Here are a few quick tips on the much discussed concept of “eating for fat loss”.
I personally get very frustrated with the plethora of “eating for fat loss” questions that our personal training page is inundated with on an almost daily basis. The confusion that has been sown by various disparate, and often unethical, self-interest groups is quite disgusting because for most of you reading this, in order to become reasonably lean if not quite “cover model” ripped, is honestly not all that complicated so long as you can be patient and exercise a reasonable amount of self-discipline. I’m about to complete a much more detailed article on the rules of eating for fat loss, but given the importance and desire for the information here are some quick tips and refreshers.
13 weeks of “training and eating for health and performance” can lead to amazing fat loss results like this UP personal training client achieved!
There is no such thing as a “fat loss food”
Yes, I know that arguably celery burns more calories in the digestion than are taken in at the absorption, but anomalies aside you don’t want to be thinking about “fat loss foods” when eating for fat loss.
Do not “eat for fat loss”, instead “eat for health”
At UP we always focus on improving clients from the inside out. We don’t do this because we are hippie spiritual types seeking to realign your chakra, nor do we do it as “health practitioners”, because whilst optimal health is always the goal we are not doctors and our personal training clients come to us primarily to improve their body composition. Rather we focus on eating for health over eating for fat loss because if we improve digestive health we will improve overall well-being, hormonal health, sleeping patterns and energy levels (to name just a few positive aspects). All of these factors will have massive positive benefits for your fat loss efforts.
Manage blood sugar when eating for fat loss
If I had to give one blanket prescription for optimal eating for fat loss it would be to manage blood sugar/insulin resistance as strongly and carefully as possible. Poor blood sugar/insulin management, often caused by a poor diet over a lengthy period of time (sound familiar to any of you who are carrying any excess weight?), can lead to metabolic syndrome, diabetes, lowered testosterone, and a host of other health issues. In simple terms as befits these quick tips, the way to control insulin is to keep blood sugar stable and don’t allow it to go too high – so avoid sugars, excessive fruit (a piece or two a day is more than enough for most people if eating for fat loss is their priority, and one can mount a plausible argument to stick to berries and vegetables and avoid most fruits altogether), all fruit juices, processed foods, cereals and most grains (again most people do better totally eliminating grains but that is another post entirely so you’ll have to trust me on this). Oh yes, I should also add that weight training and muscle tissue both improve blood sugar management!
Don’t let yourself go hungry
Whilst a lot of people have had success with the revived notion of “intermittent fasting” (basically extended periods of not eating), it is my belief based on my unique position overlooking about 500 active personal training clients and observing the methodologies that consistently produce the best results, that skipping meals is a very bad thing when considering optimal “eating for fat loss”. The old view that frequent meals elevate the metabolism has now been disproved by science, so skipping the odd meal won’t spell metabolic catastrophe. However, I know from long and bitter personal experience that if I let myself go hungry, which can frequently happen given my quite ridiculous workload, then the idea of eating some beef and broccoli isn’t half as appealing as the baked beans on toast I can rustle up in 2 minutes in my kitchen. So many of us make poor food choices when we allow ourselves to go hungry so my rule is do not put yourself in harm’s way and ensure that you eat every 3-4 hours.