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Fat Loss Tips



 1.            Remember that fat is less important than calories.
Fat has twice as many calories than protein and carbs do per volume (9 versus 4 per gram).  If you are going to cut something out of your diet, fat gives you the best bang for your buck.  Calories constitute the bottom-line number that will determine how much weight you gain or, in this case, lose.  To burn fat and shift the energy balance away from fat accumulation, you need to consume fewer calories than you expend.  One pound of body fat equals 3,500 calories, so if your goal is to lose 20 pounds, you need to create a deficit of 70,000 calories over time.

             Limit your intake of processed foods.
Over-processing of food removes vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, fiber, and other stuff that’s good for you and replaces them with fat and carbs like sugars.  As a result, they’ll be absorbed into your bloodstream rapid-fire.  High-glycemic-index carbs quickly lower blood sugar, making you feel hungry and tired.  If you are not a serious athlete needing to store those sugar calories for muscle fuel, you’ll put them into fat storage very quickly.  Whole grains, vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, and seeds are good carb foods that allow for time release into the bloodstream.

Processed foods identification:
 Most highly processed foods come in either a box or a bag and are often shrink-wrapped.
-  The ingredients label will probably read more like a high school chemistry assignment than something edible.
-  Processed foods don’t exist in nature.  To manufacture them, companies need to add things that would otherwise not be there.

3.            East smaller meals, but eat more frequently.
This doesn’t mean eating “more”.  Take what you currently ingest, and along with making the other recommended dietary adjustments, divide that consumption among five to seven meals a day.  The goal here is to keep your metabolism humming along, and to prevent the sort of intense hunger pangs that bring your willpower to its knees.  When you get overly hungry you tend to not be very selective and you feel like you need to eat quickly.  This causes you to outrace the “fullness” signal that would normally get transmitted to your stomach.

Excluding sleep, you should almost never go longer than 4 hours without eating.  Eating every 2½ to 3 hours is an even better interval.  When you eat consistently throughout the day, your muscles will have plenty of fuel for exercise no matter what time of day.  Eating at shorter intervals will also help flatten excessive rises and dips in your blood sugar.  In addition, you burn calories every time you eat and digest food, so grazing, as it’s called, helps you chisel off a few extra calories versus consuming the same amount of food in larger, less frequent chunks.

4.            Pump up your protein consumption.
You need protein to build the muscles that boost your metabolism.  When you restrict calories, your body will seek out protein to meet those energy demands unmet by carbs and fat.  This process reduces the amount of protein available for muscle building.  This effect will be magnified if your calorie restriction targets carbs especially (which is why super-low-carbohydrate diets aren’t the way to go).  To provide an adequate amount of protein for all of the body’s important functions, you need to consume more protein.  How much depends on the source of the calorie deficit and the diet plan that you are following.  If you don’t exercise but you’re cutting calories in an attempt to lose weight, you need to eat about 60 percent more protein than someone who’s not trying to lose weight.

Vegetarians need to eat even more.  Vegetarians also need more protein when their dieting.  The plan protein on which they rely are considered lower-quality proteins because they’re less complete than animal proteins.  Except for soy, all plant proteins lack adequate levels of at least one amino acid, and as a result, they must be combined with complementary plant proteins.  All else being equal, vegetarians should consume up to 10 percent more protein than meat eaters should.

5.            Trade Fatty protein for lean.
In addition to helping build muscle, lean protein (egg whites, chicken, turkey, lean red meat) helps stoke the fat-burning fires – its thermogenic effect is 20 to 30 percent, compared with an anemic 3 to 12 percent for carbs.  If you don’t have a blender and some protein powder already, buy them.  When you crave a cheeseburger, fried chicken, or something else loaded with saturated fat, reach for a protein shake instead.

            Try to spread your protein consumption throughout the day.
To capitalize on the fat-burning impact of high-protein foods, consume them frequently throughout the day.  This allows for the most efficient absorption of protein and helps maintain high levels of internal energy production to promote weight loss.

            Control your portions by emphasizing low-energy-density foods.
In studies of people that have successfully achieved and then maintained weight loss, two prerequisites recur:  on the expenditure side, exercise; and on the consumption side, portion control.  To control your portion sizes, favor foods that are low in something called energy density.  The term refers to calories per gram, and the higher the energy density, the easier it is to overeat – more calories are packed into a smaller portion.  Lower energy-density foods include things like fruits and vegetables; higher-energy-density foods tend to be high in fat and sugar.  (Energy density is different from nutrient density; vegetables, for example, have a low energy density but a high nutrient density.)

            Don’t be an extremist concerning fats and carbs.
Carbs provide the majority of the fuel for your workouts. If you cut carbs to the point where you can no longer sustain the desired intensity of your workouts – which is exactly what would happen if you followed some of those ultra-low-carb diets that are all the rage now – you’ll be shooting yourself in the foot. 

Eat mixed meals at the end of the day, your diet will be balanced, which is what you’re after.  Eating protein, fat, or both with carbs slows the latter’s absorption, preventing your blood sugar and insulin from going on roller coaster rides.  If you have a bagel for breakfast, for example, find one with some whole grain in it or some seeds on top, and spread some all-natural peanut butter on it.

            Reduce your liquid calories.
People can hardly eat anything, and still be fat.  The calories in sodas and fruit juices – not to mention beer – add up quickly, often more quickly than most people realize.  Liquid calories reach well beyond beverages, however.  Salad dressings, sauces, and spreads account for more unconscious calorie consumption.

Your goal, then, should be to replace soft drinks with water, limit your intake of fruit juices, replace dressings with low-fat versions or something else entirely, and forego sweeteners altogether.  Just switching from a regular 12-ounce Coke to the diet version can make a huge difference calorie-wise.  A person who drinks 10 Cokes a week can save 1,000 calories during that period just by switching to 5 regulars and 5 diets.  That’s one-third of a pound right there.  Don’t booze it up, either.  Drinking alcohol is a surefire way to add inches to your waist.  Study after study has correlated increasing alcohol consumption with increasing waist measurements in men and women.

       Water yourself.
Water is a key component of weight management.  Most people who have managed to lose weight successfully – meaning once off, the fat stayed off – will tell you that they used water as an appetite suppressant.  Some behavior-modification studies for weight loss list drinking water among the 10 best strategies.

Water does more than just make you feel full, however.  As a healthy, non-caloric beverage, it provides a great alternative to the two or three cans of soda a day that many people drink.  That’s a great way to excise a couple hundred empty calories out of your diet.

Water also flushes out your internal systems.  Most environmental contaminants are fat soluble, so, the reasoning goes, even when they enter the human body, they’re benign.  They just go into fat cells and sit there.  On a weight-loss diet, however, you’re mobilizing those fat stores and marching them into your bloodstream, where they need to go before being passed out of the body.  The toxins reentering your bloodstream may have been sitting in storage, dormant, for a decade or more.  Some of them – DDT and PCBs, for example – may actually slow your metabolism.  You want to flush these out ASAP, and water is the key to doing just that.

When your body is well hydrated, it also helps your kidneys and liver go full tilt in processing fat and other toxins.  In contrast, when you’re dehydrated, your liver has to work overtime to help the kidneys with detoxification, diminishing its ability to remove fat.  Finally, when you drink plenty of water, your cells stay well hydrated, and cells that are well hydrated – or volumized – promote more-efficient and more-effective protein metabolism.  Because you’re trying to build muscle while you  lose fat, the last thing you want to do is slow down protein metabolism.

11.       Eat more fiber.
Eating 30 to 40 grams daily will keep you feeling fuller longer than you would otherwise.  Not only does fiber occupy a lot of room in your stomach, but water-soluble fiber, the type found in oatmeal, apples, and beans, also absorbs some fat from your digestive tract, moving it through your system quickly enough to diminish you body’s ability to digest fat.

Along with fibrous vegetables, good fiber sources include whole-grain breads, Shredded Wheat and Kashi cereals (among others), fruits, and vegetables such as soybeans.  Try something as simple as eating an orange rather than drinking a glass of orange juice.  There’s a big difference in the way they’re metabolized and it will take longer to digest.

12.       Consume starchy carbs earlier in the day, and water-rich carbs later.
Your insulin sensitivity is highest in the morning.  There appears to be a circadian rhythm to the way your body secretes insulin, and rates of insulin secretion fall around 6:00 p.m.  At this point, your body becomes less capable of handling carbohydrates as efficiently.  Eat the breads, rice, oatmeal, potatoes, and other starchy complex cars early in the day.  Later in the day, begin to favor low-calorie vegetables, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, broccoli, peppers, mushrooms, spinach, lettuce, and other so-called wet-carb sources.  You can probably save a few calories from fat storage every day simply by giving your body different types of carbs at the times it can handle them most efficiently.

       Pull yourself together.
Your lifestyle has to be compatible with fat loss.  For example, if you don’t exercise, your dietary changes will produce limited results at best.  Getting enough sleep is a huge success factor in weight loss.  Shortchanging it will slow your metabolism.  Elevated stress is a problem, too, as it will stoke the release of the catabolic hormone cortisol.  Marijuana and cocaine will depress your testosterone levels.  All of the above will conspire to make your body lose muscle and store nutrients as fat.  You must complement your food plan with a weight-loss-friendly life plan.

14.       Reduce the amount of fast food you eat.
An average fast food bacon double cheeseburger will contribute 900 calories and 49 grams of fat along with about 49 grams of protein.  The average powder shake will give you the same amount of protein with 300 calories and a stingy 2.5 fat grams.  If you want to lose body fat, you don’t necessarily have to go cold turkey with fast food, but you do have to cut way back.  There are a few strategies in doing this.  One is to eat your regular meal (ie. Quarter pounder with cheese and fries) but dropping the frequency of your visits in half.  Another way would be to change your meal from a double whopper with cheese to a grilled chicken sandwich.  Brown-bagging your lunch a few days rather than dining out can take you from a 1,000 calorie lunch to one containing only 400.

       Eat slower.
Overweight people almost always eat so fast that they outrace their body’s fullness signals.  They shove in a whole bunch of calories before their brain registers that they’ve eaten.  You can slow yourself down by concentrating on what you are doing: eating.  That means, at least until you get the hang of chewing and tasting your food, do nothing else while you eat – no television, newspapers, internet, or report writing.

       Eat fish often.
In studies of successful dieters, one of the most common denominators, usually ranking in the top 5 factors, is eating more fish.  For many years, nutritionists assumed you lost weight when you ate fish because it has fewer calories than read meat does.  Now, however, it appears that reasons go above and beyond calories.  The type of fat found in fish appears to enhance the efficiency of the hormone leptin.  Eating a daily meal of fatty fish like salmon, halibut, or shellfish may help decrease the size of fat cells and assist with fat loss.

       Stick to the low end of the glycemic index.
Carbs are all categorized according to a sliding scale, the glycemic index (GI).  This index ranks each carbohydrate according to how quickly the body converts it to glucose and shuttles it into your bloodstream.  The higher the number, the faster your body converts that food to glucose.  You can find a good, user-friendly list of the glycemic index of foods on the internet at www.glycemicindex.com.

These numbers are not etched in stone, partly because human digestion varies by individual.  Also, digestion speed of any carbohydrate is affected by what it is being digested with.  Fiber, protein, and fat all tend to slow digestion and you can forget gaining many benefits if you stuff yourself with any carb, even low-GI ones.  Diets containing largely low-GI foods promote fat loss better than those loaded with high-GI foods.

       Switch from saturated and hydrogenated fats to monounsaturated fats.
The kinds of fat you eat can influence your energy expenditure and body weight.  Energy is released through heat production in a process called non-shivering thermogenesis, which is controlled by uncoupling proteins (UCP) in the cells of brown fat, white fat, and muscle.  Researchers have found that olive oil, which is high in monounsaturated fats, increased the activity of the UCPs, and hence of metabolic rates.  There is speculation that because UCPs are found in the muscle of humans, this may pose a promising new area in obesity research.

Fat loss comes down to 50 percent training, 50 percent nutrition.  You will not achieve the results that you want unless you exercise.  If you are sedentary and you cut calories, you’ll start to lose more muscle than you want, your metabolic rate will dip, and you’ll be burning fewer calories, which will force you to cut calories even more.  As you get thinner, you’ll actually be getting less toned and flabbier.  The minute you add back calories, you’re going to get fat again – make that fatter.

       Avoid the fat-free and carb-free trap.
That snack foods and packaged cookies and cakes that are promoted as fat-free and carb-free and that come in strange colors and strange shapes are highly engineered foods.  They may be fat-free thanks to Olestra and other fat replacements, but they’re chock-full of chemicals.  The low-carb and carb-free products are just as high in calories, due to added fat and carb replacements.  They’ve been taken apart and reassembled and the finished products are often so unnatural that they are difficult to call food. 

In addition to all the added chemicals, these fat-free and reduced-fat products are often still quite high in carbohydrates because companies replace some of the fat with sugar.  Many times these products will taste bad, and after you’ve eaten them, you still won’t feel satisfied causing you to go eat something else.

What you end up with are chemical-laden products with virtually the same number of calories as the products they’re replacing.  However, they’re probably even higher in carbohydrates, which likely affects your fat-loss diet more negatively than the fat would have in the first place.  This is because your insulin levels spike, and the calories convert to fat, rather than being used as energy or stored as glycogen in your muscles.  When you eat fat and protein, your insulin levels barely change.  It’s better to take a single portion serving of the food that you really want rather than settle for its reduced-fat cousin.

There are a few exceptions to this rule.  Examples include selected reduced-fat nonprocessed foods such as low-fat or fat-free yogurt, cream cheese, and milk, where the manufacturer has skimmed off some or all of that fat but left the underlying product essentially intact.  Baked chips rather than fried chips are also good… but don’t eat the whole bag.

21.  Wean yourself off of foods that contain high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS).
To shed fat, you must wean yourself off foods that contain an additive called high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS).  Far more insidious than reduced-fat foods is the rise of HFCS, a sweetener manufactured from cornstarch.  Although corn syrups contain varying proportions of glucose and other simple sugars, HFCS starts out with a high proportion of glucose, which is then treated with an enzyme that converts part of that glucose to fructose, which is much sweeter. The result of this process is a very inexpensive replacement for traditional cane sugar.  The HFCS found in beverages contains about 55 percent fructose, and the HFCS in some food products may contain up to 90 percent fructose.

The major source of HFCS is soft drinks.  Two cans of soda daily is equal to 40 grams, or 160 calories, of fructose every day (because HFCS is 55 percent fructose) – good for just under 10 percent of a guys’s energy need.  Some recent research has theorized that fructose in the form of the ingredient HFCS may be primarily responsible for the epidemic of obesity and abnormalities seen as part of an insulin resistance syndrome, known as Syndrome X.

The problem is the way the human body metabolizes fructose.  The body prefers to turn glucose into energy or store it as glycogen, the fuel in muscle cells.  Not so with fructose, which the body metabolizes in the liver and prefers to turn into fat.  Studies have shown that although ingesting fructose increases the rate of fat production, ingesting the same number of calories of glucose does not cause the same response.  Not only does fructose turn into fat, it also shuts down the mechanisms your body has for preventing fat accumulation.



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