Experiments in Fat Loss: Part 1…

March is a month that I am hitting a fat loss nutrition programme. Every time I do this I like to add some new things in to the mix to draw me back from the dry taste of repetitive protein meals. Some new bits I am bringing in to my plan this month (or as Claire calls them little “fads”) are a few things that I have used on and off before though with each of these I am making them integral parts of my nutrition plan:

Green Protein Powder- the rationale for this lies in variation of protein sources. There is also a bit of an “industry” movement to alkaline/ vegetarian based nutrition so I thought I would get involved to see what the fuss is about. While I don’t necessarily think going completely green is necessary using a pea, rice and hemp protein blend can be quite useful in varying protein intake sources while not necessarily consuming large amounts of peas and beans which can provide quite a bit of gastric distress. This takes care of your whole amino acid profile which nutritionally is a plus. The negative is that the taste and texture are not exactly A*. Well, with a minty taste I feel pretty good after consuming it- the process of getting it from my mouth to my stomach though makes me wretch. That said I have this with breakfast to get the day of to a good (healthy probably is a better descriptive than good) start with some sort of egg (boiled, scrambled, poached) concoction usually with chilli and spinach. Anecdotally I find the green protein quite light from a digestion point of view.

Lemon Juice and Water- This appears to be on every “celebrity” based plan. However, there is some valid sanity in the madness. Lemon juice can help reduce the glycemic index of food- a lower glycemic index means less extreme spikes in blood sugar. This means that there is less potential chance of calories in theory being stored as fat. Again- lemon juice is not the complete answer; however, I find it hard during the day when eating a higher protein diet to drink enough. At least with lemon juice pre-meal or snack I can stay hydrated with a carryover that may help reduce my body fat a bit more.

Almonds- Nuts in generally have a good correlation with fat loss based diets. The one problem I find is that 6-10 almonds can very quickly become half a pack. This is where in fairness mental toughness comes in to play and portion control. Nuts are generally easy to store and carry with you as a quick snack. I make this one of my mobile snacks especially if I know I may not get a chance to eat properly. In fact nuts and a protein shake are pretty much a default 5 minute meal between sessions or clients.

Coconut Oil- I have been using coconut oil for the last 6 months, coconut oil is solid at room temperature and is an alternative for cooking compared to vegetable or olive oil. It is predominantly saturated meaning it is often highlighted as unhealthy even though the calorific yield is slightly lower. Why is it a good alternative? The reason for my usage is that it is formed of medium change triglycerides (MCT). MCT’s have a better availability to be turned in to energy; in effect they will be metabolized quicker than long chain triglycerides. As I am eating light on carbs this could be handy. Of course not a complete fix but keeping fat intake steady has a number of metabolic benefits include maintenance of the immune system.

In the rest of the plan I am gunning to consume protein every 3 hours as well as some servings of vegetables or salad. In all it’s not that hard as long as you prepare at the start of the week. For instance I have my breakfast at 5am (I have a pretty long day), a shake and some nuts at 8am, a piece of chicken and a green salad at 11am, a tin of oily fish such as tuna, sardines or mackerel with more salad or vegetables (sometimes I may have an innocent vegetable pot which works quite well) at around 3pm and then an evening meal e.g. chilli and salad which is usually a bit too late (8pm), most of the time I will be training people till then.

This is not a maintenance plan and is only set up for 4 weeks but after one week  and 2.8kg of weight loss it’s going pretty well (probably a bit of the weight loss is water so it isn’t necessarily fat). Next article I’ll talk a bit more about my training and the highlight of my week- cheat day!

Published by ianmellis

Ian Mellis MSc. CSCS is the co-founder of Results FAST (www.resultsfast.com)based in Ware, Hertfordshire. Specialising in athletic development, physique improvement and injury rehabilitation he provides personal training, strength and conditioning and nutrition coaching for motivated exercisers and those looking to make a long term change to their health, fitness and performance.

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