Wits & Weights: Strength and Nutrition for Skeptics

Ep 88: Break the Cycle of Body Fat Overshooting for a Stronger, Leaner, and Healthier Physique

July 18, 2023 Philip Pape Episode 88
Wits & Weights: Strength and Nutrition for Skeptics
Ep 88: Break the Cycle of Body Fat Overshooting for a Stronger, Leaner, and Healthier Physique
Wits & Weights: Strength & Nutrition for Skeptics
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Show Notes Transcript

Today, for episode 88, titled “Break the Cycle of Body Fat Overshooting for a Stronger, Leaner, and Healthier Physique,” we are diving into body fat overshooting, which is potentially the most important phenomenon to understand when it comes to body composition in the context of manipulating your nutrition. If you’ve tried many diets over the years with little success, feel like your metabolism is slowing down, or struggle to maintain your weight for the long term, this episode is for you.
We'll go over the role of hormones, appetite, and muscle, why 95% of people regain weight, and how to be in the 5% who are successful so you can have not only a leaner physique but a long-term, sustainable approach to maintaining your hard-won results.

Now let’s dive into today’s topic: body fat overshooting.

Book a FREE 30-minute call with Philip here.

Today you’ll learn all about:

[2:05] The significance of body fat overshooting
[6:04] What is body fat overshooting
[7:40] What is hyperphagia
[8:36] What is fat cell hyperplasia
[10:20] Why strength training is essential to successful weight loss
[13:59] The value of strength training during weight gain
[14:34] Max thanks Philip for helping him prioritize his health and dropping 45 Lbs
[15:38] Protein intake and its significance for weight loss
[19:42] Sustainable approach to weight loss or diet based on your lifestyle
[26:51] Outro

Episode resources:

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Philip Pape:

During weight loss, if you are not strength training, you are going to lose muscle period and it could be very high it could be as high as half half of the tissue you lose could be muscle, I want to iterate this fat. Very clearly if you lose 20 pounds 10 of those could be muscle. Then when you gain 20 pounds back, almost 20 of them are fat. Welcome to the Wits & Weights podcast. I'm your host Philip pape, and this twice a week podcast is dedicated to helping you achieve physical self mastery by getting stronger. Optimizing your nutrition and upgrading your body composition will uncover science backed strategies for movement, metabolism, muscle and mindset with a skeptical eye on the fitness industry so you can look and feel your absolute best. Let's dive right in Wits & Weights community Welcome to another solo episode of the Wits& Weights podcast. I hope you enjoyed our last episode 87 with Ashton love Eric, where we talked about the power of leaning into the future, embracing your future self and becoming an alpha in order to win in fitness and in life. Today for episode 88 titled break the cycle of body fat overshooting for a stronger, leaner and healthier physique. We are diving into the topic of body fat overshooting, which is potentially the most important phenomenon to understand when it comes to how your body changes during fat loss to body composition in the context of manipulating your nutrition. If you've tried lots of diets over the years are a yo yo diets with little success, or you feel like your metabolism is slowing down. Or you've struggled to maintain your weight for the long term. This episode is for you. We'll go over the role of hormones appetite and muscle, why 95% of people regain the weight and then some and how to be in the 5% who are successful. So you can have not only that leaner physique, but also a long term sustainable approach to maintaining your hard won results. Now let's dive into the topic today, which is body fat overshooting? And I want to start by talking about its relevance, like why do we care about this? What is it? I think this topic has significant implications for weight management, for body composition and for health. And these are all tied together. And I think a lot of people don't understand how this works or that it even happens. Okay? It's it touches everyone who embarks on a weight loss journey, fat loss, body comp, whatever. And so it's crucial if you're, you know, care about your investment, your fitness and your health. Talking about weight management, right? It is not uncommon for people who lose weight, especially when they do it through yo yo diets or crash diets or some sort of drastic restriction, cutting whatever to regain it back. And often more than that, and we're talking about staggering numbers, 95% of people gain it back within five years period. This is just shown time and again. And the compounding factor here is that most of this weight gain is predominantly fat, more fat than you lost when you lost the weight because what you're losing when you lose weight is not just fat, but also muscle unless you do the things we talk about later on in this episode, but we need to understand why this happens. Okay. So this creates a cyclical pattern of weight loss and regain that we often talk we often call yo yo dieting, but it's not just that you're going down and up in weight, you are losing muscle on the way down, and then you're gaining fat on the way up. And so your body composition is getting worse and worse, you're you're getting effectively fatter over time, even if the weight on the scale didn't change. And that is not good for your health. So if we understand this, we can optimize our body composition. Because when we lose weight, we want most of that to come from fat rather than muscle. And then the opposite. When we regain weight, we want that most of that to come in form of muscle with just a little bit of fat along for the ride. And so we can strategize our diet and training in favor of muscle maintenance and muscle growth. And that is the crux of everything we talked about. This is why I care so much about strength training and adding that muscle building stimulus because it affects everything. When we talk about nutrition, we can't talk about it in a vacuum, we can't talk about it without the the muscle building to go along with it. And that's what we'll we're going to talk about. metabolic health also is impacted. When you gain back your loss weight primarily as fat. We're talking about reduced insulin sensitivity, increased blood pressure, negative blood lipid profiles. This is important, folks, because what this means is you don't just have to become very overweight, to have these problems occur. And if you've noticed with age that some of your blood markers have declined and you haven't really gained much on the scale. This could be why because of the additional body fat that you're carrying relative to muscle. The other thing is we talk about sustainability all the time sustainable health practices in nutrition, the strategies that are required to properly counteract body fat overshooting, which is a gradual, sustainable approach to fat loss and healthy lifestyle changes, we'll say, will mitigate that, but also give you the habits and routines you need. For any fitness goals you have going forward related to body composition. This is why I keep saying this is maybe the most important thing to understand. And then everything you do with your nutrition and your training are going to affect this. So this is really about empowering you to make the choices. And that allow you to control this machine that is our body, our biological machine, being able to turn the dials to crank it up and to control how we how we look and feel. Okay, so this goes beyond aesthetics. This goes beyond health, it also affects our I mean, goes beyond weight, I should say it also affects your health. And so I don't think it affects everyone. All right. So that's why we care. As far as what it is, okay, let's, let's go a little bit of deep dive into this today. The concept is if you lose a significant amount of weight, and then you go back to your pre dieting habits, which guess what everybody does, like 95% of people do that, you're likely to regain more than you initially lost. And one of the critical factors here is your body's what we call homeostatic mechanism, this is what tries to get you back to its setpoint. And everybody has these these kind of ranges of set points. When you go on a keto diet and you cut a bunch of carbs, you lose a bunch of weight. Yeah, I lost 40 pounds in like two months, all of a sudden, then what happens? Are you able to eat that way for the rest of your life? Chances are very, very likely almost certainly not. You go back to what you read him before, but then you end up gaining weight faster and just mostly fat. Okay. The second thing is adaptive thermogenesis, right metabolic adaptation. As you lose weight, your metabolism goes down. It's conserving energy. It's regulating hormones. We know about this, we talked about this a lot. But the problem is when you're not closely tracking this, and you're not quite aware that this is happening, which people who are crash dieting are usually not tracking their calories and aware of what their expenditure is usually, when you don't know that guess what, when you go back to when the diet is, quote, unquote, over, you're like, Okay, now I'm just gonna sustain my weight. Well, your metabolism has declined, and you don't realize that and so you're actually on a lower amount of energy intake than you were before. And then you might start overeating, not realizing that that's happening. Another interesting thing is called hyperphagia hy perp H AGI is a Greek spelling hyperphagia. So when you have a prolonged period of caloric restriction, there is I believe hyperphagia is tied to the muscle loss that occurs during that diet when you're not strength training. And it creates a very ravenous sensation of hunger, much more than you would have just from metabolic adaptation. And then, and this is kind of your body saying, like, Hey, I am like breaking down all sorts of tissue here, you've got me deprived of energy for a long time, I just need to get whatever I can get my hands on salt, sugar, fat, doesn't matter. Give it to me. And this results in overeating and weight gain contributing to the overshooting you know, you just crave. And you binge and you go back to it, and you're just, you know, or software you started. Another thing, it's a very similar word, but it's different. It's called hyperplasia, and this is related to your fat cells. And this is not something we want to have happen. If you go through an extreme weight loss phase right beyond the limits crash dieting, what have you, you can stimulate the production of brand new fat cells, that's fat cell hyperplasia. Normally, when you gain weight, you you fill up your fat cells, when you lose weight, they shrink. But if you lose too quickly, your body says, oh, no, we don't have enough energy storage, devices, units, whatever. And it increases your out of out of sight tissue, okay? Which will never go away. And I'm not saying this to scare you, but it just, it will never go away. So you're going to have a slightly harder time in the future. Maintaining weight loss, not saying it's not going to happen, because many people have gone through this and have been perfectly successful at the other side. Hormones, right? We know that the metabolic adaptation also affects the or dieting and being in a deficit affects your hormones that regulate Well, everything but especially your appetite and your fat storage. So leptin, ghrelin, insulin, cortisol right? Leptin goes down, because the fat cells are saying that we're shrinking we don't have as much energy so please, you need to eat tells your brain you need to eat so your hunger goes up and not also potentially leads to overeating. Ghrelin, which is the hunger hormone also goes up. All important things to understand. So we have a common theme here, and it has to do with you've, you've done something in an extreme, and now your body wants to fight back, and you're kind of going to pay for it. If you you know, continue down that road. During weight loss, if you are not strength training, you are going to lose muscle period, and it could be very high, it could be as high as half, half of the tissue you lose could be muscle, I want to iterate this fact, very clearly, if you lose 20 pounds, 10 of those could be muscle, then when you gain the 20 pounds back, almost 20 of them are fat, what have you just done, you've worsened your body fat percentage, and that muscle never comes back, unless you do start strength training to build the muscle back, which is a lot harder than then then manipulating fat, okay. So then when you gain the weight, you gain fat, when you lose, you lose muscle over and over again. And this shifts your body composition in the negative direction. Okay. According to a literature review by men at all, in 2007, the majority, the vast majority of people regain their weight within five years of their initial loss. And that's a statistic I was mentioned before, I think it's around 95%, whatever it is, it's extremely high. So that leads us to what do we do about it, and it really comes down to it comes down to several things. But the two most important are going to be strength, train, strength training, and protein intake, it really does come down to those two, those comprise 90% of it. You know, the other habits, we're going to talk about support your health, they support your ability to do these things. They support adherence. But strength training and protein are the two most important so why strength training, it provides a muscle building stimulus. You're a human being walking on this earth. This is what I the way I like to look at it, I'm walking around here, I am recording this right before I go in for surgery. And I know how important strength training is. And one of the reasons I wanted to record this episode is because I have, I'm not going to be able to give myself that stimulus for the next few weeks while I'm recovering. Although I'm going to try to find creative ways to do it regardless around the you know, outside of the affected shoulder, which is where I'm having the surgery, see if I can work out other muscles on my body. But I'm not going to have that I'm really going to miss that because I know how valued is as a human being to be strong and capable, to be able to move things around and be able to help people to get off your seat, to be active to play with your kids to do all the things that we want to do all the way into old age, you know, to the day we die, we want to be strong. And we also know that strength and muscle are associated with countless health effects, you know positive correlations with health. Muscle is medicine. It's a sink for glucose, it burns more calories on and on and on. But for the purposes of body fat overshooting, why do we care about strength training, it's simply because as you are losing weight, sending a signal to your body that muscles important means your body is going to shuttled resources like protein toward rebuilding that lean tissue. Instead of instead of allowing it to atrophy. It's kind of the way I like to put it. So a sedentary person who is not strength training, they go on a diet, they have fewer calories coming in, well, your body has a few different options, it can say, Well, I'm gonna go ahead and rebuild your muscle tissue. But now I'm lacking calories for all these other things like my hormones, no, it's not going to do that. It's gonna say you're not using that muscle and that's very metabolically expensive, we're gonna let that atrophy and that's fewer calories now that we have to use from the food coming in for that the rest can then go for toward the you know, hormones and other metabolic processes. That's awful. That's awful. That means you're just like wasting away your muscles every time you lose weight when you're not strength training. So the remedy to that is to strength train, to minimize metabolic slowdown, and all the other benefits that come with that, okay, and then when you gain weight, of course, you want to be strength training as well because now you're gonna gain a significant portion of that as muscle. So you're doing exactly the opposite of body fat overshooting. And that is the whole point. The whole point is that you want to lift heavy weights, progressive overload, heavier and heavier over time. So your body continues to adapt and wants to hold on to that very expensive muscle tissue. And then you become a fat burning calorie inefficient machine which is exactly what we want.


That's a Philippe an awfully for a long time and know how passionate he is about healthy eating and body strength. And that's why I'm choosing to be my coach. I was no stranger to a dieting and body training. But I've always struggled to do it sustainably really helped me prioritize my goals with evidence based recommendations on not over stressing my body and not feeling like I'm starving. In six months I lost 40 Five pounds without drastically changing the foods I enjoy. Now I have a more balanced diet, I weight train consistently. And most importantly, I do it sustainably if a scientifically sound, healthy diet and a Langstrom body is what you're looking for. Philip Pape is your guy

Philip Pape:

if you can't train, so this is my example where I'm going to have surgery rehab, I would still want to walk a lot, keep my energy flux high, keep my protein high, you know, eat at maintenance, and then do as many other forms of activities, I'm reasonably able to, to tell my muscles that they're important and that I love them. Okay, so the other thing is protein intake should be obvious. If you follow my stuff at all. Or if you care about strength training, that protein kind of goes along for the ride. But guess what, even if you're not strength training, even if you're sedentary, and I don't encourage anybody to be sedentary, but still, having high, much higher protein is going to be more beneficial than not, it's still going to preserve lean mass, during weight loss, it's still going to help you even maybe build a tiny bit of muscle during weight gain, even if you're sedentary, but we don't want to be sedentary, we want to be strength training, we combine that with a sufficient intake of protein, anywhere from point, you know, point eight to 1.2 grams per pound, right? More is better during fat loss. But it's also harder because you only have so many calories to work with. So I'm okay with being flexible, right, that's the whole point here is being flexible within that range. And by doing that, when you lose that 20 pounds, something like you know, 1819 of it will probably be muscle fat for for at least a newer lifter. And oddly, not oddly, but interestingly, if you're brand new to lifting, you can have some of that body recomp we talk about, even potentially, while you're losing weight, not much, but you might, the point is you're not going to lose a bunch of muscle. And that's what we're trying to avoid. When you recover your weight when you're coming back out of a diet or when you're gaining weight intentionally. Or even when you're at maintenance, you want to be lifting as well, of course, because that's going to help you build muscle and reduce fat accumulation. All right, there are plenty of diet, there are plenty of studies out there, that show that a high protein diet has is really supportive of weight management and body composition for a number of reasons. The big reasons we like to talk about are number one, it's helps with fullness more than the other macros. Number two, I like to talk about protein in the context of the grocery store, when you go shop for food. And I if I tell you, you need a lot of protein, go shop for your groceries for meal prep, you're going to have to stick to the outside of the grocery store. For the most part, we're talking animals and plant sources, you know, meats, dairy, eggs, grains, beans, all those things, because it's very hard to find a lot of protein in processed foods. I mean, yeah, you could eat protein bars all day, nobody's going to do that. And so a high protein diet tends to crowd out less probably overly processed foods, which is nice. It's a nice side effect. And then what's the other thing, it also has a slightly higher thermic effect of feeding. So it costs a little more to digest than the others. It's a minor effect, but it's nice to know. Okay, so how do you get enough protein that's a whole topic in and of itself. But it really comes down to meal planning, right meal timing, so having enough meals to get enough protein, something like four or five for most people, and then planning ahead. And the way I like to do that is whatever food logging app you're using, in my case, it's macro factor. I will have my clients look to previous successful day and a previous maybe not as successful day and diagnose them and say, Okay, on a successful day, here's how I got my protein, right, I made sure to have it every time or I made sure to have protein for breakfast, which on the less successful day, maybe I skipped it. On the less successful day I only ate three times instead of four or five, right? Little little things like that. And if you haven't had a success with it yet, then plan ahead for the next day and pretend that it's the quote unquote perfect day. And what would that look like? Right? And then the to go along with this you have to have a good understanding of all the different foods that are high in protein. And beyond the obvious of the meats, eggs, dairy, it's okay, when we take dairy. What are the options for dairy? Well, if you had something like cottage cheese, you could have full fat cottage cheese, we could also have 2% cottage cheese and when you look at the macros they they're different ratios. So that's just my practical tips on on protein intake. Um, so when we put all this together, we also have to consider the fact that when people want to go on a diet when they want to lose fat, lose weight go into deficit, we have to have a sustainable approach here. Okay. And it starts with understanding the evidence supported range of rate or loss and I just Want to remind everyone of that? Okay, when you crashed, I did that one time on on the carnivore diet and lost 40 pounds in two months. That's not necessarily good thing. For several reasons, one, it probably led to some level of body fat overshooting because it was too fast for you just lost some muscle and then you gain some fat. And number two, it's not sustainable. Like those are the big reasons. So the evidence says that if you want to lose fat and minimize muscle loss, during fat loss, you want to lose between a quarter to 1% of your body weight per week. So 1% of your body weight because weight is the max, okay, unless other than corner cases, like athletes who are very lean, or people who are doing mini cuts or into bodybuilding, things like that, that is the max you want to go. So if you weighed 200 pounds, no more than two pounds a week, if you go more than that you're going to risk losing muscle. Similarly, when you gain weight, you want to go between, say, point one and a quarter percent a week, or you risk gaining more fat. Now that is a little bit less of a problem. Because if assuming you're doing this, for the purposes of building muscle and your strength training, if you want to push it a little harder at the risk of getting more fat, because you might be a high responder to muscle, you know, that's your choice to make knowing that you'll just have a little extra fat to lose in the in the fat loss phase later on. But when you're doing all the things, that's okay, you know, you're in control of that, and you can do that. So, you know, it really depends on individual preferences and what you're going for. So being within the evidence supported range is going to avoid this problem. Having a high protein of you know, point A to 1.2 grams per pound. Now this number may sound different than another range, I've used often, which is point seven to 1.7 to one is like the the range most people want to be within most of the time, the point eight to 1.2 is more what I recommend, and 1.2 is more when you're losing fat, if you really want to hold on to that muscle, that's going to be hard for people that don't have a lot of calories to work with. So around one or even as low as point eight is fine. Okay, then heavy lifting heavy lifting three to five days a week period, we got to lift heavy with progressive overload. You know, barbells are your friend in this in this regard. But if you haven't gotten up to barbells, yet, you don't have them what have you, and you're working your way there. You know, dumbbells and machines and even bands and bodyweight could work a lot of variety. But eventually you got to work your way up to a much heavier loads, which generally requires barbells cardio, okay, I didn't address it yet. But we want to use cardio. Strategically, cardio is great for heart health, and a little bit of extra calorie burn. But it shouldn't be the main way that you lose fat. That's what strength training is for and manipulating your diet, cardio should be used very strategically in a very limited way for its intended purpose. And that isn't to lose fat, but that is for heart health, for overall athleticism, if you will, and also for a little bit of extra expenditure, if you need it. Okay, tracking and measuring as much as you can, will be helpful here. So not just your scale weight, but also your body circumference measurements, your strength, right, because if you're losing fat, we want to make sure we're not losing our gains in the gym. Too too quickly, at least sometimes you'll plateau or you'll regress a little bit just inevitably. But we don't want it to drop off too much. So we want to track and measure what as much as we're able to, to be able to adjust. Be creative, right? have backup plans ready to go things like refeeds and diet breaks, right? You don't have to do everything 100% All the way exactly day to day like you originally planned the plan can change but have a plan for how your plan changes is my point always have that backup plan ready to go. Don't artificially restrict by now you should know this that like when we talk about flexible dieting, we are not talking about good and bad foods, clean, dirty foods. We're not talking about cutting out carbs. We're not about any of that. Okay, we are talking about taking a choice based additive nutritional approach, where you add in the things you need to serve your goals while still enjoying your lifestyle. Okay, and that's why we use flexible dieting and track things like calories and macros because those are nice targets we can aim for, but still choose the foods we want to choose including the indulgences that we occasionally enjoy. Last thing, reach out for help. This could be someone close to you that you live with family or friend who's supportive. It could be a community like our Facebook group, please check that out because we have a lot of great folks who are constantly chiming in with really helpful advice for people who have questions. I do a weekly live where I asked your answer your specific questions. We do trainings all the time that are free it's totally free Wits & Weights Facebook group, you can go in and definitely you know level up your progress that way or get a coach definitely something I do I help people all the time, get through this process very effectively, very efficiently very easily, with as few mistakes as possible. Because I've been there done that, and I can help you along the way. All of those are great ideas. To recap, body fat, overshooting is important to understand potentially the most important thing to understand because of its impact on your body composition and your health. Without a muscle building signal or sufficient protein, you will lose muscle during weight loss, and you will gain mostly fat during weight gain. We want to do the opposite by lifting, eating your protein, losing and gaining at an appropriate rate and doing all of this in a sustainable way based on your preferences and lifestyle. And if you need help developing a more personalized strategy, based on what we talked about today, you know how to reach me, click the link in my show notes. For a free results breakthrough session. This is a free 30 minute call with me, where we map out exactly how to get where you want to go with all the steps to get there. I don't hide any information from you. I'm all about education. And I don't do any selling on this call. So click the link in my show notes. Let's figure this out together. Look for the results breakthrough session the free call next week for episode 89. It's an interview with Ryan Peebles where we talk about lower back pain, how to reverse it through movement, how to recover from lower back pain injuries, prevent them and improve your back health. Whatever app that you are using right now to listen to this podcast. Please pause and make sure to follow or subscribe to Wits & Weights, this would be doing me a huge favor, you will first of all by subscribing you're not going to miss future episodes they'll download automatically, and it actually helps us in the rankings. Okay, reviews are great. I love reviews. But following and subscribing actually helps us in the rankings so people can more easily find the show. Alright, I hope you enjoyed learning about body fat overshooting today. And as always, stay strong. And I'll talk to you next time here on the Wits & Weights podcast. Thank you for tuning in to another episode of Wits & Weights. If you found value in today's episode, and know someone else who's looking to level up their Wits & Weights, please take a moment to share this episode with them. And make sure to hit the Follow button in your podcast platform right now to catch the next episode. Until then, stay strong