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Losing fat (focus: diet)

Old 12-07-08, 04:58 PM
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arexjay
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Losing fat (focus: diet)

I'm not interested in the exercise aspect of losing fat, because I'm pretty sure I've got it down pretty well. I'm more curious regarding the nutrition/diet aspect of it.

To help supplement fat loss, is it best to eat as little fat as possible? I know I don't want to load up on fats. I've been eating around 20% of my calories from fat lately (on average... some days will be 15%, some will be 25%), but for some reason I feel like this number should be less - something like 12-15%. Is this a good range to shoot for to supplement fat loss?


Disclaimer: I'm not overweight (5'7.5, ~145 lbs.) I don't have a lot of fat, but still more than I would like, and I feel that it's hindering my performance a bit. I'm targeting a weight of 135 lbs.
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Old 12-07-08, 05:16 PM
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Fat is a necessary component in your diet. Athletes should get about 25% of their calories from fat. Read this article on fat in the athlete's diet.
http://sportsmedicine.upmc.com/NutritionEatFat.htm
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Old 12-07-08, 05:23 PM
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To lose weight ... eat fewer calories.

Start counting your caloric intake.
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Old 12-07-08, 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
To lose weight ... eat fewer calories.

Start counting your caloric intake.
As Machka has recommended and I've started using, try fitday.com. So good, I spent the $20 for the desktop version. Calories DO count, and that's really almost ALL that counts. I'll amend that to say that you should minimize carbohydrates, but the main thing is to burn more than you take in.
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Old 12-08-08, 03:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
To lose weight ... eat fewer calories.

Start counting your caloric intake.
Yes, I know. I've been tracking a long time.

I don't want to lose muscle weight, only fat weight. Are you saying that it doesn't matter how much fat you take in, that as long as the number of calories you burn is more than you consume, you'll lose the same amount of fat?
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Old 12-08-08, 10:23 AM
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Ultimately, you have to find that out for yourself; different people have different metabolisms - for example some pro riders have stated that they thrive on carbs, others work better with a lot more protein.

I've been reading this guy lately. My personal challenge is that I'm doing lots of miles right now so I hafta have more carbs than he recommends.

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/
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Old 12-08-08, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by arexjay View Post
Yes, I know. I've been tracking a long time.

I don't want to lose muscle weight, only fat weight. Are you saying that it doesn't matter how much fat you take in, that as long as the number of calories you burn is more than you consume, you'll lose the same amount of fat?
Yes.

And you won't lose muscle weight if you exercise.
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Old 12-08-08, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Yes.

And you won't lose muscle weight if you exercise.
I don't agree. If you took that to the extreme, and had an "only fat" diet, you would lose muscle because of a lack of protein, especially if you exercise.
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Old 12-08-08, 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by umd View Post
I don't agree. If you took that to the extreme, and had an "only fat" diet, you would lose muscle because of a lack of protein, especially if you exercise.
Well, I was assuming that the OP wasn't taking it to the extreme ... but perhaps I should not assume such things.

You've got to have a balance ... approx. 20 to 35 percent of your caloric intake should be fat, approx. 45 to 65 percent of your caloric intake should be carbs, and whatever's left over should be protein.

But what I was answering was the underlying question about whether the fat we eat and the fat we burn are the same thing. And they are not the same thing ... at least not directly. It would appear that the OP is under the impression that the fat a person consumes goes right into fat cells on the body ... and therefore if we stop consuming fat, or drastically reduce the amount of fat we eat, we would lose "fat weight". This is a misconception of what happens when food enters our bodies
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Old 12-09-08, 02:30 AM
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unless you need refined grains for training purposes, switch anything thats white to a brown equivalent (don't add any racist jokes here please)

for example:
morning white toast --> morning whole grain toast
white race --> brown rice
normal pasta --> whole wheat pasta

you get the point. it's not at all hard to do, and you'll find yourself more full eating less. you also get the benefits of more more nutritious unrefined ingredients.
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Old 12-09-08, 05:53 AM
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Thanks for all the tips, these will help particularly over the winter months
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Old 12-11-08, 02:49 PM
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I'd aim for 25-30% of your calories from fats.

For reducing bodyfat, I highly recommend the following things, nutritionally (this is what works for me, while I'm trying to get to pretty extreme BF lows without losing power) :

1. slight caloric deficit daily. no binging, so starving. steady and slow losses... 3-4 pounds per month. muscle is your friend, dont let it go away!! if you go too low calorically, muscle begins to decrease which lowers your BMR (basal metabolic rate), not to mention you feel like poo. Try to never go over or under you caloric goals by more than 300 cals or so.

2. Meal timing/portion size:
this is the MOST effective thing I've done to cut BF "easily" and still train hard (7000+ calories of work per week): I eat most of my carbs (all nutrient dense, complex, etc...) earlier in the day, tapering carb intake into the evening. (That said, my post WO meal is always high in simple carbs, so this doenst change regardless of when I work out. )
I also taper calories as the day progresses, especially after 6PM. Assuming a 10pm bedtime, my last non-vegetable carbs will be eaten around 5pm (assuming I already refueled from my workout). After 5 I'll be on a strictly veg (no fruit), protein and fat diet. Usually it's a really huge salad (spinach, carrot, celery, tomato, broccoli, cukes... maybe olives or a few legumes with balsamic and a bit of olive oil) and some good protein. I may have some nuts and seeds as snacks or maybe a bit of roasted squash. By 8pm NO MORE EATING .
The beauty of eating this way is that I make sure to never get hungry during the day. So, big b-fast and lots of small meals scattered every 2-3 hours. these meals are much more carb/protein focused with small amounts of fat added in (1% instead of skim, for instance).


3. food quality/nutrient density... fewer ingredients, more minerals/vitamins, more fiber, less packages... REAL FOOD. the only time I break this rule is with whey protein powder.

good luck and keep it steady!

(you are doing strength training, right?)

-L
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Old 12-11-08, 09:47 PM
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OP - The whole "eat the least amount of fat as possible to lose weight" is an 80s dieting fad that is too black and white, and is junk. There are a few vitamins which are fat soluble, so you need fat in your diet to absorb these vitamins. Also, fat supports your endocrine system (hormones) and with very little fat your body will, simply put, start doing weird things, hah.

I always tell people trying to lose weight, it's easier to exercise than to starve yourself. Why not eat what you want, take in those calories, and burn them (and then some if you're trying to lose weight). I'm not saying gorge, but be satisfied when eating - it's healthier for your body and soul. If you're going to restrict calories, -500 cals/day will take a pound off each week. Weight loss should be gradual.

Anyhoo, good luck!
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