Eat Right, Burn Fat

October 8, 2012 | By | Reply More

We’ve had a lot of questions concerning diet, one of the most common is, “Where is a chart that tells me how many calories I need each day?” Another is, “I’m confused about how to eat; do you have a diet I can follow?”

First, you need to grasp the fact that your calorie needs are dependent on many things, including activity level, hormones and metabolism–all of which fluctuate. So calorie-needs charts by bodyweight are very rough estimates—and not very accurate.

For example, Steve is 200 pounds, fairly lean (with abs) and 53 years old. His daily calories fluctuate, but he rarely gets more than 2,000 a day–and usually it’s fewer. Most calorie charts say he needs close to 3,000 per day just to maintain. Don’t go by calorie charts–you could get fatter, not leaner.

All of that is also a reason we don’t list boiler-plate diets for people to follow in Old School New Body. Diet is very specific to the individual. We do provide our diets so you can see “how” to eat without dictating exact meal schedules for people.

You can use our diets as templates and adjust and experiment. That is necessary because of your specific circumstances. If you eat four to six protein-charge meals a day and stick to low-glycemic carbs most of the time, you should be fine. If you feel as though you are losing muscle, adjust the portion sizes upward. If you start adding fat, adjust downward. (There are meal examples and options on page 68 of Old School New Body.)

So what do we mean by low-glycemic carbs? Those include oat meal, all vegetables, quinoa, fruit. You also get acceptable carbs in dairy products, like yogurt and cottage cheese.

Remember, there is no “official” dietary recommendation for carbs. That’s because it is an energy substrate and not a mandatory macronutrient. If you get zero carbs, which we do NOT recommend, your body can manufacture energy substrates from fat and protein. It’s a survival mechanism–however, getting some carbs is a better, more efficient choice. You just can’t overdo it—and you want to make them low-glycemic (slow releasing due to the inclusion of fiber and/or fat). That keeps insulin release low and blood sugar stable due to a slow absorption of sugar and nutrients.

An insulin surge, like you get with high-glycemic desserts, pasta, rice, potatoes, bread, etc., encourages fat storage. The sugar floods your bloodstream, and insulin is released to “sweep” it into your fat cells for storage.

Smaller, frequent, protein-charged, low-glycemic meals is the way to go most of the time. Remember your “Victory Day” once a week to splurge a bit and keep the antistarvation hormone leptin at optimal levels. (We’ll have more on leptin in a future blog.)

Steve & Becky Holman

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