Now you’ve decided to get in better shape. So, you’ve decided to follow a fat loss diet.
But before you go hunting around for a diet to follow, make sure you know these three things. They are critical if you want to get in shape and stay in shape forever.
You don’t have to count calories to lose fat effectively. If you have to count calories for every morsel you put into your mouth, that’s very demotivating. And you may end up not following the fat loss diet at all just because it’s so much of a chore measuring food and counting calories.
I mentioned this in a previous post. Just think about this for a minute … can you imagine seeing overweight wild animals? Can you also imagine those wild lions and monkeys busying themselves worrying about how many calories they’ve consumed.
They just eat natural food until they’re full. Period.
And they’re not overweight, are they?
The point I’m making is that calorie counting is not necessary for losing fat. That’s why I don’t recommend diet programs that use calorie counting as the main tool. And that’s exactly why I recommend Isabel’s nutrition program to friends because it doesn’t encourage calorie counting. Instead it teaches you to eat properly in such a way that you enjoy your food and feel satisfied. That way, you lose weight effortlessly and maintain your new shape permanently.
That leads me to another feature you should look out for in a great fat loss diet.
The term “natural food” is constantly misused and abused by the food industry. Cereal packages are labelled as natural food. Snack bars which contain manufactured sugars are touted as natural food. No wonder most people are thoroughly confused as to what food is best for them.
More and more people these days know they’re supposed to consume natural food. But they fall prey to food manufacturers every day when they choose supposedly “natural” food.
So, when choosing food, use this rule. Think about how many steps the food has gone through before it reaches the market. Whenever possible, choose food which has gone through the fewest processing steps.
For instance, an orange is a good example of unprocessed, natural food. Freshly squeezed orange juice is still natural, but it’s one step further away because it’s been tampered with. Concentrated orange juice is no longer natural, as processing it has involved quite a few more steps.
So, your first choice of food should be the orange. Freshly squeezed orange juice should be your second choice. Don’t choose concentrated juice at all, since it’s clearly not a natural food any more.
By the same token, whenever a food can be eaten raw, you should choose the raw version over the cooked one whenever possible. For example, organic baby leaf spinach is nutritionally better for you in its raw state than steamed.
Even when you’re using these simple rules to choose the best food for you, you’ll come across confusing food items. Sometimes choosing the best food for your body is not as clear cut as simply choosing the least processed food.
For example, until I came across Isabel’s nutrition program a couple of years back, I was using extra virgin olive oil for all my cooking, as I’d been given to believe it was the best. Then I found out that even though it’s good for me, it’s not good to use olive oil that way. Thanks to Isabel’s advice, I also learnt to pay more attention to how my oils are produced. She also gave me a choice of oils that I should use for cooking.
You see, extra virgin olive oil is hailed as a health food. But it’s only a health food if you know how and when to use it. Otherwise, it can turn out to be a bad food.
There are other confusing questions like: should I choose butter over low fat spread made from olive oil? Is agave nectar really a healthy food? And countless other questions.
To know the answers to all these confusing food questions that get thrown at you every day, you’ve got three choices.
The most thorough but time-consuming way is to study nutrition yourself. Buy several good books. Research online. You’ll become very knowledgeable. But you’ve got to spend a lot of time.
The second way is join a sound reputable nutrition program like Isabel’s. It’s a short-cut to the first option since you’ll get answers to all these confusing food questions served on a plate (no pun intended). You’ll also get customized meal plans. And you’ll be able to ask her directly whenever a confusing food issue comes up. See my review of her program here.
The third option – if you can afford it – is just to hire a personal nutritionist to do all the thinking for you.
Well … guess which options I chose? I chose both the first and second options. But then I’m a bit of a nerd when it comes to health and fitness. You don’t need to do both like me. :-)
Anyway, the final feature you should look out for in a successful fat loss diet is...
Macro nutrients are protein, carbohydrate and fat. Your fat loss diet should consist roughly of 30% protein, 50% to 55% carbohydrate (fibrous and starchy) and 15% to 20% good fat.
Examples of good protein sources are lean meat, fish, and chicken and turkey breast.
Vegetables and fruits will provide fibrous carbohydrate. You'll get starchy carbohydrate from rice, bread, pasta and noodles, etc. While you’re trying to lose fat as fast as possible, you should eat a lot more fibrous carbohydrate than starchy. Isabel explains why in the grain section of her nutrition program manual.
Olive oil, fish oil, nuts and avocados are some examples of good fat sources.
Try to include protein, carbohydrate and fat sources in all your meals.
There you go. Just look out for these three main features in any fat loss diet you are thinking of following. And you’ll be in good shape.