Archive | Diet

5 Reasons Why Intermittent Fasting = Faster, Healthier Weight Loss

Fresh lemons in water

Lemon water: a great fasting beverage!

We’re always searching for the best methods to burn fat, lose pounds, and get fit in the fastest healthy way possible. There are literally thousands of different strategies and tactics for getting rid of unwanted body fat quickly, but only a few can be considered truly “great.”

Until relatively recently we weren’t big fans of weight loss diets and programs that involve lots of “fasting”… mainly because so many of them are pure BS and/or dangerous fads. Things like simply not eating for long stretches of time (several days at a time), extremely low calorie diets that last for weeks, and other “starvation” diet methods (aka crash diets) definitely do not, generally, lead to good things.

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Study: 2 Meals Per Day Better Than 6 for Weight Loss

healthy baked fish and potatoes meal

For years it’s been a top weight loss dieting recommendation from many, many experts: eat 6 small meals/snacks per day, spaced out evenly in a way that keeps your energy levels high and hunger low. The idea is to provide a steady source of “good” calories so that your appetite and food cravings never gets out of control, and you never overeat or make poor food choice.

Also, in theory at least, eating frequent mini-meals — especially ones that contain some protein — should boost your metabolism significantly. All that digestion and dietary thermogenesis should (again, in theory) force your body to burn extra calories. Finally, eating well-balanced meals with the proper ratios of protein/carbs/fat should keep blood sugar and insulin levels stable, which has a variety of health benefits including increased fat-burning.

Now it turns out we might be wrong.

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The Truth About “Negative Calorie” Foods & “Fat-Burning” Foods

photo of green and orange chili peppersOver the past few years “negative calorie” and “fat burning” foods have become hot topics. Several popular weight loss plans are based around consuming these supposedly high-power diet foods. In general, they are plant foods (mainly vegetables) that are very high in fiber and water content but low in calories. But, according to some, very lean meats/proteins can also fall into the fat-burning food category.

The big question is: can they really help you lose weight in a faster, safer, and/or easier way?

The basic theory behind negative calorie foods is that they contain fewer calories than the human body needs to digest them. So, the thinking goes, if you eat them in large amounts you’ll be able to more easily burn calories, even with a full stomach and very little hunger. If you eat only negative calorie foods — at least according to the theory — you’ll create a big net calorie deficit and be able to lose weight quickly without any other effort (like exercising).

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Intermittent Fasting Basics for Beginners

Even though it’s really nothing new, Intermittent Fasting has gotten very BIG in the past couple of years. Hundreds of thousands (maybe millions) of people are using it to lose weight, maintain low bodyfat levels, build lean muscle mass, boost energy,  feel better, and improve their overall health. There’s a very popular new book out called FastDiet that includes a “lite” version of the method and is getting good reviews on Amazon. LeanGains is a well-known IF-based program that is at least partially responsible for the recent surge in popularity online.

I’ve used intermittent fasting on and off for years — beginning back in college in the 90’s before I’d even heard the term! — and I believe it’s a very powerful eating strategy. It’s especially effective for maintaining steady energy levels throughout the day and allowing the brain to think/function optimally. It’s one of the few practical dieting methods for losing fat while gaining a significant amount of lean muscle tissue at the same time. Also, IF is wonderful for people (like myself) who have a hard time giving up starchy carbs and sweets (although it can also be paired with a low-carb Paleo-style diet with great results!).

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