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Fat Loss NutritionNutrition

As mentioned before, fat loss nutrition involves providing the nutrients to keep the body out of starvation mode while maintaining a shortage of calories to force the body to go into its fat stores for the energy to drive the Krebs cycle. These nutrients come in 6 major classes which are: Carbohydrates, Protein, Essential Fats,Water, Fiber and Micronutrients. These are all needed for good health. As a result, any diet which deprives us of any of these is dysfunctional. In addition, here are some nutritional concepts which form the foundation of a healthy fat loss and fitness program:

Carbohydrates are the only long term source of fuel for the brain, nervous system, kidneys, and red blood cells.

We need about 130 to 150 grams of carbohydrates per day or the body will cannibalize its muscle for the protein to make carbohydrates for feeding the brain and other organs.

Whenever the body cannibalizes protein, it makes toxic byproducts such as ammonia and uric acid which can overwork the liver and kidneys.

Protein is needed for tissue repair, enzymes and many other functions, but it makes a poor energy source because of the toxic byproducts created.

When protein is eaten with carbohydrates, it will slow the rate at which carbohydrates are absorbed into the bloodstream.

When most fats are eaten, the body will store them as fat first then burn the stored fat as needed. This is different from carbohydrates or protein which the body will try to use for metabolic functions first before converting the remainder to fat.

Omega 3 and omega 6 fats are needed for some cellular functions due to the special shape of their molecular structure.

Fiber fills us up without adding any calories, slows food absorption, and keeps us regular.

Water is needed for functions in every cell and more is needed if we exercise regularly.

Once your body gets the maximum requirement of a caloric nutrient (carbohydrates, protein, or fats), any additional amount of that nutrient becomes empty calories.

Practical Nutrition For Fat Loss

We should eat about six times per day using a combination of meals and snacks. Ideally, a meal should combine a whole food carb source with a lean protein source and extra fiber. Because fats are absorbed and metabolized differently from carbohydrates or protein, the omega 3 and omega 6 fats could be taken in small amounts with each meal, or in one meal while keeping the other meals very lean. Also, in a pinch, the source of extra fiber may occasionally be omitted if the carb source is high enough in fiber. The Healthy Foods List is a useful tool for meal planning and grocery shopping. However, before you use it, make sure that you cross out all foods that you dislike or otherwise find offensive.

Examples of good meals include:

Grilled chicken (protein), brown rice (carbohydrates), steamed broccoli (extra fiber)

Oatmeal made with skim milk (carbohydrates +protein), walnuts (omega 3 +omega 6 fats), grapes (extra fiber)

Baked Salmon (protein + omega 3 and omega 6 fats provided it is not overdone), sweet potato (carbohydrates), mixed vegetables (extra fiber)

Omelet made with 3 egg whites and 1 whole egg (protein), Whole wheat toast with fruit preserves (carbohydrates), orange (extra fiber)

A snack is simply a meal of convenience. This means that if itís a snack, then you shouldnít have to drive long distances to buy it or cook for long hours to fix it. Other than that, a good quality snack has the same nutrient requirements as a good quality meal. This makes snacks very useful, especially if you are a busy person and donít have much time to spend cooking.

Examples of good snacks include:

Low fat cottage cheese (protein), raisins (carbohydrates + extra fiber).

Protein shake with a banana (protein + carbohydrates), strawberries (extra fiber).

Leftovers from a healthy meal that was prepared earlier

Because these meals and snacks are eaten about 6 times per day, the portion sizes should be relatively small. A good portion size for a carb source is about three quarter the size of your fist while a good size for a solid protein source is about the size of your palm minus the fingers. Either case, the total size of your meal should not be too big to fit into both of your hands cupped together. When you eat like this, you are likely to feel full all of the time (which helps to reduce cravings). However, if you feel too full, reduce the portions instead of skipping meals.

One of the key points to note is that eating a zero or near zero calorie meal (such as a garden salad) on an empty stomach is functionally the same as skipping a meal. If you have it with salad dressing, then it is the same as having a few tablespoons of grease for a meal. Also, having a garden salad with meat is essentially an Atkins style meal after which you are likely to crave candy later on. Basically, although garden salads can be good when eaten with meals if they are not drowned, they donít make good meals by themselves. Also, some (but certainly not all) soups are overrated especially cream of (anything) soups which are mostly empty calories.

Because most people donít like their food to be bland and tasteless, I recommend seasoning your food. The reason is because most people who donít season their food end up drowning them with excess grease or sugar in the form of butter, mayonnaise, sour cream, oil, syrup etc. Although small amounts of butter, mayonnaise or sour cream is okay, if your food is smothered in it or is visibly oily, then your food is drowned. Also, deep frying anything qualifies as drowning it.

The first step to eating properly is having the right foods readily available to eat. This means that the person who acquires your food for you will dictate how well you eat. If the person who does the grocery shopping for your household is a junk food junkie, then you will need to either take an active role in the grocery shopping or do some grocery shopping of your own if you intend to succeed in any fat loss program. Also, you should have healthy foods readily available whenever you are likely to be hungry even if it means packing food to take with you wherever you go. If you donít, then you will either go hungry for an extended period or eat whatever junk is available. This is because these bad choices are the only choices you will have. This rule is so important that even people on excellent fat loss programs will be doomed to failure if they continually break it.

Another important rule is to enjoy occasional treats but donít stockpile junk food at home. This means taking 1 day per week to eat whatever you wish provided you donít overdo it. This is important because fitness is a lifestyle which means it should be sustainable indefinitely and it would be unrealistic to never enjoy a treat ever again. However, stockpiling junk food would be like trying to quit smoking while collecting cigarettes. If you are to have a treat, then go out for the treat. If you are having a party or other special occasion, then give away or throw away the leftover junk food. Not only will this technique make a fat loss program more effective and enjoyable, it will also make your special occasions that much more special.


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