Life after ACL Injury and A Fat Loss Secret

For those of us lucky enough never to have previously suffered from a major illness or injury, incurring an ACL injury can come as a massive wake-up call and jolt to our daily routine. In my case, I had never used crutches before and, other than a hamstring tear as a youth soccer player, had never been incapacitated in any way. Life certainly changed for the four month period between injury and a return to normal activities.

I’m 48 years old and the impact of my ACL injury and the shock to my daily routine also caused me to re-evaluate other aspects of my life. In particular, a love of red wine and fine (and even junk) food meant that I have always had a battle going on with my weight. I never was a diet fan but mitigated increasing weight by training for and running marathons. I’d be 6 months on training and then 6 months off. Then, in 2009, I found the training too much and I struggled to pass the 20 mile mark and then run again the same week – too much wear and tear.

Shortly afterwards I met a guy called Rob Poulos in New York who introduced me to his Fat Burning Furnace. He was a buff guy and I figured he was one of the gym monsters I had always vowed never to be. However, it turned out that the basic tenet of his Fat Burning Furnace program is to eat the right food, train intensely 2-3 times a week but avoid long boring, cardio sessions. In doing so, the body can be trained to become a fat burning machine.

I summarize the three basic planks of his program here but urge you to go and listen to Rob talk about Fat Burning Furnace yourself. He’s a very engaging speaker with a very different (and proven) strategy for efficient fat loss. You can listen to Rob here. The three basic planks are (and even number 2 is optional):

1.    Focus on eating most of your calories from foods loaded with nutrients
2.    Use interval cardio and/or
3.    Intense full body weight training to build muscle and burn fat, 2-3 times per week

Calories from foods loaded with nutrients

Perhaps the most important tip for anyone looking to lose fat and then stay lean is to start eating most of their daily calories from foods that are super loaded with nutrients. These are vegetables, fruits, whole unrefined grains, beans, legumes, nuts, and seeds. This doesn’t mean a vegetarian or vegan diet, but a diet that supplies the body with the nutrients it requires to burn fat optimally.  When you give your body the required nutrients without overloading it with nutrient poor or nutrient barren foods, fast fat loss happens almost magically.

There are many large scale diet mistakes, such as limiting carbohydrate intake (which won’t work in the long run), eating too few calories or starving yourself, eating a low fat diet and eliminating healthy fats, and not eating enough of your calories from nutrient rich foods.

Another example is diet sodas. How many of us think we’re doing ourselves a favor by drinking diet drinks? I did. However, the chemicals used in diet drinks are so hard for the body to break down that, while the body is working to break down these chemicals, it can’t deal with other food intake and it then takes the path of least resistance – it stores everything else as fat!

Interval cardio

When you’re doing long cardio exercise, your body is using stored fat for fuel.  This may sound good, but what this is actually doing is telling your body that when it encounters this activity again it needs a reserve amount of fat available to fuel the exercise session – so the body keeps storing fat. I know it sounds crazy, but it’s true.

Now, what does work for burning fat quickly is what’s known as interval cardio. This is where you perform a relatively short cardio workout (usually 15-25 minutes or so) and you alternate periods of high to low intensity during the session.

This type of exercise uses stored carbohydrates for fuel, not fat, so it sends a signal to your body to replenish your depleted muscles rather than storing a reserve amount of fat.

Rob told me that he lost his 40 lbs without cutting carbs out of his diet and by only working out 2-3 times a week for just 15-26 minutes per workout.  And no long, boring cardio whatsoever.

Intense, full body weight training

The main goal of the Fat Burning Furnace exercise program is to burn fat, of course, but the underlying goal that leads to this is building lean muscle mass.

And this scares some ladies and even some men because they don’t want to get too bulky.  However, this is a near impossibility for 99% of women and even some men due to the genetic requirements (muscle belly length, testosterone levels, etc.) of having overly large muscles.

The secret in training for lean muscle and strength requires the proper application of three vital elements that are often ignored by those who attempt it.  Those three elements are:

•    Intensity
•    Volume & Frequency
•    Progression

The intensity is how hard it is to perform for you, given your current condition. The volume and frequency are how much and how often you perform the exercise. The progression is related to how much the demands increase from workout to workout.

Anaerobic exercise, or weight training, must be performed at a high intensity, lower volume and frequency, and with progression to be as effective as possible. That’s good news in this busy world of ours because it means effective fat loss can be achieved in a short period of time if the conditions of the individual exercise sessions are optimal.

I’m at the foothills of Rob’s Fat Burning Furnace so I can’t personally say that it works. However, Rob and his wife Kalen lost over 100 lbs between them using these techniques (and without a minute of cardio) plus thousands, if not tens of thousands of others, have benefited similarly. I encourage you to check out the program here.

When it comes to weight loss, I realize there are those who will still feel that Rob’s regimen is too much for them. Or perhaps those who are not sufficiently able-bodied to take part in any kind of active exercise. Fortunately, medical science has not forgotten them. One recent innovation is the Slim Weight Patch. Check out the website and, if you try it, please come back to me and let me know how you got on.

Congress started to take claims made by various medical programs and practices extremely seriously in 2006 and, as a result, PQRI was formed. The program incentivizes physicians to participate and the program is currently voluntary. The site I have linked to is well worth a read for more information.