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Cut The Fat, Keep The Good Stuff

Fitness experts dream up new diet fads aimed at fat loss almost as routinely as the sun rises and sets

Fitness experts dream up new diet fads aimed at fat loss almost as routinely as the sun rises and sets. Not only are the diets themselves scams, but the origins from which the come are scams themselves. More often than not, marketers who have done research on what people want to hear compile the diets. The marketers pay a recognizable fitness personality to endorse the ineffective product hoping that consumers will be attracted to their product. Unfortunately, this process has worked time and time again on millions of Americans.

In order to achieve maximum fat loss, there are certain core elements you MUST adhere to. No matter if they come from a pop-culture fitness icon or some guy down the block, the truth of the facts remain the same.

One never-false idea is that your diet must restrict your calorie intake to a number lower than that of what you burn each day. If you’re eating more than you’re burning, there’s simply no way to burn fat.

In the same breath, your diet must be conscious of the need to retain your lean muscle mass. The importance of maintaining your lean muscle mass cannot be overstated. Without it, you will gain back the weight you worked so hard at losing, notice a significant loss in strength, and look skinny and weak rather than lean and ripped.

Another truth in guaranteed fat loss is that your diet must be full of healthy, natural foods. There’s no such thing as a fat-loss diet that includes cookies, cake, soda, or processed foods. By healthy and natural, I mean foods like fruits, nuts, wild-caught proteins (they are significantly more lean), and vegetables. You have to be aware of any nutritional deficiencies your diet may include, and work them out immediately. You must get a fair share of your nutrients, or else you are compromising your diet.

Including healthy foods and eliminating unhealthy foods obviously go hand-in-hand. Remove processed foods and sugars, and stop drinking sweet beverages. Switch to clean water, and add lemon if you’re craving flavor. Make sure you aren’t overdoing your supplements. Limit your intake of these supplements to the essentials.

Fasting, the act of abstaining from food for a determined amount of time is a very effective technique to include in your diet. Notice I said fasting, and not starving. Fasting for 12 hours overnight, most of which you will be asleep for, will aid you in burning fat, building muscle, and improving your general health. Make sure you always have a bottle or glass of water by your side, because staying hydrated will curb your hunger and keep your mind and body sharp while you’re without food. Waiting for 1-2 hours after you wake up to eat breakfast is a good idea, because your body will be working to alleviate the hunger pains, a.k.a. burning fat.

What I’ve also found is that protein intake, while necessary, is way over-prioritized. I’ve noticed no negative change in my body since dropping my protein intake to one half of a gram per pound of body weight. To offset the loss in quantity, I upped my intake of fruits and vegetables, which made me feel more full while coursing my body into a state of continuous fat loss.

My last truism I offer you is to watch the amount of meals you eat, and control your portion size. How often you eat is up to you and what you’re comfortable with. Not every person can eat six small meals a day, nor can everyone eat three huge meals a day. Consider your portion size, calorie count (intake vs. what you burn), and practice fasting every now and then. You will notice substantial success and eliminate the possibility of failure.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Madison Cyclist May 24, 2012 at 03:32 PM
First off, I agree with you. Losing fat is a relatively simple. Eat more good stuff, cut back on the bad stuff. However, even while it's a simple proposition, it's incredibly HARD. Proof: I doubt anything you mention here is news to those reading it. Just about everyone knows that fruit/veg and good and junk food is bad. Nonetheless, so many people are over weight because their diets are terrible even though they know better. How do you motivate people to make small but difficult choices around eating? For example, grilled chicken and broccoli instead of chicken parm? Knowledge is power, but how to you execute on it? (Ideally, before a personal health crisis forces your hand)
Isabel May 24, 2012 at 08:15 PM
What am I doing wrong? Mornings I eat special K oats cereal with skim milk. Mid morning a few whole wheat crackers, if not a luna bar. Lunch: brown rice and tuna w/lemon and olive oil w/a bit of salt for taste, or sandwich (whole grain) with low sodium ham/low fat cheese, water or PowerZero (ok a few chips)...mid afternoon a fruit or again another luna bar. Home and do 30-40 min cardio and than a bowl of cereal .... done for the day....so why am I having trouble loosing my pouch? I'm 5ft, 107 lbs
Kelly May 24, 2012 at 08:33 PM
My guess would be the low-fat stuff. Your body needs fats (even though it is a dirty word in our society). Try whole milk or better yet, whole milk yogurt instead of the skim milk. The higher fat content will help you feel fuller and will help your skin and hair look healthier. (If you had some good fats in your diet, you probably wouldn't feel the need for those chips.) Replace the Luna bar with some baby carrots or an apple. Try to eat 'living' food. The Special K and Luna bar are exactly what the article is talking about with processed foods. Oh, and stop drinking pseudo-water, its just unnecessary. Drink mostly water, and some unsweetened, preferably watered-down fruit juice if you want some flavor. Good Luck!
Isabel May 24, 2012 at 08:38 PM
Can't stand yogurt but will def do the rest...thanks!
Doug Corbett May 25, 2012 at 08:43 AM
Two of the keys are to see results as fast as possible and have a support group or some sort of accountability system set up. The motivation part is tricky. Action and results lead to motivation. I tell people to treat fat loss like a 28 day war. You have to truly commit yourself to the cause otherwise those bad habits developed over the years will hinder any results. After the 28 days of being strict with yourself, it becomes more of a lifestyle. In these 28 days I do not put people on any sort of crash diet. I do recommend a cleanse for the first 4 days and then education on the do's and don't's of nutrition. Having people around you such as family and friends who also lead a healthy lifestyle aids greatly in the motivational process. You've heard that saying "you are the product of the 5 people you hang out with the most?" That principal holds true when it comes to how much you weigh as well. It is essential to change your environment and begin surrounding yourself with healthier people. People you want to become one day. I introduce any new clients I have to my current clients. This helps to build the support group and a sense of community.
Doug Corbett May 25, 2012 at 08:50 AM
Wheat Wheat Wheat. Avoid everything that has the words wheat or flour in the ingredients. Until you do this, you will constantly be spinning your wheels in an attempt to change your body. The only carbohydrates you should be eating are quinoa, oatmeal, potatoes, white/wild rice (not brown), vegetables, and fruit. I guarantee you lose "the pouch" when you avoid the wheat. You won't feel as bloated and tired throughout the day.
Doug Corbett May 25, 2012 at 08:53 AM
Make sure to listen to your body. If dairy is making you feel bloated and tired right after consumption that means you're having an adverse reaction to the food. You should never feel bloated or have any stomach issues after eating food. If you are, avoid whatever the food is. Adding to the water comment, make sure you are drinking at least half your body weight in fluid oz of water. After you can handle this amount of water in a day, raise the fluid oz to 1 oz per pound of body weight.
Isabel May 25, 2012 at 04:31 PM
I thought white rice was a "bad" carb...reason why I switch to whole grain brown rice. Did the same w/whole wheat. Thought white bread was bad as well. Some articles have stated white carbs will make your sugar high, therefore making you tired. Is whole grain bread better? Which bread is better for a sandwich? As for water, I'm like a camel..I know not good. Not much into just plain water so I use those little flavored packets or flavored water...is this bad too? Don't do vegies either, but do love fruit. Wow I sound like a nutrtionists nightmare. If I can eat white rice I'll be in heaven! Latins love their white rice! :o)

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