On Monday, in a span of about 2 hours, while riding in a taxi cab across town and then waiting in my chiropractor’s office, I read “Why We Get Fat”. It’s a very good book, and I agree with most of the content.
Two things I didn’t agree with:
A) I think the author goes overboard with his recommendations on avoiding fruit (all the science I’ve read has found that eating more fruit leads to weight loss, not weight gain).
B) The author lays the blame heavily on genetics, BUT I’ve watched too many folks from all types of backgrounds lose ridiculous amounts of fat to believe that genetics is as big of a problem as the author believes. Genetics are a factor in where you store fat, sure, but you CAN beat bad genes.
On the bright side, I agree with the major rules he sets out for fat loss.
So let’s take a look at the top 5 #1 rules for your fat loss diet:
#1 Rule #1 – Avoid all liquid calories.
Stop drinking soda, juice, high-calorie coffees, high-sugar post-workout drinks marketed to you as mandatory for results (they aren’t), sports drinks, and energy drinks.
When you drink calories, your body says, “Oh, yummy! But I’m still not full in my tummy. Must have more foodz too! Yayz!”
And then you overeat calories, adding to the excess calories and sugar from your liquids, and then your belly fat piles on and gets stuck to you like peanut butter on Bally’s nose when he licks an empty jar of peanut butter clean.
#1 Rule #2 – Avoid eating added sugar and white flour.
This will help you lose fat and avoid cancer. The author of “Why We Get Fat” believes that the #1 reason ANY diet works is because they help users avoid fattening carbohydrates (such as sugar, candy, liquid calories, and processed carbohydrates). No matter what “extreme diet” you are into, I think that’s pretty easy to agree with.
And that’s why I also believe that almost EVERY diet out there will work for someone, and that’s why you must continue to look for the diet that works for YOU.
Listen, I’ve read both ends of the spectrum.
I’ve read “The China Study” and I’ve read about “Paleo Diets”, and I don’t believe you have to go to either extreme.
You don’t need to give up all meat, and you don’t need to give up all grains.
The commonality that both of these “diet factions” can agree on is that excess sugar, processed carbs, and liquid calories are a BAD, BAD, BAD idea.
It’s that simple.
Avoid added sugar, processed carbs, and liquid calories and that way you’ll keep your insulin levels lower and that will help fight fat storage and will promote fat burning.
Soooooo simple. It really is. Still not convinced? Next rule:
#1 Rule #3 – Avoid eating carbohydrate rich foods that are easy to eat in massive quantities.
The author recommends avoiding the following foods if you want to lose fat, and while it is very restrictive, I tend to agree because it is really easy to over-consume these:
– liquid calories
These are easy to agree with…not a lot of room for these in a fat loss program.
And the following foods are more controversial (but again, are the recommendation of the author):
– cereal grains
NOTE: Yes, you can get lean and stay lean with these in your diet. In fact, I eat a few of these foods on a weekly basis, but I know they are really easy to overeat…so that’s why I stick to the next rule:
#1 Rule #4 – Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.
Now this rule was only quoted in this book, but it comes from my favorite nutrition book, “Food Rules”. So simple.
You don’t have to give up your favorite foods forever, you just need to stop making them a part of EVERY meal. Which brings me to my last point:
#1 Rule #5 – If you have it in the house, you’re going to eat it, so keep it out of your house. Period.
As I’ve said in the past, your kitchen doesn’t need to resemble a 7-11.
If your kids need treats, that’s fine. Have a SMALL bag of treats in the house.
I grew up in a house that had 5-10 cases of soda in the basement, plus 4-5 bags of chips (crisps for our UK friends),
3 boxes of ice cream in the freezer, and bags of candy all over the place.
That won’t help anyone lose fat.
I was able to stay lean, but it would be a lot easier if those foods weren’t there when I go home to visit my family.
On the other hand, here’s something that will help you lose fat if you have it in the house:
=> Delicious Recipes for a Fat Loss Diet <= Your fat loss cookbook
The great thing about that cookbook is that it doesn’t require you to make any extreme sacrifices. It’s common sense, and simple.
(Can you tell I like to keep it simple?)
Avoid the foods that cause us to get fat (liquid calories, sugar, processed carbohydrates) and eat real food – and delicious meals – that are prepared properly.
Diet beats exercise almost every time,
Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS, Certified Turbulence Trainer