So what is it that most people want, but are unable to achieve?  Besides total clairvoyance and the occasional winning lottery number, I mean.  Weight loss.  How many times have you spoken to someone or BEEN someone who has said that they want to lose weight?  Well if so many people want it, why can so few achieve it?  The problem is that most people end up fighting themselves and sabotaging their efforts from the very beginning.  It is the common process that is flawed, and therefore most are doomed to fail before they cut calorie 1.  Here is the problem with traditional thinking.  Traditional thinking says that if I want to lose fat, then I have to cut fat from my diet.  Makes sense, right?  And diet product that you see is some variation of low-fat, no-fat, reduced fat, skim, etc.  The problem is that your body relies on fat.  And when we cut fat out of our diet, it has to be replaced with something.  Let me give you an example.  Take 2 legitimate breakfasts:

  1. Egg Burrito – 1 egg, ¼ onion, 2 Tbsp salsa, ¼ cup black beans and about ¼ cup of shredded cheese mixed in.  Put it in a tortilla and eat it.  Combine that with a 12 oz glass of 2% Chocolate milk to help it all go down.
    1. Nutritional info – 579 total calories
    2. 48% Carb/32% Fat/ 20% Protein
  2. 1 Toasted Bagel with non-fat cream cheese and a 16 oz Latte (that’s Grande for you starbuck’s people). Middle size.  Seems like your winner, right?
    1. Nutritional info – 510 total calories (so far, so good)
    2. 65% Carb/14% Fat/21% Protein

 

So what’s the difference?  Common thought would say that the second option is better.  Less total calories and less fat.  Wrong answer and here’s why.  Look at your nutrient ratios.  65% carbohydrate in #2 and only 48% in #1.  What that means is that that bagel and latte are going so spike your blood sugar and subsequently your insulin levels.  To the layman that means that your body has all this sugar to deal with and it’s got to do one of 2 things…burn it or store it.  No most people are not nearly active enough around breakfast to burn that much sugar, right?  We’re on our way to work and such.  So where is most of that going to go?  You got it, fat stores.  Now imagine if you ate that way all day long, as the ADA suggests?  They recommend that people get 55-65% of their daily calories from carbohydrates and we are more than happy to oblige.  Breads, pastas, snacks, etc.  The fact that most people are not NEARLY active enough to burn that off then leads to why we are still gaining weight in this country even though our overall fat intake in the last decade has gone down.  Fat isn’t the problem.  Fat is actually necessary for those trying to lose weight.  Now before you look at me cross-eyed and check my credentials hear me out.  Fat slows the digestive process.  It buffers the sugar, for lack of a better term.  Therefore, that sugar doesn’t get into your bloodstream as quickly.  Think of it more as a slow-release as opposed to a total dump.  Now, since your body is not seeing as much sugar at any one time, guess what happens?  Over the course of the day, more is used and less is stored.  Leading to…you guessed it, weight loss.  Add to that the fact that since fat slows the digestive process, you will not be as hungry as quickly.  In example #2, those 510 calories are going to go fast and you are going to be hungry again within an hour or so.  So you eat again, right?  Example #1 will help sustain and satisfy you longer so that you don’t want to eat again until lunch-ish.  Leading you to eat fewer total calories over the course of the whole day.  So as you can see, fat is not the enemy.  Over-indulgence in processed sugars and simple carbohydrates are.  So if you’re looking to lose weight (like most of the country is), don’t cut out the facilitator.  Embrace good fats in your diet.  And it won’t lead to heart disease, either, so don’t worry about it.  Plus, foods with fat in them are delicious.  What ISN’T made better by cheese, I ask you?  Have fun and eat up.

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