Guide principles for a slimming program

“Losing weight” doesn’t just mean losing weight. “Slimming” should be understood as loss of fat, without affecting the lean mass, consisting mainly of muscles, and without loss of water. Any low-calorie diet alone doesn’t solve the problem. In an attempt to lose weight by reducing the number of calories introduced with food, little fat tissue and a lot of muscle tissue is actually lost. The caloric restriction organism soon tends to restore the previously achieved homeostasis, through a slowing down of the basic metabolism and regains in short all the weight disposed of, not in muscle but in fat.

The phenomenon known as the “yo-yo effect” occurs. With the disadvantage that, from diet to diet, for the same weight corresponds to an increasing percentage of adipose tissue. Any strategy that aims at a real, significant and permanent loss of fat, must necessarily include a change in lifestyle, simply by combining diet and exercise. However, in order to optimise the performance of the slimming strategy, it is appropriate to follow a program that amplifies fat consumption and maintains a good muscle trophism. Fundamental guidelines for achieving this result:


Exercises with weights alone are not sufficient to lose weight significantly, except in a minimum percentage of genetically predisposed individuals. However, the increase of 1 kg of muscle leads to an additional calorie consumption at rest of about 100 kcal in 24 hours. This means 700 kcal per week (to lose 1 kg of fat you have to “burn” about 7000 kcal). The catabolism induced by training is compensated by the protein synthesis activated during the next rest.

Aerobic exercise, to be truly effective, must be performed in a particular condition: AFTER A FAST OF ALMOST 10-12 HOURS (for instance, in the morning, after the obvious night fast. In this way the consumption of fatty is about three times as much as the afternoon exercise on a full stomach and the proportion of protein that is burned is lower).

To prevent the protein breakdown, follow this method can be adopted for : drink a litre of water on an empty stomach in the morning, 5 minutes before cardiovascular training. This makes the blood “hypoosmolaric” and this helps push fluids into the muscle, resulting in a hydrated intracellular environment that opposes protein breakdown. This makes the blood “hypoosmolaric” and this helps push fluids into the muscle, resulting in a hydrated intracellular environment that opposes protein breakdown.

Take caffeine in the morning, before aerobic exercise: caffeine increases the amount of fat burned during aerobic activity; it increases the release of adrenaline, which helps to shake up a little, especially early in the morning; it prevents the decrease of intramuscular potassium, induced by exercise and therefore retains water inside the cell; it helps to save glycogen, which retains water and whose exhaustion determines the breakdown of muscle proteins to convert them into glucose; increases the duration of aerobic performance. The optimal effect of caffeine occurs when glycogen reserves are low, for example after fasting at night. It’s still important to cyclize caffeine intake. Taking it always diminishes its effects.

In summary: perform aerobic exercises in the morning, or after at least 10-12 hours of fasting. As soon as you wake up (about 45 minutes before starting the activity), take 200 milligrams of caffeine. Drink a liter of water 5 minutes before exercise. Train at an intensity corresponding to a heart rate of 72 – 75 % of the maximum theoretical heart rate. (220-age) for at least 45 minutes and then simply eat protein and carbohydrates, in modest amounts, e.g. two egg whites and toast. Perform aerobic work at least three times a week. Do at least one weight training per week, better 2, to maintain muscle tone and trophism. The diet must be such as to reduce the nutritional intake by about 500 calories/day, possibly increasing the number of meals from 3 to 5, and therefore eating more often, of all things, less.

Luigi Vielmi