With so many different ‘diets’ and lifestyle choices out there, it’s hard to know what is the best method to lose weight. Do you count calories, cut out carbs, cut out all fat, cut out all sugar, small portions, diet shakes? Which is the best option?
Personally, I don’t believe in diets. I believe in eating well (for the most part) and exercise. To me weight loss is that simple. It’s a matter of not over indulging all the time, eating well and burning off some of those calories you’ve inputted.
There’s always talk about carbs vs protein and I think for some people it’s hard to work out exactly how either affects your body.
Here’s a quick run down.
Carbs – Carbs are rapidly digested and quickly converted to blood glucose. A short time after a carb-rich meal, the glucose in your bloodstream rises rapidly, and your pancreas produces a large amount of insulin to take the excess glucose out.
Insulin is the hormone responsible for body fat storage, it takes glucose out of the bloodstream and converts it first into glycogen which is stored in the liver and in muscles. Once the liver and muscles reach their limits for glycogen storage, glucose is stored as body fat. This is the process of putting on weight.
To lose fat, your body must use that fat as fuel. It will only use its stored fat as fuel if you deprive it of it’s present supply of fuel: blood glucose.
There are a few ways to cut your body’s glucose supply. The best way is to reduce the starches and sugars from which glucose is made, and make up the difference with another fuel.
Protein – High protein foods take more work to digest, metabolise and use, which means you burn more calories processing them. They also take longer to leave your stomach and so you feel full sooner and for a longer amount of time. Protein is doubly essential for making sure you lose fat, not muscle. Your body uses the amino acids in protein to build lean muscle, which not only makes you stronger and more toned but also burns calories even when you’re not active, unlike lazy fat. Ultimately this keeps your metabolism humming along at high speed so you can burn off the occasional cookie, no problem!
The highest course of leucine – containing foods (leucine is one of the essential amino acids) are animal and dairy courses. Cottage cheese and red meat top the list; other sources include milk, cheese, eggs, pork, fish, chicken, legumes, peanuts, nuts and seeds. You can also use a whey protein.
For those who find images alot easier to take in…
I do believe it really. I find that when I eat a carb-loaded breakfasts such as toast or cereal with no protein, I’m craving chocolate and sweets at about 10.30 but if I eat protein with my breakfast I tend to crave natural sugars such as fruit. I also feel less bloated when I eat less carbs but having said that, I’m not going to cut them out completely. I love my bread, pastas and potatoes too much to do so but cutting down is definitely a good way of still getting that taste without the added strain it puts on your body.