evidence-based community coming to the forefront.
  • He recommends his podcast, RP strength YouTube channel, and the RP diet coach app for more information.
  • He suggests searching for "evidence-based fitness" or "evidence-based dieting" online for more credible resources.
  • He invites people to follow him on Instagram.

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