First a little background so you understand the value of the list below. We mention blood sugar and insulin several times as both are key components in the fat loss equation. Blood Sugar levels are affected by food choices, combinations and timing. Certain food items will spike blood sugar which causes insulin to rise. While insulin is not always bad; in the case of losing fat it must be kept under control as it is the most potent fat storing hormone the body produces.
"Your body has been starving all night long, and it needs nutrients to rebuild itself," says Matarazzo. "If you just catch something quick on the run instead of eating a full meal, it negatively impacts your workout, and everything else you do during the day." Eat sufficient protein (30-40g), a complex carbohydrate, like oatmeal, and a piece of fruit to start your day off right.
Grazing is a surprisingly good idea because it helps you avoid metabolic slowdown. "Your body will be tricked into thinking it's constantly eating, so it will never slow your metabolism down," explains Bauer. Aim for five small meals (200 to 500 calories) a day rather than three large ones. Also try not to go more than four hours without eating — if you eat breakfast at 7am, for example, have a snack at 10am, lunch at noon, another snack at 3pm and dinner at 7pm.
If you want to lose weight you should start by avoiding sugar and starch (like bread, pasta and potatoes). This is an old idea: For 150 years or more there have been a huge number of weight-loss diets based on eating fewer carbs. What’s new is that dozens of modern scientific studies have proven that, yes, low carb is the most effective way to lose weight.
That’s because women tend to store more temporary fat in their bellies. “The fat stores are gained and lost,” says Lawrence Cheskin, MD, chair of the department of nutrition and food studies at George Mason University and director of the Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center. “By and large, belly fat comes off easier in the sense that it comes off first. That’s where a good amount of the fat is lost from.”
Set (and write down) reasonable expectations for what you plan to achieve during your challenge. “You can absolutely make a difference in 10 days,” says Brooke Alpert, RD, a dietitian in New York City and the author of The Diet Detox, but don’t expect to shed 20 pounds a la The Biggest Loser. “While actual weight loss will be around three to four pounds, you can really notice the difference in the way your body feels in about a week.”
That place where fat is stored — the adipose tissue — is our body fat. It’s brought there via the bloodstream (i). Adipose tissue is made of adipocytes, cells specialized in the storage of fat. These cells look like bubbles packed close to each other. When our body uses the fat contained in the bubbles, they decrease in size. But, when we store excess fat (coming from any foods), the bubbles increase in size (hypertrophy) and number (hyperplasia).
Calories are not the only significant factor determining rates of fat loss. Starving to lose body fat is not the answer; you must fuel your human engine with quality food sources and combinations at the right time. Calories are secondary to food choices. Eat 2,000 calories of lucky charms and 2,000 calories of high quality protein, healthy fats and fibrous green vegetables. See what happens, not the same after all.
To lose fat and keep it off requires an approach that is both effective and easy to maintain. For most, a wide variety of foods in the right quantities and at the right times is best. If we eat too much - the standard "three square meals" a day - we run the risk of putting on weight due to the sluggish metabolism this encourages combined with the surplus of calories that will require burning at any one time. Eat too little and we again encourage a slow metabolic rate due to muscle loss while discouraging the thermogenic effect (when foods themselves increase the metabolism) that foods, in sufficient quantities, will create.
For even more impressive effects on body composition: aim for exercise forms which elicit a positive hormonal response. This means lifting really heavy things (strength training), or interval training. Such exercise increases levels of the sex hormone testosterone (primarily in men) as well as growth hormone. Not only do greater levels of these hormones increase your muscle mass, but they also decrease your visceral fat (belly fat) in the long term. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xpyvL0pb0mo
The trick here is not only to avoid all obvious sources of carbohydrate (sweets, bread, spaghetti, rice, potatoes), but also to be careful with your protein intake. If you eat large amounts of meat, eggs and the like, the excess protein will be converted into glucose in your body. Large amounts of protein can also raise your insulin levels somewhat. This compromises optimal ketosis.