Latest Fat Loss Research

We all know that exercising more and eating less is required for fat loss. While reducing calories is part of a weight loss strategy there are lesser known things that can also be hindering getting you into a smaller pair of pants. So before diving into fat loss research, let’s look at some of the obstacles to weight loss:

  1. Low testosterone/poor hormonal environment/metabolic syndrome
  2. Inability to burn dietary fat as fuel
  3. Inactive thyroid
  4. Insufficient muscle mass (slows metabolism)
  5. Low fitness levels (makes it difficult to expend enough calories to shed extra weight)
  6. Imbalances in gut microbes (probiotic may help)
  7. Insensitivity to the hormone leptin (leptin helps control appetite and metabolic rate)

Beginning an exercise program especially one that incorporates resistance training will help with some of these factors. For others it might be necessary to consult with an endocrinologist. Once you are firing on all cylinders the tips below can really help with fat loss: 

    1. Drinking water before meals promotes weight loss. A study by Helen Parretti from Oxford University showed the people who drank 16 ounces of water 30 minutes before a major meal lost 5.3 pounds in 12 weeks. (Obesity, 23: 1785-1791, 2015)
    2. Low vitamin D levels prevent weight loss. Vitamin D deficiency is 35% higher in obese individuals than those of normal weight. (Obesity Reviews, 16:341-349, 2015)
    3. High protein intake maintains metabolic rate during low calorie diets. (Clinical Nutrition, published online November 8th, 2014)
    4. Switching protein for carbs promotes long-term fat loss. According to a Harvard study led by Jessica Smith altering the diet toward more protein and cutting back on simple carbohydrates might be as important as cutting calories for weight loss. (Obesity Reviews, 16:771-782, 2015)
    5. Jet lag promotes obesity. It appears to do this by altering microbes in the gut. It appears crossing time zones throws off normal feeding patterns of the microbes that bias the metabolism toward fat storage. This is an interesting study because it appears to relate to the fact that shift workers have a greater occurrence of weight issues. (Cell 159:514-529, 2014)
    6. Sleep deprivation increases obesity Risk. It appears to cause a decrease in a hormone (leptin) and increases a hormone (ghrelin) which promotes appetite. (Obesity Reviews, 16:771-782, 2015)
    7. Capsaicin helps increase metabolism and fat utilization. Capsaicin (found in chili peppers) has been shown to increase daily caloric expenditure by four to five percent and fat use by 10 to 16%. (Study presented at Biophysical Society Annual Meeting, February 8, 2015)
    8. Melatonin reduces fat. According to research done on mice by Italian researchers – melatonin reduced weight, fat storage, and reversed fat tissue enlargement in obese mice. (Nutrition Research, 35:891-900, 2015)
    9. High iron levels associated with obesity. An Italian study found that high iron levels reflect total body inflammation and found a relationship between body mass index and blood iron levels. (Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases, published online March 4, 2015)
    10. High Protein, Low Calorie Diets Promote Weight loss. According to literature review by Heather Leidy from the University of Missouri School of Medicine. After looking at comparisons of weight loss with different nutrient profiles (carbs/proteins) the high protein diet was the most effective. (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, published online April 29, 2015)


For questions related to nutrition or any other fitness topic please e-mail me at glen@freedom4lifefitness.com

Glen Carrigan is co-owner and operator of Freedom 4 Life Fitness with his wife Yvette. Glen & Yvette are dedicated and experienced personal trainers providing residents of Leawood, Overland Park KS, and greater Kansas City with an outstanding fitness experience.