The Five Basic Diet Principles
- Starvation Alert
Answer the following questions, yes or no (note that if you are somewhere in the middle in response to one of the questions, then the answer should “yes”):
- Do you have little or no appetite in the morning?
Yes | No
- Do you usually skip completely or at most have a small breakfast (i.e., coffee and a muffin or bagel)?
Yes | No
- Would say that dinner is by far your biggest meal?
Yes | No
- Do you find yourself famished at some point in the day when you crave a snack?
Yes | No
- Do you fall asleep within 3 hours of your last meal?
Yes | No
If you answered “yes” to three or more of these questions, your body is likely in a state of what I call “starvation alert”. This condition is the opposite of metabolic activation and must be reversed. The point here is that whenyou eat is as important as what you eat. If you have been starving your body, even a small number of calories eaten at the wrong time will lead to rapid gains in fat. It’s simply your bodies system attempting to resist change. Taking an example from the animal kingdom, when a tiger has had unsuccessful hunts and has gone hungry for an extended period of time, the animal’s body makes internal adjustments, slowing metabolism, changing hormone levels, and altering sleep patterns. The tiger is now in a state of starvation alert. But the moment the tiger finally makes a big kill and has a large feeding, their bodies have an interesting and seemingly paradoxical response. They generally collapse and fall asleep despite the massive amounts of calories they ate. This response actually makes a great deal of sense when you think about it. The period of starvation throws the body into a shocked state in which it makes necessary survival adjustments including making more fat storing pathways. In so doing, during such a state the bulk of calories taken in are converted to body fat and not to energy. This is the nature of the starvation alert mode—the idea that, due to the period of starvation, the body is put on alert to prepare for another time of deprivation by causing the body to make body fat.
On a human scale, the Japanese Sumo wrestlers perhaps best exemplify the principle of starvation alert. If you’ve ever seen them on television, you know how enormously fat they are. Some weigh well over 500 pounds. It seems the Sumo wrestler has long since utilized the theory of starvation alert and basically used it to pile on layers of flab. Like the tiger example, the Sumo wrestler traditionally starves throughout the day and eats only once. The meal, called chanko, is a large meal served in the evening just before sleep. Interestingly, even though the total calories consumed are comparable to the total caloric intake of a normal size man, the problem clearly becomes one of timing and the resulting purposeful fat gain is obvious.
Perhaps the best example of starvation alert into your world, is that of Thanksgiving Day. It seems that nearly everyone approaches this heavy-calorie day with a similar flawed logic and stumbles into a condition of starvation alert with huge gains in fat. It usually starts as early as the day before Thanksgiving when we begin holding back on eating in preparation for this large meal. For example, we might only have a cup of coffee for breakfast and skip lunch altogether, thinking that if we eat less during the day, we will be able to get away with stuffing ourselves. Does this sound familiar? Just like the Sumo wrestler, we put ourselves in a state of starvation alert. The result is that we finally get to dinner and gorge ourselves. Unfortunately for us, and no different from the tiger or the Sumo wrestler, after we eat, we are exhausted. Recall being so stuffed that you discreetly unsnap your belt buckle and rise deliriously from the table only to stretch out on the floor like a fat pig (that is of course until someone wakes you up to ask if you wanted some pumpkin pie!).
So, the key to easily reversing the condition of starvation alert so that you can start answering “no” to all of those questions is to basically reverse these examples. You must learn to “decrescendo” calorie intake.
- Diet Decrescendo
Dovetailing from what you learned about starvation alert, let’s now apply that knowledge directly to you and your habits so you have the beginning detail of how to fix the problem. Start by looking back over the last 24 hours and writing down exactly what you ate and the amount, along with the time you ate it. Begin with yesterday morning, going through the entire day. Likely what you’ll see is a classic “crescendo” in terms of calorie intake rising as the day progresses. This crescendo sets the stage for body fat gain and it’s precisely the “strategy” that is precisely what the sumo wrestlers seize upon to build mounds of body fat.
A typical crescendo is waking up not hungry at all (because of the heft of the previous evenings meal) and starting the day on the run with perhaps nothing but a cup of coffee. Then people run off to work, to deal with the kids, or to tackle whatever hectic day awaits them. The next stopping point for food typically doesn’t come until lunch time, at which time usually people that have fat to lose try and “do themselves a favor” (or so they think) by eating something like a light salad with fat-free dressing or some kind of dieter’s plate. The point is that they attempt to “diet” at lunch, thinking that this is an effective time to restrict themselves. Next stop almost always isn’t until dinner, at which time they have a full entrée, side orders, alcohol, and even sneak in a little dessert. To make matters worse, often due to the excessive day-time restrictions, they remain a little hungry even after all that. So, snacking a little while watching TV or just sneaking in to the kitchen for a treat is commonplace.
If we map this out, the calories start with nothing, climb to mild to moderate intake, and finish with moderate to high caloric intake. If you graph it, you’ll clearly see the caloric crescendo, which looks like this:
Excess calories at night accompanied by a typical decrease in physical activity do the most damage in terms of body fat gain. People that struggle with body fat almost invariably have this eating pattern. They set the stage with the prerequisite priming of being in starvation alert, thus having a severe metabolic slow-down, then run on adrenalin instead of food all day only to feed and crash at night. Typically, the pattern is to FUNCTION and then REWARD (with food). This crescendo on the backdrop of metabolic slow-down caused by starvation alert, sets the stage for massive fat gain over time that, amazingly, can happen with only a moderate sum total food intake for the day. What the decrescendo teaches you is that TIMING of eating is almost as important as total calorie intake.
The solution is to turn the pattern around with a decrescendo. You begin doing this by avoiding starvation alert. Begin by never getting to the point that you are famished or starving. Except in the rare fast, never go more than three hours without nourishing your body with a meal, a small snack, or a supplement. And don’t worry. You won’t get fat this way. It’s contrary to what you’ve been told. But eating more frequent smaller meals, healthy snacks, and supplements throughout the day is the key to keeping your body from building up fat stores. Remember that a stoked furnace burns hotter, so you’ll actually be burning off slabs of body fat this way. Eat your largest meals earlier in the day. Simply put, if you live by the rule that the larger the meal, the earlier it has to be in the day when you eat it, you’ll practically get away with murder! Remember the age-old adage “breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper”? Well it’s true. Remember, if you are not hungry in the morning, it’s a signal that you are eating too much the night before. If you are successful and you understand this point, you’ll be FUELING the FUNCTIONING (a sharp contrast from functioning then rewarding). Remember that food IS fuel (not coffee and adrenalin as an aside, there’s nothing wrong with coffee, just as long as it accompanies a substantial breakfast). So, think of constructing your diet with the three basic meals of breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but just making each successive meal progressively lower in total calories. For example, let’s say you were to have a breakfast made up of about 600 calories, a lunch with half those calories at 300, then a dinner half the size of lunch at 150 calories. If you get it right andgraph it, you’ll clearly see the caloric decrescendo, which now will look like this as the caloric intake fades as the day progresses and activity goes down:
Keep this point in mind because it is the essential clay, the backbone, of the Slimshot System. Tapering your caloric intake as you progress throughout the day is a key fundamental prerequisite to success with the Slimshot System.
- Meal Cadence
The next key point to understand in the Slimshot System is the critical role of meal frequency, or “cadence”, in keeping your metabolism up. One of the biggest dietary mistakes you can make is to have long stretches of little or no food intake during waking hours. In order for the body not to burn off an optimum amount of fat while maintaining and even increasing lean muscle tone and shape, frequent feedings throughout the day must occur. You should not confuse this with the necessary decrescendo by thinking there is a contradiction here. By feedings, understand that you can still have frequent feedings and adhere to a decrescendo in total calories. The key to understanding how to do this is to remember that feedings are not of the same size and caloric load.
In principle, when you only have occasional meals, much like with starvation alert, the body adjusts to it in a negative way by slowing the metabolism. To make matters worse, once this happens, the body then burns up what it perceives as unnecessary lean muscle in deference to storing fat—a natural physiologic response to protracted periods of caloric deprivation. The result for men is the development of skinniness to the muscles. Arms and legs get spindly while the chest gets flat and boney. Women generally lose curves. The buttocks flatten out and triceps become soft. Though the same general principle applies to men, with women, lack of meal frequency is one of the most prevalent and easily correctable means to help their bodies gain shape. For some reason, more women than men tend to be almost phobic of food, to the point that the mere idea of eating with frequency almost sounds like sacrilege to those with an aversion. Yet the truth is that the way to prevent a dial-down from occurring is by way of frequent feedings throughout the day, descending in caloric concentration.
In order to promote adequate fat loss coupled with fostering lean muscle and shape, those following the Slimshot System should space their meals by a fairly regular rhythm of no more than about three hours. Optimum timing is usually around every 2.5 hours with dinner being the last meal. That’s good meal cadence because it eliminates the possibility of stretches of caloric depletion and the counter-productive stress hormone production that occurs from chronic under-eating. Just remember that if you are looking to lose fat yet have shape and muscle tone, what constitutes a meal should never be the traditional belt bursting sit-down face-stuffing production. Instead, think of meals as small workman’s type noshes of real food or protein shake supplements.
The way we preserve a proper decrescendo that adequately contracts overall caloric intake especially as it gets later in the day while keeping a good meal cadence is to utilize what is called “bridge meals”. These meals still count as a feeding but are very low in calories and only serve as a bridge between the main meals.
Going back to our example, if you were to have an 8am breakfast made up of about 600 calories, a 1pm lunch with half those calories at 300, then a 6pm dinner half the size of lunch at only 150 calories. While these meals adhere to the Slimshot decrescendo, by themselves, they would fail in meal cadence because of the 5-hour food drought between meals. This is easily solved by inserting two bridge meals of about 60-120 calories, 2.5 hours after breakfast but before lunch, and again 2.5 hours after lunch but before dinner. What you end up with is an alternating “meal-then-shake” feeding sequence as such:
Next fundament in the Slimshot System is to understand what foods make up these feedings, in particular, from which macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, or fat). We call that “Macrodology”. We coin the term to emphasize the study of the different macronutrients, how they are interpreted by the body, and how they interrelate. To begin with, since the Slimshot System places much greater emphasis on fostering a healthy metabolism, absolute restriction of any particular macronutrient is not part of the system. It’s more an issue of which macronutrients and foods you should be leaning more toward, and which away from. That being said, you must nevertheless have a basic understanding of these large nutrient groups.
Beginning with carbohydrates, anything containing predominantly sugar, regardless of the type or source (i.e., simple vs. complex, low glycemic index vs. high glycemic index, etc.) falls into the macronutrient category of a carbohydrate. This is a broad category ranging from the obvious sources like table sugar, candy, cakes, and pies, to the less obvious sources of bread, pasta, rice, and potatoes, all the way to the surprising examples of fruit, fruit juices, and beans and corn. Keep in mind that all of these can lead to major weight and health problems when taken in excess quantity. The major concept to realize, however, is that it doesn’t take much in the way of any of these carbohydrates to cause problems, and just because a carbohydrate source is “natural” certainly doesn’t make it any less problematic in the diet.
Everywhere you turn you can find carbohydrates. They tend to dominate the caloric profile of most people, and that’s largely why most people are fat. Unfortunately, we have done this to ourselves. We have misbranded carbohydrates as our primary energy source when it was not divinely meant it to be, and that’s a scientific fact. We measure energy units in calories. One gram of carbohydrates is equal to only four calories, whereas, one gram of fat at nine calories obviously has more than double the energy! Check any nutrition textbook and you’ll see that this is correct.
What people fail to realize, and what you must be conscious of, is that carbohydrate-based foods are simply unnecessary and harmful in even slight excess. When it comes to feeling and looking good, relative to the other macronutrients like protein and fat, carbohydrates serve no purpose other than occasionally pacifying “sinful” desires. Unless you are starving in a third-world nation and you need them to stay alive, carbohydrates are pretty much worthless. This is in sharp contrast to the proteins and healthy fats, which have absolutely been proven to be essential. Without eating complete protein and healthy fat, you will get sick and die because your body cannot produce them and must get them from the diet. The same does not hold true for carbohydrates. Dietary carbohydrates have no essential character. If your body needs them, it will produce them from the fat and/or protein you take in.
Furthermore, so-called modern nutritionists still focus on the overall caloric value of carbohydrates and trying to find ways to offset this number. They completely overlook the fact that the real damage done by carbohydrates has nothing to do with the caloric value and everything to do with the hormonal influence of sugar. All sugars increase insulin. Some do it to a lesser degree, while some do it to a greater degree. The dark secret about insulin is that it not only causes blood sugar to be taken up into the cells, but also turns on body fat production. It’s logical when you think about it. Turning blood sugar into stored fat is a logical dumping path for the body to utilize.
Despite all these reasons, and the popularity of the many low-carb diets out there, our society fails to recognize the true lack of utility and inherent danger of an excess of carbohydrate-based foods. Instead, society has given the word “fat” a bad rap and given carbohydrates the untrue moniker of a “source of energy”. Taken to an extreme, there are so-called “low fat” sections in the grocery store that stock pastries, cookies, and the like with less fat but double the sugar! The food labels brag about eliminating the fat, yet say little or nothing about the enormous carbohydrate content.
But it’s not just society that is so mislead about carbohydrates. Nutritionists and scientists also perpetuate the myth that your body needs to eat carbohydrate-based foods. If one looks back to the early caveman, one finds that he foraged for food by killing animals and eating their meat as well as gathering leaves, shrubbery, and only occasionally introducing fruits, nuts and berries. They didn’t process cane sugar, make bread, or boil potatoes or rice. All of these were developed much later by “modern” man as a way to fill the diet and feed the masses. Note that meats, poultry, fish, eggs, and milk, as well as fresh vegetables do not store well. These are the healthy foods. This is in sharp contrast to such things as sugar, wheat, and rice, can last for very extended periods of time. Surprisingly, these types of foods are actually the result of an unnatural processing. Since our bodies have been basically poisoned by sugars over time, the key to weight-loss success and health is to detoxify our bodies from the ravages of carbohydrate-based foods. In so doing, we nurture the primordial metabolic pathways that our bodies once lived by. These pathways, when awakened and challenged, are actually extremely efficient energy producers.
The following are basic tips to remember when it comes to activating your metabolism via lower carbohydrate intake:
- If your body is used to eating a lot of carbohydrates, work this level down gradually and pay attention to your bodily response because too drastic a drop may be unnecessarily uncomfortable.
- Whether complex vs. simple or low vs. high glycemic index, avoid or minimize foods that are predominately carbohydrate.
- Minimize fruits. Don’t kid yourself, they are simple sugars. It’s okay if you feel the need for fruit once in a while, but too much and your fat burning will screech to a halt.
All this being said, you need to keep in mind that you must not be obsessive about avoiding every trace of carbohydrates. Trace amounts are okay because they occur naturally in small amounts in what I call “fiber-based foods” like vegetables. These foods are essential to good health and form a major component of a healthy diet. It is only when carbohydrates dominate the makeup of the food that it should be avoided or at least minimized. You don’t need to, nor should you, eliminate carbs completely. You just need to reduce them to a level that stimulates proper fat burning. In fact, the biggest problem with almost all the zero carbohydrate diets is that they cause terrible bowel stasis and constipation. In some cases, fecal matter literally putrefies in the colon as harmful waste toxins can be reabsorbed back into the body. The high fiber and micronutrient content of vegetables is the antidote. Vegetable fiber is so important that the relatively small amounts of carbohydrate they contain do not represent a problem in the Slimshot System. These trace carbohydrates are what we call “incidental”. In other words, they are found in foods that are not based on sugar content and are, instead fiber based. Examples include anything in the vegetable category like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, lettuce, celery, peppers, spinach, onions, and cucumber, just to name a few. The insoluble roughage in this form is actually necessary.
Understand that fiber foods can be divided into two categories, which include “soluble fiber” and “insoluble fiber”. Soluble fibers dissolve in water. They help lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Examples include apples, carrots, beets, bananas, oatmeal, oat bran, sesame seeds, and dried peas and beans. This type of fiber also helps detoxify the body by removing toxins and metals from the blood. Soluble fiber also reduces the risk of gallstones. These soluble fibers also help regulate blood glucose levels, aid in lowering cholesterol, and help in the removal of toxins. This is where it gets a little tricky and can be confusing. While soluble fibers, like oats especially, are welcome in the Slimshot System, you have to be very careful with this fiber form because it tends to be much higher in carbohydrates and calories than the insoluble form. As such, the caloric “room” for soluble fibers like oats, is in the morning at the peak of the decrescendo when your meal should be the highest in calories.
This second type of fiber, the insoluble foods, are also known as “roughage” and is not soluble in water. They have little to no calories and thus can and should be eaten in abundance. Roughage is a powerful cancer fighter and digestive aid. Foods like leafy greens (romaine lettuce), cabbage, peppers, carrots, broccoli, and green beans prevent stasis in the colon and helps prevent constipation, colitis, hemorrhoids and varicose veins. They are rich in micronutrients, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals, all of which helps in preventing cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Insoluble fiber also speeds the time it takes for waste to pass through the digestive tract by forming bulkier, heavier stools. Bulkier stools dilute the concentration of harmful substances since, if waste moves slowly through the digestive tract, there is more time for potentially harmful substances to come in contact with the intestinal wall and be absorbed. The more “regular” you are, the less time your body is subject to carrying around fecal waste toxins, only to have some of them potentially re-absorbed back into the body.
Insoluble fiber foods in general should make up a significant part of the diet, especially as the day progresses. The Slimshot System allows for an abundance of insoluble fiber at almost any time of the day, but ideally should rise in the day as the diet decrescendos toward afternoon and then evening. Typically, that’s when people with body fat to lose tend to heavily eat starchy carbohydrates. But properly prepared, insoluble fiber-based foods actually substitute quite nicely for those heavy starches. Usually these carbohydrate-based foods sneak into the diet in the form of side-dishes which can be surprisingly damaging but easy to remedy with fiber-based alternatives that contain only incidental carbohydrates. Though calorically similar in some preparations due to the addition of a healthy fat content, due to the bulk of the ingested insoluble fiber, people tend to eat far smaller portion sizes of the starch they are replacing (which almost invariably is eaten in excess by those with body fat to lose). Simple examples of healthy substitutes are as follows:
Here are some basic Slimshot tips to remember in order to get fiber in your diet:
- Emphasize vegetables. Rely on fiber-based foods to fill the void left by removing carbohydrate foods from your diet. This means, for example, having an extra serving of string beans with your steak instead of potatoes, or going for broccoli and mixed vegetables instead of rice to couple with chicken.
- Natural foods high in fiber are the best choice. Unless you need them for a clear medicinal purpose and only in a short term, excessive fiber supplements should be avoided.
- Shoot for at least 30 grams (about 3 small to medium servings, or one large) of insoluble fiber is great.
- Especially as you get later in the day, substitute fiber-based foods for the carbohydrate-based foods in order to minimize the sugar in your diet and maximize your fat burning capability.
- Make sure to increase your water intake. Fiber acts like a sponge in the colon by holding on to water thus preventing constipation, bloating, and other intestinal problems. In this way, it keeps waste moving through the intestines, so adequate fluid intake is necessary for fiber to do its job properly.
Unlike carbohydrates, proteins are an absolutely fundamental and essential component of the human diet. Proteins are all made up of amino acids. These amino acids are commonly referred to as “building blocks” essential for growth, tissue repair, and DNA/RNA synthesis. So if you want fat loss along with tone and shape, protein is critical. Protein provides the foundation for the building of cell walls and the production of enzymes and hormones. The bottom line is that proteins make up the framework of an infinite number of compounds and structures found in the body. Proteins have many different functions. Proteins are part of every cell in the body. Your skin, muscles, bone, and organs are unique because the amino acids in their proteins differ. Your body requires a constant supply of protein to repair and create new cells. During times of growth, such as infancy, childhood, adolescence, and pregnancy, the body needs extra protein to make new body tissue. Proteins also help regulate body processes. As enzymes and hormones, proteins make various chemical reactions occur. As antibodies, they help protect the body from disease-carrying bacteria and viruses. Most importantly, protein is used to rebuild and repair body tissue. Remember that muscle provides shape to the body. Muscle gives the female physique curves and the male physique muscularity. Since muscle is not built without protein, a lack of protein will result in a lack of shape.
Protein is often referred to as a single nutrient even though proteins are made up of 20 different amino acids. Amino acids are composed of carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen, as are carbohydrates and fats, but proteins contain nitrogen which makes their structure and role in health unique. Out of the 20 amino acids, 9 are essential (must be obtained from the diet) and 11 are non-essential (the body can make these from other substances). Because your body cannot make the essential amino acids, your food choices must supply them. The essential amino acids include histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionone, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine. The other 11 non-essential amino acids can be manufactured by the body as long as you consume enough protein and calories throughout the day.
Traditionally protein foods are obtained from animal sources. The proteins obtained from animal sources include meat, poultry, and fish, along with their related products. They are loaded with essential amino acids and thus must be taken in through the diet because the body cannot produce them on its own. Familiar high quality proteins meals include steak, chicken, fish, milk and milk products, and cooked eggs. These high-quality proteins are all complete in that they contain all the essential amino acids in sufficient quantity to nourish and fortify the body. So, in order for the body to make its various proteins, your food choices must supply essential amino acids in sufficient amounts. Animal proteins supply them all, in proportions needed to make new proteins.
Plant source are also commercially available and touted as protein sources, the most popular of which is soy. Proteins from leaves, stems, and roots have been explored as possible sources of protein, with the seed being the most useful part of a plant, but even these proteins have been found to be “incomplete”. This simply means that, unlike animal source protein, they tend to lack one or more of essential amino acids. Wheat and rice are also examples of such incomplete plant source proteins. They are incredibly poor protein choices, so its use is somewhat limited to processed bakery foods. Soy is lacking in the essential amino acids methionine and lysine and, unless fortified with them, is undeniably incomplete.
Amino acids are known as the body’s building blocks. Like a musical scale, amino acids are arranged in numerous ways. In a single cell in the body, there can be literally thousands of different proteins, each with a unique arrangement of amino acids that define their structure. The key point to understand is that in order to activate your metabolism to gain tone and shape, complete, animal-source protein should be an integral part of your daily diet.
But what many misguided people fail to realize when they eliminate protein based foods high in essential amino acids in an effort to avoid any and all fat along with it. Instead they could simply select leaner cuts of meat. Modern medicine tells us that our metabolism can be influenced by the foods we eat. Right in line with the Slimshot System, protein foods raise or activate your metabolism, while others slow the metabolism. One of the keys to long term lean muscle gain is an understanding which foods activate your metabolism to build shape and tone. Complete protein has a natural metabolic advantage in that it enhances metabolism, and thus is a powerful ally when trying to burn off body fat. This metabolic activation is achieved through the process of “thermogenesis”. Burning food for energy is known as the thermic effect of food (TEF). The TEF varies for each food. That is, the thermic effect of protein, carbohydrates and fats vary. Carbohydrates and fats have a low TEF compared to protein. For example, ingestion of both carbohydrates and fats together in the same meal can only elevate the metabolism by about 5%, while a complete protein meal elevates metabolism by a whopping 25%. Now that’s lean muscle building power! Here are two basic Slimshot System protein tips to apply:
- Rely exclusively on animals and their natural products as your source of protein. Beef, chicken, fish, and of course, milk, eggs, and supplements should form the foundation of your food intake.
- Have frequent (every 2-3 hours) but modest size portions of protein (i.e., 3-6oz lean meat or fish, or ~20 grams of protein per feeding). You should never stuff yourself with protein at any one sitting, or the TEF advantage of consuming protein will be negated by the excess calories.
The role of dietary fat is also important to understand when applying the fundamentals of the Slimshot System. We’ve been fed a steady diet of false propaganda that says that all fat is bad. We’ve been told to completely avoid fat in the diet. But this information couldn’t be further from the truth, which is that, like the essential amino acid building blocks of dietary protein which we must ingest to thrive, fat is actually just as essential. It is unfortunate that much of the nutritional information available today fails to mention the fact that, like the essential amino acids of protein, fat also contains essential fatty acids which must be ingested in food since they cannot be produced by the body. The two essential fatty acids, and the ones focused on by modern health practitioners are derived from fish oil but also can be found in abundance in seeds. One is alpha-linolenic acid (an omega-3 fatty acid, or “n-3”) and the other is linoleic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid, or “n-6”).
The n-3 is the most important of the two since many foods (even healthy ones) contain an overabundance of the n-6 variety. But the n-3 obtained in the diet is not particularly metabolically active until it undergoes a labor intensive and often energetically unfavorable conversion to two metabolically active forms known as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). These essential fats are found in great amounts in fish oils (i.e., mostly cold-water fish like tuna and mackerel). They can also be found in wild game (i.e., rabbits and venison).
With all this explained, consider the incredible health benefits of these healthy fats. But even if you don’t eat a lot of fish or wild game, you can still get plenty of essential fatty acids (EFA’s) from seeds like flaxseed. Whatever the source, healthy fats protect the heart and ease the passage of blood through the arteries that feed the heart. They protect against abnormal heartbeats called “arrhythmias”. They can reduce blood clotting and nearly everywhere in the body. They create a healthy hormone balance that can reduce blood pressure, as well as serving as a diuretic, ridding the body of excess fluid. EFA’s enhance the immune system while supporting healthy nerve function. Add to that, they enhance efficient digestion and absorption of foods by stimulating gastric secretions and natural digestive muscle action. Finally, yes, EFA’s actually helps you burn the fat off your body. You see, the right kind of fat gets rid of the wrong kind of fat!
The bottom line is that without EFA’s in your diet, you be limiting your body fat loss. sickness and early death will follow. Dietary fat has received perhaps the most severe criticism of any food component. But the “rap” isn’t fair since most of the legitimate criticism centers on the unhealthy fats. Saturated fat is almost always derived from an animal source and is typically, but not always, solid at room temperature. That’s where we tend to see the problems in the form of unnecessarily high caloric load that provides little to none of the essential fatty acids we are looking for. Examples include the white trimmings from the edge of a steak or the grease from the bottom of the pan after you fry sausage. But here again, things can get a little confusing because not all saturated fats are bad for you. Healthy examples of saturated fats include coconut oil, avocado oil, egg yolks (yes, the yolks), and dairy fat (yup, even butter!). Cutting out completely the unhealthy so-called “trans” fat in the diet is a must. These fats tend to dominate deep fried commercially produced fast foods. When frying foods at home, one should never use such fats. Excessive dietary fat of this kind has been linked closely to some of the most serious diseases, namely heart disease, stroke, and cancer. Olive oil, coconut oil, and sesame oil are fine alternatives.
Again, a total ban on all fat in the diet is a big mistake but for yet another reason. Dietary fat is the most efficient form of energy. All of the “fat is bad” propaganda started in the early calorie counting days of dieting when diet gurus used .to play up the fact that 1 gram of either protein or carbohydrate is equal to four calories, while one gram of fat equals 9 calories. In other words, per gram, fat is more than double the calories of protein or carbohydrate foods. While this is true, it does not make it a bad thing. In fact, it’s good, especially if your body is used to burning fat for energy and not carbohydrates!
This whole idea makes a lot of sense if you think about it. Basically, the calorie is our way of counting energy in the body. Saying that a gram of fat has 9 calories verses 4 calories for a carbohydrate is simply admitting that fat is the true source of energy! Carbs don’t equal energy, fat does. This is not just opinion, it is divine law as it was created this way and is thus indisputable. Ask yourself why your body would store something like fat if it didn’t have an exceedingly efficient way to access the storage? It’s easy to burn your body fat for energy as long as you don’t eat an excessive amount of carbohydrates. In the presence of a steady flow of blood sugar, your body will simply turn to your blood sugar and stored sugar in the form of glycogen to utilize for energy rather that burning fat. The truth is that your body can easily access body fat and efficiently use it for energy if you train your body to do so by reducing carbohydrates and increasing healthy dietary fats. Another way to look at it is that man has basically substituted carbohydrates for fat with the misperception that carbohydrates equal energy. In this way, your body simply cannot learn to burn the layers of fat off your body and use stored fat as energy in an efficient way when you are pumping in a steady flow of sugars. The body fat gaining damage carbohydrates perpetrate on the body by spurring insulin surges and thus body fat production far outweighs the untoward effect arising from the caloric density of small amounts of dietary fat. The following are concepts for getting unhealthy fat out of your diet and healthy fat into your diet:
- Not all fat is bad, so don’t zero your fat intake.
- Fat is the most efficient macronutrient source of energy, so make sure healthy fats are part of your diet.
- Get used to healthy fats like olive oil, coconut oil, flax seed oil instead of trans-fat cooking oils and margarine.
- If you are having trouble navigating the diet to include ample healthy fats, use a liquid oil dietary supplement.
- Structured Fasting
If you’re sold on the effectiveness of this important tool for fat loss, the real challenge then becomes how you overcome the fear and apply it. While you are sticking to your regular rules of starvation alert, decrescendo dieting, meal cadence, and macrodology, you can periodically use short-term fasts to realize the massive fat burning advantage of brief bouts of intense caloric restriction without an evening re-feed. Again, don’t confuse this with going into starvation alert. The difference is that starvation alert is a condition fostered by a lifestyle of daily food deprivation and heavy night-time re-feeding. This builds fat and is in sharp contrast to proper fasting.
You may have heard the popular craze of “intermittent fasting”. It’s basically the notion that you can take any eight-hour stretch in the day, not eat, and that’s called a healthy fat-burning fast. For those that do the eight-hour stretch at the end of the day and then go to sleep, not eating again until morning, it is undoubtedly an effective way to lose a lot of weight. But if you survey the landscape of people who do it, you’ll find the vast majority place the eight hours of intermittent fasting in morning usually upon waking rather than the end of the day, just so they can eat later in the afternoon and at night. Sound familiar? Well that’s the opposite of a decrescendo and precisely what the Slimshot System tells you not to do.
When it comes to fasting, the Slimshot System uses what we call a “structured fast” because it still requires breakfast in the form of a protein shake, thereafter, always occurs in the latter portion of the day, and should be scheduled roughly every 10 days or so. To put it another way, though avoiding starvation alert should generally rule nearly every day, on occasion, very short term and structured caloric deprivation has its place because it not only burns off body fat at hyper-speed, but it resets your metabolic ability to burn fat at a steadier state when you return to your regular eating. Fasting has been an important purification fixture of many religions and cultures throughout the history of man. Someone way back realized the power of fasting. Fasting is perhaps the most powerful and ancient dietary method to burn fat quickly. Many easterners still believe that fasting not only purifies the body, but it heightens the senses and makes one more aware of one’s surroundings.Scientific research also suggests a longevity component to some degree of caloric deprivation. The overfed state, which nearly all Americans are used to, appears to cultivate premature illness and death.
Unlike intermittent fasting, which allows an evening re-feed, for maximum fat burning, structured fasting does not. You can periodically use strategically placed structured fasts to realize the massive fat burning advantage of brief bouts of intense caloric restriction as long as it is without an evening re-feed. The re-feed occurs the next morning. Again, don’t confuse this with going into starvation alert either. Recall starvation alert is a condition fostered by a lifestyle of daily food deprivation and heavy nighttime re-feeding. This builds fat and is in sharp contrast to proper fasting.
Actually, this version of fasting is not a true complete deprivation of all sustenance because, in order to prevent a metabolic slow-down and thus preserve lean muscle, structured fasting requires a small early morning pure protein intake of either eggs or meat source prior to the all-on fast. This takes the edge off the first hit of hunger and helps the fat burning process because it gives you just enough get-up-and-go to not sit around thinking off food. Of course, the more active you are, the more calories you burn. Without the morning feed, fasting compliance tends to be much lower because of the first hit of mid-morning hunger drives a huge and almost insurmountable temptation to eat. Also, a small amount of morning protein gets you off to work and about your day. It not only counteracts this effect by delaying and softening the first hit, it also results in a higher degree of body fat loss because of the higher level of physical exertion the body is tricked into pursuing.
The next morning after the fast the re-feed happens. That’s because you will be burning fat while you sleep. It’s a rare state of being, but when you wake up the next day, look at how flat your belly is and check out the scale. The results are astounding and well worth the temporary period discomfort.All that said, pay attention to the following caveats:
- Don’t completely deprive your body of all calories. Instead, have one early morning protein shake around 7:00am-8:00am.
- Don’t re-feed until the next morning. At that point, get right back to your regular meal plan with a bigger morning meal, vigorously re-feeding as the fast is over.
- Perform the structured fast on schedule every 10thday, but no more frequently then every seven days.
Finally, as far as the Slimshot System, equipped with an understanding of the diet fundamentals, you are ready to move on to the programs and supplements for more specific application. But before you do, keep in mind that when it comes to any diet program, no one person is perfect. Desserts “happen”, occasional overindulgence occurs, bad food choices are made, and important meals are missed. Of course, the more strictly you adhere to the guidelines, the faster you will see results, the more dramatic they will be, and the more lasting they will become. But if you are compliant in some way but not others, you still may see results. The point is that the Slimshot System is a fact-based educational tool, not a fancy dogma, that, when applied properly, really works. It’s just a matter of how you choose to modulate it. If you choose to apply the principles six days out of the week and have a cheat meal on the seventh, so be it. If you want to go hard-core compliance for all seven days for a while and then ease off, that’s fine too. If you feel you don’t need to do a structured fast or don’t like the idea, don’t do it. If you want to go slow and steady, there are seven days in a week, and that’s an odd number. So if just four out of those seven are good days, then over the long haul, you’re likely winning the bulge battle!
The point is that the Slimshot diet approach is all about grooming your metabolism for fat burning. Once metabolic activation is adequately achieved, you will no longer be betrayed by hunger pangs, deceived by addictive tendencies to eat the wrong foods, or easily fall into phony habitual eating impulses that steer you away from health and toward sickness and disability. Through the Slimshot System, you will uncover your true instincts. You will then be able to completely rely on yourself to reach for what your body truly hungers for. Your fat burning metabolism will be activated and it will no longer be a battle. With “educated instincts” as your guide, you can safely trust your urges. You will be eating the correct foods in the right amounts with occasional treats now and then when you allow them. It will no longer be dieting. You’ll know precisely how to moderate and still keep the fat off. It won’t be dieting, as you’ve known it. It will be living!