Double cheeseburgers on a diet?
When I used to write for Muscular Development Magazine, a friend/co-contributor
Dave Palumbo (also a medical student, top-ranked national-level bodybuilder, and
bodybuilding industry expert) claimed that eating cheeseburgers was one of his
best strategies to losing body fat. Chicken breasts, tuna, sure I was very
familiar with, but cheeseburgers? Dave was known in the bodybuilding industry
for having extreme striated glutes. I used to tease him, "Damn, your striations
even have striations, my fingers need to do some walking!" in which one could
still see that he was easy to blush, even underneath all the self tanner. His
gleaming white smile boasted that he was damn proud proving that what he was
doing, was indeed working. As many who follow bodybuilding know, muscle
striations are the ultimate goal of any bodybuilder at contest judging, but so
incredibly difficult to attain. So, seriously, how could Dave eat cheeseburgers
when the rest of the world was trying to sue fast food restaurants like
McDonald's for "making them fat?"
Well, interestingly enough, it turns out that Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) is
an unique fatty acid which was first isolated from grilled ground beef in the
early 1980s by researchers at the University of Wisconsin. CLA is also found in
dairy foods. Hmmm, there really was something to Dave's claim of eating
cheeseburgers, he wasn't just using this an excuse to flirt with me! Of course,
he didn't eat all the crap on them like most Americans do and he did have a very
precise detailed diet and exercise strategy. Much to a strict dieter's such as
Dave, it was a treat that organic cheese and organic hamburger meat could be
part of what is considered to be a very bland extreme dieting menu. Why organic?
Because fat stores toxins and there are many chemicals in conventional meats and
cheese which makes it harder for the body to shed the fat.
So What is CLA? CLA is a metabolically active compound that has been
demonstrated to dramatically reduce body fat and increase lean body tissue. The
mechanisms of action are not completely understood, but because CLA has been
shown to affect a wide variety of enzymes and hormones in the body, multiple
mechanisms may come into play. CLA interferes with a substance in your body
called lipoprotein lipase that helps store fat in your body and helps your body
use its existing fat for energy. Many studies on CLA in humans show a tendency
for reduced body fat1., particularly abdominal fat, changes in serum total
lipids and decreased whole body glucose uptake. The maximum reduction in body
fat mass was achieved with a 3.4 g daily dose2.
CLA can also be taken as a dietary supplement and is now generally derived from
plant sources like safflower oil which also shows promise in two important
areas. Evidence suggests it can slow down some of the steps in cancer's complex
progression and it may help tame excess inflammation. CLA increases lean muscle
tissue, which naturally slims your body (and makes you feel strong and healthy).
And the more muscle you have, the more calories your body uses in order to
function, thereby speeding up the fat burning process. CLA has shown an ability
to actually encourage fat cells to commit a form of cellular suicide called
apoptosis - which results in fewer places for fat to hide. At the same time, CLA
promotes the transport of fat into exercising muscle cells, helping them both
burn off calories and also become more toned (and shapely). As a result, you get
smaller in all the right places. You drop clothes sizes. You look and feel great
with no yo-yo dieting effect.
Human studies are in progress, which will make a stronger case for efficacy and
dose response. Expectations are high that research will additionally show no
regain of body fat lost, suggesting that CLA should be included with every diet
regimen. In Norway, for example, scientists from five separate institutions
teamed up for a study involving people who were healthy but overweight. For the
first year, some of the individuals took CLA while the others took placebo softgels
that contained olive oil instead; in the second year, everyone took CLA. At the
end of two years, all the people in this study showed significant reductions in
body fat, body mass index (BMI), a standard measure of obesity and weight
(Journal of Nutrition 4/05).
A Swedish investigation shows a link between high CLA intake and reduced
colorectal cancer risk (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 10/05). In
various lab studies, CLA has been shown to interfere with tumor development and
to keep cancerous cells from spreading to nearby organs. What's more, CLA
appears to regulate immunity by helping to strengthen the body's natural
defenses, while protecting against the inflammatory damage the immune response
can cause. That's important because low-level inflammation has been linked to an
ever-growing list of disorders including cancer, cardiovascular disease and
If you want to fight off both fat and cancer without eating a mountain of
cheeseburgers, it is easier to turn to the CLA dietary supplement instead. As a
matter of fact, we have one of the most highly therapeutic form of CLA
available. Many of us have forgotten about this powerful fat losing supplement!
by Ms Behav'n
1. Thom E, Wadstein J, Gudmundsen O. (Sep-Oct 2001). "Conjugated linoleic acid
reduces body fat in healthy exercising humans.". The Journal of International
Medical Research 29 (5): 392-396. PMID 11725826. Retrieved on 2006-05-27.
2. Blankson H, Stakkestad JA, Fagertun H, Thom E, Wadstein J, Gudmundsen O.
(December 2000). "Conjugated linoleic acid reduces body fat mass in overweight
and obese humans.". Journal of Nutrition 130 (12): 2943-2948. PMID 11110851.
Retrieved on 2006-05-27.
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