Wednesday, February 23, 2011

My typical conversation at weddings...

Start with the meats and veggies...and stay there.

Whenever I am in a very social environment, I always seem to end up talking about nutrition. I guess it just follows me around. But as soon as I start talking about nutrition I get one of two responses.

A) Most people give me an uncomfortable laugh as if to acknowledge they don't eat the way they should (as if admitting the problem excuses it)

B) They are genuinely interested in nutrition and improving the eating habits of themselves and their family.

I have to imagine that if you're reading this, you would be in the latter group. So lets pretend we're sitting at the wedding of a common friend and we are at the same table. Most often our talk begins with me complaining about the abundance of sugary sweets or me being excited by the fact that they have peanuts at the table.

Usually we'll talk about what I do and how work is going. I'll talk about how exercise is only a small part of the fat loss equation. Then the question inevitably comes, "So what should I be eating to lose fat?"

The first thing to remember is that there are a lot of factors that work together to cause gain in body fat. And to try to manage all of these at the same time usually results in a high incidence of failure and frustration. So the best bet is to take 1 step at a time. This can be difficult because so many things are dependent on each other. Keep that in mind with the following statements.

The first rule of fat loss nutrition is to gradually reduce carbohydrate intake. And the easiest way to do this is to start replacing grains with greens. A slice of bread may have 70 calories, but 4 packed cups of spinach have only 60 calories. And this is the same with most vegetables. They are all much, much lower in carbohydrates.

In addition to that vegetables all have very low glycemic index scores. This means they don't have a very strong insulin response and keep your energy levels very stable. Energy is released slowly and steadily and prevents energy build up which leads to conversion of carbohydrates into fat.

Rule 2 is to eat often. Research has shown that when you eat smaller meals over the course of the day, you lose fat. Why? Well your only giving your body the energy it needs for the short term future. You see most of the time our bodies glycogen (sugar) stores are between half-way and topped off. So you cant go off and eat a massive bowl of pasta and then expect it to sit in your gut until the time comes to use it. Nope. You're body will store it as FAT.  But by eating small portions every 3-4 hours, your able to give your body just what it needs. In addition this keeps your metabolism running high because every time we eat, our body ramps up its metabolism. This is called the Thermic Effect of Food (TEF). And it can be a big factor in fat burning.

The third BIG rule is to eat protein and eat it often. Protein further increases TEF and also maintains muscle mass and has a very, very low glycemic response! So if you choose the chicken breast over the pasta, you will help keep insulin levels low, keep metabolism high and help build muscle which increases muscle even furthur!!

So start with just one of these 3 Habits for Fat Loss and watch the weight start to drop!

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