This is part one of a two-part series.

Up to a point, every strength athlete is better off leaner. Depending on the sport, there is a level of being too lean, but few reach this unfamiliar territory, especially powerlifters. It is no secret that the more functional muscle you can carry up to the limit of your weight class, the better. After all, visceral and subcutaneous body fat does not increase your strength output. Ever see the athlete who looks drained at a meet and bombs out from cutting weight before weigh in? Lower body fat levels well in advance of competition to ensure that you have no obstacles to success!

On the other hand, many athletes obsessed with being lean take the wrong approach, sacrificing both strength and muscle mass with only temporary body fat loss. Even if you aren’t a strength athlete and have no aspirations to compete, why not take an easy path to being leaner for spring and summer? If given the option, I don’t know of any guy who wouldn’t want to sport a six pack at the pool this summer.

Reaching body composition and performance goals while simultaneously promoting good health are our professional objectives. Open your mind to this new concept, which has taken even my most advanced clients far beyond their best condition. It wasn’t the exception but the norm for our clients to lose 2–4  percent body fat in 30 days while actually increasing lean body mass. How? You would never guess, but read below to find out.

Strategic macronutrient cycling

The benefits of rotating training routines frequently are well accepted, but how often have you considered the manipulation of macronutrient (fats, carbs, and proteins) levels? Most people stick with two diets—one for fat loss and the other for gaining lean body mass. There is no middle of the road or variety between these two programs for most. After reviewing thousands of nutrition journals, I quickly discovered that there was little difference between those routines other than manipulation of total calories. The same foods were used over and over with little variation of macronutrient intake. Yes, low carb plans are a step in the right direction over the past 10 years, especially for fat loss. But what about changing protein and dietary fat levels?

Remember, the human machine is a brilliant system and will quickly adapt not only to training but to nutrition routines as well, which is why we created Chronological Nutrition™. A constant influx of high protein levels over many consecutive months will teach the body to use protein as the primary source of fuel, sparing fat tissues as an energy reserve. This isn’t productive. We would much rather the body use fat as the primary fuel source, sparing protein to be used as building blocks for new muscle growth.

Teach the system new tricks!

Nutrition articles rarely focus on dietary fats, except to bash them of course. Now, it is time for the training community to recognize the power of the right fats! As a mad scientist of sorts, I am always searching for techniques that can help my patients reach their goals faster. At times, I experiment with protocols that may go against the current “trends.” But hey, if it is safe and makes scientific sense, it is worth trying in my estimation.

Abandon any preconceived notions for the next 10 minutes and consider the facts. Low fat diets aren’t necessarily productive and may lead to the following ailments:

·        Body fat accumulation

·        Depression

·        Joint pain

·        Decreased sex drive

·        Reduced hormonal output

·        Low test levels (which is a leading risk factor for heart attacks)

A diet high in “good” fats equaling 3050 percent of caloric intake may lead to a higher level of both total and free testosterone levels. Patients also report reduced joint pain, no doubt related to the lubricating impact of the right dietary fat intake.

A Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) study followed large populations of low fat diets (1520 percent of intake) for cardiovascular disease and cancer. Those on low fat diets had an increased incident of these ailments compared to those taking normal intake of dietary fat (35 percent).

Will your cholesterol rise as a result of a higher dietary fat intake? In my experience, yes, but only initially and triglyceride levels may go down within a short period of time, which is beneficial. The genetic makeup of each person will determine what happens to many elements of the lipid profile. Eventually the “good” cholesterol HDL will increase if you consume the right fats, unless you have some genetic predisposition.

We should be very concerned about the impact of refined foods, trans fats, and sugar on cholesterol levels, which are creating tremendous health problems. I believe that these items have more of a negative impact on cholesterol levels than a majority of dietary fat sources.

Not all fats were created equal

The media and many so called experts have tried their hardest to make us believe that all fats are bad. Nothing could be further from the truth because dietary fats are a normal part of the human diet and are necessary for optimal function. However, there are certain fake fats that you must avoid. Food scientists developed these artificial fats to lower the amount of dietary fat listed on food labels and to preserve the shelf life of packaged goods. As a result, many of the trans fats that you consume in packed goods will also extend the life of stored fat within your cells.

Corn oil is the most popular cooking oil in North America, used primarily for fried items. Unfortunately, it will actually increase the number of fat cells in your body. Assuming you do not like the swollen fat cell look, I would avoid corn oil at all costs. Extra virgin olive oil and a well engineered essential fatty acid supplementation such as the Alpha Omega possess attributes that can reverse negative impacts created by corn oil and trans fat intake. Remember the heat that you use for cooking can convert good elements into bad fats. Aim to use medium temperatures for olive oil while butter, coconut, and palm oil do well at high cooking temperatures.

Increase fat burning enzymes, incinerate body fat

A high protein, low carb intake will produce enzymes to help you burn protein as fuel. After all, the body is a smart machine and will adapt to circumstances. But for reasons mentioned above, we want the body to produce new enzymes that will assist the body to use more stored fat as fuel.

One of the best ways to accomplish this is “fat loading.” A large influx of dietary fat over a 12–24 hour period causes a metabolic shift. The abundance of dietary fat available forces the body to find a way to use it as fuel quickly, especially when protein and carbohydrate intake are reduced during this fat loading period. The body will continue to use fat as fuel for several days following the fat loading because the fat burning enzymes will still be in large supply. However, the body will not differentiate between fat intake through food consumption or stored fat sitting on your hips. Luckily for you, these conditions can produce some fantastic fat loss progress in short periods of time.

Fat loading spares protein, which can be used to form new muscle, and also stored carbohydrates, also known as glycogen, which can sit within the muscles providing a fuel reserve for training and larger muscle bellies.

Considerations before you start the fat loading plan

Have you had a medical check up recently? Check with your doctor before changing your nutrition plan. Do you face any dietary restrictions from your doctor? Before beginning this program, you must clean up your diet for at least a week. This means no refined foods, packaged goods, sodas, or sugars. It is very important to follow the program for at least 14 days without interruption.