How has your approach to fat loss changed in the past few years?

For many years, too many to count in fact, I had the typical view propounded in bodybuilding to eat 5-6 small meals a day when dieting, centred around protein and vegetables with a healthy dollop of fish oils to the side. This worked okay at best but I always found it difficult to enjoy meals which averaged at around 300-500 calories and after a certain amount of time the cravings would become overwhelming.

Reading further, I noted that cravings had both a psychological aspect to them (related to rebelling against deprivation), and a physiological dimension (hormonal changes leading to greater appetite). At this point in my past a reefed was employed every 3-7 days (I go into detail in the dieting without losing muscle mass article).

More recently, I found that intermittent fasting protocols were a good way to increase fat loss although I would supplement the fasts with morning BCAA/EAA intake to offset the catabolic effects of fasting and also to provide more opportunities to ramp up protein synthesis.

Today, my approach to dieting is to backload carbohydrates later in the day (something which in the past I would avoid), and to make the mornings either BCAA supplemented fasts, or to consume a low carbohydrate, high protein breakfast such as an omelette with some smoked salmon for instance. In our interview with Borge Fagerli, he expands on this idea.

Since changing my dieting patterns to either of these approaches I have been able to make much greater use of supplements designed to target fat loss as they will tend to work better when insulin levels are low and there is less fuel being provided to the body. In particular, supplements designed to target alpha adrenoreceptors will work much better when morning carbohydrate intake is avoided.

A relatively new thing I have been trying is to adopt an idea from Layne Norton discussed in our interview with Layne. Layne’s idea, backed by scientific data, is to supplement between meals with BCAA’s and consume an average of 4-5 meals daily only compared to the old bodybuilding dogma of a minimum of 6 a day. Since incorporating this idea, I have noticed greater lean body mass retention.

© 2012, Reggie Johal. All rights reserved.

About Reggie Johal

Reggie Johal is a former Great Britain American Football player and the founder of Predator Nutrition. He has a strong background in strength and fitness coaching with articles published in Flex and other leading online and print magazines.

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