What should I eat and not eat to lose weight? The answer will surprise you!Aug 25, 2021
I just started this thing where once a week I go live on my Coach Tracy Roth Facebook page to answer questions submitted by my Awesome Clients, Hub Members, and Social Followers. This week I had a GREAT question:
"What foods should I eat to maximize fat burning? What should I not be eating in order to lose weight?"
I love talking about this topic because I think there are a lot of misconceptions out there. And everyone has their best diet that is the only one that "works" or is "right" and the rest of us are dummies, PFFT! (my eyes are rolling).
So I'm going to break it down to the basics for you the best I can.
The answer is…eat kale, spinach, plant-based proteins like beans and lentils, grass-fed beef...
PIZZA, SPAGHETTI, ICE CREAM, WINE…HAHA! It's TRUE.
So really my answer is you can eat anything and lose weight. Now, it’s more complex than that BUT broken down into simplest terms, it’s true. Not that I want you to go out and eat only McDonalds and Dunkin because it really does matter that you get nutrients.
You literally are what you eat. Food is literally medicine. And information. So it matters!
HOWEVER, there are 3 main points I want to make about fat loss:
- It requires a calorie deficit,
- It requires adequate protein
- The ratio or amounts of carbs to fats in your daily food intake DOES. NOT. MATTER. That’s what science says – peer reviewed, unbiased, scientifically vetted studies. But there is a lot of variability that factors into what might or might not work for you.
I’m going to start with #1, you must be in a calorie deficit to lose weight. The science shows this time and again, without exception. In order to lose weight you must be burning more calories than you take in.
It’s that simple and it’s not…the metabolism is quite complex, never linear, and dependent upon so many things. This is why many people can be in a deficit and not lose weight. For example, if you go too low and really restrict, the body is wired to slow down the energy burning systems because it is always striving towards equilibrium and balance.
If you do a calorie deficit "right" (meaning in a way that is healthy), you will have an adjustment period of course but if you get adequate protein (which is #2), fiber from veggies, and enough healthy fats in your meals you will feel more satiated. When you are satiated, you are better able to sustain what you are doing . If you do this even 80% of the time, you will still eventually reach your weight loss goal AND keep it off because it will just be a new way of eating, without restriction. And what you do most of the time is what matters. So you can enjoy some treats, foods you enjoy like pizza, but stick to the healthier stuff most of the time, in a slight calorie deficit, and you will get there.
As a side note - science has shown us that exercise is not a big factor here, as long as you get enough movement or steps. What exercise does do for you helps you mentally and physically in so many ways and fights disease. Also, science has shown that if you exercise, you will have greater success at keeping weight off. Yay!
With #2, getting adequate protein – this is important because you want to maintain muscle mass, which helps your metabolism. And, protein will satiate you. We need about 30-35% of our diet from protein, whether we are vegan, vegetarian, omnivorous, etc.
And #3 – Fat and Carbs don’t matter! At least from what several scientific studies are showing. However, when you look at people's experience with this, there are many factors at play that may really make this important for some. Some people will not use carbs the same way as others, some will have blood sugar issues, and some people cannot digest fats very easily.
What you want to consider when figuring out what works for you is:
- Your gut microbiome
- Overall fitness level
- How recently and how intensely you’ve exercised
- Time of day
- What else you are eating. For example, if you have protein and fiber with carbs you may not have an insulin spike.
If you want to know about these factors in more detail, or dial it in for yourself, please reach out for a free consult where you will get tips you can put into action right away.