#36 – Why Do We Get Fat? Cracking the Code on Bodyfat and Nutrition with Robert Santana, RD, SSC

Coach D sits down with dietician and Starting Strength Coach Robert Santana to talk about the million dollar question: how do you lose fat, and keep it off? First, it’s important to understand why we get fat — the body chemistry of fat and muscle gain — and where we’ve missed the mark on the science of fat loss in our modern culture.


Santana discusses the phenomenon of the skinny fat body, sometimes referred to as “dad bod,” and why we need to shift our ideas about “weight loss” toward “muscle gain.” Many people who fall into the normal and overweight category, typically as measured by BMI, don’t need to lose weight per se, but rather gain muscle and lose bodyfat. Thus, the scale is the wrong tool for measuring progress. Instead, these people should focus on tracking waist measurement, bodyfat (via a simple test like skinfold caliper test), and their progress under the bar. Yes, they should be weight training!


As he explains, metabolism is largely driven by the metabolic rate at rest. Physical activity only contributes a small amount of the total calories burned each day, less than 25%. Consequently, building muscle mass drives far more calorie burn than cardiovascular training. Muscle mass also improves nutrient partitioning, or the body’s ability to route incoming calories toward productive processes like muscle protein synthesis (as the name implies, the production and renewal of muscle mass) instead of fat storage.


Santana will join us again next week to dispel more myths about dieting, nutrition, and fat loss, so stay tuned with 40fit Radio!


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