By Scott Canatsey – Lead trainer at the Parrillo Performance training facility
When it comes to nutrition strategies for fat loss, there are a myriad of ways to approach it and get a positive response. The mainstream is always pushing the low calorie path, but is this the best way to get slim and lean? Let us take a look at a few of the strategies we know about and break them down. Not all diet strategies are created equal.
Fact: If you are in a caloric deficit, you will lose weight. You will lose fat and muscle. The ratio of which you lose most of will depend on the nutrition profile of the food consumed. This fact leads to a couple of questions for the ones hoping to have success in the weight/fat loss endeavor. How much food is needed? What kind of food is needed? This is where the confusion sets in for most. So, what’s the answer?
The answer could be to consume 1,000 calories of lard a day and you will certainly lose weight fast. Or you could consume a thousand calories of protein and yield similar results. The same fate goes for carbs. Why is this? These are different macronutrients. The answer is very simple. Until you reach the amount of calories necessary to just fuel your body for the Heart, Lungs and Brain to function, you are getting no nutrition. Everything must go to meet the energy needs before anything else can happen. For me, it is around 1,900 calories. That is typical for a muscular, 175 pound, very active athlete. Even a sedentary female will need 1300-1500 calories for the same reason. This means we need to be eating to lose fat and gain muscle. Over 2,000 calories is a start. You will still experience muscle being depleted. It takes more to fill out muscle.
Let’s look at Keto type diets. This would take under 40g of carbs daily to achieve ketosis. With a lack of carbs, where do the calories for energy come from? Fat is the main calorie source in this strategy. Vegetables like asparagus and spinach with meat and some fat with each meal. To get really lean with this plan, you must stay right under the edge of the caloric deficit and suffer it out. If you are working really hard daily, 2,000 calories is a safe place to start. Since no carbs are really being used, the insulin response is minimal. This serves to stop fat storage but you will get no muscle growth during this time. Good for maintenance of weight or some like it for contest prep. This is also the core of a longevity diet to use as you grow older. There is a lot of evidence to support this claim.
A strategy that I find works exceptionally well for almost everyone is quality complex carbs like oats, rice, sweet potatoes or potatoes. Add some fish oil and flax seed oil to get quality EFA’s in. We need those for joint and skin health. But, keep fats to a minimum. The fat we get on our body is most certainly from the fat we eat. Schedule 5 to 6 meals over a 15-16 hour period. Keep the carbohydrate consumption to the pre-workout time frame. Eating carbs in the meal before training and the meal directly after training is the best way to ensure you are utilizing them well, and getting the muscle cells refilled with post training carbs.
The biggest difference is adding CapTri® C8 MCT to the food equation. This pure C8 MCT will spare your carbs and protein and be used for the primary energy source. The ketones from the use of Cap-Tri that are available will be used for energy preferentially to the glucose. This is what really changes the game. It also has a thermogenic effect that can make you sweat and burn more calories even resting. This is one product that you have to add in a bit of it at a time, to find your tolerance level and the right amount of calories for fat loss or muscle gain or both.
We must experiment to see what works best. Try some of these things and find what works best for you.
Until next month!