My Fat Loss Philosophy, Part 3

30 08 2010

Okay, this has taken longer than I initially intended, but here’s what I believe will be my last post for now regarding my fat loss philosophy. In this installment, I’ll deal with what to eat.

Foods

As much as possible, I try to eat whole, real foods, and avoid anything processed. These are the things that I eat freely:

  • Beef, pork, chicken, turkey, lamb, fish, etc.
  • Eggs, including the yolks
  • Vegetables, especially green leafy ones like broccoli and spinach, but not corn (which is a grain) or legumes. Most of the time I avoid starchy vegetables (like potatoes).
  • Fruit, especially berries
  • Nuts, except for peanuts
  • Limited dairy (yogurt, cottage cheese, cheese)
  • Green tea and water, with the occasional diet soda
  • Coconut and olive oil, butter

The things I avoid:

  • Everything grain-based, including breads and pastas
  • Anything sugary
  • Most vegetable oils
  • Legumes
  • Processed foods
  • Almost everything soy-based

I don’t shy away from saturated fat or cholesterol at all, because the science shows that they are actually good for you, contrary to conventional wisdom.

All of this means that my diet is high in protein, high in fat, and (relatively) low in carbs. I don’t pay a ton of attention to calories. As you’ll recall from my first post on this, if you’re trying to lose fat, it’s essential that you eat fewer calories that you use. But I’ve found that eating this way, that just kind of happens naturally. I have tracked calories occasionally just to get an idea, and I am careful with fruit, limiting it mostly to training days, but that’s about it.

This works very well for me personally. I think that some people might do just fine with grains and legumes (and if you eat them, it’s probably going to require paying closer attention to calories), but for me, it’s easier to attain my goals if I avoid them as much as possible.

Supplements

In an ideal world, I’d be able to get ample supplies of all of my nutrients directly from food. But because of convenience and cost factors, I use some supplements as well:

  • Protein powder: I try to get at least 150 g of protein a day, and this is much easier to do if I throw in a protein shake or two. There are a LOT of good protein powders on the market now, many of them quite tasty. I recommend something using whey or casein protein. Avoid soy.
  • Multivitamin: I take one because I have a couple of huge bottles that I haven’t used up yet. Studies seem to show that our bodies don’t really absorb the nutrients in a multivitamin, though, so I’ll probably stop using them once my supply runs out.
  • Vitamin D3: There is a lot of research lately showing the importance of Vitamin D, and most people are lacking. I try to spend some time outside every day to get some from the sun, but just to be safe, I also take 5000 IUs every day.
  • Probiotic: I just started doing this. The idea is that antibiotics and the effects of the typical American diet have caused most people to be lacking in the healthy bacteria that make up our intestinal tract. Probiotics and fermented foods can help correct this.
  • Fish oil: The benefits of fish oil cannot be overstated due to the fact that most of us are sorely lacking in Omega-3s. I typically pop 5-6 capsules a day.

Weight: 202
BF%: 23

Jan 1st starting weight: 232.5
Starting BF%: 31

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9 responses

30 08 2010
Andy

>I don’t shy away from saturated fat or cholesterol at all, because the science
>shows that they are actually good for you, contrary to conventional wisdom

Unless your doctor has told you that your cholesterol is a problem right? I dont know of any science that says keep eating it if you have a medical issue with high cholesterol.

(says the guy who just broke 200 so now has to watch his intake!!!)

30 08 2010
myopicrhino

I’m not going to attempt to give you medical advice, and I didn’t cite sources for any of my statements because 1) I didn’t feel like it and 2) these are actually pretty big topics and what I’m hoping is that people will do some research on their own, especially on the recommendations that challenge conventional wisdom. But the information that I’ve seen shows little to no correlation between dietary cholesterol and blood cholesterol levels, and also that blood levels measured in absolute terms aren’t as important as the ratios between LDL, HDL, and triglycerides.

This article provides a good primer.

30 08 2010
Andy

But I want medical advice – otherwise how can I sue you when it goes horribly wrong 😉 This is America – land of ‘its always someone elses fault’!

I digress – thanks for the link. Very interesting stuff. I’m in no danger of removing cholesterol anyway – i enjoy my bacon too much.

30 08 2010
Sebastien St-Laurent

My diet these days is somewhat similar. But as I am in the earlier stages (detox), this is mostly Chicken/Greens/Berries. Although partially for weight loss, in my case it is also to try and narrow down some digestive problems…

I have to agree in regards to Vitamin D, it is something people are just realizing the importance of. A few years ago, I was suffering from constant fatigue. Turns out my Vit D levels were so low, they didn’t even register on the test. This means that my level was below 7ng/ml when it should have been >50ng/ml.

30 08 2010
myopicrhino

Yep, Vit D deficiency is a major, widespread problem that can manifest in many different ways, but it’s remarkably easy to fix.

30 08 2010
Matthew

Hi Myopic,

Out of curiosity have you ever tried the “water before meals” method of losing weight? So before you eat just down a pint of water, then eat, and see how it changes both how much you want to eat, and how long you stay full.

A lot of our hunger comes from just having an empty stomach, so something like soup will keep you full for longer than say some chicken and salad. By introducing the water before nay meal it should have a similar effect.

Here’s some more info:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-11057891

My thinking on this is water is good for you, there’s no diet change away from what you are already doing, so it might be worth trying just to see what happens with your weight and BF

30 08 2010
myopicrhino

No, but I pretty much never feel hungry eating the way I do. Part of that is because vegetables, especially green, leafy ones, are very filling but very low in calories, and of course full of nutrients.

Btw, I’d have to read the source before commenting on the article you linked, since it’s sparse on details. For instance, it says both groups were low calorie, but it doesn’t indicate whether they both ate the same total number of calories, it doesn’t distinguish between fat loss and weight loss (for example, consuming more water may have improved the electrolyte balance of one group, causing them to retain less water and lose more scale weight but the same amount of bodyfat), etc.

19 02 2012
Mark

Hi. I found you because you back-linked to one of my twenty billion websites and I wasn’t going to post here until I read some of your stuff. Your approach to diet for weight loss is almost identical to what I teach patients in my medical weight loss practice. So, I guess, good for me and good for you. It’s nice to see that someone else is reading the science.

21 02 2012
myopicrhino

Thanks Mark! Now I just need to get back to practicing what I preach 😉

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