This seems to be the question on everyone's mind, and for good reason, fat is so easy to acquire and so hard to get rid of. Most bodies love to store fat; it's good security for when you run out of food. This is unlikely, but your body doesn't know that. Unfortunately, the body loves storing fat so much that it will burn anything else available (muscle tissue, stored carbohydrate, etc.) before digging into the fat reserves, unless you trick it.
The first thing your body will burn is stored carbohydrates in the form of glycogen. The next is muscle tissue, only then does it grudgingly dip into the fat stores. This is why most diets don't work, especially "starvation" diets. When you suddenly cut off the food supply, a survival mechanism kicks in causing the body to store every little bit of fat that it can! This results in weight loss, but not much fat loss, and as soon as you DO eat something, it immediately gets stored as fat to replace any that was used. This is NOT what you want, so you have to fool the body into thinking it doesn't need fat. Here is a list of effective ways to do this, and you won't even have to starve yourself! It's never easy though.
Change your eating habits. Don't diet! Make a permanent change in how you eat
1) Limit, but don't cut out high fat foods: Dietary fat can be stored if taken in excess; however, some fat intake must be maintained to prevent the body from storing every bit of fat it does get. (See #6 below).
2) Limit high sugar and high glycemic index foods (including fruit): Simple sugars (and many "complex” carbohydrates) get easily converted into fat, and can also be the cause of high cholesterol. Glucose, fructose, and sucrose are all simple sugars and malt dextrin (common in many "weight gainer supplements) has a very high glycemic index putting it in the same category as simple sugars. I'm not saying not to eat fruit, as they contain many beneficial vitamins, just don't overdo it. Keep it to 2 or 3 pieces a day.
3) Eat more frequently: Yes, you read that right! Eat 5 or 6 smaller meals a day (or 3 main meals and 2 -3 healthy snacks (protein shakes work well). There are several reasons for this, they are:
· With smaller servings, your stomach will shrink and you will get full faster.
· Digesting burns a surprising amount of calories, eat more often and burn more calories!
· When you eat a large meal, the body takes what it needs, and saves the excess as, guess what? FAT. Smaller meals prevent this even if you eat the same amount overall.
4) Never eat before bed: Plan your last meal to be at least 2 hours before bed. The body likes to store fat while you sleep if you eat too soon before bed.
5) Eat slowly: It takes your stomach about 20 minutes to signal the brain after it is full. If you eat too fast you will think you are still hungry and eat more. If you're still a bit hungry after eating, do something to take your mind off food for at least 20 minutes and you'll most likely forget about the eating.
6) Don't totally cut out fat: Keep some fat in your "non diet", as it helps get your body into a "fat burning mode". Keep it "low to moderate fat" not "no fat". Try to stick to the "good" fats such as those from fish, flax oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, olive oil, peanut oil.
7) This won't be easy so sometimes give yourself a break. Allow yourself one "treat" per week, or even a day when you can eat whatever you want, and really enjoy it!
8) Eat foods that take lots of energy to burn: These include most vegetables (especially the fibrous ones) and protein sources such as meat. Cut the visible fat off red meat and remove the skin from chicken. Water-packed tuna is very good (if you like it).
9) Take it easy on complex carbohydrates as any excess gets easily converted to fat. This includes rice, pasta, potatoes, and any "starchy foods". Eat these regularly, but not too much at one time. If you want to lose fat faster, cut down on these foods and replace with protein and good fat (for example: olive oil, almonds, etc).
10) The breakdown should be about: 40% protein, 30% complex carbohydrate, and 30% fat. This can be varied but keep the protein high and control your body fat by manipulating the carbohydrate content. Most of the fat in your diet will come from the protein sources.
Remember: “Breakfast” means break the fast. This is your most important meal of the day. You have not eaten anything for more than 6 to 8 hours. As mentioned above if you don’t eat your body will be burning your hard earned muscle tone until it gets the fuel it needs.