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Knowledge is power, right?


Bryan Frederick is a Lifestyle Medicine Instructor at CGH Medical Center, and he's got me thinking and re-thinking my approach to weight loss.

That meme pretty much sums it up.

SVM online editor and my co-pilot throughout the summer series "The Naturals", Angel Sierra, sent it to me moments after we left Bryan Frederick's office at CGH Medical Center on Tuesday afternoon.

We were both still trying to wrap our minds around everything the Lifestyle Medicine instructor told us during the hour and a half we met with him.

I believe his fellow CGH-er, registered dietician Margaret Glady, put it best during our appointment last week. She'd just conducted a bioelectrical impedance test to find out my body-fat percentage was 27.3.

"Knowledge is power," she said. "Now it's up to you and what you're going to do with it."

Well, I'm going to knock that percentage into the teens, if it takes me the next 10 years. On Tuesday, Frederick shared his theory on the best way to do so, and it's sort of turned my outlook on weight loss all upside-down face.

Click here to watch video

Frederick teaches a 4-hour class at CGH and conducts seminars, during which he tells his story. What got my undivided attention was him pulling out his ID – from Omni Fitness Center, no less – from when he was 30. He was heartbreakingly overweight, and had tried all the fad diets and pills and working programs and on and on.

Today, he says it nearly brings him to tears to think about the fact that the answer was so simple:

Weight loss, like everything else, obeys the laws of thermodynamics. Thus, it's exclusively about calories' energy and appropriate caloric intake.

In taking his class, he'll determine how many you should be taking in every day by figuring out your body-fat percentage and, in turn, your lean mass.

But here's where it gets wild – Frederick insists that neither what you eat, nor lifestyle and exercise regimen are factors.

It's all about how you eat, and the fact that your cells see the 200 calories in a head of broccoli and 200 calories in half a Snickers the same way: C6H12O6. Sorry if my inability to use subscript is confusing, but that's the formula for glucose.

So, we feed our body exactly the amount of calories as our lean mass needs, and no more. As Frederick pointed out, if I was to go over my target amount, I'd be feeding the 55 pounds of dead flesh that is fat, rather than exclusively feeding the lean muscle.

Here's where things get wilder: Frederick pointed out that I'm being brutally ineffecient by focusing on running and cardio for my exercise regimen. He's trained world-class athletes, and said he'd have me on resistance training. See: the pushups and situps I do regularly.

Rather than predominantly run and supplement with strength training, he instructed me to flip the script.

Then, as I build lean mass and develop type 2 muscle fibers (fast-twitch muscles, also known as white), I'll be able to consume more calories.

Like I said, my mind is blown, so I need to avoid hurting my brain anymore or getting too windy. This is a blog, after all. If you'd like to hear more about what he told me, email me. Or better yet, take one of Frederick's classes.

He doesn't advertise. That's a whole can of worms, too. Maybe we'll open it at some point in the series.

For now, I've got more knowledge. Now it's on me to figure out what to do with it.

– Christopher Heimerman is the assistant sports editor at Sauk Valley Media. Email him at or follow him on Twitter (@CHeimerman_SVM).