Statistically that means 95% of the population has given up on their New Year's Resolutions. We're trusting that's not you.
If you were planning to lose fat in 2010, have you heard people suggesting you should "eat more to lose weight?"
Sounds almost too good to be true, doesn't it? Aren't calories important?
As promising as it may seem, it’s impossible to truly defy the laws of physics and take in more calories than your body uses to lose fat.
But lo and behold, the husband of a woman we work with told us he recently lost 12 pounds pretty quickly. He went to his doctor and when asked what he did to lose weight, said “I ate fast food twice this week.”
The doctor applauded him, suggesting that may have “jumpstarted” his metabolism enough to kick that weight loss into high gear.
Seriously? Fast food "jumpstarts your metabolism?" I must have missed that nutrition class in school!
The man was ecstatic – suggesting to his wife that she too eat fast food that evening to bump up her already impressive weight loss.
The result? She was sick the entire evening after taking his advice and “enjoying” a crispy chicken sandwich; foods she hadn’t touched in months. So why didn’t this strategy work for her like it did him?
Can’t you boost your metabolism by eating more?
This is where that physician got his nutrition information a little mixed up – a common problem with many physicians, unfortunately. I digress.
Here’s the truth.
When you eat, your metabolism increases. This accounts for about 10-15% of your overall calorie expenditure. It’s not a huge chunk, but every bit surely helps.
Protein causes the biggest increase. Carbohydrates are next. And fat has a nominal effect.
This is one reason many suggest higher protein diets for fat loss. Again, every little bit helps.
With that said, however, the total amount of calories a person eats will always be greater than the resultant increase in metabolism, regardless of the food selection.
For example, sitting down to a protein rich grilled chicken and mixed veggie meal may provide around 400 calories. That doesn’t mean you’ll burn 500 calories, though, because it’s high in protein.
But it is one reason we suggest smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day. And, yes, we do suggest protein with each meal.
Every little boost in calorie burn helps, so dividing 2000 calories over 3 meals vs. 2000 calories over 4-6 meals may give a little extra "boost."
But going back to the original question, eating, or refeeding high calorie, junk food, like what the physician suggested, is far from a smart eating strategy for long term, permanent fat loss.
These 10 strategies are what you truly need for permanent fat loss :
Eat smaller, more frequent meals (not larger, more frequent meals).
Include lean protein with each meal and snack.
Use veggies and fruit as your primary source of carbohydrates.
Replace liquid calories with non caloric options like water.