(For the previous two tips, go here.)
Tip #3: Consume fuel for fat loss.
You can’t lose weight or body fat without fueling your body sufficiently. Your body enters a type of “starvation” mode when you cut too low on energy (food) intake or go too long without eating. Essentially what happens is your body prepares for unknown circumstances, like impending famine, and releases a cascade of hormones and enzymatic reactions designed to store body fat. Why? Fat is the best long-term energy source for your body’s survival mechanisms. In other words, your body catabolizes its nutrient-rich muscle as an immediate fuel source to produce the much-needed blood sugar (glucose) for fuel. This process is called gluconeogenesis, and it is not a good thing! A shortage of any of the three macronutrients, carbs, proteins, or healthy fats wreaks havoc on your body’s natural mechanisms designed to protect it. When you eat away at your own muscle tissue, you burn less fat at rest and increase your fat-to-muscle ratio. Each time you crash diet, you lose a little more muscle. Don’t do it.
You should fuel your body every 2-3 hours with a healthful combination of foods. Your body needs fibrous whole grain carbohydrate sources, such as oatmeal, whole wheat bread, whole grain pasta, and brown rice. High fiber fruits and vegetables are important, too. Apples, berries, spinach, and broccoli are a few examples. Lean protein is essential, along with healthy fats for fat loss. Fat-free and low-fat dairy, whey protein, eggs (up to 1 per day), egg whites, lean poultry, beef, fish, and beans are all examples. Don’t forget about healthy fats such as nut butter, nuts, avocados, olive oil, and ground flaxseeds. These decrease your cravings and help spur production of hormones designed to sculpt lean muscle.
Remember, to lose those last 10 lb., you still need to eat!
(Tomorrow: Tip #4 for Losing Those Last 10 Pounds)