All along my career I have always been looking for the best strategy to get rid of the fat, especially belly fat. Every time I’ve tried ”this” diet or “this” product I have always been looking at the science behind what I was doing. After several years of research and trials on myself I found out that the answer is much deeper than what I thought and that several factors have to be taken into account.
I first dedicated hundreds of hours reading through the science of the human body and how to most effectively increase fat consumption. Then I went deeply into which chemical could increase energy consumption utilising fat and not muscle tissue. And all of a sudden, after I’ve tried every sort of chemical and extreme diet, I realised that the answer was much simpler: food is the answer! But which food?
Not long ago I had the pleasure to have a chat and listen to a lecture of John Berardi PHD, founder of Precision Nutrition and former number one nutritionist in the world. He enlightened some key points that I want to develop in this article.
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1. Every human is different: we need to recognise the fact that every individual is unique in his dna pattern. Therefore we cannot expect that a specific diet will work for every single person that tries it.
2. Your origins influence the way you digest and assimilate different type of foods: this is something also DR. Weston A. Price called “Metabolic Type” in his researches. Simply means that if your ancestors were living for example in northern regions, they wouldn’t have the chance to eat foods like milk or wheat.
Their primary source of nutrition would have been dark fat meat and plants. On the opposite, if your ancestors were from some very hot equatorial regions their main supply of nutrition would have been starches, plants, fruit and a very small amount of meat, because to hunt was hard and there were not many animals around.
Since our ecosystem(humans included) is in continuous evolution, we as humans have migrated and adopted In the last hundreds of years. But for the evolution of our DNA would take much more than that to change the way our intestine is programmed to digest certain foods. I will later develop this concept to clarify how to eat for your Metabolic Type and how to find out which type you are.
3. We often don’t eat out of need but out of stress, pleasure or simple routine: we live in a very rushing society that has crazy schedules and in order to follow our impellent working needs ,we often see food as “something quick to have during the day just to keep on going”. We have forgotten that food and the act of eating was often even related to a sacrum moment, something to be revered.
Remember that the act itself of eating is a step of personal transformation. Not only a way to fuel ourselves but that’s our foundation, what we are made of. Remember the ancient saying “we are what we eat”? I believe there is a lot of wisdom in it. We should only eat when we are hungry and never starve ourselves to drop the weight.
We should dedicate care and love in choosing, preparing and eating the food. And last but not least we should take the time needed to chew and enjoy every bit of food. That would assure a better digestion and assimilation other than relieve the mind of daily stress.
4. We don’t need to count calories: we don’t need to turn food into maths, calculate than transform again maths into food. First of all you have no idea how reliable the nutritional values you read on a box of food is.
Research proves that it may vary from 30% to 90% in most of labeled products. Second, you have no idea of how much of that food you will digest and assimilate efficiently. In fact, I personally believe that a “recommended daily intake of calories” like the food pyramid is something just ridiculous and unreliable for optimal health purposes.
Given these basic points now you may still be waiting to know what is the natural diet that keeps the belly away. I won’t give you a diet here but I will give you some guidelines on how to choose the food and how to eat for your metabolic type.
The plan in action
My focal points of staying healthy and lean are:
1) Follow my ABCD of weight loss
2) Eat for your Metabolic type
3) Follow the natural sleep\wake cycle
The ABCD of diet
A) Our body stores fat via insulin: so it’s always a good idea to eat the most of your carbs in the first half of the day. If you train late in the evening, then some carbs after your work out will help to replenish your sugar reserves, but you don’t need much.
In case you work at night, then you will need some carbs even after sunset, because you will keep active during the night anyway.
B) Our body stores toxins into fat: every time we eat packaged, canned, or any sort of labelled food, we have to take into account a considerable amount of toxins coming from food processing and fertilizers on the soil on which the food we buy grew. Kidneys and liver cannot get rid of all the toxins we introduce and will store the excess into fat.
The body will not get rid of the fat if a lot of toxins are stored, because it wants to protect iteslf from them. In fact, diets like “the cookie diet” may have short-term weight loss effect, but in the long run the accumulation of toxins will end up with the body trying to retain as much fat as possible to store the toxins in it.
In order to get lean and keep lean, we need to limit the amount of processed food and opt for organic sources and possibly cook the food ourselves.
C) An acidic state of the tissues will result in more fat retention: as I explained before in one of my articles, acid foods are meat, fish, dairy, grains, coffee, sugars (fruit included), alcohol and tobacco.
Our daily intake of acid foods cannot be bigger than our intake of alkaline foods that are mainly green raw vegetables. My rockstars are: spinach, avocado, cucumber, lemon, tomatoes and wheatgrass.
An elevated intake of green raw organic vegetables will keep your gut in optimal function and you will absorb and eliminate the foods much better. Here is a link of acid and alkaline foods for a better understanding.
D) Keep your body hydrated and moving. We eliminate acids and toxins via four channels: respiration, sweat, urination and defecation. In order to lose weight is essential to drink from 3 to 5 liters of water and do some sort of exercise that increase our blood temperature and hearth rate almost every day.
That doesn’t mean you should train like a champ every day, but walk, run, stretch, do some breathing exercises or even meditate in a steam room will do the job.
What is your metabolic type?
To find out what is your metabolic type take this simple test
There are three metabolic types:
1) Equatorial type
Usually tall and skinny individuals. They tend to be able to eat a lot of carbs and never gain weight. They usually function better on high carb and high protein from lean sources diet and usually with three meals a day. The Equatorial type digest carbs slowly without a high production of insulin. That gives him a more sustainable amount of energy and therefore he’s able to stay for longer periods without food. If you are an equatorial type try to:
-Avoid too much fat foods like nuts or butter, cheese and pork meat.
-Have a good amount of starches like potatoes and various fruits.
-Have three meals a day making lunch the biggest
Here is a chart of foods optimal for the equatorial type
2) Polar type
Usually more chunky individuals with a great appetite and tendencies to gain weight easily. Their polar type assimilates quickly carbs but digest fats slowly. They function really good on a high protein and fat diet full of nuts, dark meats and raw vegetables.
They stimulate insulin quickly so they tend to have energy ups and downs if they have sugars. Usually this individual if eat sugars will feel tired and will have sugar crave or will end up with a coffee addiction. If you are a polar type to:
-Have at least five small meals with proteins and fat in every one
-Have some nuts with you all the times and snack on it if you feel hungry
-Avoid sugars like energy drinks, sweets and even fruit because it will give you energy crushes.
Here is a chart of foods optimal for the polar type
3) Mixed type
Usually a mix between the two. These individuals are often mesomorph and have a very good looking body structure. This individual works best on a 3-4 meals diet with balanced nutrients and will often digest well most of foods.
If you are a mixed type you probably look good without dieting unless you choose a very sedentary lifestyle and you have been eating lots of crap. In that case you just need to follow my ABCD and reset your sleeping patterns to be in optimal shape.
The sleep\wake cycle
Our body needs an optimal time of eight hours of sleep per night in order to repair tissues, trigger its detoxifying system and regenerate and replace body cells. According to the circadian rythms theory the attraction of sun and moon and their light\darkness effect have a dramatic influence to our system.
Ideally we should get to bed in between 10 and 10:30pm and wake up around 6am. Our detoxifying system starts around 11 and works non-stop until 2am. Than our cellular repair system starts working replacing body cells and rebuilding muscle tissue. Be aware that every time you get to bed later than 10:30pm your detoxifying system won’t start its job in an optimal way.
And this is cumulative. So, if you get to bed at 11:30pm for 7 days you ideally lost 7 hours of detoxification, resulting in increased fatigue, weight gain, sugar crave and foggy mind.
I can assure you that, no matter how heavy is the load of work you have to do, you will be more efficient, bright and energetic if you follow this sleeping pattern and you will achieve many more goals in your life than if you force yourself to work late at night.
Also remember that our brain is sensitive to light so if you have any kind of fluorescent light in your room your sleep will most likely get disrupted by that. Leave your phone and other devices turned off during the night and try not to have electric devices close to you when you sleep.
These is nothing such as an ideal diet but it’s all about how the food you eat at certain time makes you feel. I really suggest everyone to do three day mini cleanse, so that your gut is cleared and you will have a much increased sensitivity to every food you will eat after the cleanse.
Try to eat slowly and enjoy every bite. Take ten minutes of time after you eat to relax your mind and see how that food makes you feel. In the end food is nothing, but energy(we use nutrients as source of energy) and information(every food stimulate a different hormonal reaction)…how can food make you feel tired?
The answer is: it can’t. If you feel tired after a meal, ask yourself the questions: “was that crap food?”, “is that food not ideal for my digestion? Especially if it had lactose and gluten”, “did I eat too fast or was I too stress and I’ve eat out of stress rather than out of hunger?”.
Develop awareness of what happens inside you and I will guarantee you will live a long, healthy and full of energy and vitality life.