Thursday, May 1, 2008

Dietary Framework for Fat Loss

(Debbie 'enjoys' her ring pushups at 5:30am...or it at least looks that way.)
Hopefully now, we understand the difference between weight loss and fat loss. Weight loss is creating a smaller version of yourselves (less fat, less muscle, less bone density, less strength, and a lower metabolism). Fat loss is reshaping your body into a stronger, leaner version of yourself (however, your body weight and BMI may not change much, but you look better and fit into your clothes better). I wanted to review my "dietary framework" for fat loss. I have discussed creating a calorie deficit in previous posts. This is important for your body to tap into your bodyfat stores, however it needs to be gradual, in order to keep your energy and hormone levels in an anabolic (muscle building) state. Also, you will not be able to train as hard. Here are the basics. I will go into more details later. Feel free to post any questions to comments.

1. Eat 4-6 times per day.
2. Each meal should contain fat, carbohydrate, and protein.
3. The ideal ratio is subject to debate, but in general, most americans need to decrease carbohydrate consumption (esp sugars and refined carbohydrates, 100-calorie snack packs are a very bad choice), increase natural oils (meats, eggs, oils, nuts), and increase protein consumption. I would recommend: 30% fat, 25% protein, 45% carbohydrate (or close to those ratios).
4. Your total calories for the day should stay within your "target calories" (which I can calculate for you).
5. You should eat within 30 minutes of waking up, immediately after your workout, and late into the evening. Basically, every 3-4 hours.


Anonymous said...

Why do you say "eat late in the evening"? Almost every other weight/fat loss plan says something like.."Don't eat after 6PM" or "Stop eating 3 hrs. before bedtime." Have the gurus been wrong all these years?


Dan Hubbard, M.Ed., CSCS. said...

The reason I say "eat late in the evening" is because your body is always using calories (even when you are sedentary or sleeping). Eating late into the evening allows you to eat your 4-6 small portions each day and not make your body feel like it is fasting (starving, and slowing its metabolism). Remember, you are not dieting or trying to "lose weight," you are losing fat. Now, the most important thing is that you are staying around your target calories for the day. This ensures you are maintaining a calorie deficit. However, there are other reasons not to eat right before bed, such as acid reflux.