Podcast #401: The Science of Fat Loss

When it comes to fitness and nutrition, the nutrition part can cause a lot of confusion. There’s so much information out there about the best diet to follow and often the advice is contradictory. My guest today is here to clear up some of the confusion. His name is Robert Santana, he’s a registered dietician, a PhD candidate in exercise and nutrition science, a Starting Strength coach, and the nutrition coach at Starting Strength Online Coaching. 

Today on the show we discuss all things diet and nutrition. We begin with a big picture overview of the three main macronutrients our body uses to function, and the science of their effect on the body. Robert walks us through how our body partitions nutrients as we consume them, and explains exactly how we get fat. In the process, Robert debunks a lot of popular ideas people have about nutrition these days, like eating carbs makes you fat and eating fat is an easy way to lose weight. In fact, he argues that you should probably be eating a lot more carbs than you are now. He then walks us through the science of fat loss, and gives practical examples of what a diet needs to look like, whether you’re wanting to lose fat, while maintaining muscle, or gain weight that’s more muscle than fat. We end our conversation discussing my experience in cutting weight, what I eat from day to day, and why trying to get six-pack abs isn’t necessarily a healthy goal. 

Show Highlights

  • Why nutrition is such a battle for so many people 
  • Protein, carbs, and fat — what these 3 macronutrients do in our bodies 
  • The Glycemic index, and fast-acting vs. slow-acting carbs 
  • The revolving door of fad diets (including today’s “carnivore diet”) 
  • How the body becomes efficient at burning fats and carbs 
  • The real and only way to start losing body fat 
  • What controls metabolic rates?
  • The scoop on ketones and the ketogenic diet 
  • Do carbs deserve the bad rap they get?
  • Do carbs cause inflammation?
  • Caloric deficits and surpluses, and how people actually get fat 
  • How to utilize meal planning to meet your nutrition goals 
  • How Robert figures out what people’s macronutrient goals should be 
  • What percentage of weight loss is diet vs. fitness routine?
  • What should an obese person do to start losing body fat?
  • How to lose weight and maintain strength at the same time 
  • My own experience working with Robert 
  • The risks of dieting 
  • How to healthily gain weight 
  • The psychological aspects of dieting and losing/gaining weight 

Resources/People/Articles Mentioned in Podcast

Connect With Robert 

Robert’s website/blog

Weights & Plates on Instagram

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