Trusting your intuition

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Did you ever notice how some people tend to gravitate toward a certain style of eating without anyone telling them to do it? Why do some people become vegetarians while others are heavy meat eaters? Why do some people avoid wheat and dairy? Why do some people crave certain foods? The reason is their bodies "tell them so," and they listen. While I'm not an advocate of total vegetarianism, if your body "tells you" not to eat much meat, then I believe you should listen and explore other protein sources. If your body tells you your protein is too high, listen. If you think carbohydrates make you fat, listen. If a certain food disagrees with you, listen. Pay close attention to your results each week and listen to your body.

The idea of adjusting your nutrition intuitively will upset some of the left-brained scientific types for sure, but with few exceptions, scientists are usually not the ones with the best bodies. The people with the best bodies are the ones who train hard, eat properly and pay close attention to their results and to what their bodies are telling them, regardless of what the latest research study says.

Most people are looking to be handed a prescription. They want a guru to come along, do all the thinking for them and say "HERE! Eat 33.54% protein, 47.92% carbohydrates and 18.54% fat - these are THE magical ratios." Well, allow me to share the real secret of nutrient ratios: There are no magical nutrient ratios! If you train hard, choose the right foods, eat frequently and monitor your calories, the chances are good that you'll get lean with any reasonable ratio combination.

No ratio should be followed as if by law. You should experiment to find what works best for you. Don't be afraid to do some "tweaking." Allow yourself some leeway in either direction. For example, if you're on the baseline plan of 55-30-15 and you're uncomfortable with the amount of protein, then drop the protein to 25% and bump the carbohydrates to 60% or the fat to 20% - and PAY ATTENTION to the results. If you think carbohydrates make you fat, drop the carbohydrates to 40 - 50% and increase the protein and/or fat by 5% (35% and or 20% respectively.) If you think you're extremely carbohydrate sensitive, gradually bring the carbohydrates down even lower and see what happens.

Macronutrient ratios alone have the ability to improve body fat loss through metabolic and hormonal control. They can also improve muscle growth and maintenance by providing a steady flow of amino acids to your muscles. However, the ratios aren't the "secret" to fat loss - calories are. Eat too much, you get fat, period -it doesn't matter if you're in the "zone" or not.

Chapter 9: Good Fats Vs. Bad Fats: How to Speed Up Fat Loss, Boost Muscle Growth, Increase Your Energy and Rev Up Your Metabolism By Eating The Right Fats in the Right Amounts at the Right Times

"The fact is that some fats are absolutely required for health, while others are detrimental. Some fats heal, and other fats kill. A substantial amount (15-20%) of our calories should come from fat."

- Udo Erasmus, Ph.D., the world's #1 authority on fats and oils and author of "Fats

That Heal, Fats That Kill."

"Unfortunately for the much maligned lipid, fats and oils have been lumped together in the minds of most bodybuilders as having the same properties, with the result of bodybuilders trying to avoid ALL fats and oils for fear of adding body fat and looking like the Pillsbury dough boy. Well, I am here to tell you that fats have gotten a bad rap. There are some good fats and there are some bad fats. The difference between the two is substantial and of great importance."

- Will Brink, author of "Priming the Anabolic Environment" The missing link discovered: A small dose of "healthy fats"

In the last chapter, I revealed how, after a long period of practically zero fat dieting, I took my results to a higher level with one small change to my diet - I added more fat. But it wasn't just any fat. Dr. Udo Erasmus, the world's #1 expert on dietary fats, says there are "Fats that heal" and "Fats that kill." Adding the wrong kind of fats can increase your blood cholesterol, clog your arteries, increase fat storage and wreak total havoc in your body. Adding the right kind of fats can increase your energy, increase fat burning, increase muscle-building hormones, increase your strength, improve insulin function, improve your skin texture and strengthen your joints. With benefits like these, "good fats" sound like some kind of wonder drug, and in many respects, the effects are almost "drug-like." Surprisingly, these miraculous benefits can be obtained simply by eating small amounts of foods or oils rich in the healthy "good fats."

Fats made simple

Most books on nutrition give a long discussion on the chemistry of fatty acids. They are filled with charts of fat molecules and talk of hydrogen, carbon, bonds, double bonds, methyl groups and carboxyl groups. Although I personally have a keen interest in nutritional biochemistry, I've always found that any time I started discussing this complicated scientific stuff in detail with my clients, they started dozing off or they just sat there, jaw agape, face expressionless in a blank stare like a deer caught in headlights.

That's why I decided the best approach to a chapter on fats in a manual on practical fat loss techniques would be to skip all but the most basic and essential chemistry, to discuss fats in layman's terms and stick to practical suggestions and guidelines: Eat this, don't eat that, eat a little of this, never eat that, etc. I'm sure you'll be glad I did, and by the time you finish reading this chapter, you'll know exactly (1) Why all fats are not the same, (2) What kind of fats you should eat, (3) What kinds of fats you should never eat and (4) How much fat to eat for optimal results. You'll also learn about an essential fatty acid supplement that is one of the few products I recommend and wholeheartedly endorse. So without further ado, let's "chew the fat!"

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