Here?s a great article by Jill Coleman ? http://blog.metaboliceffect.com/2010/02/26/healthy-eating-vs-eating-for-fat-loss-is-there-a-difference?? on the difference between ?eating healthy? and ?eating for fat loss?. ? There?s also a meal comparison and nutrition info!
Ask most Americans and they will tell you they eat ?pretty healthy.?? They will admit to the occasional sweet treat or fast food indulgence, but for the most part, they claim to eat according to the food pyramid or in line with diet experts? guidelines on healthy eating.? Then why are two-thirds of Americans overweight or obese?? And why are these exact recommendations not helping us slim down?
Is this whole grain bagel healthy? Good for fat loss?
It is because there?is?a difference between eating for fat-loss and so-called healthy eating.? ?Healthy? is a way of eating that assures sufficient intake of important vitamins, minerals and nutrients, like fiber.? However, most assume that if they eat this way, they will lose weight too.? Unfortunately, that is not always the case, mostly because the ratios of nutrients provided by this diet are not in line with fat loss.? On the other hand, ?fat-loss? eating entails consuming not only adequate amounts of vital nutrients, vitamins and minerals, but implementing nutrient ratios that will provide fat-loss at the same time.? So healthy eating is not necessarily fat-loss eating, but a fat-loss plan is almost always a healthy plan.
Let?s first take a look at an average ?healthy? day of eating; one that many dieticians would say incorporates plenty of healthy fiber, vitamins and minerals:
?Healthy? Daily Meal Plan:
Breakfast:?1 cup high-fiber cereal, 1 cup skim milk, 1 banana, 8 oz orange juice
Lunch:?1/8 lb sliced turkey, 2 slices whole wheat bread, 1 granola bar
Mid-afternoon snack: 1 cup nonfat yogurt w/ berries, ? cup granola
Dinner:?1 chicken breast, ? cup whole wheat spaghetti with tomato sauce, 2 oz parmesan cheese
After dinner: Skinny Cow ice cream sandwich
In fact, the above meal plan is probably healthier than what most Americans eat daily.? If most ate in a way they consider the ideal, it would like something like the above.?? Here are the nutritional facts from the above meal plan:
19 grams fat
316 grams carbohydrates (35 grams fiber)
100 grams protein
Now, let?s contrast this with a fat-loss diet plan, as derived from typical diets followed by physique competitors like bodybuilders and figure competitors whose main goal is to decrease their body fat percentage for competition.? Though you may not want to look like a bodybuilder necessarily, there is no denying that eating this way sheds significant amounts of fat:
Fat-loss Daily Meal Plan:
Breakfast:?? cup oatbran (dry) made with water, 6 egg whites scrambled with 2 cups spinach, mushrooms and onions, ? cup frozen blue berries, black coffee
Mid-morning:?1 small grapefruit, 20 raw almonds
Lunch:?Large greens salad, 1 grilled chicken breast, 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar, ? sweet potato, large unsweetened hot green tea
Mid-afternoon:?? lb ground turkey, 1 cup broccoli, ? sweet potato
Dinner:?6 oz halibut, 10 asparagus spears, small mixed greens salad
After dinner:?Spoonful natural peanut butter
This meal plan requires more frequent eating, and has noticeably more vegetables and lean protein sources.? Many diet experts will worry about this plan, saying that it is low in fiber or low in nutrients; let?s look at the nutritional profile:
50 grams fat
115 grams carbohydrates (31 grams fiber)
160 grams protein
Calorically, these diets look very similar, and are in a good range, despite the fat-loss plan containing a much greater?volume?of food.?? Similarly, both plans contain adequate fiber (>30 grams) to help lower cholesterol and stabilize blood sugar.? However, in the healthy meal plan, only 11% of total carbohydrates are in the form of healthy fiber, while in the fat-loss diet, 27% of total carbohydrates come from fiber (note: all carbs that are not listed as ?fiber,? are sugar).? Also, the two diets are drastically different in their ratio of carbohydrates to protein.? These key differences in the meal plans impact the extent to which the eater will burn fat or not.
The ratio of protein to carbohydrate, as well as absolute carbohydrate intake will have a huge impact on one?s ability to burn fat or prevent fat storing.? The hormone insulin is released in response to either a large absolute amount of carbohydrates consumed or in the event of a small amount of high glycemic index (GI) carbs eaten, like a single donut.? Insulin not only facilitates the metabolism and storage of carbs, but also aids the conversion of excess carbs into fat for storage, while also effectively shutting down all fat-burning machinery to boot.? It is literally impossible to burn fat when carbohydrate-induced insulin is present.
In the healthy diet plan above, 316 grams of carbs are consumed.? Divide that by the 4 meals and that is an average 79 grams of carbs at each sitting; well beyond what is needed to release a lot of insulin and considerably increase fat storage.? By contrast, the fat-loss diet contains 115 grams of carbs.? When divided by the 5 meals, that leaves 23 grams of carbs per sitting.? This absolute amount is not only much more manageable for the metabolism (i.e. a very low insulin response), but will not lead to ?spill over? of carbs into fat storing.
And for this reason, fruit is kept to a minimum in the fat-loss plan since it contains the natural sugar fructose, which can quickly increase carb totals.? However, adding a small amount of low glycemic carbohydrates from fruit (such as from berries) can provide essential vitamins, minerals and fiber, without affecting the metabolic outcome.? Since fruit is generally contraindicated in the fat-loss plan, vitamins and minerals are obtained instead from substantially more vegetables.
Furthermore, the amount of protein consumed is crucial in the quest to burn fat.? Protein, above all other nutrients, burns the most calories while it is being digested and also helps lower the cumulative insulin response if eaten along with carbohydrates.?? Protein also helps to maintain lean muscle mass, the amount of which is the #1 determining factor of metabolic rate.
Performance vs. Fat-loss
One important point to address is the necessary distinction between a dietary recommendation for athleticperformance?versus that for an ordinary person trying to lose fat.? Elite athletes and those training for endurance day after day need to replenish depleted carbohydrate stores (glycogen) constantly.? However,?most average people have plenty of glycogen to sustain daily activity without having to eat large amounts of carbohydrates.In fact, if glycogen becomes depleted through exercise, the body will begin to pull from fat stores to sustain the activity; hence, fat loss.? Unfortunately, most ?healthy? dietary recommendations are more appropriate for endurance athlete types than for the average fat-loss-seeking American.
Thus, there is indeed a difference between a healthy diet and a fat-loss diet.? To successfully lose fat?and?optimize health, keep the starchy carbs in check, focusing on lean proteins and green, leafy veggies first, while eating more frequently throughout the day.
Tags: fat loss, foods for fat loss, health, healthy eating, jill coleman, jill fit, meal plans, metabolic effect, Nutrition