Dr. Kasprowicz is widely considered to be one of the top sports recovery specialists in the country and he is also a contributing member of our national network of industry professionals.
Today we are going to talk about a very important topic: Secrets to Burning Fat!
RC: Hi Dr. Kasprowicz how are you today?
Dr. Jan Kasprowicz: I’m doing well how are you?
RC: I’m doing great! Thanks so much for joining us.
Question 1: Your secrets to burning fat seem very scientific. Can you explain the core concept behind what builds body fat and how our bodies work to burn fat off?
RC: So okay, your secrets to burning fat seem very scientific. Can you explain the core concept behind what builds body fat and how our bodies work to burn fat off?
Dr. Jan Kasprowicz: Absolutely. This big misconception as to why our bodies actually store fat, a lot of the general population has this idea that eating fats is actually the reason why our bodies actually store fat. It’s actually not the truth. The reason our bodies actually store fat is because our internal environment is in an acidic state. We’ve heard of acid, we’ve heard of base and there’s a pH scale of 0-14. Acid, pure acid, is 0 on a scale 0-14 and alkaline which base is 14 and in the middle we have the number 7 which is neutral. The ideal pH for the human body is 7.36. So if our bodies are less than 7.36, let’s say they’re about 6.8, our internal environments are acidic.
So because they’re acidic, our body needs to buffer that acid. Now acid in the body is created from eating animal proteins, being stressful, eating lots of sugar, also eating dairy products. So in order for our bodies to manage this acid, first thing that body actually does is it starts leaching calcium from the bones to use as a buffering mechanism. But the brain understands that the calcium from the bones is actually meant for structure and support of the skeletal system. So then what it does, it actually starts holding on to fat. So by holding on to fat it’s going to utilize that fat as a buffering mechanism.
So if you don’t maintain an ideal pH of 7.36, your body is going to hold on to fat no matter how much you exercise. A very simple way to test your own pH is to go down to your CVS or you can go onto Amazon and purchase some saliva pH strips and literally test your own pH every single day. As long as you can keep a pH in your body of 7.36 or higher, your body will literally liberate all of the fat that it’s holding without even exercising.
Question 2: What type of exercises have the greatest effect on burning fat?
RC: Okay so let’s talk about exercise. What type of exercises have the greatest effect on burning fat?
Dr. Jan Kasprowicz: It’s actually no secret. The majority of the population understands that it’s aerobic activity. There’s two types of exercise. There is anaerobic activity which is without oxygen and then we have aerobic activity which is with oxygen. At our facility, all our athletes and our clients train with a heart rate monitor. The reason why they train with a heart rate monitor is because we’re seeing how their heart is working and we want to make sure they’re staying in an aerobic state or exercising with oxygen. You have a maximum heart rate percentage and from that we actually try to keep our clients who are trying to burn fat, we try to keep them between 60-80% of their maximum heart rate. That’s the fat burning zone. When you’re at 60-80% of your maximum heart rate your body purely just burns fat for fuel and that’s a very light exercise. Then, when you’re going to 70-80% of your maximum heart rate, your body starts to utilize your heart and your lungs more efficiently, you’re building up some fitness but you’re also still only burning fat for fuel.
Now once you start increasing the intensity of your workout and you’re at 80% or higher of your maximum heart rate, your body starts turning off fat metabolism. In fact you only have about fifteen minutes of stored carbohydrates in your muscles, which is called glycogen. Once that’s expired and used up, your body doesn’t use fat for fuel. It actually starts breaking down muscle tissue or protein for fuel and that’s what we don’t want.
So anaerobic activities which are exercises that do not utilize oxygen and turn fat metabolism off are exercises like Zumba, these large group boot camp classes, weight lifting classes. A lot of sports performance activities are anaerobic activities. Anaerobic activities and exercises immediately shut off your fat burning metabolism. If you are exhausted after your workout, congrats you’ve burned no fat. When you finish a workout, you should feel energized and actually have increased energy because your body’s become more efficient as it’s burning fat for fuel.
Question 3: In terms of diet, can you explain what an alkaline diet is and what it includes?
RC: So in terms of diet, can you explain what an alkaline diet is and what it includes?
Dr. Jan Kasprowicz: Well an alkaline diet compared to an acidic diet is more favorable for the body because we’re trying to create an alkaline environment in our body. So this way, our body will liberate fat and use it for fuel. Alkaline diets consist of many fresh vegetables and fruits as well. Although, you have to watch out for fruits because fruits do contain a significant amount of sugar and in my book, sugar is sugar is sugar. And sugar converts to acid and that’s what’s going to prevent your body from burning fat. So examples of alkaline foods that you can eat are basically anything green, bottom veggies. We’re looking at broccoli, cucumbers, peas, kale, celery, avocados, any and every green that you can eat, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, bananas, lemons and limes.
Another thing that you also need in your alkaline diet is you also need to drink plenty of water. Ideally you want to drink at least half your body weight in ounces of water but the key is you want to make sure the water is alkaline. The majority of the bottled water that people consume is not 7. It’s not neutral in that pH scale of 0-14. I’ve tested a lot of the bottled waters out there and it’s actually 4.5. So we’re trying to do a good thing by drinking more water and staying hydrated but what we’re actually doing is we’re creating an acidic environment in our body by drinking acidic water. So if you have twenty ounces of water from a bottle, what you can do is you can squeeze half a lemon or half a lime in there and that will bring up the alkalinity or make that water more basic and bring it up to about a 7. You have to understand that the importance of water. We’re made up of seventy percent water and our blood is basically created with water. So the medium – everything, all different reactions occur in our body- is with water. So we want to make sure that we’re drinking plenty of water and that it’s alkaline not acidic.
Question 4: If someone does not feel comfortable completely changing their diet, what are some easy food choices they can make to help them burn fat?
RC: If someone does not feel comfortable completely changing their diet, what are some easy food choices that they can make to help them burn fat?
Dr. Jan Kasprowicz: That’s actually really simple and we don’t ask our clients and our patients to do too many things at first. Ideally what we do here in our facility is for the first two weeks, we ask them not to make any dietary changes at all. In fact we tell them just come in three times a week, work with our heart rate monitor and just make sure you’re drinking half your body weight in water in ounces a day and make sure that the water is alkaline by squeezing half a lemon or lime in there.
Then the next thing we do is we ask them to start your day with something alive. Breakfast actually stands for ‘break fast.’ When we sleep for six to eight hours, our bodies actually go through a fasting stage. So the first thing we want to eat in the morning is not oatmeal, is not toast, it’s not eggs, it’s not a bagel… we need to eat something alive. Eat some fruit, eat a banana, have a green shake, have a super green shake, have some veggies, have some berries. So this way the body starts in an alkaline phase.
Another thing that we also suggest to our patients is that we’re not asking them to convert to becoming a vegetarian or vegan either. If you want to have a piece of steak, if you want to have a piece of chicken, if you want to have a piece of fish that’s completely fine but you have to understand that it takes twenty parts of basic food or alkaline food to dissolve one part of acidic food. So if you’re going to have a piece of steak have a better piece of steak like a filet mignon but start your meal with a large salad and then have a bunch of vegetables on the side. Have some asparagus, have some broccoli and then have your steak. Unfortunately when people do have steak, they have a token sprig or two of asparagus, a large baked potato with a whole bunch of things on it and this large twelve ounce steak that there which is definitely not the twenty to one par.
Question 5: Lastly, do you recommend that individuals follow a comprehensive plan if they are serious about burning fat?
RC: Okay so lastly do you recommend that individuals follow a comprehensive plan if they are serious about burning fat?
Dr. Jan Kasprowicz: Absolutely. There’s not one thing that’s definitely going to work for everybody and it’s comprehensive. That’s the key word. There’s five steps to it. The first step is you want to make sure you do an aerobic exercise which is basically maintaining your heart rate between 60-80% of it’s max because that’s your fat burning stage. That’s known as zone one and zone two of your heart rate. You want to limit the amount of anaerobic exercises such as weight lifting because although that does build up mass, you have to understand when you’re doing weight lifting and you’re getting that lactic acid and that burning in your muscle, that too is an acid. So if you’re creating acid in your body from weight lifting, that acid has to be buffered and the body will utilize fat to use it as a buffer.
Number two, you want to make sure that you’re eating plenty of alkaline foods. That you start your day with alkaline foods so this way you can maintain an internal pH of that at least 7.36. Without exercise, without doing anything but just eating alkaline food and staying at a pH of 7.36 your body will shed fat.
Number three, we’re human beings so we have to act like humans. So if we’re going to a birthday party, don’t be the person who is not going to eat the cake. Instead have the birthday cake but understand you’re going to go to a social event so go ahead and make sure that you’re prepping your body the entire day before by eating lots of veggies and then when you’re done with the birthday cake once you get home have a green shake or something alkaline so this way we can balance out the acidity from the cake or the BBQ we had at the social event.
Another thing we can also do is reduce overall stress. One of the major components of acidity in the body is that we’re really stressed out. So we’ve got to find things that reduce our stress. It could be exercise, it could be playing an instrument, it can be reading a book, volunteering, cooking, writing a journal, yoga, anything to take the edge off of life.
The last and final thing is drink lots of alkaline water. Half your body weight in ounces of water and make sure it’s alkaline.
RC: Well thank you so much Dr. Kasprowicz. We know you are extremely busy, so I want to thank you for all your time and help today.
Dr. Jan Kasprowicz: You’re welcome.
RC: And for our listeners across the country, if you are interested in speaking with Dr. Jan Kasprowicz, you can either go online at www.ChiropracticAndSportsRecovery.com or call (917) 748-2902 to schedule an appointment.