I have recently had a life changing moment. I read WHY WE GET FAT by Gary Taubes, and it has changed my way of thinking about losing weight and maintaining weight loss.
First I will summarize what I have been taught in school about how to lose weight. It is a theory of calories in – calories out. Meaning if you take in 1500 calories a day you will have to burn more than 1500 calories to create a calorie deficit and thus lose weight. It is a simple formula, burn more calories than you eat and you will begin to shed that unwanted body fat. This has been the prevailing theory on weight loss since the 1950s.
Before the 1950’s the general consensus between doctors and scientists was that one food component leads to excess body weight, CARBS. The book goes into great detail about the why and how this paradigm shift in weight loss theory happened. I will not bore you with the details, but will summarize the main point. Your body is a very complex being that is changing every second. The main influences of the body are hormones. Hormones tell the body what to do and when to do them. The main hormone concerned with body weight is Insulin. Insulin pushes carbs into fat cells causing them to swell (you get fatter). The more carbs you eat, the more insulin your body produces the fatter you get.
The book goes on to suggest a Atkins type diet of total carb depletion (less than 20 carbs a day). I have tried this and got great results, but found it hard to keep my carbs under 20/day. So I have done a lot more research into low carb eating and found a much easier way to change my eating habits.
I try to eat between 50-100 grams of carbs per day depending on if I am going to exercise that day or not.(higher carbs on training days) I am cutting out starchy carbs (I.e. bread, potatoes, fruits) and eating lean meats, and green leafy veggies. On high carb days I get about 400 calories from carbs and the rest protein and fats. I feel fuller, am losing body fat and my workouts are better.
Here are some simple rules for the low carb eater.
Foods to stay away from:
grains, breads, noodles oats
potatoes, yams, corn, carrots
cakes, ice cream, sweets, sugar
Foods to fill your meals:
meat, fish, fowl
all green leafy veggies,
low carb fruits (they are out there check labels)
water – plenty of water.
In conclusion, count your carbs not your calories. Shoot for under 100 carbs a day. Exercise everyday.
There are tons of low carb resources on the internet that can explain it way better than me, hopefully this gets you motivated to do you own research.