I am in the process of finishing this paper to help my clients understand how to lose fat successfully without having to read a novel-sized diet book (which a lot of folks just won't do). I thought it might make a nice blog post.
It is NOT grammar checked so be kind when you comment. It also doesn't flow quite right. Regardless, I hope the info may help you or a loved one understand how the basic processes to lose fat successfully without losing lean mass at the same time. So, please take what you can from it and enjoy!
All comments pro and con are welcomed.
The Serious Strength Real Food, Fat loss Eating Plan
“You are not what you eat. You are what your body does with what you eat.” – Dr. Jeff Volek, PhD, RD
So, you want to maximize fat loss and, at the same time, take in all of the nutrients you need to live most healthfully, right? Right. So let’s get started.
Important note: Fat loss should be an outcome of healthful eating. It should not come about by counting calories or starving yourself. Though many people use these approaches with some degree of success, these approaches always fail in the long run. They also cause micronutrient (vitamins and mineral) deficiencies and result in lean tissue (muscle, bone, organs) loss. So please, abandon these approaches to fat loss. They are an unnatural, unhealthy and impermanent approach to becoming healthier and attaining a desirable level of body fat.
Blood Sugar is the Key
Eating healthfully normalizes your blood sugar which in turn allows stored body fat to be used as your primary source of fuel. It also promotes strength building. So again, the main idea of this plan is to reset your metabolism so that your body uses stored fat as its primary source of fuel by keeping blood sugar normal.
To lose fat successfully without losing lean tissue (muscle and bone), it’s best to eat in a manner that keeps your blood sugar levels normal and supplies you with adequate amount of quality proteins. The amount of glucose (blood sugar) that our adult body considers normal is about a teaspoon or, a few grams at most. To put this in perspective, your morning multi- grain muffin can have as much as 10 times this amount. Add this to the sugar in your coffee, your glass of juice, your banana and perhaps that “healthy” bowl of cereal in the morning and you have shoveled more sugar into your blood in the morning than you should eat in a week. Most people are completely unaware of this.
When you keep your blood sugar normalized, this keeps your level of a hormone called insulin normal. This in turn allows more fat to freely exit your fat cells and makes it much more difficult to store calories as fat.
According to the current edition of Lehninger’s Principles of Biochemistry, when blood insulin levels are high, fat is more readily stored in the adipocytes (fat cells) and is less available for usage:
“High blood glucose elicits the release of insulin, which speeds the uptake of glucose by tissues and favors the storage of fuels as glycogen (sugar) and triaglycerols (fat), while inhibiting fatty acid mobilization in adipose tissue.”
What this means is this: the more foods you eat that raise your blood sugar, the higher you will raise your insulin levels. When insulin is high, you will potentially store more body fat and less body fat will be burned as fuel.
Believe it or not, you now know more than what 95% of all registered dieticians know on how lipids (fat) are stored and used for fuel. What you need to know now is which foods cause the problems and which foods don’t.
What to Eat and What Not to Eat
The foods that skyrocket blood sugar and thus raise insulin levels the most are grain-based, refined, starchy/sugary carbohydrates. If you can avoid eating these foods, you will achieve your fat loss goals much faster. If you don’t, you probably will not be able to obtain your fat loss goals. For some people, perhaps for you, these sorts of foods can be an addiction. Carb addicition is real and if you feel that you are one so afflicted, please read the book Wheat Belly by Bill Davis M.D. (referenced below).
The acceptable foods on the Serious Strength Real Food Diet are as follows:
All animal matter (e.g., all poultry, all beef, all lamb, all pork including bacon, whole eggs, venison, all fish, shellfish, organ meats, etc.)
All non-starchy plant matter (e.g., leafy greens like kale, chard, spinach, lettuces, cabbage, asparagus, artichokes, Brussels sprouts, celery, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, onions, peppers, rhubarb, etc.)
Fibrous fruits (e.g., strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, tomatoes, avocados, etc.)
Fruit Oils/animal fats (e.g., butter, coconut oil, lard, tallow, olive oil, macadamia oil, avocado oil)
All herbs and spices
The non-acceptable foods that you would do best to avoid are as follows:
All grain-based foods (e.g., rice, bagels, muffins, breads, oatmeal, pasta, etc.)
Legumes (e.g., peanuts, soy, beans of all kinds)
Starchy/sugary fruits/gourds (e.g., bananas, plantains, papaya, mango, figs, dates, grapes, squash, etc.)
Tubers (e.g., potatoes, yams, taro, cassava, yucca)
All dairy (e.g., milk, cream, cheeses, etc.)
Fatty Protein Intake
If you don’t eat adequate fatty proteins (e.g., salmon, lamb, beef, whole eggs, etc.) on a daily basis, you won’t be able to maximize the benefits of resistance training. You also will not enjoy robust health. All human beings require adequate amounts of amino acids derived from fatty protein sources to build cells of all kinds including muscle and bone cells.
You should strive to take in at least 1 gram of quality protein per pound of lean body weight. We will help you determine what your lean body mass is with our computerized body composition device and then will give you an amount of protein to shoot for. You don’t have to count protein grams. It’s actually very simple to eat the right amount of protein.
For example, if you’re lean body weight is 100 pounds, you want to take in about 100 grams of fatty protein per day.
So you could eat:
Breakfast: 3 eggs, 2 slices bacon = ~30gms.
Lunch: Order of sashimi = ~40 gms
Dinner: 4 oz. hamburger, other cuts of beef, pork or lamb = ~27gms.
You could also drink a protein shake of your choice – preferably one that is low in carbohydrates. To provide some fat to the shake, you can add a raw egg or two (if you trust your eggs) or a tablespoon of coconut, olive, flax or MCT oil which stands for “medium chain triglycerides.” A company called NOW makes high quality MCT oil. A quick Google search and it will come up right away. But do not use vegetable oils because they are unhealthy.
So remember, eating refined carbs like bread, pasta, bagels, cakes, cookies and other starch-based carbs like rice, potatoes, oatmeal, beans, etc. increases blood sugar higher than normal which as we’ve discussed, raises insulin and this tells your body to store fat and to keep it locked in the fat cells.
Replacing these foods with high quality fatty proteins like lamb, salmon, beef, eggs, chicken, turkey, pork, etc., and leafy greens and other vegetables tells your body to release fat from your fat cells to be used as fuel and build muscle, bone and other vital tissues. Eating in this manner not only promotes speedy fat loss, but will improve your overall health to a marked degree. Your doctor will be pleased indeed.
Use this knowledge to your advantage!
Strongly suggested readings:
The Protein Power LifePlan by Drs. Michael and MaryDan Eades
The New Atkins for a New You by Drs. Volek, Phinney, Westman
Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes
Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis