Five diet changes for Better ResultsDec 31, 2022
In terms of diet advice, there's so much these days. Do you go keto? Paleo? Atkins? No carb? There's an overwhelming amount of available information. Out of all the advice I've sifted through, these five diet changes are what brought me the best results.
These five changes are based on what actually works. These changes are the ones that bring the best results with the least investment.
These are also somewhat obvious changes, yet so many people still don't do them.
Without further ado, here are the five diet changes you can make starting today for better results.
1. Remove the Sugar
This one is the most obvious one, yet so many people still don't do it. Take a look at Americans and it's no wonder why the majority of them are obese; almost everything they eat contains sugar. If you can remove sugar from your diet, your health and physique will improve drastically for it.
There are two different types of body fat:
Although too much of any body fat is bad for you, visceral fat is especially dangerous since it wraps around your abdominal organs, while subcutaneous fat is the fat underneath your skin.
A calorie surplus will give you body fat, but it's been shown that eating more added sugar will give you more visceral fat.
Putting these two points together, eating less sugar benefits you in two ways:
- Better for your overall health & longevity
- Better for your physique & aesthetics
2. Cut down on the junk food
No, just because it fits your macros doesn't mean you should eat it. While you can make junk food fit into your macros, there are better choices if you're in the mood for a snack.
Since the vast majority of junk food contains a lot of sugar, by cutting out sugar from your diet you'll also end up cutting out junk food. However, I believe it's still worth mentioning
Firstly, junk food is calorie-dense and nutrient-poor. They're packed with carbs and oftentimes a lot of sugar. Eating this type of food leads to what is known as insulin resistance.
When you eat carbs or sugar, insulin spikes in order to transport the energy where it needs to go. However, if you eat too much food that spikes insulin, you eventually develop insulin resistance.
What this leads to is less insulin in the bloodstream, which means your blood sugar levels will rise. This leads to obesity or diabetes, if not both.
3. Get sufficient protein intake
Protein is more than just a muscle-building macronutrient. When you eat enough protein, your whole diet and physique improve.
Firstly, protein has been shown to be effective at lowering hunger between meals and increasing satiety after meals. Even though 1 gram of protein contains the same amount of calories as 1 gram of carbs, protein simply takes longer to digest, leaving you full for longer.
Second, protein has been shown to increase metabolism and fat burning. There's something known as the thermic effect of food, which basically states that your body uses energy to break down food into energy.
It's been shown that protein has a higher thermic effect compared to carbs and fat, up to 20 - 35%, compared to 5 - 15%. This means that eating more protein can lead to you burning more fat while eating less.
Finally, the obvious point that everybody knows, protein helps with muscle building.
By building up strong muscles, you increase your metabolism. Muscle uses energy to not only build itself but maintain itself, and it uses more energy compared to fat to do both.
By combining proper protein with sufficient exercise, your body ends up making it easier to stay in shape once you are in shape.
4. Eat enough carbs
When people hear the word carbs, they automatically think of bread, pasta, and rice. Many believe carbs to be the enemy, but this is far from the truth. An excess of any macronutrient leads to fat gain, and carbs got caught in the crossfire.
Carbs are not evil! If they were, we'd have to make fruits and vegetables the enemy too since they contain carbs in the form of fructose.
Eating enough carbs can actually lead to better performance and fat loss, but mainly better performance. Carbs are the body's preferred fuel source since it's easier for the body to turn carbs into usable energy.
On top of this, there are many benefits to eating carbs. For example, many carbs contain fiber which helps with digestion and feeling fuller.
Despite all of this, carbs are dangerous in one way. Carbs in general have been shown to trigger the reward circuit of the brain. This is why eating carbs can be so addicting.
The key to carbs is to eat enough without overindulging
5. Get enough fat
Contrary to popular belief, eating fat does not make you fat. If that were true, the keto diet would be a scam. Fat is a necessary part of a balanced, healthy diet.
First, a lot of fatty foods contain cholesterol. Cholesterol is needed by the body to produce testosterone and estrogen, both of which are necessary for your body to properly function.
This is why people who eat enough dietary fat tend to have better moods, higher energy, and less brain fog.
Second, fat is calorically dense and takes longer to burn. While 1 gram of protein or carbs contains 4 calories, 1 gram of fat contains 9 calories.
This is helpful for people who need to fill in their macros but don't want to eat more carbs or protein.
Putting these two points together, you need to be eating enough fat to maintain healthy hormone production and as a result, your satiety levels will increase.
The best diet is one you can stick to
When deciding on a diet, don't pick the one that claims to be the best. What's best for one person may not be the best for you.
Instead, you need to pick a diet that fits your goals, preferences, and needs. Although your diet will be vastly different from mine, these five changes will help anybody make progress on their fitness journey.
P.S. Happy New Year!