In this world of fitness and diet trends it can get quite challenging to figure out how to choose or know if you are on the best diet to lose fat. Is it the Paleo diet, Ketogenic, Vegan, Low Carb or???
Which one is right? And why do these "diet gurus" contradict each other!
One claims low carb is the way, another says no low fat, then some say go vegan. Well I've tried and tested them all. And I can say that they all work and at the same time they all don't.
What? Did that sound a bit confusing? Well that's not my intention, but it's true.
So why would these diets work for some and not for others? Well that's because we all have a unique metabolism that process foods differently and depending on or hormonal health that can also cause us to respond differently to certain foods.
Some people handle higher protein diets better, some can tolerate higher carb diet without gaining fat, while others do best with an equally balanced diet.
I won't get to into the details of the different metabolic types today, I am going to leave that topic for another day.
Today I am going to focus on teaching you a very simple but hugely important technique that you can use to gauge if your current diet is the right one for you. And most importantly if it will help you lose fat.
To ensure that a diet will help you lose fat that diet has to be balancing out your hormones. If not it will cause your hormones to release stress hormones such as cortisol and insulin that if not kept in check will cause you to gain and store fat.
So how can make sure your hormones stay in check? And...
What is the best diet to lose weight?
Well I am going to tell you something that most health gurus don't want you to know because it goes against their cookie cutter programs.
It's a mechanism that we all naturally have that helps us gauge if our metabolism and hormones are out of whack or not.
And that is through your hunger levels, energy levels, and cravings. If those three are balanced them you are on the right diet to lose fat. If not....
Then you need to adjust some things in your current diet because your metabolism as well as your hormones might be out of balance.
Thanks to Jade Teta author of The Metabolic Effect Diet for coming up with this formula of keeping your HEC in check. Again HEC stands for Hunger, Energy, Cravings.
So first after every meal pay very close attention how you feel.
Check and take note:
On scale from 1 to 10 you want to keep Hunger level less than 5-
- Do feel like you are starving or feeling lighted or moody shortly after your meal (within 2 hours or less)?
On scale from 1 to 10 you want maintain your Energy Levels above 6+
- Do you feel more awake or do you feel like laying down after your meals?
On a scale from 1 to 10 you want to keep your Cravings less than 5-
- After you're meals are you craving sweets or caffeine?
If you are eating a balanced meal that is supporting your metabolism you shouldn't be hungry for at least 4 hours. If you can stabilize your HEC the end result will mean that your body will be able to lose fat. But if you don't...
Like I said before that means there is an imbalance or stress in your metabolism and hormones.
This is one of the main reasons people that have been dieting on and off stop losing weight or also regain weight Because their hormones are out of whack.
There are plenty of fitness and diet programs that initially work but then their approach starts to cause harm to your metabolism and your body suffers. There is a reason over 66% of people who diet regain all or more weight once they stop dieting.
It's mostly because they are not eating to their specific metabolic type. But let's get back into a few ways to make sure your Hunger, Energy, and Cravings stay in check.
To maintain your Hunger levels less than 5:
- Eat more protein (lean meats; chicken breast, bison, turkey and veggies high in fiber and water with your meals
- Drink a glass of water.
- Don't instantly react to your hunger (don't give in right away). Sit with for a moment and let it pass. If it doesn't pass snack on some protein and fat. ei Almond butter or jerky.
To maintain your Energy Levels above a 6:
- Add more complex carbohydrates to your meals. (brown rice, sweet potatoes, quinoa) Don't over do it.
- Make sure to you are sleeping at least 8 hours a night. If not tap short power naps when you can (20-30 min).
- Eat smaller but more frequent meals to stabilize your blood sugar. ( use this as a quick fix)
To maintain your Craving Levels below a 5:
- Take time to do activities that help lower stress (meditate, get a massage, hot baths, etc.)
- Make sure you have enough carbs with each meal going to low (ketogenic can trigger sweet cravings)
- Be careful to not over exercise, this causes your stress hormones to rise.
So whatever type of diet you currently are eating at the end of the day for next 7 days make a note to be aware of how your Hunger, Energy, and Cravings are. This will be the quickest way to know if the diet you are currently on is actually right for you.
And it will also let you understand what you need to tweak.
If you feel like your current diet is keeping your HEC in check but you still aren't losing fat you might need to adjust your current fat and carbohydrate ratios.
First slightly lower your carbohydrate intake enough to not negatively affect your HEC.
If that doesn't work then lower your fat intake but the same thing not too low that it affects your HEC.
And if still you don't see positive results losing fat then email me at Sebastian@preciouslifewellness.com and put in the headline Help Me Lose Fat.
**Note: This information is for educational purpose and not intended to to diagnose or treat.