Why an accelerator day can be a vital weapon in the battle for weight loss*

Thursday, 28 May 2015, By Jack Smith

Following your nutrition plan and using the food diary inside VVT to hit your macronutrient guidelines is an ideal way to gain lasting weight loss results.  But what happens when you want to accelerate your results and get to your goal faster?  Or even to offset some indulgence that may have occured previously?  Well you can start by incorporating an Accelerator Day into your weekly routine.

An Accelerator Day is a day where you will slash your carbohydrate intake dramatically to as minimal as possible or a maximum of 30g carbohydrate intake.  A common error people make when trying to lose weight it to take in too much carbohydrate for the amount of energy they need or for their goal.  When we take in carbohydrate our body will utilize that energy straight away as it's sole source of energy, therefore if our objective is to burn fat then having too much carbohydrate intake every day or stored in our body will make the process of burning fat as a fuel near impossible.

Carbohydrates are essential to the body for energy, building and maintaining lean muscle tissue and maintaining normal bodily function.  Any excess carbohydrate taken in will be stored for later in the muscles and liver as Glycogen, or if they are full, the excess will be converted to fat.  So whilst it is essential to make sure we take in quality carbohydrates, it's vital to not take in too much so we can actually focus on burning our fat stores.

This is where the role of the Accelerator Day can become very important.  Cutting carbohydrate intake 1 day per week will mean automatically the body will have to look within its stores to get energy.  This energy will come from either the stored glycogen within the liver and muscle or the fat stores.  This will put the body into a state of Ketosis, where the body prioritises the utilization of fat for energy.  By depleting our Glycogen stores and utilizing fat for energy once per week, this will put the body in a state that is now ready to use the energy it takes in, whilst not having to store excess as fat, as there is now available space in the liver and muscle. 

On an Accelerator Day only high protein/low carbohydrate/high vitamin foods should be taken in.  It is encouraged to take in as much variety of vegetables and salads as possible, paired with high quality protein sources.  This ensures you are feeling fuller for longer (as absorbtion of protein takes longer, so increases saitey) and are taking in quality sources of food.  Initially there may be some slight dizziness or headaches, but this is purely due to the fact that the body is used to taking carbohydrate as energy.  Also, it's ideal to make sure hydration is optimal, taking in a minumum of 2L water, to ensure dehydration isn't an issue.

An Accelerator Day should become a part of your weekly routine, picking a day every week that you know you can be prepared with food.  Fail to plan, plan to fail!  Ideally you should perform no more than 2 Accelerator Days/week as carbohydrates are essential so it may cause metabolic dysfunction, mood fluctuations and loss of concentration.  Going to long without carbohydrate often will lead to severe cravings.  So if you want to make yourself fully equppied for success on your weight loss journey, then incorporate an accelerator day into your routine!

Jack Smith B.EXSCI

*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.

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