How to put the Basics to Work

So, now that we know the basics… what’s next?

First, we must define what our daily intake must be of our 3 macronutrients, and track it. In this program, you will be required to download the My Fitness Pal app, available on Android and Apple devices. It is an easy-to-use program that you will input your food into, and it will break down what is in that food for protein, carbohydrates, and fats. Logging your food will be essential to success in this program. If we do not know exactly what we are taking, in the food we eat, we will never be able to manipulate the diet to get the results we want. During your 1-1 weekly sessions, you will be required to have your food log for the week, so we can over it, and find out what you’re eating, and how it needs to be changed.

A note about calories: Calories are NOT the end-all and be-all of weight loss. The Thermic Effect of Food is something to take into account. Different nutrients require different amounts of energy to actually metabolize that nutrient, which most studies indicate accounts for 10% of caloric intake.
Intake of different nutrients also enacts different metabolic pathways. Eating the right kinds of fats, for example, teaches your body HOW to burn fat for fuel.

For Protein, you will take your body weight in pounds, multiply it by .75, and the resulting number will be your daily intake of protein.

So, for a 200lb person, it will be 200x.75=150, meaning 150 grams of protein. Protein is best absorbed when eaten in quantities no great than 30g per meal. But how do you know what 30 grams of protein looks like in chicken? Or steak? Or fish?

A general rule of thumb is that if the piece of protein is about 1 inch thick, and the size of your palm, it will be around 30g of protein. This is also where a kitchen scale can come in very handy. If we weigh our food, we can then log it and find out exactly what the macronutrient breakdown is. Google can also be used, a quick search can bring up a fairly close estimate of what is in a certain food. Just make sure to get the information from a reputable source!

For Carbohydrates, we will not be eating more than 30 grams per day. You may be thinking to yourself, “That’s really low!” And you would be correct! The human body does not need many carbohydrates to function properly. Remember from Lesson 1, our bodies were designed to burn fat for energy most efficiently, not sugar! In fact, your body can even MAKE its own sugar from protein if carbohydrate intake is not sufficient. This is the ONLY macronutrient our bodies can manufacture. The body cannot create protein or fat, it has to be eaten. This low intake of carbohydrates will supply our body with what it needs while forcing it to shift into a fat-burning state, so the remainder of the energy needed for daily function will be taken from our body fat stores, thus we will lose weight.

Another reason we need carbohydrates this low is that we need to minimize the amount of insulin that our body is secreting daily. Carbohydrates produce insulin secretion, so limiting carbohydrates will allow our insulin levels to drop significantly. Not only will this allow our cells to normalize their response to insulin over time, but it will also allow for Insulin Degrading Enzyme(IDE, the counter hormone to insulin) to build up in our system. IDE breaks down insulin in our system to remove it from the bloodstream. Studies also show that IDE in higher than normal amounts in the bloodstream provides a neuroprotective effect in the brain, so we are getting more than one benefit from this low-carb diet!

Now, simple sugars, and most of all, fructose, the sugar that is naturally occurring in fruits produce the largest insulin secretions. It is important to note that ALL carbohydrates break down into sugar. However, the carbohydrates found in vegetables are ingested with fiber, so they have a dramatically different effect on insulin secretion. This is what is referred to as the Glycemic Index of a food. The Glycemic Index of a food is essentially a measure of the insulin response a certain food causes in our body. Fruits, bread, pasta, and other starches produce large insulin responses. Fructose produces one of the highest insulin spikes of all foods. So on this plan, we must severely limit, or eliminate fruits entirely. If you want to eat fruits, stick to lower-sugar fruits like blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries, and limit the intake to no more than a handful.

For Fats, we will need to get 100-120 grams per day. This may sound like a large amount, but remember, we are essentially teaching our bodies to burn fat for energy. Whether that is dietary fat or adipose tissue, it’s no different for your body. It must know HOW to burn fat efficiently, in order to burn off the excess body fat storage we have that we want to lose.

That being said, the fat we eat in this diet must be high quality. Seed oils are not a high-quality source of fat. In fact, many seed oils are rancid by the time they reach the consumer, and are actually oxidized, meaning they are no longer in their natural form. Oxidized fats are pro-inflammatory, not something that we need in our diets, and in some studies have been linked to higher rates of cancer in humans. The fats we prefer for this program are Coconut Oil or Medium Chain Triglyceride oil, AKA MCT Oil, Avocados/Avocado Oil, Grassfed Butter, high-quality Olive Oil, Fish Oil, either dietary, or in supplement form, and animal fats, such as skin-on chicken, beef fat, and eggs. Try to limit pork consumption, as pork tends to have a higher load of toxins than other meats due to farming practices.

Following these parameters, we can prime our bodies to shift into the fat-burning metabolism! After you have calculated your protein, and added your calories up, you should be between 1400-1800 calories. That may seem low, but remember, having a caloric deficit will make our bodies want to burn fat to fill our additional energy requirements. The amount of protein is enough to keep our muscles and organ tissues fed and properly maintained, the carbohydrates will be utilized by the nervous system, and the fats will fill in the gaps.

Remember, being this low on calories is NOT a forever program. This is specifically for fat loss. Once we have attained our desired body fat percentage and body weight, we can increase calories back to normal, while maintaining a healthy pattern of eating, without putting weight on, as we have fundamentally changed how our body uses the nutrients you give it.