So you’ve dieted and dieted, tried different exercise programs but you’re still not happy with the results. Countless hours in the gym and kitchen but to no avail.
Not a great return on your investment huh?
What you didn’t know is that if you’re of South Asian/Indian descent, you’re body has been working against you.
It has been hardwired to resist change.
To maintain the status quo.
In terms of your physique this means that no matter what you do, you can’t seem to lose fat in the area you want to most, around your lower abdomen(and hips/legs if you’re a woman).
What do you do?
You try something new.
You ignore all the fitness advice you’ve heard up until now because it no longer serves you.
You start fresh.
With a beginner’s mind.
If you read the first article you know that the fat we store around our waist is deadly.
This goes beyond mere “aesthetics”.
Although any reason to conquer this condition is a good one.
That lower abdominal subcutaneous and visceral fat puts you at an increased risk of every preventable chronic disease in modern society.
If you’re young you’re lucky. You can catch this early and fix it. Before the plaques in your arteries form.
If you’re older you will face more of an uphill battle. However, it can still be done.
The beast we are dealing with is Insulin Resistance.
Basically, it takes the carbohydrates and food you eat and stores it in your fat cells more than it should1https://daa.asn.au/smart-eating-for-you/smart-eating-fast-facts/medical/what-is-insulin-resistance/. As opposed to muscle and other tissue.
What we are going to do is “reprogram” your body. We are going to teach it to preferentially direct the energy you consume away from your fat cells and towards your muscle.
We will do this in three ways.
Diet, Exercise, and Lifestyle.
Pretty revolutionary right?
This article will outline the overall strategy and phases you will go through.
The objective is ultimately to get you what I call your metabolic foundation. The leanest(lowest body fat%) you can get to and maintain sustainably for life without sacrificing lean mass or hormonal function. To do that we will first go past this temporarily, and then rebuild, toward the physique and health of your dreams.
Phase 1 – Finding Our Foundation
This will be the most straightforward phase.
What we are attempting to do is maintain and increase your muscle mass while reducing your body fat levels2https://mennohenselmans.com/gain-muscle-and-lose-fat-at-the-same-time/.
Your body is currently Insulin Resistant, what we are going to do is make it more Insulin Sensitive. So that after eating, the food(carbs) you consume will be favorably stored here rather than adipose tissue(fat). When you have excess body fat as most South Asians do, (due to modern diets and lifestyles) your muscle cells tend to get insulin resistant first3https://academic.oup.com/endo/article-abstract/127/6/3246/2534569, meanwhile your fat cells stay Insulin Sensitive, meaning they more readily bind to insulin and store the energy you consume. We are going to change that. The former will be accomplished through exercise, specifically strength training. The latter by further improving your body composition with the help of diet and lifestyle.
To get there what we are going to do is eat to control insulin levels, train to maximize muscle insulin sensitivity, and live to lower stress and optimize your hormones.
This can take anywhere from 6 weeks to six months depending on your current condition.
Once you reach this level, a few lucky ones will find that they don’t have any extra fat left around the lower belly at all (see Hrithik above). In this case, they can skip the next phase. But most will not be that lucky.
Your South Asian genes will hang on to that last little bit of fat around your lower abs(+ hips, glutes and thighs for women). This is when we start Phase 2.
–For those who are numbers inclined: Males should be around 11-12% bodyfat at the end of this phase. Females around 20%.–
Phase 2 – Stubborn Fat
This is the tricky and most detailed part. We want our bodies to keep hanging on to the muscle we previously built while trying to lose this last refuge of adipose(fatty) tissue.
The strategies we will use to achieve this include Intermittent Fasting, Calorie cycling, Carb Cycling/CKD and more. However, we will use them progressively and only if needed. The minimum effective dose4https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Effective_dose_(pharmacology)(MED), in order to preserve lean mass(muscle) and keep things simple. These tools aren’t anything new, but when used properly and strategically they will prove invaluable, and that’s what makes the South Asian Strong Way unique.
Phase 3 – Hitting the Save Button
Congratulations, at this point you will have seemingly vanquished your foe. But unfortunately, he(or she?) is just playing dead. Those fat cells have become less active5https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18454136?otool=karolib&tool=karolinskaand we want to make sure they stay that way.
To lock in the changes you’ve so strenuously made, we will change up our diet and training one final time before starting to rebuild and not relapse.
The signal we want to give our bodies now is that this is the new normal. A new Metabolic Foundation. A Reboot.
Bad News: You might have to stay here for a while, while we re-educate your body on proper nutrient partitioning (more to muscle, less to fat).
Good News: You’ll look great, feel great, and can probably eat a little more so that you don’t continue to lose weight.
Once this phase is complete you will be able to eat and train normally once again. You will have “graduated” from this journey we embarked upon together.
From here, the sky’s the limit.
That’s it. That’s the whole approach, to Freedom from our South Asian Skinny Fat Genetics and the physique and health you’ve dreamed of.
The next step. Is ACTION.
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