The Body, How It Works, And 'Weight Loss' forums

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Feb 14, 2005
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This is a compilation of info from some of the links at the end of this post and several other books and articles that I have been reading. I do not claim to be a expert in this area, but I was driven to find out how the body functions and why certain foods were processed differently. I thought that sharing my research could be of value.

First let's be more accurate in that what we are after is not weight loss but a reduction in body fat. Learning how the body functions and what it does with the food we eat is essential to knowing how to work with this to achieve our desired ends.

How The Body Works

The body is an amazing system that has built in mechanisms for self perservation. If the body does not receive regular amounts of protein throughout the day (at least every 2.5 - 3 hours) it believes that it is going into starvation and it changes to a catabolic state: storing fat while burning muscle for energy. We want to preserve muscle because every pound of muscle in your body burns around 50 calories per day. When you try to diet ' by starving your body, a survival mechanism kicks in to lower your metabolic rate. In crash diets, typically half of the weight you lose is muscle tissue so when coming off the diet you must consume fewer calories than before, just to stay neutral.

Recommended Steps For Fat Loss

1. Log what you currently eat to better understand consumption on a daily and per meal/snack basis in terms of total calories, proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.

I suggest going to: which has a great tool to easily log foods, get breakdowns and charting, log additional activities, log weight and set weightloss goals. The program can be downloaded for a minimal fee. Keeping a food log will show you a correlation between what you have eaten and whether you are gaining or losing so you can then make adjustments. After a short period this becomes easier because you will be more attuned to what is required for proper nutrition.
2. Calculate your total daily calorie requirement to maintain your current weight and then a weight loss target will be a reduction of a set number of calories per day.
3. Eat 6 times a day: 3 meals and 3 snacks. It's important to get protein at each meal, get close to your total daily protein target and try not break out of your day's total calorie goal. (easily done on the FitDay program)

4. Start the day by including protein foods, and end the day with slow digesting form of protein such as casein.

5. Limit carb consumption for evening meal and evening snack.

6. Choose carbs that are slower burning to prevent insulin spikes, which signals the body to store fat. (glycemic index)


Eating regularly often accelerates the metabolism.

Eating 6 times a day will make you never feel so hungry that you want to eat everything in the fridge.

Eating fats helps you feel satiated, but choose good fats such as in nuts or olive oil.

Drink plenty of water to flush impurities from your system and prevent the body from going into water retention mode.

Weight training increases your metabolism and it remains elevated for up to 38 hrs afterwards.

Eat a balanced snack before working out because otherwise the body burns muscle for energy. Replenish the burned calories after the workout by another snack. Working out on an empty stomach will accelerate the burn of protein.

Skipping meals slows down metabolism and primes body to store fat.

Information Sources

Fat loss info and theories

List of all of the top weight loss products within each catagory

Negative calorie foods - takes more to digest than the calories you get from them:

Great nutrition logging program (can set goals and really see what you are eating):

Great for general nutrition and health tips, and daily newsletter:

Thanks for the in-depth post! Weight-loss is the never ending subject for us women and a battle as well...