Friday, December 27, 2013

The 10 New Rules Of A Fat Loss Diet (Part 2)

Let's continue with the second half of the 10 NEW Rules of a Fat Loss Diet, sharing rules 6-10.   

These 5 will be shorter, and easier to digest.  :) 

But also remember, we're giving you the big picture right now.   We will be breaking these down over the next few weeks, and they will soon be second nature to you. 

As we continue …

Rule 6: Don't let perfect be the enemy of good

This is a really important rule. The crazy notion that we have to eat organic kale and wild Alaskan salmon from Whole Foods to burn fat is just, well, CRAZY!  The truth is fat loss can happen anywhere. Don't let perfect be the enemy of good. There are plenty of conveniently packaged protein bars and shakes that may not be ideal, but serve as functional foods that can quickly decrease cravings, stabilize energy, and blunt hunger (see Rule 7). While real food is always best, use these as needed when you're in a pinch.  Just don't rely on them 24/7.

Rule 7: Learn the HEC Label Rule

Packaged foods are very difficult to decipher these days.  Will they throw your HEC out of check and make you store fat?  If you subtract the fiber and protein from the total carbohydrates on a label, the total should equal ten or less. The lower the number the better. In addition, the fat content should be less than 10. If not, this food will not be effective at helping you manage your fat loss goals. This is the art of fat loss eating at its best and a down and dirty quick trick that works fantastically.

Rule 8: Stop being a dieter and start being a detective

Be a detective not a dieter: To discover your fat loss formula, you need to know how to read the signals of your body and adjust your approach.  Hunger, energy, and cravings give you a reliable source of biofeedback. Correct these sensations first and then you are in a position to see lasting change. Resist the temptation to look for off the shelf "plans". There is no one way, there is only your way for YOUR body.  Work to create a program following these guidelines, but based on YOUR uniqueness.  Over the coming weeks we'll help you discover your own fat loss formula!

Rule 9: Know your buffer and trigger foods.

One of the key understandings in this lifestyle is  "trigger foods" and "buffer foods".  Both are important concepts to learn in deciphering the metabolic fat loss formula unique to every individual. Trigger foods are foods that trigger hunger, cravings, or energy fluctuations leading to compensatory eating and/or simply a slow down in fat loss. Buffer foods are foods that can be used periodically through the day or week to help stave off compensatory reactions. Unlike trigger foods, buffer foods have the ability to balance the metabolism and work for a person rather than against them. Buffer foods are far more broad and can simply be something that is psychologically pleasing (for example, having 2 squares of dark chocolate in the afternoon to avoid craving candy or pizza later).

Rule 10: What you do, or don't do, impacts what you eat, or don't eat

Exercise impacts hunger and cravings. Certain forms of exercise make you more hungry while others have less of an effect. Sleep and stress too. They don't contain calories and you can't eat them, but they dramatically impact HEC and fat loss or gain. Living the fat loss lifestyle means being acutely aware of how your actions are impacting your eating.  For example, a twenty something male athlete trying to gain muscle can eat a few doughnuts post-workout and may be just fine. A 55 year old post-menopausal female likely needs to do things differently.  Continue to understand and refine how your lifestyle intersects with your unique metabolic needs, psychology, and personal preferences.

Rule 11: The Bonus Rule: DO WHAT WORKS FOR YOU.

There really is only one rule we believe truly works: DO WHAT WORKS FOR YOU! These rules are guidelines, not laws. Their intention is to guide you. They come from both clinical and practical experience working with thousands of people from all walks of life - young, old, obese, fit, and elite athletes.  But at the end of the day, the best rules for fat loss are the ones you create for yourself, through an understanding of your unique metabolic expression, psychological sensitivities, and personal preferences.

That's it for now ...

Your friend in fitness,

Brian Calkins
NSCA-CPT, ACE

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