First Steps to Fat Loss

Anyone interested in fat loss must be concerned with the leading cause of fat gain in today’s society. Simply put, that is high levels of insulin, which by the way, causes more damage to the body than excess fat storage. Surprised? It must be noted that when insulin levels are high, your body stops using its stored fat for energy, thus causing this excess fat to continue to accumulate. This gives us that added layer of ‘padding’. This ability to store fat is what saves us when the body is in starvation mode, but frankly, most Americans rarely live that scenario.

The first step to losing excess fat is to control insulin levels, keeping them more constant, thus allowing your body to continue using stored fat for energy. The best way to accomplish this is to reduce the amount of sugar ingested. This is a tricky task as sugar is EVERYWHERE in our modern food supply, even in unsuspecting foods.

Start your fat loss today by learning how much sugar you ingest each day. The most obvious way is to read your food labels. You can also track sugar on the web (www.thecaloriecounter.com) or an app on your phone, such as MyFitnessPal, that will let you know how much sugar is in any given food. Gradually reduce your sugar consumption to 25 grams or less per day for women, and 35 grams or less per day for men.

Check out the new food label required on food packaging compared to the old one:

fda-org-nutrition-label

The food label to the left is the food label we’re all used to, while the food label on the right is the new standard. Both are for the same food product. So why does the label on the right say the food contains 12 grams of sugar versus 1 gram as indicated on the food label on the left? Look at a key word on the food label on the right: added sugar. Most of the extra sugar indicated on the food label comes from sugar that has been artificially added. This amount of sugar is most likely going to cause a spike in insulin and converted into excess glucose in the blood, which is then stored as glycogen in the liver and muscles. To fuel your body between meals, your body will use this glycogen for energy instead of fat. Keeping your insulin levels more constant will allow your body to use more stored fat for that needed energy.

Surprisingly, fat is a much more efficient source of energy during a workout! Limit your sugar intake to healthy carbs that will provide a bump of energy prior to a workout. These low-glycemic index foods include things like sweet potatoes, brown rice, nuts, and legumes.