2) NUTRITION :
So we are now down to the second most important aspect of losing fat. What you should be eating and not eating.
I will try to go to the essential aspects, but you can also read Nutrition 101 on the same subject.
Food is an extremely powerful tool because you ingest what you are made of. So if your sleep is on target, the second hormonal controller is the food you eat. It provides the signalling AND provides the building blocks of your body.
So WHAT you eat controls what you HAVE to work with, and what to DO with what you have.
WHAT YOU SHOULD BE DOING :
This is not a trend, a new fad, or some sort of hippie cult.
Carbohydrates will make insulin go up. Insulin is a hormone that is triggered by high blood glucose levels, and when released in the bloodstream, tells all the cells to suck up as many sugars, protein, and fat that are running in the bloodstream and store them.
It also prevent your cells from releasing any fats, meaning you can’t use the stored fat to burn energy. This is why you are hungry 1 hour after eating a huge chinese meal. You’ve eaten plenty, but your body cannot release any energy stored.
Eating less carbs will help reduce the production of this hormone, and therefore help you store less fat, and use up more.
So if you want to lose fat, for at least 6 days a week, avoid :
- All flour based products
- All sugar, syrups, sweets
- Cereals (yes even chia and quinoa)
You might not feel quite right for 2 or 3 days because your metabolism needs to adjust. And you will have to change the rest of the diet to accommodate for the reduction in carbohydrates.
If you manage one week, and feel fine, keep going. If after a week you feel kind of weak, tired or grumpy, reload on carbohydrates by eating one meal with a nice large portion of white rice. I do poorly on NO carbohydrates, so I need to refuel every couple of days. We are all different, so adjust accordingly.
Also, you will have to ass more salt to retain more water, which the carbs you used to eat did. So just salty enough food tastes great. It should be enough.
Green, red, yellow, orange, and so on.
Go for lots and lots of vegetables. Like half of your plate should be full of deliciously steamed, boiled, or roasted vegetables.
The high vitamin, mineral and micronutrient content of these powerhouses of natures will help your body function normally, and reduce inflammation all over.
They are loaded with fibre which helps digestion and your good gut bacteria (the one that makes you lean) flourish and overgrow the bad ones.
On top of that, vegetables are for the most part very low in calories, which make them the best allies of your fat loss. So go ahead, eat them like you’ll never see them again.
If you can afford organic, go for organic, but getting started with just regular vegetables is already a huge step forward.
Lots of fat
Eat FAT to get SLIM? I have to be joking right?
Well… Our bodies are pretty smart machines. They eat whatever we give to them, and get good at using what we give them. Give it sugar, it’ll burn sugar, give it protein, it’ll burn protein, give it fat… yep, it’ll burn fat.
Fat has gotten a bad reputation over the decades, but fat is great for you. And fortunately the science is backing this up. Did you know that your brain, and all of your the walls of your cells are made of fat? We need it.
The only reason fat has had such a bad reputation is because arteries of people with cardio vascular disease were full of fat. But fat isn’t the issue. Stress and inflammation is. If you followed part 1 and started sleeping more and better, this should not be an issue. Unless of course high cholesterol runs in your family.
Having a great extra virgin olive oil as a dressing on a fresh salad, adding grass fed butter to vegetables after steaming them and watching is slowly melt over them, or having some coconut creme whizzed in your soup are great for your health AND make things taste much better.
With less carbohydrates and more vegetables, you will still need some calories to compensate and function correctly. Otherwise you will feel weak and blame it on the diet. You need energy to function, and some of it has to be eaten. Fats are you allies here. They don’t raise insulin, serve as pre-hormones, and will open the floodgates of your fat cells that will pour their contents out at top speed of you are diligent about this.
Eat grass fed and organic if you can afford it.
The oils I recommend :
- Extra virgin olive oil (never heat it)
- Grass fed Butter
- Avocado oil
- Coconut oil
- MCT Oil
- Brain octane oil : this stuff is great. I get no money for saying this, it just reduces hunger and cravings.
Go nuts for raw nuts:
They are filled with good fats, minerals and protein. Perfect for snacks.
- Cashews -Zinc
- Almonds – Magnesium
- Brazil nuts – Selenium
- Walnuts – Copper & Manganese
For seasoning :
You can use other oils for taste, but don’t use too much.
OMEGA 3 to OMEGA 6 Ration :
We produce PRO-Inflammatory (that promote inflammation) and ANTI-Inflammatory hormones. Both are important. And we seek balance.
Omega 6’s and Omega 3’s are fats that we cannot produce, and that we should seek in our diet. Omega 6’s fats are PRO-Inflammatory hormone precursors, and Omega 3’s are Anti-Inflammatory hormone precursors.
Western diet are FULL of Omega 6’s. We are looking to go ANTI-inflammatory, so to counter balance this, I recommend you supplement in Krill Oil (be careful if you are allergic to seafood), or fish oil that are LOADED with Omega 3’s, that will reduce inflammation and help with fat loss. Start off small, see how you feel, and feel free to go up to 1g/day.
Here I include poultry, red meats, fish, eggs, and seafood. I am not a vegetarian, or a vegan, therefore if you are I would advise you find an expert that shares your life choice, who will provide more precise information for you than I will here.
What is a protein? It is a chain of amino-acids the has a structural or functional role. There are 22 amino acids, and 9 of those we cannot produce. So we need to eat them.
If you reduce your carbohydrates you will have to increase your protein intake, but never eat them separated from fats and vegetables. Why? because the second most potent insulin signaller are some of the amino acids that compose protein. So to slow down their digestion and presence in our bloodstream we need to coat them in fat and fiber.
The neat thing about protein is that they are difficult to process for the body. So basically you can count them as negative calories, because they cost MORE calories to digest than they actually give you as a product to burn. And thats a good thing because we don’t want to burn them but use them to build muscle. But more on that in part 3 of the “Getting Good At Burning Fat” series….
Chewing a lot :
You should chew a minimum of 20 times before swallowing. If reduces stress, helps your digestive system do its work correctly, and helps you slow down your meal so you stop eating before you have eaten too much.
WHAT YOU SHOULD NOT BE DOING :
Lots of Carbs And Sugars :
As announced previously, these will increase insulin and cortisol, make you store fat and stop you from releasing any, add cravings into your life, and hook you on to them more strongly than on cocaïn (true fact, click here for study). Stop, or reduce drastically carbohydrates.
This is a tricky one. If you think you are eating correctly, are still not losing any weight, but haven’t cut fruit out of your diet, try it. Fruit are loaded with sugar. They are natures’ treats. You shouldn’t be eating a lot of them.
Soy contains phyto-oestrogen, which basically reduce testosterone efficiency, and (to get really basic) leads to putting on fat and losing muscle. This goes for women too, who also produce and need testosterone for energy and confidence. Stop soy.
High protein without fat :
You should not have protein by itself of you are trying to be lean. Mix it with fat and vegetables. There are only a few cases where this isn’t true, but it will be the subject of a different article.
Eat Burnt Fat :
If you burn, or cook fats at high temperature, then you are in for trouble. You will find yourself with « burnt fat” that reek havoc on your system. They are so bad it is better to smoke cigarettes that eat them. Yes they will kill you. So no chicken Nuggets!!
Sorry people, this is hard. But alcohol is the worst killer of human history. It is a poison, and we must accept it as such. And I really enjoy it. I have a few beers 2 nights a week (fridays and saturdays), and I know that if I get stuck in my progress one day, I will have to give it up.
If you are very fat and really don’t know where to start, or all you have to lose is a small belly fat that just doesn’t seem to want to go away, and that it is more important to you than drinking, you have your answer right here. Quit alcohol for a month. Go for a 30-day challenge and tell me what you thought of it.
I think I’ll let you breath for a while before we get to part 3 of the “Getting Good At Losing fat series” which will be Exercise.
I hope you enjoyed it and would be happy to answer any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org
Take it easy,
More ressources : If you like to follow straight recipes and programs, you can choose to follow Paleo, Bulletproof, or Primal diets, they all work and all have specificities. Chose one, try it, and then go to the next if you don’t like it. <they basically all say close to the same thing as in this article and in Nutrition 101.