Think critically about the paleo diet and your answer lies there. Ancient primates from a few hundred thousand years ago and longer weren't primarily meat eaters, they were mostly vegetarians. Some tribes began to eat meat. Humans eventually became omnivorous in order to survive in different places.
Fast forward to agriculture and while we made it so that more of us can eat instead of starve, we eventually made it worse so that people would get fat and sick. The reason for the problem is access to too much calories in all sorts of forms including both sugars and oils. Water doesn't make you fat, but as soon as you add sugar to it and make it into cool aid, it will. Potatoes don't make you fat either, until you fry them in oil and make them into french fries. Its all about calories.
Generally, foods in their natural form don't make you fat because you can't eat enough of it to make you fat. Fruit can't make you fat, because you can't eat enough of it. But as soon as you remove all the fiber and make juice out of it, you can consume way too many calories and get fat.
The same thing goes for meat. Generally speaking, most meats don't have too much fat. Fish, chicken, and most wild game, its all lean. Buffalo in nature is much leaner than farm raised cattle. There is a big difference. The same probably goes for pigs.
Also realize that in places where inuits eat mostly real fatty animals such as seals, this is the exception. They don't have plants available so they get most of their calories from fat. They have to in order to survive. Also, look up pictures of eskimos and you will realize that they are fat. Because fat has a ton of calories in it.
Similar to how when we put way too much sugar in our foods and get too many calories from it, the same can happen with fats. Our ancestors didn't have constant access to farm raised animals such as cows and pigs. They couldn't have 85% lean beef; instead they'd be eating wild buffalo that was more like 98% lean. They also wouldn't have had cheese or butter (which has a ton of fat in it) because hunter gatherers weren't herding animals. And lastly, they wouldn't be adding olive oil or coconut oil (that which has a ton of extra fat in it) to their foods because such foods require processing.
Also, there really is no need to demonize carbs. Your muscles are fueled by glycogen, that which mainly comes from broken down carbohydrates. Fruits and potatoes will give you a lot of energy and you really can't eat enough of them to make you fat, because they make you feel full before you have eaten too much of it. Here's a good way to look at it. If you only ate potatoes for carbs and ate them until you felt stuffed a few times per day, you would have only eaten probably less than 150 grams of carbs and say 500 calories from the potatoes. That's not that much. It can't make you fat.
So that's the thing. You do need carbs in your diet. I had to learn this the hard way years ago. I did a low carb diet without paying attention to calories. It only worked ok. The eventual result was stalling on my weight loss, losing energy, and a loss of performance in sports.
Keeping carbs in your diet works; you need it, but you can't be an idiot about it. Pastas, bread, drinks, juices, candy, it all has way too many calories in it and will make you fat. Fruit and vegetables, including potatoes, won't. It will give you the energy you need and make you feel ful. But it won't give you so much that it makes you fat.
So I guess the main thing with all of this is you need to keep things simple. You need more carbs than what you are currently getting, that way you will have energy for your sport. But you also need to drop the calories so that you can lose the fat. Here's how I would go about it:
1. Get your carbs from sources that are highly satisfying and low in calories. As a staple I'd go with potatoes. Peppers are also good for flavor and vitamins, but probably don't provide enough calories. Citrus fruits are also very filling too, and low in calories.
2. Get your proteins from lean meets such as fish and maybe chicken. It has enough fat in it, but not too much. While the fat in whole eggs is good for you, egg whites can be a better choice temporarily while trying to lose weight.
3. You already got enough energy from the carbs. And you also got enough fat from your meat. So don't add anything "extra" for fats such as cooking oils, cheese, etc.. Eliminate all of that.
Also, I don't think I'd recommend fasting during your season, because you'll need the energy with that much of activity. But you can get away with it during your off season and you probably should considering the fact that you aren't burning as much calories during that time period. So here's kind of how I'd do it:
1. During the off season, cut calories to lose the fat. But also lift weights regularly to increase strength. Lose the weight during this time period, instead of doing it when you are competing. That way you are already light as you want, and you can have more energy for your races.
2. During your sporting season, allow more calories, because you'll need it. And yes, you can probably get away with eating more of the tasty foods during this time period, because you'll be burning it all off. Keep an eye on the scale. If you find yourself gaining too much weight, cut back on the fats again.
One last thing to note is that eating carbs will naturally make you a bit heavier because your body converts it into glycogen and stores it in the muscles and liver. So you'll be an extra 5-10 lbs with carbs in your diet. You'll have plenty of energy that way and you will be stronger. But if your calories are low enough, you'll lose the weight in fat.
Good luck! I hope that made some sense and will be helpful.
There are so many wrong things with that post. First of all humans have been eating meat for over 2 and a half million years. They weren't mostly vegetarian, Eating mostly just meat gave humans the ability to evolve. Eating mostly vegetation places huge pressure on the intestinal tract, so getting the majorty of calories from the fat and protein gave the digestive system a break, and more calories were able to go to the brain. Eating meat allowed humans to move away from the forests and into areas were they wouldn't have been able to survive on just vegetation. So humans definately evolved on a mostly meat/fat diet.
Secondly, you told him to eat little fat and 150g of carbs. So he will only be eating 600-1000 with protein. So he definatelly needs fat aswell, if someone eats just carbs and no fat their blood sugar will rise and they will feel hungrier, not fuller. Carbs release insulin, and insulin stores carbs and fats as fat, so if he over-eats he will still gain weight. Insulin also stops fat from escaping from the fat stores, making it harder to lose weight. I do agree on eating carbs and fats, i eat atleast 100g of carbs a day, but still eat mostly fat and protein.
It seems like you are new to this, or just guessing with a lot of that information.
Last edited by Lukey; 09-08-2012 at 08:25 AM.
Humans evolved "from" plant eaters and became omnivorous. And even if we did need more calories from fat percentage wise, that doesn't change the laws of thermodynamics. If you eat too many calories you get fat.
Originally Posted by Lukey
I don't recall ever recommending to only eat carbs. You get plenty of fat from fish and other meats. And as already mentioned, calories count. So during a cut, one would be retarded to add extra fat from processed sources on top of that.
Originally Posted by Lukey
This is not to mention the fact that fasting is a perfectly safe method for fat loss. And the science supporting it debunks the belief that there could be some sort of perfect macronutrient ratio.
Protein also stimulates insulin, a hormone that you actually need. And your pancreas only secretes too much if you eat too much. An example of abuse is when you eat candy, made from simple sugars that you can digest real quick before you are full, and so you end up eating too many calories and storing it as fat. Even if your insulin went too high from such foods as potatoes, which I doubt because its hard to eat too much, insulin will drop when you go into the fasted state, GH will rise, fat loss will occur, and blood sugar will stabilize.
Originally Posted by Lukey
I've been around long enough to know what works. Calories count and they always will. You can't go on adding "extra" calories in concentrated form into your diet and wonder why the fat isn't coming off. It's a dead end road.
Originally Posted by Lukey
Just to give an example of how this works, last year I was doing a rather low carb approach. For carbs, I'd eat some raw fruits and vegetables earlier in the day, and maybe one sweet potato at night. For protein I'd eat about a lb of meat or sometimes include eggs. My fat loss stalled for a few weeks, until I came up with a better idea. I stopped cooking with oil and eating cheese and what do you know, I started losing weight again.
Ripped, I do agree with your thesis on the availability of fats and the ease of which it is to over consume calories when eating fats. Doing things such as diving into nut-butters and eating bowls of dairy will stall weight loss process any day. However, as I found out by watching some videos on ketosis, putting yourself in that limbo zone between 50g and 150g of carbs will give you energy problems and cause foggy-headedness. You guys are technically both saying the same thing, except Ripped is pointing out the dangers of making fat your main source of energy, calories tend to be too readily available when looking for fatty foods to consume. Fat-focused diets can work, as long you are careful not to consume excess calories.
I have been doing a lot of research, and this is what I have found to be my main obstacles, some that I find are very key in this whole process.
1. Over complication and obsession
- On this whole journey of losing weight, I am finding myself jumping from program to program. I found myself cutting so many things out that I would aimlessly wander the kitchen and eventually caving into something. (My biggest "weaknesses" being those of high-fat content, nuts, nut butters, and dairy)
- I began to cut out all of the things that I believed I over consumed and that had high carbs, and that left me with meats, leaved vegetables, and coconut butter to eat.
- I also figured out that when I started on ketosis, I was basing my percentages on what I could see, and not by calories. I thus found myself consuming wayyy too many meats and dairy in order to get my fat levels high.
- I realized that it really sends my mind into a panic when I give myself so many guidelines, and then break them (something inevitable when traveling such a strict path)
2. Elevated cortisol levels
- The over complication of my diet combined with my lack of sleep, the stress of junior year and colleges, afternoon exercising, chronic cardio, and many other things contributed to giving me high stress
- These stresses elevated my cortisol levels, and have been leading me to have less energy and elevated insulin levels (packaging calories much easier)
3. Going too hard too soon
- I started off with no sugar. This evolved into low carbs. This evolved into an attempt to get into ketosis. This evolved into intermittent fasting (something deadly when cortisol levels are high).
- I have been trying to boil the ocean by combining all of these things. I wanted the perfect diet, of the most disciplined athlete, of the most stress free environment. I was jumping to the last level before clearing all of the levels before.
1,3. To prevent myself from going into a panic, I'm giving myself 3 SIMPLE guidelines
- (1) No sugar of any kind
- (2) Fill up the bulk of my plate with vegetables
- (3) Avoid unnecessary calories (nuts and dairy)
- (3) Listen to my body (when I'm hungry, I eat, when I'm satisfied, I do something else)
2. Lower my Cortisol Levels
- I'm basically going to be following Chris the Kiwi's method (except for the running and the exercising early in the day. I do cross country and practice is after school)
- Here's his guide to lowering cortisol levels: Fat Loss And The ATM Approach to Cortisol Management « Chris the Kiwi
Once I find myself eating normal, comfortable amounts and when my symptoms of high cortisol levels go away, I will start to embark on things such as intermittent fasting, cutting back on carb-high vegetables, and eventually starting to calculate calorie deficits to give myself that final edge.
I think you're on the right track with point #1, wanting to simplify things. And you can.
That's actually what I liked best when I learned about intermittent fasting. Because the science behind it debunks the old ideas that you have to eat 6 meals per day and be excessive compulsive about your diet in order to be in great shape. In reality, most sedentary people can do find with less meals and so can some active people such as construction workers. So unless you're so active that you're burning up all of your calories quick and then need another meal, there's no reason why one would HAVE to have a lot of meals per day.
To further simplify things I have also known people who regularly eat junk food and are skinny, healthy, lean, strong, and/or as little as 3% body fat. I used to think it was genetics until I learned how to diet down and drop the fat off and keep it off for life. I've also read about a story where a guy lost 80 lbs in 6 months eating McDonalds every day and a college professor who did a 10 week calorie restricted junk food diet to prove to his students that the only thing that matters when it comes to fat loss is calories. Check this one out:
Twinkie diet helps nutrition professor lose 27 pounds - CNN.com
Take note that the professor was eating more healthy food prior to the experiment and afterwords showed a number of health improvements.
This stuff really blew my mind and had me thinking I'd been lied to about diet for years. You mean to tell me I can eat what ever I want and any number of meals that I want and still lose weight and improve my health? The answer is a flat out yes, but that doesn't mean that its the best thing to do.
Here's some factors I'd take note of:
1. You can eat junk food, but it typically has too many calories, it stimulates appetite, and it sometimes lacks some of the best micronutrients you need, so it probably isn't the best choice.
2. If you plan specific meals that are highly satisfying (and low in calories if cutting) you'll feel a lot better because it will fill you up and make you feel stuffed.
3. Life is what it is and as discussed in the book "The Warrior Diet", you need a plan that's flexible, a plan that you can make work according to any situation. As an example, I travel a lot and I need to find a way to make my diet work for me. And I do. I have no excuses. I'm not obese anymore like I used to be and I never will.
Earlier this year for example I wanted to drop 10 lbs, so I dropped the calories down real low. I was mostly eating peppers, chicken or turkey, some beef patties once in a while, and a little bit of cheese once in a while. I was getting the food free at work. Sunday was my only day off, so rather than having food in the house it was easier for me to just eat out. So on Sunday, I'd eat about 2000 calories worth of Burger King. The diet still worked phenomenally well and I dropped the 10 lbs within a month or so.
You see, the thing I am getting at is that you can eat what ever you want. But some foods give you more vitamins and minerals and would be a better choice if you have convenient access. Other foods simply make dieting a much more comfortable process.
The same goes for meal frequency. Bodybuilders started recommending more meals per day because its a sure way to make it easier to eat more for skinny guys trying to gain weight. Some how that got twisted around to where they were erroneously recommending to do it while cutting too. Most regular size people don't need that many meals and in fact less meals makes it a lot more comfortable while cutting. That is my experience. A few huge meals is what I like best and am the most comfortable with.
You aren't going to get sick and die, gain 500 lbs, turn into a diabetic, or go to hell if you eat ice cream once in a while. I can promise you that. I've probably eaten more ice cream over the last year than I did in an entire decade, and I'm 20 lbs lighter with improved health markers such as blood pressure.
I hope that helps.
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