Reducing body fat (aka "losing weight")

Throttle

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#1
There have been many great posts about this in the past but since (a) so many of you have short attention spans and (b) I have significant experience with this, here's a shot at explaining fat loss as briefly as possible. This is rooted in long study & personal experience, and is a summary of advice I've long been giving here that has worked for myself & others.

If you really want to lose 10+ pounds of body fat and keep it off:

- Consume no sugar, no alcohol, no fruit juices, no refined grains, no pasta or bread (all carbs should come from veggies, beans, and low-GI fruits -- "slow carbs"). Consume caffeine in moderation, if at all (prefer unsweetened green tea & water over all alternatives). Avoid artificial sweeteners (they promote sugar/carb cravings).

- Your best shot at success will be a diet of approximately one-third protein sources (meat/fish/dairy), one-third veggies and one-third beans. Yes, this means you need to learn to cook or con someone else into cooking this way for you. Low GI fruits should be reserved for immediately post-exercise.

- ALWAYS eat breakfast, but consider eating anything other than "breakfast food." The only "breakfast food" that makes the cut is anything egg based, like scrambled eggs or omelets, and MAYBE unsweetened oatmeal/bran.

- Consume a balance of fats -- equal quantities of sat, poly and mono, with the poly split as close as possible to 2:1 omega 6 to omega 3 (1:1 would be better but unless you live on seal meat 2:1 is a more realistic goal). Use fish oil to bring up your omega-3 consumption.

- Lift weights 2-3 times per week, and do some form of cardio up to 5 days per week, but for goodness' sake, make it something you enjoy, or else you'll fall off the wagon quickly. Anything picks up the heart rate & makes you sweat is a good place to start.

Your success will be met by how closely you follow this advice. If consuming saturated fat scares you, you won't lose as much body fat and weightlifting will suffer (sat. fat is a testosterone precursor). If you have to have alcohol, make it something good for you like wine, and realize that you will be slowed down by precisely as much as you drink. If you can't stop eating sugar or starch, you better sure as hell be prepared to run your ass off. If you can't be bothered to get any exercise, you can still lose weight by following the dietary advice, though you'll probably lose some muscle if you have any to spare.

There are lots of ways to make this more complicated, but I'm assuming that if you're really interested in this advice, you are fatter than you want to admit and have already tried several other methods of fat/weight loss. You need simplicity and rules. These are tried and true.
 

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j0n024

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#3
Can you give me a list of what type of foods what.

Like slow carbs?


Never understood what actual food is a slow carb.
 
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#4
Exactly what I'm doing. Good Post Throttle.
 

Throttle

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#5
well, by slow carbs most people mean carb sources that have a low glycemic index (the cause a relatively low & slow insulin response). it's definitely more complicated than that, but I'm simplifying even further, by ruling out some low glycemic index foods and allowing some moderately higher glycemic index foods.

why? because nobody wants to sit around looking this stuff up in tables. instead, we need rules of thumb.

All veggies & beans are being treated as low GI, even though some are very high GI. Why? Because no one that I know sits around eating either beans or veggies by themselves, unlike fruits, which are often consumed away from meals. High GI carbs by themselves should only come after exercise, especially weightlifting, whereafter an insulin response is actually desired (multiple good things happen, look it up). Since you're eating even the highest GI beans & veggies with a protein source, the overall glycemic load is lowered.

Low GI fruits: apples, blackberries, cherries, grapefruit, grapes, lemons, oranges, peaches, pears, raspberries and strawberries. High-GI fruits: most melons. In between are other fruits, including raisins & dried fruits. NOTE that all fruit juices have very high GIs, and it is not clear that the body recognizes calories you drink as calories. Avoid canned fruits, esp. with sugar added syrups.

Apples & pears are your friend. Eaten whole or cut up with skin on they are ideal low GI fruits.
 

Throttle

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#6
Quagmire911 said:
I really do hate seeing it laid out all in one. You bastard :D
heh. well I'm laying it out partly b/c it's been working for me lately, and partly to force myself to stay on the wagon. :up:
 

Desert Fox

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#7
Thanks for this post man I will start following this weekend. I have a question though, for a college kid what can be a good substitute for beans? Maybe cans of tuna or soy? I don't have a kitchen in my dormitory.
 

j0n024

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#9
Watermelon is bad?

I thought it was good, I was using that as something to eat instead of carbs plus lots of apples.
 

wolf116

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#10
Throttle said:
- Your best shot at success will be a diet of approximately one-third protein sources (meat/fish/dairy), one-third veggies and one-third beans
Hey man what's the rational behind this one? I've been following this sort of diet for over 3 years now so I obv love the advice. But why so much beans? I'd be farting a thunderstorm if I ate 1/3 beans. Is there evidence that out ancestors ate a load of beans or something?
 

Alle_Gory

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#11
wolf116 said:
Hey man what's the rational behind this one? I've been following this sort of diet for over 3 years now so I obv love the advice. But why so much beans? I'd be farting a thunderstorm if I ate 1/3 beans. Is there evidence that out ancestors ate a load of beans or something?
I'm not sure his reasons, but beans make sense.

They contain some carbs, alot of proteins and alot of fiber making them low GI. The fiber and the low GI help you feel fuller longer so you eat less overall.


Luke Skywalker said:
Is that what you enjoy sticking in your nose?
It's what I use to please your mom late at night when you're asleep.
 

Throttle

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#12
canned beans are a fine substitute for dry, which are indeed a pain to prepare (but much cheaper & can be prepared in huge batches). of course this still requires a microwave or a friend's kitchen. BUT only use canned beans with nothing added--baked beans, full of added sugar, definitely do not count.

beans are a low GI carb, with loads of soluble fiber (I'm increasingly convinced that insoluble fiber is nearly irrelevant). i have struggled with low energy when following various low carb diets, but the beans & not worrying about what kind of veggies i'm eating are supplying all the energy i need.

if you ramp up beans and cook them sufficiently they do not cause any appreciable gas. most people overcook pasta & rice, raising the GI / insulin response dramatically, but undercook beans, leading to gas. properly prepared, beans get soaked overnight & then cooked for at least an hour. they contain a carb humans can't process but CAN be cooked out after a proper soak. i have no idea how this applies to canned beans b/c i mostly don't use them.

you won't know how your body reacts until you try--like all things, you should ramp up into anything new, and just about any change in diet will cause gas or worse--for example, doubling the amount of protein in your diet. countless nasty threads on this subject confirm that this too can upset your system.

corn is great, and carrots are fine, esp. as a part of the standard American "frozen mixed veggies" (often corn, carrots, green beans & lima beans, or something like that), and esp. if they're not the only veggies you get--mix it up and get some brocolli in there, green beans, peas, but make sure you LIKE whatever you're trying to force down or you WON'T stick with it.

BTW I've found three things that make all this more tolerable: being generous with oil/fat, salt and a pepper grinder. though the medical establishment has taught you to fear fat & salt, and a pepper grinder will strike some of you as overly exotic, it makes all the difference in the world. a mix of fats is good for you, no matter what the sellouts at the AHA and AMA say, and unless you're on diuretics for high blood pressure, a healthy male under 40 getting even a modicum of exercise and drinking enough fluid doesn't need to worry about salt intake.

BTW one great thing about this advice is I'm not ordaining a specific number of meals a day--pick what works for you and your schedule, 3-7 meals (including snacks), but DO try to eat at consistent times each day. Most of us, thanks to social norms, find it easiest to eat a breakfast, lunch & dinner, and two or three significant snacks.

watermelon is not "bad"--it's got an unfavorable GI / insulin response for losing bodyfat. it IS light on calories, but it's basically like drinking fruit juice. if it's working for you, keep it. if your weight loss goals are stalling, consider dropping it or only having it immediately post-exercise.
 

Quagmire911

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#13
What are your thoughts on lentils?

As far as I can tell, they are like beans, but are more calorie dense and are ultra cheap.
 

Throttle

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#14
i include lentils in beans. in fact, they should be at the top of the list, unless you can't stand them. they're brilliant for this purpose. i don't find them to be the tastiest by themselves, but they pair well with all pork products. as far as i can tell, the GI is nearly always higher for canned than self-cooked, though clearly you could overcook any bean until it's mush, at which point the GI must go pretty high. a small portion of lentils goes well in almost any soup or stew, and can be pureed for that purpose. though eventually they start to tilt the taste of the dish in a rather...earthy...direction.

they overcook faster than any other bean. but on the positive, they're quicker to cook and they don't need to be pre-soaked.

for those keeping score, i consider green beans to be a veggie, since that's how most americans eat them, rather than a bean. but you can't go wrong with green beans on either side of the equation.
 

Being_the_Don

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#15
It's a good idea to have one or two designated days per week when you can eat some of the foods you like ie carbs rather than cutting them out completely. I made this mistake last year and when I caught a cold late last summer, it was as if my body wanted to make up for what it had been missing. Now I'm doing it differently and will allow myself those fun days. I'm also noticing that when those days come I don't crave the sweets all that much anyway. :)
 

Throttle

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#16
i'm of two minds about carb-up or cheat meals/days. some folks advocate one meal a week, or an entire day where you "carb up"--these are usually part of a very low carb diet that also includes fast carbs immediately post-workout. i've had no luck with such plans but obviously they work for some people (though how many are receiving chemical assistance, i cannot say).

this plan isn't quite so low carb, and as far as i'm concerned, cheating just puts you off your goal by two or more days (especially if your cheating includes alcohol). you're welcome to disagree, and try incorporating a cheat meal or day, and see how it goes for you.

all that said, due to social obligations i find it more convenient to cheat once every few weeks than to try to explain at a high-carb wedding reception why i'm not eating any food, not even the cake. and even then i weight my plate towards protein & veggies if I can. this tends to blunt the insulin spike from dessert, and fill me up so i have zero temptation to grab more than one.

actually cheating for an entire 24 hours as hardcore as possible will throw your system so out of whack that after 3 or 4 cheat days you may think you never want to see another carb again, but human appetites are... durable.
 

Quiksilver

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#17
Nice one Throttle, gonna chuck it in the vault.... right after I finish my big mac and fries :D

just kidding.

Good advice, it rings true for me, though I don't think I could eat that many beans. My carb sources right now are pretty much fruit and oats when I feel low on energy. specifically eating an apple+banana+orange each day. Sound good on the fruit side? I tend to stack them either at brekky or pre-workout. Post workout is just whey+water+glutamine, then a big feed some time later. Oats are always for breakfast.

cheers
 

Throttle

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#18
sounds good, especially when you eat the fruits together. and if the oats work for you, go for it. the GI of oats depends a lot on what kind you get and how long you cook it. your best bet to hold down insulin response is to get regular (not instant) oats and avoid overcooking them (who wants to eat a slimy, gooey mess anyway?)

i resisted the beans for a long time, but they work great. last night I subbed some white beans for the bread in my mom's meatloaf recipe. fantastic! the "one-third" is definitely approximate, and i would count both low-gi fruit and oatmeal against that total. i just can't eat oats without sweetener, and I've been avoiding both natural and artificial sweeteners lately.
 

Quiksilver

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#19
Throttle said:
i just can't eat oats without sweetener, and I've been avoiding both natural and artificial sweeteners lately.
Tough luck ;)

I eat just plain steel cut rolled oats, put 1 cup of it into a bowl and pour some hot water into it. For some reason I like the taste.

On the same note of taste... I know you're a green tea fan, as am I. Try adding peppermint tea to green/white tea, it's great. I'm drinking heaps of green tea daily now. Usually around 700mL at a time, using two green tea/1 white tea/1 peppermint tea bags.

The white tea and peppermint really compliment the green tea, so give it a shot some time.
 

Throttle

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#20
will definitely give that a shot. may also give the oats another shot soon, perhaps unsweetened will work fine now that my palette is cleansed of excessive sweetness. most people say they can't stand unsweetened tea (green, black or white) but I think it's great.

another interesting twist that i've been drinking lately is earl grey green tea (it's just green tea with a bit of oil of bergamot, basically the rind of a citrus fruit). theoretically you could scrape a bit of the rind of any citrus fruit into your tea for a different twist.
 
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