Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Eat Fat to Fight Fat?

I'd rather eat this than a salad any day!
Rich, fatty foods are like destiny:  they too, shape our ends.  ~Author Unknown

I've been reading about Gary Taubes and his work concerning weight (fat) loss.  I've found an interesting thesis - much like drinking water can help you stop retaining water, eating more fat can help you stop retaining fat.

Specifically, eating more saturated fat.  You know, the meat on a delicious ribeye steak, eggs, bacon, coconut oil, olive oil....

It turns out that as a nation, we eat too much sugar and not enough fat.

"Wait, Donna, what did you say?"

Sugar is the culprit.  Sugar and refined carbs.  We eat too much sugar and not enough fat.  

You see, calories in/calories out is a myth, as I discussed in a previous post.  Any self respecting woman will tell stories about eating nothing but salad for weeks trying to lose weight, while her husband, who eats big greasy steaks, decides to forgo a beer and maybe go easy on the Doritos, and loses weight like crazy.  Why?

Saturated fat.  She is starving.  She's hungry.  Salad just doesn't fill you up.  Ever.  (Ask me how I know.)  Lean meat isn't filling.  But throw some good, natural fat on it, and it will fill you up.

Sugar, though, sugar is another story. Sugar and refined carbohydrates.

Sugar causes insulin levels to spike, leading to a sudden drop, which leaves me (at least) shaky and hungry.  Not just hungry, RAVENOUS.  As in, I will eat anything if it will just hold still long enough ravenous.    Going through the pantry in desperation at 2am ravenous.  

Fat doesn't do that.  Fat triggers satiety, which means that you eat less because you feel full.  Come on - when did anyone binge on eggs, cheese, bacon, or meat?  You can't - the fat in these foods causes you to feel full.  

Commercial salad dressings are loaded in fats --- and sugar to match, so they are not very helpful in weight loss (unless you can find one that is higher fat, that's sugar free).  

Just as a helpful ancedote - I'm Southern, which means that anything that can be fried, will be fried.  My grandfather was put on cholesterol medication and a low fat diet following a mild heart attack.  His numbers kept going up and up - so, in true Harris fashion, he started to eat the way he liked again.

Fried potatoes.  Fried chicken.  Fried green tomatoes.  Fried eggplant.  Butter.  Eggs cooked in bacon drippings, and bacon.  Biscuits and gravy.

His numbers went back down.  

Maybe we're going about weight loss all wrong.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Low Carb

We never repent of having eaten too little. ~Thomas Jefferson, 1825

I've been doing a lot of research lately - partly as a guinea pig - and have come to find that low carb is the way to go.

I've been stuffing myself with fried (yes, fried!) chicken, steak, protein shakes, water, protein bars....and losing weight.  Slowly, so far, but the meat-and-salad diet is what has always worked for me.  (And that's the HCG diet in a nutshell!)

As soon as I have a roll or a biscuit, though, the weight comes back on. 

I am never hungry.  (But really - how much meat can a person really eat?)  Sometimes I want to munch, and then I get an apple or a protein bar, but I am never hungry. 

Sunday, May 15, 2011

When You Fail To Plan, You Plan to Fail

Right now, I feel like I've got workouts handled.  Mat Gover over at EXL Fitness keeps me on the straight and narrow regarding my workouts (and starting next month, I plan to add Cardio Camp to Boot Camp to fire up my metabolism even more).

However, exercise is only part of the weight loss equation.  The other part is the part I struggle with.


I like to eat.  And like most people, I like to eat things that end to pack on pounds.  Sweet and salty refined carbs. 

I tend to *forget* to eat.  The problem with that is two fold - one, your body begins to think you're starving and your metabolism slows to conserve fuel, and two, when you do remember to eat, you eat a lot more than you would if you'd eaten regular small meals.

So you have to plan ahead.

I've been using protein shakes and protein bars to boost my protein intake and to make sure I'm consuming small meals at least every 3 hours.  I seldom remember to eat a full meal, but I make sure I have what I need to fix a supplemental meal frequently. 

I also plan my meals a week in advance.  SavingDinner.com has been a huge help there.  When I already know what I'm cooking for dinner, and I have all the ingredients on hand, it's a lot easier to cook at home, where I can control what's going into my food. 

So take the time.  Sit down for an hour a week, plan your evening meals with your family, plan your nutrition for the rest of the day, and you'll find that you feel like you're eating all the time, you're never hungry, and you're losing bodyfat.