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The Biology of Weight Loss
The science behind weight loss is a fascinating area that has attracted a mountain of academic research. These studies can be pretty boring to wade through, however they do shed light on some very interesting questions like: what’s the most important meal of the day? Does eating fat make you fat? What is the meaning of life? Ok so maybe not that last one, but if you’re feeling inquisitive then put your lab coat on and let’s get started!

Ok first up an easy one; what’s the most important meal of the day? Breakfast right? That’s certainly what my mum always told me. And there is a very well publicized study backing this up. Participants in the study were broken into two groups. One group ate a big breakfast and the other group ate a big dinner. After 3 months both groups were weighed and surprise, surprise the big breakfast group lost the most weight! [1] Mum was right all along, case closed! Well, not so fast. Tucked away within the paper is the revelation that although the big breakfast group lost the most weight, this was actually due to a substantial loss of muscle mass, not fat! So what’s going on?

It turns out that when you wake up in the morning your body is in a fat burning mode due to the interaction between your hormones, cortisol and insulin [2-6]. A normal breakfast containing carbohydrates reduces the fat burning effects, but when you don’t eat carbohydrates in the morning you extend the fat burning process [7]. And to complicate things further, eating a large amount of protein first thing in the morning can actually mirror the effects of eating carbohydrates and reduce the fat burning process too. Eek!

So I can’t eat carbohydrates and I can’t eat too much protein. Then where do I get my energy from? Fat! That’s right, eating fat doesn’t interrupt the fat burning process at all. In fact studies have shown that people eating higher fat diets lose more weight than people on low fat diets! [8-15] Even more amazingly, some kinds of fats, like medium chain triglycerides, which are included in BODi Meal Replacements, have been shown to increase the rate of fat burning in your body [16-20]. On top of this, there are many other health benefits to eating fats, especially the monounsaturated variety that are also included in BODi Meal Replacements, like shinier hair, plumper and younger looking skin, reduced risk of breast cancer and strengthening of your bones.

This research probably explains why the big breakfast group didn’t lose as much fat as the big dinner group. Strangely many diet programs, including numerous meal replacement shakes, contain either too much protein or carbohydrates in their breakfast meal, which brings an end to your body’s fat burning mode. The BODi breakfast, lunch and dinner meals contain the optimum mix of carbohydrates, protein and fat to maintain your muscle mass, keep your energy levels high and extends your fat burning mode throughout the entire day.

So when it comes to fat loss, breakfast isn’t the most important meal of the day. Pancakes are out! However, there is something that is great to have at breakfast... caffeine! Studies have shown that caffeine is also a great fat burner, and caffeine’s effect is further increased in the absence of carbohydrates! [21,22] For these two reasons the BODi breakfast meal contains 100mg of caffeine (approximately the same as a latte). Not only does this enhance your morning fat burn but it will also give you a big energy kick!

It’s all good and well knowing what to eat to achieve optimum fat burning, but if eating like this leaves you so hungry that you can’t stick to it then this method is no good, right? So what does the science say about satiety (how full we feel)?

Research into satiety has found a hero in protein. Once thought of as the food of choice for muscled-up gym junkies, numerous studies have shown that people eating a high protein diet are fuller than people on a high carb diet [23-25]. As well as keeping you full, protein intake is essential to maintaining muscle mass, which is crucial for keeping your metabolism high [26,27]. Finally, the breakdown of protein requires more energy than that of carbohydrates, meaning a diet high in protein will likely lead to less fat gain than one high in carbohydrates [28,29]. For these reasons BODi Meal Replacements contain high levels of protein strategically spread across the day to keep you feeling full but without ending your fat burning processes.

Finally there have been some thought-provoking studies into energy cycling. We’re often told not to skip meals because it’ll make us so hungry that the next day we’ll end up on a binge. But is this really true? You can probably already guess the answer to this one! Studies have actually shown that women who fluctuate their energy intake from day to day, just as they do on the BODi Meal Replacement program, achieve greater fat loss than women who eat the same amount of calories every day [30].

It’s been said that conventional wisdom is often long on convention and short on wisdom, and when it comes to weight loss this certainly holds true! Breakfast isn’t necessarily the most important meal of the day, eating fat doesn’t make you fat, and the meaning of life is... well we’ll leave that one to you!

Laura-Jane Corker
BODi Founder
Throughout my life I have experimented with countless diets and workout plans to achieve and maintain a healthy figure. The problem was I could stick to these plans for a while, then before long I would fall back into my old ways...
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