Pathway 5 to Sustainable Fat Loss: Solid Nutrition Foundations
Really, fat loss has little to do with loss. It has to do with change. Whereas you do ultimately have to be in a caloric deficit in order to lose body fat, you can do so in a way that has you thriving and nourishing your body with delicious, whole foods.
Typically, when we think of nutrition related to fat loss goals, we associate it with deprivation, limitation and highly restricted, inflexible dieting regimens. With a solid nutrition foundation, you will not only avoid these demotivating and unsustainable scenarios. In all likelihood, you will actually find yourself eating MORE.
Yes, you read that right. You will be eating more food to lose body fat.
By utilizing the nutrition principles outlined here you will be eating more food by volume, effectively restricting your calories, maximizing your potential for fat loss and feeling quite full most of the time!
Here are the base points for solid nutrition in the context of fat loss:
Protein is key! Consuming adequate protein will help to ensure you stay satiated and prevent muscle loss while your body is in a caloric deficit. Without getting too deep into the math, a good rule of thumb (some exceptions apply) is to eat one gram of protein per pound of your goal body weight.
Vibe with fiber! In addition to aiding digestion, motility and proper insulin levels, fiber also has a satiating effect on your appetite. Most people would do well to consume 20 - 40 grams of fiber per day. If your fiber intake is currently low, please progress slowly into this range and make sure you are drinking plenty of water. As a bonus, there is a lot of recent research showing that consuming a variety of different kinds of fiber has a positive effect on your gut microbiome (the highly influential system of bacteria that lives in your digestive system).
Eat foods that you enjoy. Once you have an awareness of what you like to eat and have shored yourself up with adequate protein and fiber, eating foods that you enjoy while losing body fat becomes a relatively simple matter. Remember our original point about triage: the proportion of carbohydrates versus fats that you consume matters far less than the overall sustainability of your approach. If you do not have some level of enjoyment of food while you are aiming at fat loss, then you are more likely to stray from your plan.
- Mindfully indulge from time to time. Cheats, treats, carb loads, buffet nights, Christmas dinner, Netflix binge - whatever label you want to put on what essentially amounts to an occasional indulgence, do so. Especially if the event or people involved in the indulgence are special to you, DO NOT DEPRIVE YOURSELF OF THESE OCCASIONS. Rather, go into them mindfully knowing that you are straying from your typical fat loss nutrition, and that is completely okay. Allowing yourself to participate in these events as fully and as aware as possible will ensure that you remain enrolled in the traditions and people you love while remaining solidly on the path towards your fat loss goals.