Updated 16 September 2013

Patrick Holford: how to Burn Fat Fast

UK nutritionist Patrick Holford has teamed up with UK fitness expert and former Olympian Kate Staples for his latest book Burn Fat Fast: The Alternate-Day Low-GL Diet Plan.

International authority on nutrition Patrick Holford has teamed up with UK fitness expert and former Olympian Kate Staples for his latest book Burn Fat Fast: The Alternate-Day Low-GL Diet Plan.

Burn Fat Fast, due for release in South Africa in July 2013, is a step by step guide on how to lose excess weight quickly - for the long term and at the same time slow down the ageing process.

Burn Fat Fast combines Holford’s proven and trusted low -GL (glycaemic load) eating plan with alternative-day dieting and a fat burning exercise routine which ensures quick weight loss without going hungry or most importantly, compromising long term health. The secret to Burn Fat Fast is making three simple lifestyle changes – a low-GL diet, eating less every second day and resistance and endurance fat- burning exercises.

For over a decade Holford has been advocating the low-GL diet as the most effective way to lose weight – for the long-term and without going hungry. The key to the low-GL diet is to eat foods that do not have a massive effect on raising blood sugar levels because this causes the production of the fat-storing and potentially harmful hormone called insulin. This production of insulin says Holford is the cornerstone to both weight loss and weight maintenance.


When blood sugar levels increase, insulin is released into the blood in an attempt to remove the glucose (sugar). However, if you have eaten high-GL foods (more sugar than your body needs), the remainder goes to the liver where it is converted into fat and stored mostly around the waist. And if that is not bad enough says Holford, after many blood sugar highs (followed by the inevitable lows) the receptor sites become “deaf” to recognising insulin in the arteries causing insulin-resistance which then forces the body to produce even more insulin in order to be able to reduce these raised glucose levels in the blood: a vicious circle that is detrimental to long-term health and a guaranteed recipe for weight gain.

This constant excess of insulin in the body is bad news not only for weight maintenance but also because it switches off anti-ageing genes and programmes the body towards ageing faster. The crucial factor in the low-GL diet is to keep the GL content of foods as low as possible to avoid this insulin-producing reaction. Eating foods with high fibre content (or taking Carbo-Slow Fibre before each meal), always eating protein with carbs and adding a squeeze of lemon juice to your meal can further lower the GL of food says Holford.

burn fat fast

Alternate-day eating plan

In Burn Fat Fast Holford takes this low-GL concept a step further by combining it with an alternate-day eating plan. Holford’s alternate-day low-GL diet is made up of three days of modified fasting where a maximum of 35GLS are consumed on these days. This modified fasting every second day promotes drastic weight loss and switches on “skinny” genes and switches off genes that make us age faster.

With alternate-day eating the reason you lose weight and slow down the ageing process is not due to the number of calories consumed but again to do with controlling the production of insulin. Quite simply – the more insulin your body produces, the faster you age and the more weight you put on, especially around the middle.

“What’s really encouraging is the scientific evidence that you can re-programme your genes for health and longevity just by eating slightly differently every other day,” said Holford.

Resistance exercises

Combining this eating plan with specific exercises speeds up your metabolism, builds muscle and turns your body into a fat-burning machine. This is the winning formula for burning fat fast. Former British pole-vaulter and ex Gladiator TV personality Kate Staples has devised a series of eight minute resistance exercises to build muscle cells which further accelerate burning of fat.  She has combined these with 30 minute cardio workouts (such as brisk walking, running or cycling) and incorporating these with interval training of 30 second sprints to further speed up the metabolism.

 “The combination of the alternate-day low-GL diet plus exercise is the winning formula for fast and healthy weight loss and fat-burning. You don’t have to be a saint every day. There is no better way to get slim, strong and healthy without hunger,” says Holford.

Burn Fat Fast retails at R120 and is available from leading bookstores nationwide or online at

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