Hello, and welcome Fat Loss Facts fans to the series that never stops giving. Giving you the information you need to proceed with fat loss, and succeed in doing so. There is nothing more frustrating than trying repeatedly to accomplish something, and coming up short. This series will remove all of the mystery, so the only thing that you need to do in order to get the results you want is to stick to the plan. The beautiful thing is that you are being given the tools to build your own plan. No longer are you following some gimmicky diet, or vague idea you read about in a fitness magazine. You are being given here, week by week, everything that is required to build the ultimate fat loss plan that is personalized to you-by you. Who knows you better than you?
To summarize our progress up to this point; Part 1 was focused on creating a caloric deficit, and the methods to use in order to accomplish that. Part 2 explained how to estimate the starting point of the diet regarding calories, in order to create a deficit. Part 3 was about the value of protein, and the method of calculating how much to include in the diet under the established caloric parameters, so that fat loss can begin. Part 4 dealt with essential fatty acids and other dietary fats, and how much we need to include in our diet plan. Part 5 was spent discussing how many carbohydrates are needed in our diet. Part 6 was about insulin sensitivity and resistance, and how that affects our macro nutrient needs. If you missed any of the articles please start the series at the beginning. Starting part way through defeats the purpose of this process. The point of this series is to educate so that you know what to do, and why. Short-cutting the learning process is not the way to be successful at anything, and fat loss is no exception.
As I have been alluding to in the past couple of articles the one size fits all diet, which will absolutely give you great results for the record, is going to branch out somewhat to offer a few different options. These options that I am going to present to you today still fall under the parameters regarding caloric intake that we have established in the earlier articles, but this will offer more variation within the guidelines that we’ve established. These variations are for those that fall at the either end, or at least to one side or the other, of the insulin sensitivity/resistance spectrum. If you feel you are definitely leaning one way or the other, than perhaps one of these suggestions will help to get you on the right track.
Some people absolutely require a steady stream of carbs in order to feel normal. If they drop their carb intake they feel tired, moody, and suffer from what is known as mental fog. If this sounds like you, then you likely have very good insulin sensitivity, as well as secreting low levels of insulin. This makes you a perfect candidate for a diet that is higher in carbohydrate. The fact that you require higher carb levels means that the other macro nutrients will need to be altered, but without negative consequences. Allow me to explain.
If you are someone who thrives on a high carbohydrate diet, then as a result your protein needs will be less. Carbohydrate is a protein sparing nutrient by nature. Due to the fact that it causes insulin to be released, as well as the fact that there will be more than adequate stores of glycogen, protein will not need to be catabolised from muscle tissue. This fact allows us the luxury of lowering protein intake without fear of muscle loss.
The following is the guideline I would suggest if you are one of these folks that runs best on carbohydrate. Instead of 1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight, I suggest switching this to 1 gram per pound. That shifts the numbers used for our 150 pound person whose caloric total is 1950, to only using 600 of those calories for protein. Adding the 450 calories allotted to the 50 grams of fat, brings the calorie total to 1050. That leaves 900 calories, or 225 grams of carbs, left over to complete the diet.
This will work very well for those that have great insulin sensitivity, as they will store their extra glucose in the form of glycogen in the muscles. Due to their low levels of insulin secretion, fat loss will not be inhibited. Being very general, and extremely unscientific, I’ve noticed that this diet works better for those that are more active. Whether these people are bodybuilders, or running enthusiasts, those that are extremely energetic people tend to lean towards this type of approach. Not in every case however, it’s just something I’ve observed.
If you are on the other end of this imaginary line, you feel tired and sluggish when you consume a lot of carbs. You probably also notice fairly immediate weight gain when you eat carbs due to the fact that your insulin secretion is higher than normal. This also means your insulin sensitivity is lower which means that eating carbs put you into storage mode, and subsequently puts the brakes on your fat loss. An entirely different approach is needed than the one above if you fit this description.
As I mentioned in Fat Loss Facts part 6, carbohydrates are very insulinogenic, which is a fancy way of saying that they cause the release of insulin. If you recall, protein is the second worst offender, and fats don’t even register on the insulin release-o-meter. This means that lowering your as well protein may be a good idea in order to limit insulin release.
I don’t ever suggest going below one gram per pound, so just like the above example that means our 150 pound example will be using 150 grams of protein, clocking in at 600 calories. I would suggest that 100 grams of carbohydrate be the maximum in this situation. This adds another 400 calories to the total, leaving 950 calories for fats. Rounding down to keep the numbers nice and tidy, that means 105 grams of fats need to be consumed to make up the caloric shortfall.
I’m one of those that thrives on this type of diet, and I’m one of those high energy type of people I’ve noticed operates best on high carb diets-so there’s an example of an exception to my own rule. If you are on the more extreme end of this spectrum, then lowering your carbs even further may be necessary. I have had great success at 50 grams or fewer per day. I have success at fat loss that is. My performance in the gym definitely suffers somewhat at this low-level of carb intake due to the lack of glycogen available. I have found a way around that, and if this interests you I suggest you start reading the Ketosis articles.
There are more articles to come with regards to the Ketosis/Low Carb series at some point, but every day is currently spoken for on the Lifestyle and Strength whiteboard at the moment. The above suggested diet alterations wrap up what I would recommend for those that are not perfectly average, if there is such a thing. Those numbers can be modified further to work anywhere in between the recommendation I’ve made as well. As long as the one gram of protein per pound is observed, and the caloric total adds up correctly that is. I would definitely start with the examples I have provided however, as you will have success with them as they are presented.
That ends the discussion on insulin sensitivity/resistance for the time being, which opens the door to some other hormones that greatly affect everything from how much fat our body makes available to use for energy, to how hungry we feel. That will be up next as the Fat Loss Facts series continues to gain momentum.
This article was researched and written by Matt Taylor
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