YHATC009 – All About Fat Loss (Part 3)

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<Fast Food Restaurant Skit plays at the beginning>

Ok, so do you know what was wrong with that little [skit]?  I hope so.  It is an exaggerated, yet clear example of the sabotage that you and I do to ourselves constantly when we’re trying to lose fat.

This is Part 3 of the All About Fat Loss Series that I’ve been doing lately.  Parts 1 and 2 were talking about the mental side of fat loss, and this Part 3 is going to be about the diet side of fat loss, from my perspective.  Now, I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again.  Your mind is much more important than any exercise and any diet plan that you do when it comes to fat loss.  You can do what you want to do, but if your mind isn’t in it, you can forget it.  So if you haven’t listened to Parts 1 and 2 of this series, I urge you to go to Your Health At The Crossroads on iTunes and listen to those first, before you listen to this one.  And while you’re at it, subscribe to the podcast too.  Oh, and rate and review the podcast too, if you would please.  It helps others to find this podcast, and I surely would appreciate that.

Anyway though, when it comes to things that you do to lose fat, changing your diet and changing your exercise habits are the two key things that need to happen.  But note this as well.  Changing your diet is more important than changing your exercise habits.  Much, much more important.

Let me explain why.  In the skit, bro man thought that he could stop by the fast food restaurant and eat whatever he wanted because later on, he planned on meeting his friend at the gym and getting it in.  He figured that he would burn all of that bad food off.  I have three words for that…

No…no…NO!

I’m sad to say, but it doesn’t work that way.  Unless you’re a professional athlete or an Olympian or otherwise work out for a living, you cannot out-exercise a bad diet.  Think about this.  When you and I sit down to eat, I would estimate that we eat anywhere between 400 to 800 Calories per meal.  It varies based on how many meals per day you eat, and on your appetite as well.

That said, you have to do a lot of exercise to “burn a meal off.”  A lot.  Let’s consider the lower end of that range of Calories I said that the average person eats per meal…400 Calories.  If you were to want to walk off 400 Calories, according to MyFitnessPal, you would need to be walking at what they call a “very, very brisk pace (4.5 mph)” for right at 1 hour to burn that off.  Now, the more vigorous your exercise, the faster you burn Calories, so if you were running, you could burn off that small meal in approximately 24 minutes.  But keep in mind, though.  That’s not casual running.  Again, according to MyFitnessPal’s “Calories burned from exercise” calculator, that is you running at a 6.5 minute mile speed.  That is booking it, guys.  The average person who is generally fit probably runs a mile in 8-10 minutes.

So yeah, you can’t really out-exercise a bad diet.  But the Calories are only one portion of the equation.  It’s one thing to eat too many Calories.  It’s another thing to eat stuff that’s straight-up bad for you.  One thing that people forget all of the time when they talk about burning food off is, food isn’t just Calories.  It’s vitamins and minerals and other nutrients too, or at least it is supposed to be.  Our bodies don’t just run off of Calories.  They need nutrients so that everything functions the way it’s supposed to.  And when you’re not getting in the nutrients that you need, guess what?  You get sick.  Or when you eat food that is filled with chemicals, hormones, and all kinds of stuff that your body was never meant to ingest, you get sick.  Exercise can’t do a thing about that.  But we’re talking about fat loss today, so that’s a whole different topic.

Now that we’ve established that diet is king over exercise when it comes to fat loss, I want to talk about some very general guidelines to keep in mind when it comes to fat loss.  There are some general healthy principles to that will have you on your way to not just shedding fat, but to being an overall healthy individual.  Because guess what?  When you eat healthily, stuff like fat loss and even disease prevention automatically comes with it.  Everything falls into place.

Eliminate sugary beverages

The absolute hands-down biggest contributor to fast, unhealthy fat gain is sugary drink.  The consumption of processed, sugary drinks is, I believe, the main reason that we deal with so much obesity in adults and kids in this day and age.

Remember when I was talking about how the average caloric consumption per meal is 400-800 Calories?  Now, imagine washing that down with a 20 ounce cup of sweet tea (if you’re down here where I am in Georgia).  You have automatically added an additional 100 Calories to your meal.  Now, consider this, though.  20 oz of sweet tea according to MyFitnessPal has 100 Calories, but I don’t know if they are talking about southern sweet tea.  If you’re from around here, you know what I’m talking about.  You’d probably have to add on another 100 Calories for the extra sugar.  The other thing to consider is that, few folks drink just one cup of sweet tea.

So to be more realistic, you might have 200 more Calories added to your meal just from the drink.  You might see where the problem is right there.  It is terribly easy to drink tons of Calories without knowing it.  If you’re a soda fan and you catch yourself drinking it all day, you might easily drink 1000 Calories before the day is out.

The majority of sugary drinks are nutritionally worthless, hyper-sweetened energy shots that give your body way too much sugar at one time than it needs.  You ever get thirsty after having a lot of sugar?  It’s probably because your body is trying to dilute all of the sugar that has accumulated in your blood.

The other thing that your body does is funnel that extra sugar directly to your fat.  Imagine your bloodstream being filled with the sugar from a soda you just drank.  Your pancreas secretes insulin that essentially enables your cells to use some of the sugar, but they can only use so much.  The rest of that sugar goes to your fat cells, where it is stored for future use.  When you keep on drinking sugary beverages, this process happens over, and over, and over again.  And the fat steadily piles on.

Don’t think you’re in the clear if you chose fruit juice instead.  “But it was 100% fruit juice, Shawn…that’s better, right?”  Nah, man.  That’s not the point.  Sure, 100% fruit juice has some nutritional value, in contrast to maybe soda.  But think about an 8 ounce glass of orange juice.  One whole orange has approximately 2 ounces of juice, so it would be like you’re consuming the juice of four oranges all at once, and all of the fiber-less sugar that comes along with that.  It’s just as fattening as any other sugary drink.

That said, if you live on drinks, eliminating your need for sugary drink will go a long way in reducing your energy load and aiding your fat loss.  If you are used to drinking drinks all day and get in 1000 Calories worth of drink every day, that would be the equivalent of taking 2 lbs worth of Calories out of your diet every week.

Now, I always talk about this, and I’ll continue to.  Artificially sweetened drinks are not a way out.  All they are, to be honest, is another way for us to feed unhealthy sugar cravings, and they may be zero Calories supposedly, but studies have already been implying for a while that many of them can affect your insulin levels the same way that sugar does.  That means they’ll make you gain fat almost the same way.

And they’re artificial.  Artificial.  You know what I’m saying?  Artificial sweeteners are not naturally occurring substances that your body can handle.  These are chemicals that are synthesized in labs that your body doesn’t really know how to process.  They’re not made for your body.  That’s why we see the warnings about how some of them are possibly carcinogenic, or how some of them can mess with your nervous system or cause gastric issues.  They are otherwise harmful to your body.

That’s why I always say, if you’re going to do the healthy thing, really do the healthy thing.  Don’t take a shortcut or an easy way out because there is always a catch.  If you’re going to eliminate sugary drinks to lose fat, replace them with water and nothing else.  Yes, it will be hard.  Yes, you will have withdrawal symptoms.  But of course that’s going to happen.  And it goes away after a while if you ride it out for just a few days.  But when that happens, you don’t even have the same cravings for sugar that you had before, and that means that you’re much more likely to keep the fat off, being that you have more discipline.

It’s not worth it to try to get in that sweet taste another way and end up getting sick as a result, you know?

Switch to whole grain everything

Another thing that is a must when you’re on the road to fat loss is whole grains.  Every grain that you eat should be whole.  Every grain, whether you’re talking about corn, rice, flour products, and so on, should be whole.

Let me explain what whole grains are for those who don’t know.  Let’s consider corn.  Whole grain corn is literally the whole corn kernel (the bran, the endosperm and the germ).  So whole grain corn products like tortillas, cornmeal and grits are literally made with whole corn kernels.  This whole grain contains all of the fiber and nutrients that are contained in a kernel of corn.

Now, with the ‘instant’ corn products like Instant Grits, which cook in much less time than their whole grain counterparts, they cook quicker because there’s less of the natural fiber involved, because the fiber-rich bran has been removed.  But because that fiber helps regulate the sugar in your body when you eat the whole grain, without that fiber, grains can jack up your sugar and cause you to gain a lot of fat.

The germ, which is where a lot of nutrients and healthy oils are, along with some protein, is taken away too, leaving behind the endosperm which is the starchy part of the grain.

So when you eat grains, choose whole grain.  The ingredient list will most likely say something like “whole grain corn” on it, whether you’re talking tortillas, grits or cornmeal.  When you get grits, don’t choose the fast cooking instant ones.  The faster they cook, the more fattening they are.  Choose the ones that take a while to cook, and then just make sure that you make enough time to cook them.  20 minutes of cooking isn’t really that much more than 5 minutes of cooking.  We’ve just gotten spoiled, to be honest.

All of the flour products you eat (bread, pasta, etc.) should have whole grain as the first ingredient.  The same goes for your oatmeal (whole grain oats).  Rice should be whole grain brown rice.

A lot of folks complain about the more hearty taste of whole grains in contrast to processed grains.  And yes, I do understand.  When you’re not used to whole grains, they can sometimes take some getting used to.

But I look at it this way.  When you eat whole grains, you’re eating them the way they were meant to be eaten…even the way they would have been eaten before we created all of our man-made machines and all.  The hearty taste is what we would have had if we hadn’t started our unhealthy processing practices, you know.  And if you give yourself time to learn to cook them and time to get used to them, I am a witness that you won’t want to go back to white bread, or to instant grits and oatmeal.  For real.

Just remember.  Every grain that you eat needs to be whole grain.  So look at your labels and make sure that the first ingredient you see is whole grain.

Theater Chatter by edhutschek is licensed under CC BY 3.0


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