Key Points Covered
Sugar Does Not Really Impact Body Composition That Differently in Comparison to Other Forms of Carbohydrate
- Study by Surwit et al 1997 – 43% of total calories coming from sugar vs 4% of calories coming from sugar in a total calories and macros mathched diet, during a calorie deficit. Total weight loss and fat loss was similar for both groups.
- There’s a tonne more research showing similar things. But this particular study is mentioned heaps because the difference between 4% and 43% is insane.
- Under most circumstances, we should still be trying to limit our added sugar intake. But the whole point of this is that you probably shouldn’t stress if you have some sugar in the middle of the day and then have less brown rice later on, as an example.
Meal Planning & Doing It in a Way That Suits You and Your Lifestyle
- Taking some time to plan your meals and snacks out and thinking through how you will do things makes it significantly easier.
- For some it is prepping all of their meals and snack for the week on a Sunday afternoon, for others its ordering their lunches from a meal delivery service and planning their dinners and snacks to ensure they have all the necessary ingredients
Check your Vitamin D levels
- If your vitamin D levels are deficient or on the low end of the healthy range, there can be benefits to supplementing.
- It can ptentially help improve bone mineral density, balance, mood, IBS symptoms, immunity and in some cases even strength. There are a bunch of things beyond that which could also improve as well.
- It is free to check these levels in Australia if you use a bulk billing GP.
- Food sources are rare, but are an option. Otherwise this could be addressed through supplementation or more sun exposure.
Eat More Plants
- Higher intakes of plant based foods like legumes, wholegrains, nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables are commonly linked with positive health outcomes.
- The vast majority of people would benefit from this.
- “How much plant based foods people think they should be eating is often very different from the reality.” Because most people do not eat anywhere near the optimal amount of vegetables for example, if we compare our intake to other people, we are using the wrong benchmark.
- ~4% of Australians consume the recommended amount of vegetables or more. ~50% of Australians eat enough fruit.
- When you factor in that vegetarians and vegans probably make up a large portion of that vegetables stats, it probably means that a much smaller percentagee of people following omniverous diets consume enough vegetbles.
Match Your Cutlery Size With Your Goals
- Use larger bowls/plates if trying to gain size. If trying to get leaner, use smaller plates/bowls.
- This often ends up indirectly influencing the quantity of food that you will eat.
- Pay attention to hunger and satiety. Eat without distraction. Eat slowly and chew thoroughly. Pay attention to taste/texture/smell of food.
- It can also assist with managing gut symptoms and bloating – eat mindfully means that you are eating a slower rate and are focused on chewing your food well making it easier for your gut to digest that food
- A large weight-loss study with 600+ participants split into low carb vs low fat groups had an interesting finding in relation to mindful eating. Pretty much everybody who lost >20kg over the course of the year were raving about mindful eating as the reason for their success regardless of the group they were in. It is not necessarily a weight loss tool – but it can be helpful for a lot of people.
Hedonic Staircase Principle
- If looking to gain size it is obviously easier to eat more calories if your food tastes nice. If there is a tonne of variety, it also makes it easier to eat more too.
- Theoretically, if you want to get leaner, you could argue that it makes sense to do the opposite.
- It is not a black and white principle. Basically it makes sense to have a larger percentage of your diet being blander and less varied if you are trying to consume fewer calories. It makes sense to have a larger percentage of your diet taste nicer and be more varied if you struggle to eat enough calories for your goals.
- This can seem counterintutive because when a lot of people start a “diet” they often want there food to taste nice to “make it easier to stick to” and have a lot of variety so they “don’t get bored.”
Food First Approach
- Supplements can be useful. But a lot of people miss basic things with their diet and overly focus on supplements.
- If you are deficient or have an inadequate intake of a vitamin or mineral it makes sense to supplement. But a lot of people supplement things they already have good intakes of.
- Surwit et al study – Metabolic and behavioral effects of a high-sucrose diet during weight loss
- Gardner et al study – Association With Genotype Pattern or Insulin SecretionThe DIETFITS Randomized Clinical Trial
- Blog post – Mindful Eating