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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

How to Eat a Meal for Fat Loss - Do You Have it Backwards?

Want to look like this?
So you want to lose weight (you mean fat)?


You’re all motivated and ready to go…but then you have to eat!  Not such a problem until now…I mean, when you’re not in the weight loss mode, if you’re like most people, you just eat whatever is easy.  But now you realize things are no longer that way…that is, if you really are serious about losing weight.

There are so many mixed messages these days, it’s confusing, frustrating and likely has caused you to give up many times.  Especially with the Internet, where there are as many views on eating for weight loss as there are people.  So you’re left with the nagging question – “What really is the best way to eat a meal for fat loss?”.

If you’ve read my series on Why You Get Fat, you likely have some idea of how to eat for fat loss.  But in an effort to make it as simple as possible, I’m going to tell you the way to eat a meal that works best for most people who want to lose fat.

Suffice it to say, the way to eat for fat loss is the exact opposite of the way most people eat, and the way restaurants serve.  Therefore, once you understand the best way to eat a meal for fat loss you’ll be able to try it whether you’ve at home or elsewhere.

Here are the details on how you should eat a meal for fat loss. 

Does your meal look like this?

First and foremost you always want to eat your protein/fats first because, as you can read more about in my Why You Get Fat Articles, proteins and fats don’t stimulate the large insulin release like carbohydrates.  They also cause you to feel full sooner and thus make you less likely to overeat carbohydrates.  This is the first step to controlling your insulin levels, as high insulin leads to fat storing, whereas lower insulin levels promote fat burning.

Then you want to eat your non-starchy carbohydrates.  These would be things like green vegetables, squash, carrots, cauliflower etc. that break down more slowly due to their fiber.  Because it takes longer for these vegetables to break down they don’t cause a quick spike in insulin levels, which lead to fat storage.

Only after eating protein/fat and non-starchy carbohydrates would you finally eat any starchy vegetables or fruits.  The starchy carbohydrates are the ones that cause a quick rise in insulin levels that subsequently lead to fat storage.  And as I mentioned earlier, by eating the protein and non-starchy foods first you’ll feel more satisfied and thus eat a lot fewer of these insulin-spiking foods.  Remember, all of your processed carbohydrate foods, including beverages, fit in this last category.  Specifically I’m speaking of breads, pastas, grains (even if the package says whole grain, the effect is virtually the same), potatoes, corn, crackers, alcohol, juices, sodas and any other beverage that isn’t water, herbal tea or black coffee.  Keep in mind that minimizing this last group of easily digested carbohydrate foods is the key to losing fat.

Never be without protein!

While taking this approach may cause an initial few days of  low energy, due to your body withdrawing from all the quick digesting carbs, long term your energy levels will be better.  One thing you can and must do to counteract this, is to eat plenty of good fats.  You cannot go on a low carb, high protein, low fat diet - it will not work!  You will constantly be hungry, and likely will fail within a few days.  Your body will use the fats as energy so don’t fear they will make you fat…they will not!  Some of the healthy fats you should include are avocados, raw nuts (peanuts are not nuts, and you should avoid them), egg yolks (eating egg whites is a total waste of money), olive oil, coconut oil and fish oil.  These changes in eating alone will kick start your fat burning.

No you don't!

This whole approach to meals probably seems foreign, particularly if you eat at restaurants often.  As I’m sure you’ve noticed, they always want to bring you sugary drinks, alcohol and bread when you sit down.  Instead, just order water with a lemon, or herbal tea.  Caffeine, for most people, unless it’s right before a workout, should be avoided, as it is a stimulant that will raise insulin levels.  Next time you go to a restaurant tell them you’d like your entrée first, it should be protein based (pasta with meat sauce is not acceptable), along with your salad (dressing on the side).  If you eat the protein and fat and then any salad or other veggies you’ll likely have little room for all of the fat building foods like pasta, breads and potatoes.

You may be grumbling at this point, saying this is impossible, but it’s your choice.  If you want to lose fat, the more you eat like I mentioned the better your results will be.  And on the other hand, the more easily digested carbohydrates you eat the more fat you’ll have, it’s that simple.  Not that you have to eat like this forever, but if you’ve gotten to where you are by years and years of eating the wrong foods in the wrong amounts at the wrong times, your body isn’t going to change overnight. 

You have to re-sensitize your body to insulin, and the only way to do this is to get rid of the foods I mentioned along with appropriateexercise (not cruising on the elliptical for 30 minutes).  Since everyone is different, the proportion of insulin-spiking carbohydrates you can handle will vary due to any number of factors.  This is something you will have to play around with in order to find the right level of carbs that allows you to lose the fat you want and then stay at that level.  I can tell you from experience that in order to lose fat initially you’ll likely have to eat far fewer of the fast digesting carbohydrates than you think.  We’re talking about sub 50 grams of carbs a day. 

Eat this, it's good for you.

The key to this style of eating is planning, particularly because the carbs you don’t want are the cheapest and most readily available, especially in restaurants.  If you don’t plan ahead with this type of eating, you will fail.  Now go ahead and make yourself a steak, put grass fed butter and sea salt on it, have a few steamed vegetables with coconut oil melted over them and start watching your body fat disappear.  While eating like this may not be easy at first, it likely will provide the jump-start you need to get your body fat to the level you desire.  

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