Many foods have been demonized and deemed “unhealthy” within the past decade. Gluten, dairy, red meat – you name it – have all been under fire for one reason or another, most of which are inaccurate. More recently, however, we seem to be facing some dogmatic thinking in regards to macronutrient intake (protein, carbohydrates and dietary fat).
On one side of the spectrum there’s anti-fat advocates, who claim that consuming dietary fat will cause fat gain. On the other side of the spectrum there are anti-carb advocates, who claim that consuming carbohydrates will cause fat gain. Scientific literature does not support these claims and the reality is this: no macronutrient has the capability to make anyone fat. Period.
When it comes to fat-loss, the most important factor is energy balance. In very simple terms, we must consume fewer calories than we expend. There are some basic guidelines to adhere to when aiming to lose body-fat in order to maximize your results.
BASIC FAT-LOSS GUIDELINES
Maintain a caloric deficit
Consume adequate protein
Consume adequate fiber
Adjust carbohydrates based on performance needs
Fill the remaining available calories with dietary fat
It’s very simple, there’s no need to complicate things. Now, this doesn’t mean that it’s going to be easy. You need to adhere to your fat-loss protocol over a consistent period of time in order to yield your desired results, and that takes hard work and dedication.
At the end of the day, as long as you follow these guidelines, it doesn’t matter whether you choose low fat/high carb, low carb/high fat, or moderate carb/fat. Make that decisions based on your own training and performance needs and always remember, P.A.C. – which method do you PREFER, which method will you ADHERE to and which method will allow you to remain CONSISTENT.
This approach will allow for some flexibility. You’ll be able to enjoy the delicious foods you love, as long as you stay within your daily calorie budget. Of course, we want to fill our calories with the most nutrient dense foods possible first and foremost, however, we can set aside some calories for that slice of birthday cake and not have to worry about falling off track or feeling guilty.
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