What is the best nutritional plan for fat loss?
As you may or may not know (if you don’t, this article is exactly what you need), the majority of fat loss happens in the kitchen. You can run and run and run until you can’t run anymore (but this article explains why it’s not effective), but if you don’t eat right, you won’t see the fat loss results you can. you wish. have. Even if you eat only healthy foods, you may STILL not see the fat loss you want to see. Why is it? It has to do with macronutrients. While eating healthy foods is a great start, at some point you’ll need to switch to a more specific diet to really get the level of definition you could want. This article explains in detail why fat loss happens and the nutritional plan you need to follow to achieve it.
A quick overview of fat
Fat serves many purposes in the body, but the primary function of fat is to serve as an energy store. Fat is an efficient source of energy because it stores more than twice as many calories per gram as carbohydrates and protein (9 cal versus 4 cal, respectively). The average lean adult stores enough fat to stay alive for more than two months.
Why does fat loss happen?
Fat is mainly stored in adipocytes, which can absorb or store fat depending on energy levels. Energy levels are determined primarily by food intake. When energy levels are high, fat tends to stay inside adipocytes. When energy levels are low, such as when fasting or exercising, insulin levels drop and epinephrine levels rise. Epinephrine causes the fatty acid to be released from the adipocyte.
The resulting fatty acid then travels a long journey through the body through various processes and cells. If you want to learn more about the specifics of this, check out “The Physiology of Fat Loss” by Dr. Len Kravitz on Google. If you’re more interested in how nutrition drives fat loss, keep reading.
The Fat Loss Nutrition Plan
There is a lot of debate about the right nutritional plan for fat loss. The hard part is that it varies from person to person because there are so many variables involved. Your exercise, daily activity level, age, and gender all play a role in how you should structure your fat loss nutrition plan. The most important thing to remember is that no calculator or formula will give you exactly what you need. Your body is unique and each formula will require some adjustments. This is something only you can understand. Fortunately, I’ll provide a great starting point right now.
In my personal experience, with clients, and with my own body, I have found great success with a macronutrient ratio of 40% fat: 40% protein: 20% carbs. I’ll get into a little more detail in a second, but I want to reiterate that this should be used as a starting point. You will likely need to adjust the ratio to find the right one for your body.
As for the 40% fat, I make sure to incorporate plenty of mono and saturated fats as they increase testosterone. I also include polyunsaturated fats. If you’re a woman, this is obviously less important to you, so you can stick to leaner meats with less saturated fat. Trans fats should be avoided at all costs.
40% protein can be almost any type of protein your body can tolerate. Whey protein is my favorite option. For some people, whey concentrate may be harder on the stomach, so whey isolate should be substituted. If you’re trying to avoid dairy, egg or pea protein is a great option. I would highly recommend investing in protein powders, as getting 40% of your total calories from food alone will be a challenge (plus it’s expensive!). Protein powder is cheap, effective, and makes it easy to reach your protein goals.
The 20% carbs are the smallest part of your diet, but the hardest part to manage. When it comes to fat loss, it’s extremely important to stabilize your blood sugar, but it’s also important to have enough energy to get in a quality workout and recover. I avoid starches like sugar (including fruit) unless it’s before or immediately after my workout. Starchy carbs raise blood sugar, which is helpful for energy and recovery. If you eat a lot of starches, do nothing, your body is likely storing glucose as fat. Before and after training I eat starchy foods, the rest of the day I stick to non-starchy carbs like vegetables and other high fiber foods. A good rule of thumb that I follow is to stick to foods that have a starch to fiber ratio of 3:1 or less. For example, a serving of broccoli contains 6g of carbs and 2g of fiber. This is a 3:1 ratio, which would be okay to eat at any time of the day.
What if this ratio does not work?
Chances are, this ratio will stop working for you at some point. As I said earlier, it takes a lot to find the right macronutrient ratio. If you’re starting to feel like you don’t have enough energy to do a good workout, you might need more carbs. If you don’t feel like you’re progressing because you’re not recovering fast enough, you may need more carbs. I wouldn’t cut your carb intake by less than 20% because it could lead to hormonal imbalance and a screeching halt in your fat loss.
When it comes to changing your ratio, make small changes. Do not adjust more than 5% at a time. For starters, if you increase your carb intake by 5%, decrease your fat intake by 5%. Monitor your progress for a few weeks, if you see success, stick with it. If you still don’t see progress, make another small adjustment.