In the last article in this series, I explored the pros and cons of a low calorie diet, and now we’re gonna talk about what to eat to loose weight. (I purposely misspelled “loose” because that’s the way a lot of people who send me emails asking this question spell it, haha )
The Quality of What You Eat Is Real Important
First thing to understand is that your food quality has a lot to do with how your body is going to look. I’ve already explained how pretty much any food that comes in a box, bag or is processed is pretty much useless crap as far as your body is concerned.
You’ll get more benefit if you only stick to as close as natural whole foods from many different sources. Meats, dairies, vegetables, and a couple good carb sources. By “good” I mean as little processed as possible and as varied as possible and not too much.
I’m Not a Fanatic Either Way But…
Here’s the thing: I’m not one of those low carb fanatics, but I’m telling you: cutting down on your amount of carbs is going to help you maintain your “ideal weight”… or if you’re actively trying to lose weight… make it a LOT easier.
Alwyn Crosgrove is a big-time personal trainer and respected fat loss expert, and he also says:
“Reduced-carb diets seem to outperform any other dietary manipulation. Yes, I know that you can get lean just cutting calories, but cutting calories from carbs, and particularly refined carbs, seems to make compliance easier.”
So don’t argue with me, don’t try to hang me up on a tree for being an “atkins fanatic” but it works for me and it appears that…
Focusing on Protein Is Great For Having a Lean, Sexy Body!
It just makes things easier. There ARE good carbs, but it just makes things easier to focus on a low carb lifestyle. Personally, I think the advice to “eat like a caveman” is the best, no-nonsense advice to eating well there is.
- Cavemen at nuts, berries a seeds a lot throughout the days as they wondered around (“good carbs” and fiber)
- Did intermittent fasting (because they were hunting without a big meal for a day or so) then…
- Ate a lot of protein when they finally killed themselves a mastadon or something awesome like that! Then they had their fill of fresh meat and repeated the process once they ate up all the animal…
There’s Another BIG Benefit To Focusing on Protein (and it’s not the protein)
Despite everyone telling you that eating fat makes you fat, it’s just not true. In fact, if you focus on eating a lot of fatty, high protein meats you’ll drop weight almost effortlessly. Why? Here’s just a few reasons…
- Fat makes you full, so you eat less calories overall.
- Fat is necessary for hormones like testosterone, etc to be created…
- Fat is full of energy, and if you can get your body to start using fat as it’s primary energy source, then you’ve stopped it from eating your muscle tissue as energy when you cut calories on diets…
In fact, the Anabolic Diet is based on teaching your body how to stop being reliant on carbohydrates for energy, but to start using dietary fat… and eventually… body fat as your primary energy source. And eating a lot of red meat and high protein foods will switch you over to this higher fat, higher protein, lower carb ratios that makes losing body fat easy.
Shocking Prison Study Reveals Best Fat Burning Foods
(Note: I ripped the info here on these studies from Tim Ferriss’ blog – not to steal — but I just wanted the basic info from that post here to make my point – go read the full post on his blog if you want more complete info or just want to read a great blog)
In 1944 Ancel Keys, Ph.D., decided to undertake a long-term study of starvation. Key’s recruited 36 young male volunteers from the cadre of the conscientious objectors. These were healthy, normal weight men,and the subjects came to the University of Minnesota where they were housed underneath the football stadium for the course of the study. They were basically kept under lock and key for the study so that Keys and his colleagues could ensure compliance. At the start of the experiment the men were fed sumptuously for the first 12 weeks (about 3,200 calories over 3 meals per day).
A full-time cook, two assistants and a dietitian monitored the food intake to the smallest fraction. during this lead-in phase the men ate well. Then they cut rations to only two meals per day at 8:30am and 5:00pm. From the book on this,
“The meals were designed to approximate the food available in European famine areas, with a heavy emphasis on potatoes, cabbage, and whole wheat bread. Meat was provided in quantities so small that most men would swear in later years that none was included at all.”
The first photo was taken a couple of years prior to the start of the study, the second is with about a month shy of the end of the experiment (this is from the book, and all the photos of all the subjects are similar to this):
This apparently went psycho enough from the semi-starvation that he chopped off several fingers of his left hand a month or so after the bottom picture was taken.
For the analtyicals out there: macronutrients were (daily): protein 100 gm, fat 30 gm, and carbohydrate 225 gm. In percentages, 25.5% protein, 17.2% fat and 57.3% carbohydrate. Average calories: 1570 calories per day.
25 Years Later…
In the late 1960s John Yudkin’s group at the University of London performed another study. They recruited 11 subjects aged 21-51 years for his study. He and his staff evaluated the regular diets of these 11 subjects over a two week period… then they were told to eat low carb via the following:
The instructions relating to the low carbohydrate diet were identical to those given to patients attending a hospital overweight clinic under our supervision. Essentially, the subjects were asked to take between 10 and 20 oz milk daily (about 300-600 ml), and as much meat, fish, eggs, cheese, butter, margarine, cream and leafy vegetables as they wished. The amount of carbohydrate in other food was listed in “units” with each unit consisting of 5 g carbohydrate; the subjects were told to limit these foods to not more than 10 units (or 50 g) carbohydrate daily.
As the low-carb portion of the study was progressing, Yudkin and his staff evaluated not only the intake of these subjects, but their mental status as well.
In conformity with our experience with this diet during the last 15 years, none of our subjects complained of hunger or any other ill effects; on the other hand, several volunteered statements to the effect that they had increased feeling of well-being and decreased lassitude. The average intake of calories and of protein, fat, and carbohydrate for the 11 subjects…were remarkably similar to those obtained for the six subjects of the previous study. [Yudkin had published a study in The Lancet in 1960 looking at the caloric and macronutrient intake of subjects on low-carb diets.]
Analytics: macronutrient profile was 83 grams of protein, 105 grams of fat and 67 grams of carbohydrate. Percentages: 21.3% protein, 60.6% fat and 17.1% carbohydrate. The energy intake was 1560 calories per day, almost exactly the same as the Keys study.
These people were not told to restrict their food. They were given all the food they wanted to eat. They weren’t forced to drop their calories to 1560 per day – they did it spontaneously because they had eaten until satisfied.
The only major difference between these two studies was that the second study, the group ate a diet really high in fat and not carbohydrates (about the same protein in both studies). Focusing on eating as much of the food groups that naturally were high in proteins and fats, and eating till they were full, the subjects naturally dropped calories, lost weight and felt better overall.
So What Should You Do?
Focus on eating high fat and high protein, minimal carbs except for “good carbs” like vegetables, leafy green stuff, nuts berries, etc like the Paleo diet lifestyle and above all try to make sure everything you’re eating is as close to the “whole natural food” category as possible.
So now you know WHAT to eat and next, I’ll cover exactly HOW to eat for maximum fat loss so you look lean, sexy and awesome year round without even trying. Until then I hope you enjoyed this article on what to eat to “loose” weight.