- 1 Insulin and the glycemic index of foods
- 3 Intermittent fasting
- 5 Start by eliminating junk food
- 6 An example of a typical daily diet would be:
- 7 Let’s take a quick example of “dirty” feeding
- 8 Conclusions
This one I’m talking about is different from weight cutting (but not too different), since weight cutting is for pro athletes who have to get on the scale but it’s not that important for most people who practice combat sports, martial arts as amateurs.
The basic principles that I will explain are:
- calorie restriction and
- insulin control is also linked to the glycemic index of foods.
In very simple terms, incoming and outgoing calories can be used to control body weight, but insulin management is extremely important to control hunger (incoming calories), metabolism (outgoing calories), and the origin of calories burned.
If you burn more calories than you consume, you lose weight this is the very simple principle that you must respect if you want to lose weight but it is not enough, you have to put in place other strategies related to insulin control.
You can help yourself with nutrition and exercise (which happens by practicing the combat sport or martial art you practice but you can also add a 10 km (6 miles) run that will burn about 700 calories (depending on your body weight), so relying only on exercise to burn calories is unrealistic.
Combine exercise with proper nutrition and it becomes an effective combination to achieve your weight goals.
You are an athlete and therefore you want to lose weight but also preserve muscles, so cutting calories alone is not enough because you risk losing even lean mass that you want to preserve.
The basal metabolic rate when you are on a diet
When you reduce the number of foods you ingest your basal metabolic rate drops.
Basal metabolic rate represents the number of calories you burn with daily bodily functions even when you sleep.
The basal metabolic rate (BMR) corresponds to the minimum amount of energy that the body needs to allow the biological processes essential to life, for example blood circulation and respiration.
By definition, it is the energy that is spent by a subject who is in conditions of absolute rest (physical and mental), fasting for 12 hours and in a state of thermal neutrality, or environmental conditions (temperature, humidity) that do not trigger the processes of body thermoregulation: the subject must be in the greatest state of rest possible.
If you also want to keep your metabolism active, since hunger will lower your BMR you need to take action.
Insulin and the glycemic index of foods
Allow me to speak as a layman and very briefly about insulin and the glycemic index of foods because you have to understand well the functioning of insulin linked to the glycemic index of foods.
Insulin is a hormone of protein nature, produced by groups of pancreatic cells, called “β cells of the islets of Langerhans”.
Insulin is the most anabolic hormone in the body, more than testosterone, and is released into the pancreas whenever you eat carbohydrates and, to a lesser extent, protein, with high glycemic index carbohydrates having a greater response.
Insulin forces nutrients into body tissue and is good for building muscle,
but for fat loss it’s a disaster.
Insulin also makes you store glucose as glycogen, lowering your blood sugar levels,
has a disastrous effect on fat loss as it makes you want more sugar.
To try to better explain the effect on the body that you probably feel if you are reading this post, is that when you eat something sweet or otherwise high in sugar, you immediately get a spike in insulin, your blood sugar level drops, you are hungry and you feel craving for new sugar again and the cycle repeats.
Helped to overcome this effect by taking Whey microfiltered proteins, the most effective method I have found to use these principles is the Protein Sparing Modified Fast (PSMF) also used a lot by pro athletes of MMA and BJJ.
Eat high levels of protein (the usual number given is about 1 g of protein per kg of lean body weight per day) and practically nothing else.
Weight lifting or kettlebell sessions are also a great help to preserve muscles.
You can use it if you make weight cuts, but it is not sustainable and therefore not practical for long-term weight loss, since when you return to eating regularly, you will regain weight.
In addition, it is not very dense in nutrients, with few essential fatty acids (EFAs), vitamins, minerals etc.
However, we will use it as a basic model to start the diet and help you lose the first few kg without having the sensation of getting addicted to sugar.
So the ideal but not sustainable weight loss diet would be something like a 50g protein shake for breakfast and 400g of chicken breast per day with all the green vegetables you want.
You should try using intermittent fasting (IF), in which you take in your daily calories in a short amount of time so that your insulin levels aren’t elevated throughout the day.
There are several methods for setting up an intermittent fasting diet.
The different methods consist of dividing the day or week into periods of feeding and periods of fasting or fasting.
Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern during which you do not eat for a certain period of time that usually ranges from 12 to 40 hours.
This dietary approach does not provide guidance on what foods to eat and in what quantities, but only when to take them.
Unsweetened water, coffee, and tea are allowed during fasting, but solid foods or calorie-containing beverages, such as fruit juices, are not allowed. or sugary drinks.
How many intermittent diets are there?
There is no single model of fasting diet, the most popular intermittent fasting models are 5:
- Eating for a limited time:
It involves fasting every day for 12 hours or more and eating in the remaining hours.
- The 16/8 method:
It is a daily fast of 16 hours with a time window of 8 hours to eat, in which you can enter 2, 3 or more meals.
- The 5:2 diet:
It involves eating normally 5 days of the week and limiting calorie intake to 500-600 calories (kcal) on the remaining 2 days.
- The ” Eat Stop Eat ” eating pattern
It involves a 24-hour fast once or twice a week.
- Fasting every other day.
Fast every other day, so 3 or 4 days a week, water and drinks containing mineral salts are allowed, but no food or calories.
To lose weight, in overweight or obese adults, it is currently not recommended to follow intermittent fasting, due to the lack of long-term safety studies and given the heterogeneity of protocols currently under investigation and conflicting results.
There is no clear evidence of convenience to adopt this type of diet to lose weight in non-pathological overweight subjects.
This nutritional approach seems to give, instead, clinically observed neurocognitive, physiological and cellular benefits, rather than weight loss.
It is important to underline that intermittent fasting has a high potential clinical utility: it is simple, practical, easy to implement and offers a wide range of applicability, it is therefore understandable that the clinician can adopt it within a therapeutic path not for the purpose of making the patient lose weight.
The clinical implementation of intermittent fasting remains limited, probably due to the heterogeneity of the regimens that have been studied.
Most regimens based on intermittent fasting align with one of the eating patterns described above.
In practice, the mechanisms mentioned induced by intermittent fasting suggest the possibility of reducing the risk of important diseases such as: diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, improvement of cognitive and sensory-motor function.
The intermittent fasting diet relieves symptoms of neurological and mood disorders.
The benefits of intermittent fasting directly target a number of mechanisms associated with different painful states and chronic pain conditions, rather than weight loss.
The balanced intermittent diet
If intermittent fasting can be chosen in the cases mentioned above, it is absolutely advisable to consume many different foods to take all the nutrients necessary for the human body, balanced with each other according to the canons of balanced nutrition and possibly limit themselves to changing only the daily frequency of consumption or intermittency.
I recommend you use something like a smoothie at 9:00, lunch at 12:00 and dinner at 20:00.
Even better if you can eliminate the smoothie and instead consume your protein in 2 meals maybe having lunch at 12:00 and dinner at 20:00.
We are eating a high protein content to preserve muscle mass, few calories well below 1,000 and keeping our insulin levels low without sugary carbohydrates.
Now to make your fat loss more tolerable and sustainable, I would suggest instead using this intermittent fasting as an extreme example and simply making small changes to your diet that leans towards PSMF (Protein-Sparing Modified Fast).
Start by eliminating junk food
Do you know what junk food is:
- sugary drinks,
- et cetera.
It is much easier to get to your normal lifestyle with small changes than to make a huge leap, you have to do sustainable actions for yourself, I know that some manage to eliminate everything immediately but we are not all the same, start with something “simple” as I suggested.
I made you a post that talked about doing a small challenge 7 days cleani.
The next step to take a further step is to also delete:
- Dairy products
- and fruit juices.
These are horrendous for fat loss (actually, cheese is not bad at all but not always and not all cheeses) even 100g of bread every now and then you can also do it but if you can avoid.
Fruit is rather rich in sugars but the pulp slows down its absorption, so fruit is good but we must not abuse it thinking that it is sugar-free.
Juice alone is basically a soft drink but should not be sweetened or better with added sugars.
Rice and potatoes should also be controlled as quantity or eliminated in some cases.
These foods that are to be eliminated are so ingrained in people’s diets that they often say they don’t know what else to eat when in fact there are so many things you can eat.
In fact, if you notice, only processed foods, which are high glycemic index, have been eliminated.
You can still eat meat, eggs, nuts, fruits, vegetables, berries, etc. and so many things, if you look at the things eliminated are very few but probably most of the things you have become accustomed to eating.
During a weight-saving reduction targeted to competitions you may also find yourself eliminating fish, fruits and nuts because of the fat and sugar they contain, but they are great for daily healthy eating.
An example of a typical daily diet would be:
- Breakfast: 2-3 eggs and a couple of apples
- Lunch: chicken, steamed mixed vegetables and sweet potatoes
- Dinner: salmon and vegetables
I can lose 450g (1 lb) a day by eating more than 500g of burgers or homemade steaks, it means no oil and toppings and no salt.
You have to take carbohydrates from fruits and vegetables and snacking on nuts and fruits.
Make changes gradually, and when you get results, keep the changes.
If you want more extreme results, make more extreme dietary changes, but switching to ketosis (fat burning) can be difficult;
It’s much easier to make further changes after about a week once your body has adapted than to start depriving yourself of everything you ate until the other day, you risk failing miserably just to not give yourself the right time to adapt.
Ketosis is a condition in which the body gets energy by burning fat and producing so-called ketones.
Typically, this situation arises when blood glucose levels rise due to a reduction in insulin.
Low levels of ketosis are normal, but when ketones increase a lot in a short time they can have serious negative effects so be careful.
Until you switch to ketosis, the desire to eat junk food will be strong but you must be even more so, you are in full abstinence, you are addicted to junk foods.
If you exercise this can help, you will burn most of the calories using steady state cardio.
Try doing your cardio before breakfast when your insulin levels are low and you’re not in fat storage mode.
Use an excel spreadsheet or app to monitor your fat loss program considering you lose about 0.2 kg (0.5 lbs) per day.
In my opinion this can be sustainable, but you could also do it faster or go down on that number to do it with less stress.
If you lose more than 0.2 kg per day, it’s probably water.
Let’s take a quick example of “dirty” feeding
A 100 kg (220 lb) man eating 2 croissants at the bar with sweetened cappuccino for breakfast more than cookies on his way to work, burgers and fries at lunch, pizza at dinner, snacks with chips and cookies while watching Netflix on the couch and in the evening if he goes out he drinks a few beers with his friends.
Does it have to go from what you read above to eating chicken and broccoli and running 10km (6 miles) before breakfast?
No, it’s not sustainable right away, he can probably lose 0.2 kg a day by swapping his breakfast for eggs and fruit, and eliminating sugary drinks.
When he stops losing weight, he can also go to eliminate chips and eating fruit or dried fruit.
You can continue to make incremental changes until you reach your daily weight loss goal until your final weight target is reached.
So, in summary, draw up a plan / program to lose weight gradually, eliminate junk food, eliminate sugars and starches and keep proteins high.
If you exercise, do it before breakfast, basically on an empty stomach.
The only way to see if a method works is to run and do, there are no other solutions and it’s not something someone can do for you.
Remember to always do something sustainable and do not stress your mind and body unnecessarily, you can reach the weight goal you have set yourself slowly or faster based on your lifestyle, it is not the rush that will make you lose weight but the constancy of following that diet over time.
Not eating “anything” for 5 days and then eating on the weekend until you exhaust yourself is not something that will make you reach your weight goal.
Also consider the energy levels you need to have if you work out in the gym, but it doesn’t mean you can eat whatever you want, I always talk about clean food, water, etc.
I know that it is not easy to change habits, even worse perhaps when it comes to eating habits.
Street Fight Mentality & Fight Sport