June 18, 2010

How to Lose Weight Fast 101: Part Four: Diet Essentials

Now, let's go on to the diet. In short, the weight loss diet consists of low amounts of carbohydrate (and we're talking consuming only complex carbs), high protein and medium fat. Why such ratios?


CarbohydrateCarbs are the main source of calories and energy in the typical Asian diet. When you think of Asian food, you'll think of rice and noodles, which are the major component of the dish and everything else (meat, veggies) are just in small pieces. Unfortunately, there are two things about carbs that are against your weight loss goals.

One, with the average Asian intake of carbs, it provides lots of energy and little of other use. And that's a bad thing because fat in our body is stored energy in the first place. To burn fat, our diet must be in a calorie deficit so that our body is forced to use its fat sources. And if you are taking enough carbs to support your energy needs, your body will not sense the need to burn fat.

Two, carbs increase insulin release into the blood, especially simple, fast-digesting carbs. And this is a bad thing because insulin in our blood makes stored fat harder to burn AND it makes fat synthesis easier. A double kill to a fat loss diet.

However, we do need a certain amount of carbs. One is because our brain works on glucose derived from dietary carbs. That's why on a long, continuous low-carb diet, you might get a bit of 'brain fog' where you just sit, staring into space, wondering what to do. Don't worry. There are ways to prevent this. Second reason we need carbs is because it keeps the body feeling full.

So, in short, just consume the amount of carbs you need. Prevent any excess. We'll cover that later on.

ProteinProtein will be the dominant part of your diet. That's because now that you're training hard in the gym, you'll need lots of protein to help your muscles recover from the workouts and build them up (and yes, ladies, you'll have to consume lots of protein too even though your goal isn't to build mass). Remember, muscle cells are metabolically active - they need energy to survive. So, the more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism, the more fat you'll burn.

When you're on a weight loss diet, you actually need more protein compared to someone building muscles. Yes, seriously! That's because carbs have protein-sparing effect (meaning that they take the place of protein in some processes that protein is spared) and since you're on a low carb diet, you'll have less carbs to spare your dietary protein.

Plus, protein can actually boost your metabolism! Why? Because Thermogenesis Induced by the Diet (TID) for protein is the highest among carbs, protein and fat. In fact, 25 percent of the energy obtained from protein will be used to digest and absorb the protein itself.

FatLet's just get something straight before we go on - as much as the media has portrayed it, fat isn't the F word in losing weight. The WRONG type of fats will impede your weight loss progress and also increase the chances of you getting heart disease. These type of fats include saturated fats, mainly animal fats and trans fats (coming mostly from processed food).

The good type of fats include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which comes from a variety of vegetable oils and nuts. These fats can help PREVENT hear disease by increasing your good cholesterol level (HDL or high density lipoprotein). And guess what? Cholesterol is needed to produce the hormones in your body that will help you build muscle! And lastly, one diet tactic is to actually use fat to slow down digestion of carbohydrates and thus, preventing insulin spikes (a sudden increase of insulin in your blood due to carb intake - which is a bad thing when trying to lose weight).

Ok, I guess you guys are hungry to see your diet plan (pun intended). We'll cover that in the next part, promise!


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