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Fat Loss

Most of my clients see me partly or entirely because they want to lose fat. Many talk of losing weight, but the weight they really want to lose is bodyfat weight.
There are some simple, effective things we can do to help lose bodyfat, or to help maintain leanness, that few do.

Skip the Wheaties, the Fruit Loops, and the Corn Flakes. You need protein in the morning. Your morning protein is more important than your dinner protein, because it wakes up your metabolism (1), and steadies your energy production for the next few hours. Try a protein shake, eggs, even beans and toast. Cheese, nuts and seeds, and raw nut butters are also a good choice. A nutritionist can help determine which protein choices are best for your individual needs.
In addition to the protein, eat some healthy carbohydrates, if you want or need a bigger breakfast; fresh fruit (no juice), oatmeal/ red river cereal, whole grain bread. Here again, a Nutrtionist can help customise the ‘carbs’ for your needs.
Skipping protein in the morning means a slower metabolism, for the rest of the day. And that equals slower fat burning.
Before Breakfast, and All Day
Before your breakfast, drink plenty of water- as soon as you wake up is a good time. This will prime your digestion, and fat burning. The body needs water to burn fat, because humans, and all animals burn fat by hydrolysis. That means “cutting with water”, because, for those with a biochemistry background will know, we cleave molecules like fat using several molecules of water.
Less water intake means less fat burning in your body, or on a more positive note, you actually burn more fat when you are well hydrated (have plenty of water in your system).(2) A good amount of water intake would be 2 litres per day for a smaller person, and around 3 litres for larger people. Add more for exercising or hot weather. And no, coffee and regular tea do not count. Herbal teas do.


Exercise is the most powerful way to aid fat loss. There are a lot of activities to choose from that will help; any activity, from tai chi to wood chopping, to walking helps. What helps the most? Weightlifting is the fastest fat burner I know of (3), both from research and from my experience with many clients. Adding weight training to other activities greatly aids fat loss, versus doing the other activities alone(4). By the way, women; you will not get big muscles from lifting weights! I have had many satisfied female training clients who became smaller, denser, and harder, while losing fat from their belly, butt, and thighs. For those who struggle with disordered eating, we see in the research that you need a personal trainer, much more than social work or psychotherapy (5).


Leave the healthy fats in your diet; eating good fats enhances fat metabolism a number of ways. Bad fats like rancid oils (in chips, fries, other fried foods, and all margarines), and trans fats (in commercially deep-fried foods, chips, vegetable shortenings, and some margarines) are the worst offenders for fat metabolism(6).
Omega 3 fats, the healthiest of which are found in fish, raw hemp seeds, and raw hemp oil, are beneficial for fat loss. Eating them improves your fat metabolism, so go nuts! Actually all raw nuts contain healthy fats, vitamins, and phytosterols, which have many strong health benefits. Always include them, in any fat loss plan. Roasted nuts and seeds, by the way are ‘out’,. Their once healthy fats are ruined by the high heat involved in roasting and toasting. Flax meal is a great fat loss aid, because it provides omega 3 fats, as well as loads of fibre. Fibre is a well, well proven fat loss aid, both dietary fibre and supplement fibre, like flax meal, or psyllium fibre.

Fruits and Vegetables

More fruits and veggies means leaner bodies. This is the proven trend. For fat loss, I do advise eating fresh fruits, and fresh or cooked vegetables. No juice. And no dried fruit. All of my clients who have successfully lost fat and kept it off have eaten generous amounts of fruits and vegetables. What this proves is that ‘good’ carbohydrates are fine. ‘Bad’ carbohydrates are not.

Bad Carbs

White brad, ‘multi grain’ bread (usually mostly white), pasta, and white rice are not good. Sugar- in desserts, candy junk food, and pop, is worse.
Women usually need to limit their grains, to lose fat well. All my female clients have done well eating fresh fruit, but even good whole grains, like brown rice, and whole grain bread (not multi grain) bread need to be restricted, to perhaps 1-3 servings a day, or less, depending on the individual. See an experienced Nutritionist or Naturopath for a more fine-tuned plan.
Men usually do really well on a good carbohydrate plan; they can usually eat as much good carbs as they like, as long as the bad carbs listed above are cut out. Again, see a qualified professional for more tailored advice.

This article written by Anthony Di Pasquale, a wholistic Nutritionist.
Anthony works with LoveCry, the Continuum Center in the Yorkville Club, and the Inspired Life Health Centre, as well as his own private practice in Toronto.
He can be reached at or 416.680.3533
1. Halton T.L., Hu F.B. The effects of high protein diets on thermogenesis, satiety and weight loss: a critical review. Journal of the American College of Nutrition. 2004; 23(5):373-85.

2. Bilz S, Ninnis R, Keller U.Effects of hypoosmolality on whole-body lipolysis in man. Metabolism. 1999; 48(4):472-6

3. William J. Banz, Margaret A. Maher, Warren G. Thompson, David R. Bassett, Wayne Moore, Muhammad Ashraf, Daniel J. Keefer and Michael B. Zemel Effects of Resistance versus Aerobic Training on Coronary Artery Disease Risk Factors Experimental Biology and Medicine 2003; 228:434-440

4. Park S.K., Park J.H., Kwon Y.C., Kim H.S., Yoon M.S., Park H.T. The effect of combined aerobic and resistance exercise training on abdominal fat in obese middle-aged women. Journal of Physiological and Anthropological Applied Human Sciences. 2003; 22(3):129-35.

5. Sundgot-Borgen J., Rosenvinge J.H., Bahr R., Schneider L.S.The effect of exercise, cognitive therapy, and nutritional counseling in treating bulimia nervosa.Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 2002; 34(2):190-5

6. London S.J., Sacks F.M., Caesar J., Stampfer M.J., Siguel E., Willett W.C. Fatty acid composition of subcutaneous adipose tissue and diet in postmenopausal US women.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 1991; 54(2):340-5


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