NYC Best Personal Trainer | Burn fat or just water weight? | Best Gym In Brooklyn

If you are currently on a diet and training program and trying to drop a little weight you need to understand how glycogen will affect your body weight. Glycogen is basically carbohydrates stored in the muscles and liver.

Most of our bodies stored energy is in the form of fat and glycogen.

Glycogen holds on to water, a lot of it.

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If you are over weight and never really worked out, during the beginning stages of your diet and exercise program, your body depletes these glycogen stores which reduces your body weight mostly from getting rid of both the weight of the stored glycogen and the weight of the water.


So In the beginning when the weight that comes off is not fat!


Yes, it feels like hell when you start getting serious about diet and exercise. You train everyday and go low carb or just adjust what you are eating to some thing that is new, whole wheat this, organic that and boom in the first month, your down 5-10lbs which we now know is just water weight.

10 pounds is still 10 pounds and that's awesome, but the following month or two you only lose 4 1/2 total pounds.

Yeah I know, sucks, right!?


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Your first instinct is "fuck this shit I worked so damn hard for this. I'ma eat a burger and fries because this is never gonna work for me!".


Your on the right track, just give me a few minutes to explain.

We first need to understand the relationship between glycogen stores and body weight, once we understand that we can realistic expectations for ourselves and figure out how to get the fat off fast.





Glycogen and fat gain.


The carbs in our diet help keep your body functioning by supplying us with a fuel source called glucose. During exercise and any activity including thinking, glucose is used.

Once those needs are met, the leftover glucose is converted into a substance called glycogen, and then stores this glycogen in your liver our skeletal muscle tissue. When we you need more fuel the glycogen turns back into glucose.


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The reason we gain fat is because we fill up our glycogen storages. Their is some what of a spill over affect, that spill over causes and left overs of glycogen to turn into fat for later usage but often times we never get to that point where we just run out of glycogen, we just end up eating more carbs. Thus the cycle continues and we just keep packing on the fat.




Makes sense?


Quick side note: Your body can function perfectly fine with out having many carbs but because we live in a carb craze world the brain has become reliant on it and doesn't look else where for energy.


Basically your brain and body got lazy




Glucose, Glycogen and body weight science.


The body can store on average 400 – 700grams of glycogen with in the liver and skeletal muscle.

In one study titled, Glycogen storage: illusions of easy weight loss, excessive weight regain, and distortions in estimates of body composition Said

Glycogen is stored in the liver, muscles, and fat cells in hydrated form (three to four parts water)


Glycogen losses or gains are reported to be associated with an additional three to four parts water, so that as much as 5 kg weight change might not be associated with any fat loss.

Here is the research ==>>


This means that for every gram of glycogen your body will store about 4 grams of water.

How does this relationship affect body weight?


In short, diet and exercise will first work to deplete glycogen stores as well as burn fat simultaneously. 

However if you have been on a high carb diet for some time now your body will prioritize the carbs (glycogen) over another energy source namely fat.


One of the goals of this article is to teach you how to keep glycogen as close to empty as possible and this is one of the ways that will lead to rapid fat loss and not just weight loss.

Again if your diet is working and your training sessions or on point the depletion will occur faster and have a significant impact on your bodyweight without impacting a permanent change in your body composition, but were looking for fat loss aren't we?


Here's an example of how weight is gained and loss through glycogen.


I weigh 200lbs and have a body fat percentage of 15%

That means 30lbs of my body weight is fat mass and 170lbs is lean tissue is is not really not muscle it's really a mixture of muscle, water, bones, and organs.

Approximately 45% of the 170lbs is real muscle mass which equals 76.5lbs of actual muscle I carry.

1 Lbs of muscle can hold 7 grams of glycogen

And 1 gram of glycogen can hold 4 grams of water.

Now lets do some math!

76.5 lbs of muscle x 7 grams of glycogen = 535.5 grams of glycogen (carbs)

535.5 grams of glycogen (carbs) x 4 grams of water = 2,142 grams of liquid

2,142 grams weighs approximately 5 lbs.


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I also have to take into account whatever I have eaten the previous day so If i wolfed down another 350 grams of carbs in that day


350 grams x 4 grams of water = 1,400 grams

1,400 + 2,142 = 3,542 grams

So on average I walk around with 3,542 grams or 8 pounds of water weight.

Again if the diet is half way decent and I work out I can easily lose 8 pound no problem And that's just water from the muscle tissue. If I train a little harder and dehydrate I can drop even more which is what more professional fighters do to cut 15 lbs – 20 lbs days before a fight.


Back to the topic. Anything after that 5 lbs should theoretically be fat loss, and that's where the discrepancy lies.

See it takes 3,500 calories to burn 1 lbs.

My resting metabolic rate (the amount of calories needed for me to sustain my current weight) is 2000 calories

According to the amount of glycogen i carry 535.4 grams i would have to burn 2,142 calories to be completely depleted.

From what I've read so for it seems like it takes the body roughly 90 minutes of continuous exercise to deplete the stores. Let say your doing Krank, from our intense training sessions it should take roughly 3 training sessions but that is assuming that you don't have any carbs after working out

I know what your going to say, "But if I don't have carbs how will I get through my training session?" Well I'm not saying don't have any I'm just saying don't full them up.

Here's how it would look.

If I train 3 times per week and keep my carbs to 100 grams per day and this includes fruit and beans but not vegetables, veggies have a lot of benefits so its not worth keeping them out, I will stay in a some what depleted state.

This will allow my body to adjust to the low carbs intake and force it to use fat for fuel thus getting me ripped.

If I want to get leaner even faster I can carb cycle.

If you want to know about carbs cycling or just have a question about all this stuff I posted just comment below.


Dan Salazar

Fat loss, Strength and Conditioning


2 Prince St. 5FL
Brooklyn, NY 11201



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