We are human beings, the laziest species on planet Earth. Doing hard work isn’t our equilibrium state. But that’s the only reason we are most efficient too. So we gotta keep it that way.
When it comes to losing fat and getting leaner, this is the drill: Buy an expensive gym membership, drop a fortune on personal trainer, new equipment, new workout clothes and expensive athletic footwear, workout for a week or so, start noticing no progress , then ditch the gym and end up being fatter than you were ever in your entire life.
It is just 20% of the part that workout plays in fat loss and believe me, you do your best possible for that 1 week or so, you couldn’t have done better there.
Diet is the remaining 80%. But following a strict diet plan is pain in the ass unless you make it a habit by starting with the easiest and the most effective one to get you enough motivation to keep moving.
So let’s start from understanding some cool stuff.
Insulin response and its effect on our body fat
Insulin is a hormone whose job is to kick out extra calories (glucose) from bloodstream into fat cells. For eg. you ate your favorite cookie which is mostly sugar. Sugar is pure form of glucose, so your body don’t have to spend a penny to convert it into energy. Its like you directly injected glucose(I am exaggerating ofcourse) in your blood. Now your blood is in flood of glucose. That’s when insulin kicks in and kicks out extra glucose in your fat cells. So now your cookie is processed in your blood in a second and you are hungry again. So you have to eat more.
As long as your insulin is up you are not going to burn any fat because fat burning hormones like glucagon (whose work is to convert fat cells into energy) is only up when insulin is down. They kind of hate each other.
Now imagine what if that cookie was releasing glucose units one at a time. Your body won’t have to ask insulin to store extra as fat cells because there aren’t any, your friend glucagon will be up most of the time and you will be burning your flickering belly and your fat ass.
The same thing is possible with foods with low Glycemic Index. Consider them as slow-releasing-glucose cookies except they are not cookies.
Glycemic Index (GI) is basically the speed at which your food gets converted into energy. The slower it is the better it would be for not gaining any more fat.
Take a look at this graph to get a better understanding of this game:
The shaded area is the amount of fat you would have burnt if you were on a low GI cookie(I doubt its existence) rather than your favorite cookie.
Before we discuss the strategy here is the table for Glycemic Index (GI) of some of the most popular foods.
|Food (per 100 gm)||Calories||Glycemic Index|
*cooked food and fruit juice has higher GI than raw food and fruits because your body has to work less to digest that.
The master plan
The most important meal of the day is breakfast they say. I respectfully disagree. It’s dinner. Every morning you wake up you are fatter than the last night because you had a grand dinner.
Your body needs to work to breakdown the food you have eaten, into energy. This process itself consumes energy. So after dinner, when you are asleep (presuming you are not batman) your body needs minimum amount of energy to keep you alive. If you feed it more, that extra will be stored in your fat cells.
You either cut the calories you eat in dinner, or somehow we make our body do some work while you are sleeping. We are gonna do both.
Am I asking you to starve yourself ? Absolutely not.
The biggest gap between any two meals is the gap between dinner and breakfast(unless you don’t snack in midnight) that means more time for your friend glucagon to burn fat. But only if your insulin is down. There comes the red-hot babe named Glycemic Index . So the plan is to eat foods with lowest GI in the chart above before dinner.
For example, you ate whole wheat bread sandwich (wheat GI = 72, energy = 339 c1alories per 100 gm) as you thought you were on a diet. After 2 hours you are hungry again in the midnight and thinking this might be because I am working out so hard that my muscles are starving, so I gotta feed it more and more again.
Now understand this, the higher the GI, the less your body has to work to convert it into energy, the faster you will starve.
Now instead of whole wheat bread you ate boiled cabbage(GI = 10, energy =25 calories per 100 gm) with whole eggs & soup. Your body is cursing you now because you just gave it a lot of work to do. Your body has to work 7 times more to convert cabbage into energy than whole wheat sandwich. So it will be busy converting this into energy all night burning more calories & getting 314 calories less in exchange & also keeping your stomach full until it digests.
It takes 30 min of constant running at 8 kmph for a person of 65 kg to burn 300 calories. You just did it without doing anything plus the calories your body will take to convert that food into energy is burnt plus you saved that extra whole wheat sandwich calories that you were gonna eat in midnight. Also when your body is out of fuel digesting cabbage, it will convert your body fat reservoir into energy to for the same.
Boom! you are leaner next morning and all took was a small decision of selecting your dinner wisely.
This is just one player in the game of losing fat, but is the most effective and most ignored one. The reason why this strategy is so effective is because “the best way to lose fat is not to gain it in the first place“.