This is a question that may plague some people. Many persons have been brought up to focus on eating low fat foods in order to lose weight. There are several diets that focus on eating low fat but the question is – will eating low fat foods sustain you?
The short answer to this question is that it really all depends on what types of fat one consumes. There are good fats and bad fats. It also depends on the objective.
Everybody is different and reacts to carbohydrates differently. Some people can tolerate higher carbohydrate (carbs) when trying to gain weight. Other persons may need to go on a low carb diet for a period of time to lose weight. Some people can become addicted to carbohydrates as well. Oprah had mentioned at one time that she was addicted to carbohydrates.
I recently competed in 2 natural bodybuilding shows (drug-free) and in order to achieve my goals of fat loss, I had to consume more fat and protein and go on a low carb regimen for several weeks. I consumed the good fat such as nuts, seeds, olive oil, including fatty fish such as salmon.
Fats are essential in absorbing some vitamins, cushioning organs, maintaining cell membranes and insulating the body when it is cold. The good fat is known as unsaturated fat and helps to decrease heart disease, whereas saturated and trans fat lead to high cholesterol and elevated risk of heart disease and other conditions.
Carbohydrates are also essential to the body and are used by the body as the main source of fuel – in other words, ENERGY. There are good carbs and bad carbs. The good carbs consist of fiber-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables; starchy carbs are potatoes, rice, whole grains, breads and pasta. The refined carbs (bad carbs) consists of desserts, processed foods and soda and should be avoided when trying to lose weight. Excess carbs are stored in the body as fat.
Embarking on a low carb diet for a long period of time is not the best idea. The reason is that the brain needs carbohydrate in the form of glucose to function at its optimal level. Initially, the body will burn fat and use this for energy while on a low carb diet however after a period of time, a state known as ketosis may set in.
This can be detected via the urine using ketostix which is sold at many drug stores. The reason why one does not want to remain in a state of ketosis is that the body will burn muscle and use this for energy.
The key to successful weight loss is to increase lean muscle while burning fat. It is best to have close supervision by a trained professional that can advise you on how to properly carb cycle and when to resume eating more carbohydrates and additional fat.
One should also consider nutrient timing. The best time to consume fat would be at any meal. Starchy low carbs and fruit are best consumed within 1 hour after exercise and should be combined with protein for satiety. Vegetables especially greens can be consumed with protein at another meal.
The best suggestion for weight loss is to have an assessment to determine the proper macronutrient ratio (protein, carb and fat) based on the goals that one would like to achieve.
Check out this Fat Shred diet plan for an optimum way to shed the fat without losing muscle.