Eating the right foods (your diet) creates the opportunity for your body to burn fat as a source of energy. Your diet, in itself, does not cause weight loss. It’s the movement you do as you go about your daily activity, in combination with your metabolism, that produces weight loss. If your lifestyle consists of driving to work, sitting at your desk all day, and then driving home to eat and sit on the couch, or at the computer for the rest of the evening then your body doesn’t have much opportunity, nor reason, to draw on fat for energy. With such a low daily energy expenditure there is no way you will lose weight fast without introducing some exercise.

If you still want to enjoy an alcoholic beverage after work, or have the small treat food fairly regularly and still achieve Superfast Weight Loss then you also will need some regular exercise to burn off those few extra calories you’re consuming. Or perhaps you already have a regular exercise routine/habit then we need to make sure you are burning as much fat as possible in those sessions.

The 2 Tanks System is the most efficient and effective way to exercise for weight loss. I came to realize this technique when I was dieting for the national bodybuilding champs. Due to being disorganized one evening I got the timing of my meals wrong and had to wait until late at night before I could go for my fat-burning walk. Considering I had to get up at 5 am the next morning I wasn’t very happy about having to walk so late at night. I like to listen to music when I go for my walks, but on this particular evening the batteries in my Discman went flat. Walking around the local streets late at night, in the cold of winter, and not having anything to listen to gave me plenty of time to think about why the heck I was doing this. This is when I came to realize that there is an optimum way to burn fat and lose weight.

The ideal fat burning time depends on:
• When you last ate
• What you’ve eaten (and had to drink) in the previous 12 hours
• Your heart rate when exercising
• How long you exercise for at certain heart rates

Taking a casual approach to how and when you exercise will likely end up being a complete waste of time. This is why I have put this information near the beginning of this book. I would hate for you to spend the week exercising and then find out you weren’t exercising the right way. Not to mention what you would think of me for not telling you sooner.

At its most basic level, weight loss is based on the thermodynamic law of energy out > energy in = weight loss.

The ‘Energy Out’ component is composed of the energy you burn as you go about your daily activities (including exercise) as well as your metabolism. Your metabolism is also known as your Basal Metabolic Rate (B.M.R.) and is the rate at which your body burns energy as it carries out all the chemical and biological activities that are required to sustain life. The ‘Energy In’ component comes from what you eat and drink. What foods to eat and what foods to avoid for Superfast Weight loss will be discussed in detail a little further on.

No matter what you eat, if your energy output is greater than your energy input then you will lose weight. The problem is that time is the limiting factor in this equation. Our modern lifestyles are so busy that we don’t have the time available to do the hours of exercise every day to make the energy output greater than the input. At best most of us have an hour a day to exercise; therefore we need to focus on reducing the energy component so that we don’t have to spend as long on the energy output in order to create weight loss.

To understand how weight loss works I want you to think of your body as having two fuel tanks. Unlike a car, which has only one fuel tank, your body has two fuel tanks. Your body has a main fuel tank that it likes to run on, and it has a reserve fuel tank which is there as an emergency backup for when the main fuel tank runs empty. The main fuel that the body likes to run on is carbohydrates. When you eat carbohydrate foods like bread, cereals, pasta, rice, grains, and potato the body breaks them down into their constituent sugars, and these sugars are stored in the number 1 Carb Fuel Tank as Glycogen (fig.1). From here on we refer to the foods that fill your carb fuel tank as energy-yielding carbs.

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The energy-yielding carbohydrate foods, when broken down can only be stored in your liver and in your (skeletal) muscle. Your liver holds a certain amount of glycogen which is primarily used to provide energy for your brain. Your muscle is your main carbohydrate storage area. Given your liver is a certain size and you have a certain amount of muscle your number 1 Carb Fuel tank (liver and muscle) has limited storage capacity. This means there is a limit as to how much of these energy-yielding carbohydrate foods you can eat over the course of a day (fig. 2).

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If your Carb Fuel Tank is already full, and you eat more energy-yielding carbs, your body will take these carbs it can’t store and it converts them into fat molecules so they can be stored as body fat for use as energy later. Excess dietary fat is also stored as fat (fig. 3). We tend to know when we’re eating a high-fat meal and can regulate portion size and frequency of consumption, but it’s a lot harder working out how many carbs become too many.

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This is where it gets interesting. Glycogen (stored carbs) is your body’s preferred source of energy because it is relatively easy for the body to break it down to release energy. By comparison, it is a lot more work’ for the body to break down fat to release energy and takes longer. This is why sports nutrition energy drinks are made using carbs and not fats, even though fat is more than twice as energy-dense as carbs.

The human body is inherently lazy and it will always choose the easier option. In this case, it is easier for the body to burn (metabolize) glycogen for energy than it is to burn fat. Which interpreted another way means your body will not burn fat if it has the option of burning carbs instead. To burn fat and lose weight you need to sufficiently deplete your carb stores so that your body has to look for an alternative source of energy (Fig 4). Easy!

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The amount of energy-yielding carbohydrates you can eat at any one meal and over the course of a day depends on how active you are during that particular day. Remember that high-energy carbohydrate foods give your body a reason not to burn fat.

To summarise; your body prefers to use carbs for energy and not fat. Your body fat is your backup energy supply, in case there is a food shortage. To lose weight you need to periodically run your carb tank low enough that the body is ‘forced’ to use its fat stores for energy. All of this is based on a biochemical relationship between the two hormones Insulin and Glucagon.

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