Things I’ve Learned Of Late – On Fat Loss, And More

I love to read. I read every day – trashy novels, research articles, the Biosignature private practitioner forums, notes on some of my fave Facebook pages, blogs on my iPad feed reader (I luuurve my iPad, and it fuels many a late-night reading session), reviews of notes I’ve taken in various courses. I even go so far as to read whole books on my phone using the kindle app if I’m out and about and having to wait for something or just stand in a lift (the iPad is certainly better than the phone for this though).

And of course I read a LOT on nutrition, hormones, sleep, lifestyle – really, every element of health. And yes, all of that is pretty much a daily list. I’ve always been a geek for reading – in fact, I won the ‘MS-read-a-thon’ in my school every year as a pre-teen!

So you can imagine how much information passes through my busy little mind every day. And while much of it probably just passes straight through the other side (they say that an average student retains only 10% of what they learn; I do like to think I’m better than average in this regard though!), some of it sticks around. Perhaps because I’ve heard it before and it just needed a little reinforcement, or maybe because it’s just so darn useful or interesting or practical.

Here are a few things I’ve learned of late that I think you might like.

on fat loss

Butter makes you lean. Seriously. I learned this from my guru Charles Poliquin, and now that I’ve tested it out several times I can say it is absolutely fantastic for fat loss. It’s the short-chain fatty acid buteryic acid which helps you to burn stored body fat. Oh – and it tastes YUMMY. I’m talking only quality butter of course – no salt added, and it must be organic. Raw is even better. Every time I cook with the stuff or add it to my dinner I wake up with leaner abs than ever. For real.

Taking an ice bath increases fat burning fat. That’s brown fat, and the more you have of it (as opposed to the marbled white stuff) the faster you lose body fat. In an experiment in Tim Ferriss’ new book, The 4-Hour Body (aff link; there’s a must-read for anyone who wants, as the cover promises and the book delivers, “an incredible guide to rapid fat-loss, incredible sex, and becoming superhuman”) a participant lost 61% more fat – and kept it off – in a 6-week period than what he had in the previous 12 weeks simply by using exposure to cold. The good news is that there are simpler ways to get cold than taking an ice bath 🙂 – I’m going to start with ice packs on my neck.

on training

Lifting heavy weights for low reps (high-intensity training) is an awesome way to shake the cobwebs off typical gym training. And it’s a great way to keep you strong but small (are you listening ladies?). Plus it makes you feel really powerful. You may need a spot though 🙂

on getting results

People aren’t always willing to do what it takes once they find out just how detailed that might be. Despite knowing deep down that transforming your body isn’t easy (or else everyone would look amazing), many people still seem to think that there must be a magic answer out there, if only they could find it. The reality is that nutrition and exercise are the tip of the iceberg. Digestion, stress, sleep, mindset, supplements – these are all key elements to any successful fat loss program. But there could be still more – metal or other toxicity, impaired gut health, food intolerances, parasite issues. Unless you’re willing to go fully down the rabbit hole; unless you’re willing to do every step it takes for the required period of time, without pause or abberation, then it might be best to save the time and hassle and just resign yourself to that kilo-a-year-gain now.

on goalsetting

Shoulds are pointless. Imagine if you had no chance of failing your NY resolutions because they were all things you absolutely want to do and will enjoy doing. And I mean truly, deeply enjoy, not enjoy as in “I enjoy sitting on the couch eating Doritos”. I’m thinking that 2011 could be the year of ‘anti-goalsetting’.

So how ’bout you? What have you learned of late?

21 responses to “Things I’ve Learned Of Late – On Fat Loss, And More”

  1. I love the little tip on ‘shoulds’.

    So true. I always hear that when I train people. “I should do this”, “I should do that”.

    Stop with the shoulds and start with the “wants”

    Could not have said it better myself.

    Great post Kat.

    Happy New Year.


    • Kat says:

      Thanks John, and the same to you. I’d even go beyond the ‘wants’ and just straight to ‘I will’ … and I am!

  2. steph says:

    hey Kat!

    About the butter- how much is a good amount? I love cooking French food and there is a lot of butter in that!

    • Kat says:

      Everything in moderation is my feeling … too much fat is still too much fat even if it’s ‘good’. Personally I tend to use about 1/5 of a block for a meal that would serve 4-6 normal adults (meaning my husband and I make pretty short work of it between us!)

  3. Mike says:

    Hi Kat,

    Just wondered what you thought of the rest of Tim’s book? I’ve heard Pros and Cons and was just looking for another opinion.


    • Kat says:

      I have not yet read the whole thing! I’m just making it through damage control, but so far I’ve found it great. Some things I would maybe not agree with 100%, but even Tim himself says from the get go that this is simply what he has found to work. Considering he invested $250,000 on tests etc I’d say he’s pretty well equipped to give personal-experience-advice!

    • Kat says:

      Have you read it all Mike? What are your thoughts?

  4. Jodi says:

    I love your blog and read every post. This blog mentioned again the lift heavy weights approach. I’m pretty short 5’3, did gymnastics as a child and tend to build muscle easily and get “stocky”. I always thought I needed to shy away from heavy weights as they would bulk up my muscles and frame even more. I can’t afford a trainer so am wondering what I should be doing for workouts? What is HIIT?

  5. Channing says:

    I LOVE cooking with butter! I think I get the right serving when cooking up mushrooms. There’s nothing like it, olive oil doesn’t do the trick. Add a little vino and they’re delish! I got a butter crock so I can leave it out on the counter and it always stays soft. People look at me crazy when I say I cook with butter, I just smile:)

    4 Hour Body is on my amazon wish list… let me know if it’s worth reading and I’ll order it today. Just read a book called “New Rule of Lifting for Abs”. It’s by my friend’s husband, and it’s a GREAT book for people who don’t already know that every exercise is a core exercise and that spinal flexion can do more harm than good for most people. For me though, it was the same ‘ole, but for those who need to read it and have anatomy explained it’s simple and very logical.

    • Kat says:

      I would DEFINITELY get that book. It is so chock full of cool case studies and research that each page is worth the cost of the whole book! Thanks for the tip on the core book; sounds great. Is it an e-book?

  6. Meri says:

    Thanks again Kat, for some interesting points.

    I’ve read the 4HB, first from my iPad and currently I’m listening it as an audio book to really absorb the info. I found it fascinating tho me neither am necessarily agreeing on all of the things. But it’s interesting!

    May I ask why are you trying the ice packs? I’ve understood that you’re lean but there is still some fat you want to lose?

    I’m currently (for the last 8 months) been having a cortisol issue: my values are sky high and won’t come down! Now I’ve been almost two months working out just a lot more easy: no metcons, sprints or cardio (not that I did that a lot before but sometimes I love to go for a “traditional” run – for old time’s sake!). I’ve been lifting some (not too heavy) weights, doing pilates and swimming (I freedive) and walking with the dog. Has been tough to let go of the metcons and stuff but now I feel like my mind’s also starting to adapt.

    Do you have any ideas how to lower cortisol? I don’t drink coffee, tho I do drink a little black tea since the theanine in that might help, I take magnesium, zinc, vit c, d, omega3, fisetin, pantoteinic acid and calcium. I have a stressful job but cutting down the workout volume is what I’ve been able to do. I sleep well and enough mostly (8 hours).

    Just a brief history: I was at 15% bf last April (Biosig, Kaisa from Finland, I think you know her), then gained like 8kgs in a short period and was almost 20% bf last November. Didn’t change eating habits. And I am seeing a doctor so it’s sort of covered, still would like to hear your take on it.

    Anyway, thanks for your brilliant blog! And regarding the 4HB: I do recommend it to everyone who’s interested in the possibilities of the body “sculpting” AND female orgasm 😀

    Take care, Kat!

    • Kat says:

      Hi Meri – I want to get down to around 9% and maintain it … plus I just like testing new theories! I’m around 11-12% now. As for what’s going on in your body, it’s really hard to comment without knowing you, because it sounds like you’ve already put a lot of good steps in place. I’m not sure about ‘well enough’ re sleep though – make sure the environment, light etc is perfect. Also not eating close to bed. Possibly you actually need some time OFF exercise! Even if it’s the right sort, if you’ve been through a lot of stress recently you may need to give your body a break. Plus even aside from that everyone should have a break from training for a week every 3 months or so …. And of course being very very diligent with good proteins and fats, regularly. I’m sure Kaisa could recommend some specific supps for cortisol for you! I hope that helps 🙂

      • Meri says:

        Hi Kat and thanks for your reply 🙂

        I presume my sleep is quite good – I sleep in a pitch dark room and feel rested in the morning. Well, most mornings at least. I have a history of some really nasty sleeping problems but they are happily behind, been like for five years now. So at least I’m really, really happy about how I sleep nowadays.

        It might be a thought worth trying, that taking time off working out… Just not sure if I could cope mentally. I’ve always worked out, it’s gonna be tough trying not to :-/ And it’s totally devastating to gain weight despite doing all the “right” things.

        And yes, I’m diligent about my proteins and fats and try to eat quite regularly tho since going paleo over a year ago I’ve done some intermittent fasting even and it’s no problem to go 6 hours without eating.

        Well, I’m going to see the doctor in two days and she’ll ultra sound my adrenals to see that there’s nothing else going on… Hope everything’s well!

        And oh, how quickly do you think I should see some (positive) changes in body comp if my cortisol started wearing off… ? Can’t wait! But of course, health’s number one. Hot body only a good second ;-D

      • Kat says:

        If your cortisol lowers you will probably slowly start to lose belly fat … mostly though, you will notice that you feel calmer and more in control. Which is nice 🙂 I know you want results fast (everyone does!) but unfortunately it’s a slow process. Slow but steady, I hope. It sounds like you’re doing all the right things … make sure you get help from Kaisa again though; there could always be something you’re missing!

  7. Meri says:

    …forgot to ask: which in your opinion is better: organic butter with salt or non-organic non-salted butter? It’s either way in Finland… Sometimes I buy the French sea-salted butter which is EXCELLENT but it’s not technically organic and very, very expensive.

    I quite often use a salted regular or a salted organic one.

    • Kat says:

      I would say non-salted only because you don’t know what sort of salt is in it ….

      • Meri says:

        Good point. The French one has sea salt which I think is okay but the regular salty butter just labels salt so it’s prolly nothing too special. The only problem is the un-salted butter is quite tricky to find. Gotta go stash some butter! 😀

        I wish I’ll be losing some cortisol pounds with butter…

      • Kat says:

        Good luck!

  8. Guy Lawrence says:

    Hey guys

    I bought the 4HB last month. When it arrived I got way more of a book than expected. But just like Tim Ferriss’s first book, it doesn’t disappoint.
    I’d happily recommend it to anyone.

    Thats my 2cents worth anyway 🙂