It's Friday . . .about time is all I have to say! I'm very happy as it's been a long, busy week. Today means I'm giving a Fit Tip. This one isn't really anything new but it seems we still seem to forget and want/need to be reminded time to time. It may not apply to you, but you may know someone so a little knowledge goes a long way, I always say. If you or someone you know is really trying to lose fat and maybe seems stuck I'm going to go over a few things. Now, I'm not being all self righteousness as I can't say I do things right all the time (or even half the time) so I can get just as frustrated as the next person. I usually say, do as I say, not as I do. So, if you are wondering why you are stuck it might be because you are:
1) You’re Eating Too Many Carbs. This should be pretty obvious to most people by now, but there are still the old die-hards out there who swear that everyone should be consuming two grams of carbs per pound of bodyweight every day while maintaining a low fat intake. Not so.
If you have been told to Load up on whole grains and fruit while cutting down on healthy sources of fat like grass fed beef and lean protein, STOP right there. Anyone experienced in physique transformation knows this is nonsense.
If you want to get lean, cutting carbs is usually one of the first and most important steps you need to take. That doesn’t mean you can’t have carbs but you need to make smart choices and they need to be taken in at the right times and cycled properly.
2) You’re Eating Too Much Fat Some people cut carbs and assume that they’re good to go and there’s nothing else to worry about. However, the low carb diet isn’t as much fun as Dr. Atkins made it out to be. You can’t eat pounds of bacon, cheeses and mayonnaise and expect to magically be a lean mean fighting machine. Fat contains calories; nine per gram to be exact! At the end of the day total calories still matter, and if you’re eating more than you burn well, guess what? The pounds creep up!
Listen though, I'm not saying go to a low fat diet. That's bad, too! You have to have healthy fat for your health and brain - just not pounds of it!
So, think about it. a minimum of 20% of your calories should come from healthy fats like egg yolks, wild salmon, grass fed beef, and healthy oils to ensure optimal health.
You still need to keep a handle on things like total calories. Remember, all calories are NOT created equal, and they do matter at the end of the day.
3)You’re Not Eating Enough Protein I see this so often with women - myself included! More often than I care to share! The average female who can’t lose fat usually eats a bowl of oatmeal or cereal for breakfast. Sometimes she might eat an egg. But only one egg. For lunch she might have a salad, maybe with a little turkey. Dinner might be another salad and a little chicken or fish. She's trying to eat clean and healthy, so what's the problem?
Let’s assume she weighs 135 pounds. Most experts would agree that she would need to consume at least 100 grams of protein per day, if not a gram per pound, which would equal 135 grams.
Each ounce of protein is around 6-7 grams of protein. So in this example she had 36-40 or so grams combined with lunch and dinner plus the six grams from the egg. So that’s a total of 42 grams, which falls just a wee bit shy of where she needs to be.
We women get really crazy when we are told to eat more than six ounces of protein at a time. However, if you break down the numbers for them and reveal just how many calories they’re eating it should make more sense. Folks who who eat a sufficient amount of protein usually end up having an easier time losing fat and getting lean than those who don’t. Therefore, we all need to make sure we are getting enough protein. If you are, you will also be less hungry as it makes you feel full longer.
4) Your Body/Liver is Over Stressed This is usually the last thing people think of when trying to lose fat but it is awfully important. Everything that goes into or on our body has to be processed by the liver. Hmmm. That's a lot of work. That means all food, alcohol, lotions, environmental pollutants, everything.. If you are constantly exposing yourself to this kind of stuff and overstressing the liver, fat loss will be much more difficult to come by. If you are really serious, try cutting out the alcohol (at least for a bit or at least limiting it!) stop eating grain-fed, chemical laden meat and processed foods. You will give the liver a break and you will find your rate of fat loss is faster.
5) You’re Eating Nuts Don't get me wrong. I love nuts. I have almonds just about every day around 4 pm. If there is a bowl of cashews within reach I'll inhale the whole bowl. These are healthy fats, right? Yes, that's right, but they also have loads of calories. They are very calorie dense so just keep that in mind as you munch. Ten to twelve almonds is about all you should have. You’re better off filling up on nutritionally dense foods that don’t pack a lot of calories, like green vegetables.
6) You’re Eating Too Much Fruit “What?! You’re telling people not to eat fruit!? Everyone knows that it’s impossible to get fat from eating too much fruit!”
Apparently, in our hunter gatherer days fruit was nothing like what you see in the supermarket today. I wasn't around back then so I can't swear to that, but it does make sense knowing how we have engineered most things to mess them up. Back then, berries were small, dark and bitter; not the huge sugar sacks most people consume these days. I'm not saying to NOT eat fruit. It is healthy and should be eaten in limited amounts. It still has sugar and there is some science behind this. Simply put, an excessive amount of fructose (a sugar found in fruit) consumption will lead to fat gain. Fructose can only be processed by the liver and once liver glycogen stores are full the excess gets converted to triglycerides and stored as body-fat. So, if your goal is to lose fat, you will want to limit fruit for a while or limit it to one or two servings per day. Just be sure to really up the vegetable consumption so you can keep your getting the nutrients you need.
7) You’re Not Lifting Weights When you want to lose body-fat the first inclination is often to crank up the cardio and go all out every day with crazy cardio. You need to lift weights! When dieting, the primary role of strength training is to maintain muscle mass. If you have muscle, you surely don't want to lose it! If you don't have any, you should get some! Muscle burns more calories than fat and makes sure your body burns all day long! Get some muscle girls!
8) You’re Overdoing Cardio Long, slow, steady cardio intervals are useless for fat loss. On the science end, studies show that excessive amounts of cardio lead to an overproduction of cortisol which leads to more abdominal fat and numerous health problems. That's why HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is so good for you! No slow and steady cardio! Intense, short intervals that make you work hard, get your heart rate up, followed by a recovery period and the best and most effecient method for fat loss. A simple search will show the mounds of research on this. It works!
9) You’re Not Getting Enough Sleep I've talked about this in the past and studies show that lack of sleep leads to weight gain. Yuck! When you’re short on sleep your insulin sensitivity decreases and your cortisol goes up. Both things lead to less than optimal fat loss. You also miss out on the critically important Growth Hormone boost that comes each night during deep sleep. If you want to lose more fat you have to get more sleep. Lots of folks will ignore this tip and might be reading this at midnight. However, this might actually be the most important thing on this list! More sleep improves EVERYTHING. Make it a priority.
Just looking over these things listed, it all seems pretty easy, doesn't it? If that were the case the diet industry wouldn't be a billion dollar business! It takes work, dedication and patience. Entirely worth it, I say!
Enjoy your Weekend!
I'll be heading out of town to take my mother to a real small town family reunion. I can only imagine the foods that will be there! Lots of butter, sauces, fried chicken, the works.
What are your weekend plans? Any healthy plans?
By the way, this was delivered in front of my house this week. A big project moving it all to the back yard. Wonder how many calories will be burned moving all these woodchips?