Fat Loss Tips Questions & Answers

Fat Loss Questions asked of me by readers of my monthly electronic newsletter as well as website visitors.

Do You Have Loose Skin After Dropping 300 pounds of fat?
Burn the Fat vs Body For Life and Food Combining
Which Diet is Best ?
Man Boobs - Can You Spot Reduce Fat on the Chest

Do You Have Loose Skin After Dropping 300 pounds of fat?

-----Original Message-----
From: Guy La Rue [mailto:guy***@videotron.ca]
Sent: Sunday, May 01, 2005 2:28 PM
To: Rob
Subject: Question about loose skin....

Hi Rob!! I'm from Sherbrooke Quebec,Canada.
I weight 320 at 5'10'' I'm morbidly obese acording to the establishment but with a fair amount of muscle.I am down from 380lbs a year ago. I do cardio,I eat clean,and most of all I weight train 3 times a week.

Question: I know you are in pretty good shape now,by looking at your most recent pictures,one could never guess that you were a former obese person.

do you have 'loose' skin at the midsection or under the chest and arms? I am concern that if I get in shape (210 lbs) I will still have loose skin? any guess what to expect?


from a fellow Canadian who want' to stay in Canada....wink wink..


----- End Email -----

A: First of all, congratulations on the 60 pound fat loss, awesome job Guy! (pronounced Gee, for all you non Quebec'ers).

I will be honest with you, and I'm ok saying this because my life is an open book.

I am covered in stretch marks! They are scar tissue and have yet to go away, but they have improved.

I do not have any loose skin.

I have never had any surgery.

... let me explain.

When I first made my decision back in 1990 to do something about my health, I knew absolutely nothing about health, nutrition or fitness other than what I saw on TV or had read in muscle magazines from when I was a kid (grade 7ish).

I began a very rapid fat loss program doing the food combining and walking programs and dropped a total of 287 pounds before I hit my lightest weight of 187. I figure now that I was about 30% BF even at that weight as I had no muscle to speak of.

It was at about the 285 mark when I was introduced to this company than manufactures "System Specific Organic Whole Foods". It completely changed my life and going on 15 years now, it will always be the foundation of my eating, my nutrition and my way of life. The company has very specific legal issues around what can and can't be said on a web site, so I will only refer to the company and program as S_R.

So I learned that the Chinese believe that our body is a complex unit of systems that all rely on each other. For example, the immune system, the circulatory system, endocrine system, digestive system and respiratory system.

Mom taught that carrots were good for our eyes, while the Chinese take that to the extreme by saying that each system can be nourished with food.

Well, I thought "hey, the skin is an organ, what do I eat to nourish it?" and the solution presented itself.

Turns out that the endocrine system is directly responsible for our skin. As well, our hair, our mood, our stress levels, our fingernails too.

I targeted my skin with food.

What I found was that my stretch marks which were as wide as my pinky finger and beet red before I began "eating for my skin" turned back to skin tone. That is the redness faded away and they started to blend together. Then as this was happening, over the course of a few months, my skin tightened up too. It was dramatic to watch.

I do not have any loose skin anywhere on my body at this time.

I do still have stretch marks, but you have to work to see them. People even ask to see them, so I have to show them where they are. Not too bad. And as far as I'm concerned, I am a "Former Fat Guy" and always will be, so they're like my battle scars. I'm much healthier, I exercise twice a day, I am going to live longer than I would have if I hadn't made any changes, so all things considered, for what I've ended up with, a few stretch marks are no big deal. On another note, NOBODY has ever mentioned them to me. Women, friends, anyone. Other than asking that "surely you must have them", nobody who has seen me has ever mentioned it, so they must be hard to see.

I don't know what would have happened had I not found S_R and began to nourish my body this way and I'm glad I didn't have to find out.

Your last comment was about a concern that if I get into shape at 210, you'll have loose skin.

You keep eating clean, keep doing both cardio and weight training and keep learning everything there is to learn about fitness, health and nutrition and then put it into practice.

Keep your goal foremost in your mind and "Never Give Up!".

We can talk about what S_R has to offer for you as a solution for your overall health and your skin concerns privately.

Good job on "eating clean". Sure wish someone would define that for me.


Burn the Fat vs Body For Life and Food Combining

---- Original Message ----
From: dave@******.com
To: rob@formerfatguy.com
Subject: Question about BFFM
Date: Tue, 3 May 2005 16:01:40 -0400

Hi Rob:

I discovered your website yesterday and have found it very educational and enjoyable so far. I'm also an advocate of BFFM and I was wondering if you find it conflicts with your beliefs about proper food combining? Obviously, most of the meals
you would normally eat with BFFM are in direct conflict with most advice on proper food combining.

Hey, have you ever read or followed the Body for Life program? It's VERY similar to BFFM and actually much easier to read/understand. BFFM gets pretty technical at times and makes for a tough read for most people.

Best Regards,
Dave M.

----- End Email ----------

A: This is not the first time I've gotten this question about me having information about food combining on my website and then me also talking about BFFM which contradicts it. Not only contradicts it, but I'm following it.

Here's what I tell people:

Food combining works. It really gives the body a break in the digestion of food. It becomes easier to digest food and the energy that's saved goes into a lot of other processes in the body, namely cleansing. For anyone with any sort of serious health challenges, it's one of the first things that should be started. I'm convinced that all health issues begin with the stomach and a cleanup of the diet and the 9 stomach busters is the first thing to be approached.

Yes, Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle (BFFM) is in direct conflict with food combining.

Food combining, in my opinion is a great way to jump start your health and help give the digestive process a rest, but it does not necessarily have to be followed all the time. I did it religiously for a great number of years and I've only recently begun to break the fruit rule (see below). I have empowered my digestion by years of healthy eating, food combining and the system specific whole food products that I use (S_R) which have a formula that nourishes the digestive system. I also firmly believe and tell my clients to try things and see what works for them. Don't believe what I tell you, but try it and prove me wrong or right, then you decide what works for you.

Food combining was introduced to me through a book called Fit For Life by Harvey and Marilyn Diamond. Harvey himself has said that he's changed his stance on a few principles and realizes that the program does not need to be followed strictly nor for life and that the rules can be broken once your digestive system has been "jump started" or "reset".

BFFM along with other programs promote the proper combinations of protein, fats, vegetables and grains at each meal. Chicken, Rice and cauliflower for example. Yep. Poor combination.

My results?

Thermogenics increased, fat burning increased, no real loss of energy. The body has the ability to digest them together, but at a far higher price in energy. If your digestion is not up to it, it may very well cause energy loss.

What I do still notice though, is that I was to add a desert to that, or sugar to be specific, I'd burn out very fast. Sugar and protein DO NOT MIX. If I add sugar to a protein meal, I won't eat again for 6 or more hours, and I can easily burn up a meal in 3.

I recommend food combining to improve your health, jump start your digestion, improve cleansing, eliminate heartburn etc and especially follow the rules of proper fruit consumption. Once those things are all settled, then begin to experiment. I met a woman at a personal development course. She had asked me for some advice about the sickness she was feeling at the time and I mentioned food combining. She knew the principles. I told her to just follow them for a few days and her result was that she improved very quickly. Her energy levels came back up, her headaches went away and she became more regular. Quick, simple solution.

I also recommend the Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle program for anyone who wants to accelerate their fat loss program and get really really lean.

As for Body For Life by Bill Phillips, I think it's a good book too. I recommend it for people who are looking to get started in physical fitness. It covers fitness routines, healthy eating and is very inspirational. I followed the workout program in the book for about a year so that I could say I've done it and to give my own program a change up. Change is good. I have a friend who's in his 50's who just begun weight training. He's 100 pounds soaking wet, and he borrowed my copy. He finds it an easy read and still comments to me about the change it's made in his life.

What we tend to do as humans, and I'm speaking from experience, is that we tend to get caught up in one thing as gospel. I read Fit For Life and began to preach it because it was working so well for me. I pissed my roommate so much that she told me to read more books. I was hurt for a bit, then realized that she was right. I began to diversify.

What I found was that change is good. I change up my weight training program every 6 weeks because my body adapts to it so quickly and I find that the new program stimulates my interest again and I'm focused for another 6 weeks. The same can be said for your health. Read all there is to know about health, fitness, exercise. Put the new ideas into practice and see what works for you. Record what you're doing so that you can change some variables and monitor the results. You won't know if you're eating too few calories or too many unless you first know how many you're eating and in what percentages. Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle teaches this.

Both Body For Life and Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle are good books. Get them both. Then just keep reading.

PS, if someone challenges your beliefs by saying that "so and so program is better, or your so and so program is full of crap...", just do some more research into theirs and your own and then try it. See what works for you. Proof is in the pudding.

PPS, me breaking the proper consumption of fruit rule. Well, it just so happens that I like to experiment and put things to the test. I did not break the "fruit" rule for over 10 years. Now, some new information has come to my attention regarding post workout meals (re-fueling for maximum muscle gain). The information I've learned is about eating a specific ratio of simple carbs to protein and fats within 10 minutes after your workout. I am choosing bananas (4 of them) along with egg whites and a little Udo's Oil along with two S_R Products. Other than this, I do not eat fruit any time except during the summer months and then I restrict it to berries. (go ahead, ask me why.) This post workout meal is the only time I eat simple carbs and I calculate the rest of my daily meals based on this one "shake".

Recommended Reading:
Food Combining
Proper Consumption of Fruit
Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle
BFFM Review by myself
Fit For Life by Harvey and Marilynn Diamond
Eating for Life by Bill Phillips
Body For Life by Bill Phillips

Which Diet is Best ?

-----Original Message-----
From: Larry [mailto:*******@Voyager.Net]
Sent: Wednesday, April 13, 2005 3:39 PM
To: rob@formerfatguy.com
Subject: Which Diet...

I have read lots of your web page, and am confused

You have multiple different diets. Is there one that works better than the others? Why do you have multiple?

---------- end email -------------------

A: I'm so glad you've brought this up. Yes, my website has a variety of information resources for various diets. They're not really diets though as much as they're way's of looking at food.

My primary interest in putting up my website is to educate people on various means to attain health. With good health, the body will naturally discard any excess fat and become lean. The body knows that lean is best and strives for it.

During my journey down from 475lbs, I learned a great deal about how the body works. I've presented a lot of that material on my website. For example. I began by eliminating fast foods, salt, processed foods and began food combining. Then I became vegetarian and finally Vegan for two years. I drank nothing but distilled water for years, quit smoking, quit drinking and then began weight training and cardio. I tried macrobiotics and Ayurveda.

I have been eating a line of whole foods from an amazing company based out of the US which has "system specific foods" and they have now become the foundation of my health. I've been eating them for going on 15 years now and it is these whole food products that make my health what it is. I'll never be without them.

Recently I've added animal protein back into my diet, continue to learn about how the body works and apply what I learn. I keep what works and discard what doesn't and that has become my motto and what I teach. It's in the trying of things and recording our progress and results that allow us to find that specific thing that "works for us".

In my quest to continue to learn about health, foods, exercise etc, I came to find that my once held belief about distilled water being good for us was challenged. I read, researched and found that it's acutally quite acidic so removed it from my diet and incorporated a higher PH water in. Education about health never ends. I find as well that beliefs I've held get challenged. I do my own research and report the results. After reading about Atkins for years, and people asking me about it, I finally decided to try it. I did Atkins for about 6 to 8 months. Found nothing fantastic in the benefit department, but sure did begin to feel really crappy. I stopped. On the other hand, I have a friend who's dropped an enormous amount of fat from following it. I can't tell you how he feels, but just the results. My trials of it found that it is not based in health, but rather a result. My primary concern is health. I want to live to be 100 and have full control over my faculties.

Your question is about "which diet is right"

The answer is that no one diet is right. In fact, traditionally, diets DON'T work. Most people associate the term "diet" with cutting of calories and eliminating of fun foods. The very reason I reached a max weight of 475 was because I yo-yo dieted my way up there. I was on a diet in grade 5, then another in grade 7, grade 12 and then just after leaving highschool. Dieting or starvation just sets you up for fat gain. What I propose with info on my website is that we must take responsibility for our health. It is with a good healthy foundation that true weight management can be achieved. There is no simple answer. Proper eating (ya, what's that?!), weight training and cardiovascular workouts (aerobics) are all necesesary for ideal health. Along with that is say a healthy intestinal flora (pro-biotics), the consumption of good fats (EFA's), the elimination of acidic foods and the increase of alkaline foods. What works for one person may not work for another, but, we all have the same basic body parts and systems and they do need the same basic nutrients and we all need to exercise. When I refer to diet, I mean "a program of eating". My diet at any one time may be a caloric deficit (to burn fat) or a caloric excess (to build muscle). My "program of eating" changes based on my needs and goals.

Everything on my website, I endorse. I promote specific products because I have either used them, or in reviewing them, I agree they would be beneficial to my readers. I recently quit using google adsense as an advertising method because I did not have control over what was displayed on my website.

I highly recommend the following:

First is this line of whole foods. Very easily incorporated into your current program, taste great, highly alkaline, system specific whole foods. Contact me for more info on them.

Second is Tom Venuto's program Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle. Very well written book and information about balancing your eating and workouts so that you can maintain your muscle (Feed it) while increasing your metabolism and burning the fat.

Third is Jeremy Likness' book "Lose Fat, Not Faith" as a very inspirational and educational book on everything needed to put together a healthy life package. Lose Fat, Not Faith compliments Tom's Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle.

The rest of the info on my website as it pertains to body types, food combining and general health is for educational purposes. We must begin to take action on things. Try something, get out of our comfort zone, learn, educate and then begin to put it into practice. These are things that I have done in the past or still incorporate. Ayurveda body typing food programs is what I base my coaching on. We are all different, have different body types and we respond to foods differently. There is no doubt about that. What I can eat and foods I love are different from say a long distance marathon runner. What I eat may very well take him out of balance and create health problems and the reverse is also true.

I fully believe that the best way to become healthy is to begin to eat better, weight train to build muscle and strength no matter what your age and to incorporate cardiovascular training for a healthy heart and lungs. We can begin to reverse our aging process by achieving better health.

Finally, "where do I begin".

It really depends on your goals. I know a lot of people who visit my website have weight loss as a goal to which I'd like to help retrain their way of thinking into "fat loss" ,not weight loss. Good weight (muscle) is our friend and ally. When people first approach me for coaching and begin on this Whole Food program, I always tell them to begin with a health focus, not a fat loss focus. The body has other priorities and wants to put any new energy into health and healing, not fat loss.

If fat loss is your goal and you consider yourself already pretty healthy, get Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle by Tom Venuto.

if you want to learn about how to take steps to improve your health, learn about weight training, and cardiovascular training, get Lose Fat, Not Faith by Jeremy Likness. Jeremy also writes with a spiritual undertone, so is very nice for anyone leaning in that direction.

if you want to easily and effectively take control of your health, burn fat, build muscle, reduce stress and overcome health challenges by improving the quality of the food in your diet, contact me about the Whole Food program I endorse and have been involved with for over 14 years.

Man Boobs - Can You Spot Reduce Fat on the Chest

-----Original Message-----
From: Antonio [mailto:antonio*******@yahoo.com]
Sent: Thursday, April 14, 2005 5:44 PM
To: rob@formerfatguy.com
Subject: Man Boobs

Hi, first of all I have to say that your story is very inspiring and I thank you for sharing it.

Your story is something that I grab onto when I think about myself and, that indeed it is possible.

I've been fat most of my life and I got tired of it. So, for the last couple of months I've been eating less and doing some cardio. I've lost like 20 lbs but still have a long way to go and I'm also adding some weight training.

What concerns me now is my MAN BOOBS. I seem to be losing weight everywhere except my chest and it's very annoying. In your before and after pics you seemed to have a good result in this sense, whas it all just exercise? did the boobs disappear with a bunch of bench presses or just the overall weight loss process? did you have surgery to correct them?

Thanks I'll appreciate any comment, I'm kinda worried about this.

---------- end email -----------------

A: awesome question, and very well put! You have a way with words... "Man boobs" LOL

First of all, very good job on making the decision to do something and with the results. Never give up, no matter what.

I did have man boobs, yep. I have not had surgery, nope. As I have dropped the fat over the years, I've seen it disappear at different spots at different times.

here's the deal.

You can't spot reduce fat. Your body uses fat as energy from various places around your body as it sees fit. When you get to a point where you're a lot leaner and still working it, you can see it happen all over, it's really cool. For awhile, your arms might get leaner, then your abs, then your legs and calves, then your chest. The body seems to burn the fat at various rates from various parts in the manner it decides, not you. I call this the "vanity issue". We want a results, but our body has different concerns. The same is true of your health. When people start on the whole food program I recommend, they ask how long it'll be before they get results and I tell them that they're body may have different needs for the new energy being supplied. You have to trust in the wisdom of the body and just never give up.

I have to constantly talk to myself and tell myself that what I'm doing is right. I have days where I see no results and my mind starts to go into overdrive telling me it's not worth it and I might as well stop. I figure that if I can talk myself out of it, I can just as easily talk myself back into it. I tell myself that everything I'm doing is exactly right and just to play it out. My goal date is a few months off and at THAT time, I can decide if I'm getting the results I want. Knowing just to keep going gets me to my next weigh in and caliper day where I see that I am getting conclusive results. So, trust me, keep at it, never give up and remember that if you can just as easily talk yourself into keeping at it as easily as out of it. It just depends on your focus.

It was not the bench press that got rid of my chest fat, it's cardio that burns fat. Ps, it's the muscle that's needed in order to burn fat, and it's the cardio that makes muscle more efficient at burning the fat. You MUST weight train along with cardio. I recommend splitting it up for maximum efficiency and do no more than an hour at a time of any weight training. Any more and you're working against yourself.

I split it into two sessions, 1 hour of HIIT cardio in the morning (I would not start here if you're not doing any really aggressive cardio), and 1 hour of weight training in the evening. If I had to do them both together, I'd weight train for 40 minutes then cardio for 20 per session, but splitting it up has major benefits.

here's the good news. I read somewhere that the body stores fat at the places where the potential for the most amount of muscle exists. That is, if we carry a lot of fat around the chest, our potential for a huge chest is better as the body uses that fat as energy. That's what I read anyway. I believe proof is in the pudding over what I read. I read, try , record the results. Keep what works, discard what doesn't.

BTW, if the statement above was REALLY true, there would be a lot of guys in their 40's with the potential for killer abs, LOL.

Here is my review of how to get rid of man boobs by Chris Manchaster.

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Previous Questions

Do You Have Loose Skin After Dropping 300 pounds of fat?
Burn the Fat vs Body For Life and Food Combining
Which Diet is Best ?
Man Boobs - Can You Spot Reduce Fat on the Chest

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