Wow, what a title. ‘The Secret’
What is the secret?
Well actually there are a few secrets, which in fact, are not that secret at all.
If you’ve been reading my posts, newsletters or anything I’ve written in the past, you already know the secrets, but I’m going to go over them again anyway.
Secret Number 1
Water is secret number 1! What!! How boring is that. The truth is though, if your water intake is not adequate for you, you will never achieve your body composition or your performance goals. Every single process in your body, including fat loss relies on water to be done properly.
No special formula of calories, carbs, shakes, bars or anything will be successful if your body is dehydrated. So number one thing to do is DRINK MORE WATER.
How much? Around 2 litres per day for most women and perhaps a little more for most men.
Increase that amount if you’re training that day. Say by about another 750-1000ml per hour of training.
Increase it also if you’re in the heat or an air-conditioned/heated place most of the day. Perhaps add another 500-1000ml
Secret Number 2
Calories count! Well sort of anyway.
We all know that 2000 calories of chocolate or other sweets is not the same as 2000 calories of lean meat and vegetables.
Its ridiculous to even the uneducated that 2 diets such as these, would produce the same results. Yet, we are bombarded with diets and programs that insist we only need to count calories and that this is the only key to weight loss.
With a trillion software products on the internet to help us track calories, you’d think this would make a difference.
But calorie counting is not effective and doesn’t work long term for most people.
Not to mention that its tedious (even with clever software) and totally inaccurate anyway. A 100g apple today won’t have the same number of calories as a 100g apple picked tomorrow off the same tree.
Likewise with packaged products, where calorie counts on the nutrition labels are just estimates and averages. If you actually assessed 2 packets of the same product from different batches, neither may come up with the actual amount quoted on the label. And chances are, that they’ll both be different.
The quality of your food also counts possibly more than worrying how many calories it contains.
While the amount of energy (or calories) is important, the types of foods you eat are much more important. If you’re even thinking about counting calories, stop right now! If you choose real food choices, eat loads of veggies and salads and some lean meat, eggs or other lean ;protein source at each meal, you could do away with counting calories – at least until you’re very close to lean.
Secret Number 3
The types of foods you eat and the combinations you eat them in, are the most important part of food choices.
For instance, fruit is a really ‘healthy’ part of a diet. Its mostly rich in vitamins and minerals and contains fibre, all of which are essential to great results. But……….. fruit eaten on its own can be a disaster for fat loss.
When you eat, there is a rise in blood sugar. Insulin is then released by your body in order to lower that blood sugar and deliver the nutrients and energy to your body’s cells where its needed for all of your body’s functions. Insulin can also increase fat storage.
Foods higher in carbohydrates cause the biggest rise in blood sugar, insulin and the corresponding fat storage. You can lower this response however, by including a food high in protein and/or fats with the carbohydrate food. ( I know, this goes totally against the food combining diet popular some years ago)
Coming back to the fruit example; fruit is very high in carbohydrate (as well as all those goodies mentioned above) so eaten on its own, can increase fat storage via the increased insulin release. Combining it with some protein or fat, such as nuts, some meat, some greek yoghurt, etc, will decrease the insulin response and the fat storage along with it. It will also keep you fuller for longer because that big spike in insulin is usually followed shortly after by an increase in your hunger hormones.
So something as healthy as an apple can work with or against you in your fight against excess fat. Secret number 3 is possibly the most important secret of all. The correct combo of macro-nutrients (fats, carbs and protein) will give you a much better chance of success. And the combo has to be right for YOU.
You need to know about the amount of protein, carbohydrates and fats you should be eating as well as where those nutrients are coming from. You could live off shakes, bars and pills and hit your macro-nutrient targets, but you’d still be disappointed with your results.
Do you train?
Are you male or female?
How active are you outside of exercise?
How much body fat have you got to lose and how quickly do you want to lose it?
These are all questions you need to answer to determine the best combo and the best amounts of foods for you.
At FitterFaster, I determine all these figures for you.
From a base starting point, you choose the foods that you like best (within reason of course) and that you’re happy to eat. You’re given choices so that its something you can continue with long term, even beyond achieving your fat loss goals.
We factor in your activity, your gender and how much fat you want to lose and how quickly.
And just as important-how far do you want to go?
How much effort are you willing to put in?
Maybe you’ll be happy with a slower fat loss to have more choices?
Or maybe you want to go all out and achieve as quickly as possible.
My tips are:
- Drink enough water
- Eat real food. Get rid of processed junk
- In each meal or snack, include a carbohydrate food and a protein source
- In 2-3 meals per day, include a healthy fat choice
These 4 tips will get you heading in the right direction. After that, we tweak exact quantities for YOU