A 2006 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition set out to look at the effects of carbohydrate restriction on different cardiovascular disease risk factors, but what they found was valuble information for those looking to lose weight (as well as fight cardiovascular disease). These researchers found that when the people in the study cut their carbs, their body’s starting metabolizing fats differently. They were actually able to detect these changes at the genetic level. The ‘rules’ of weight loss change when you start cutting your carbs. You can eat more fat (even saturated fat) without negatively impacting your health. You will also lose more weight faster and easier (more on that later).
Cut your carbs and your body’s biochemistry changes for the good!
A 2006 study published by Dr. Stephen Bird gave us some really great information regarding the effect of eating around your workout on fat loss. What the researchers found was that it didn’t matter if a person ate nothing or had a top notch workout shake containing carbohydrates and protein they lost the same amount of weight. But the people that had the carbohydrate and protein shake gained more muscle over the 12 week study so their body fat percentages decreased more than the group that had nothing during their workouts.
When you workout have a shake containing both protein and carbohydrates, it will not hinder your fat loss.
The Women’s Health Study lasted 8 years and contained 49,000 women. One of the goals of the study was to examine the effects of a low fat diet (20% of Calories from Fat) on different aspects of health. The problem was that women in the study weren’t able to stick to the intake of 20% calories from fat. Instead the average was closer to 30%.
Low Fat Diets are hard for people to stick to over the long term. The good news is that you don’t need a low fat diet to lose weight. Instead focus on adopting a low carb approach.
In 2006, a review was published examining several long term weight loss studies. In these studies the participants either followed a low fat diet or a low carb diet. The findings were surprising to many. After being on the diets for 6 months the low carb diet groups lost more weight than the low fat diet groups. At the 12 month mark, both groups had lost the same about of weight, but what is really interesting is that the low carb diet group did not focus on cutting calories while the low fat group had to in order to lose the same amount of weight.
When you go on a low carb diet you can eat more calories and still lose just as much weight compared to if you were to go on a low fat diet.
As our knowledge of the human body and nutrition progresses you are going to see more and more diets being designed based on a person’s body type, hormonal profile, and even their DNA. While we are not to that point yet, researchers are slowly uncovering clues to diet individualization. In 2007, a study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association that did just that. In this study overweight individuals were put on either a low fat or low glycemic load diet (glycemic load is a rating of type and amount of carbohydrates вЂ“ low glycemic diets contain little grains and starches and lots of vegetables and fruits). The researchers found that the participants who were insulin resistant (generally the more body fat you have the more insulin resistant you are) lostВ more weight and had a greater decrease in body fat percentage when they were put on the low glycemic load diet.
In order to maximize your weight loss; if you have more weight to lose then you need to eat less starches and more fruits and vegetables.
There are so many fat loss supplements backed by empty claims and unwarranted hype. However, fish oil is slowing gathering a solid scientific foundation in regards to its effects on fat loss. A recent study completed in Australia looked at the impact of exercise and fish oil on weight loss. The researchers found that the combination of exercise and fish oil supplementation led to a reduction in fat mass. How this happens is actually pretty cool. In this study the participants were given an exercise goal of 75% of their maximum heart rate. But the fish oil actually lowered the resting heart rates of the people in the study and thus they had to work harder to reach the 75% maximum heart rate bench mark. This most likely caused them to burn more calories and thus more fat.
Taking fish oil each day not only improves your health but it will also enhance your fat loss.
One of the biggest mistakes people make in regards to fat loss training is that they assume that they will only burn calories WHILE working out. This is far from the truth (if you structure your training correctly). In fact, the biggest fat loss secret is the ability to harness your body’s fat burning power when you aren’t working out. The power of post workout fat burning was revealed in 1994 by Tremblay and colleagues in their study published in Metabolism. In this study the researchers compared the effect of 20 weeks of endurance exercise vs. 15 weeks of interval training. In the end the endurance exercise burned more calories overall but the interval training group burned 900% more body fat. This increased fat burning is most likely due to the elevation of metabolism that occurs following interval training.
Interval training takes less tiem and it allows for you to burn 9x more body fat than traditional cardio.
A major concern that people have while dieting is losing muscle. This is because when you lose fat and muscle, you’ll end up looking soft and skinny fat when you are done dieting instead of lean and toned. Many people think that in order to prevent muscle loss and metabolism damage you must keep your calories up. This is true in some cases but a 1999 study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition proved just the opposite! These researchers put two groups of people on an 800 CALORIE per day liquid diet. One group did aerobic exercise while the other group did resistance training. The group that did resistance training lost more fat, didn’t lose any muscle, and their resting metabolic rate actually increased! Eating only 800 calories per day.
Resistance training is an essential component to any diet as it will allow you to maintain a healthy metabolism, keep your hardearned muscle, and allow you to burn more fat.
Diet is the main driving forces behind your weight loss success but there are several important factors aside from diet that you must consider. The importance of these factors is highlighted in the diet studies related to the Ornish Diet. Between 1977-1980, a group of people were put on the Ornish Diet as part of the Lifestyle Heart Trial. These during this time the participants experienced phenomenal results such as regression of heart attack causing plaques in their arteries. Ever since this original study, similar results using the Ornish Diet have never been replicated. Why? Because the people in the study were implementing more than just a diet; they also did regular exercise (3 hours per week), meditation and relaxation (1 hour per day), and participated in 2 group support sessions each week. The addition of the other factors made the diet so much more effective.
Adding exercise, stress management techniques, and finding a support system will greatly enhance your weight loss results.
A 2004 study by eating behavior expert, David Levitsky, revealed several characteristics that explain the weight gain of new college freshman. The researchers found that the student’s weight gain as associated with several behaviors.
1. “All You Can Eat” Dining,
2. Snacking On High Fat Junk Foods,
3. Increased Frequency of Snacking on Junk Foods.
We (humans) don’t snack well. We don’t regulate our caloric intake over time such that if we eat an extra 300 calories as a snack mid morning then we won’t eat 300 calories less at lunch. In regards to “All You Can Eat” Dining this is just a bad idea. Control your environment. We are very sensitive to visual cues such as plate size, volume of food, glass size/style, etc. “All You Can Eat” Dining is setting yourself up for dieting failure avoid it at all costs so you can control your calorie intake with ease.
Be careful about snacking- always go for protein and fiber rich snacks. Avoid “All You Can Eat ” places as you’ll almost always opt for more than you need. Regulate your portions before sitting down to eat.