What if I gave you the following assignment: you are to sit by this old-school wood stove and keep the fire roaring for 24 hours non stop. The only materials you can use to fuel the fire are gasoline, newspaper and tiny twigs.
You’d better have a BOATLOAD of gas, newspaper and twigs and don’t count on being able to get anything else done! You’ll be right by that wood stove allllll day long, constantly fueling it. Sure, the fire will burn hot but as soon as you stop adding fuel, it won’t last long, right? A ridiculously time-intensive and inefficient task, no?
That’s pretty much the equivalent of how we’re fueling our bodies when we eat diets rich in processed foods, wheat, grains and other garbage carbohydrates. There’s no question that carbohydrates provide fuel for our bodies. It’s true. They can increase our energy quickly just like gasoline, newspaper and twigs can provide quick, powerful fuel for a fire. However, as quickly as they provide fuel and energy, it’s gone. It burns hot and fast. Just like the fire burns out when that quick-burning fuel isn’t replenished, we start to burn out shortly after consuming these junk carbs and processed foods.
What does that feel like? Low energy. Hunger. Cravings, especially for carbohydrates. Mood swings. Irritability. Lack of focus. Sound familiar? So what do we do? We eat more junk carbs!! We feel that energy surge again and are momentarily satisfied until it fades and we’re back to feeling like trash.
To avoid this, we need to focus on fueling our body intelligently. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like being hungry and I certainly don’t like feeling overwhelmed by cravings. I purposefully choose foods that will satisfy my hunger, keep me satiated for hours and reduce the likelihood that I’ll experience cravings later. For me, that means emphasizing healthy fats, non-starchy vegetables and animal proteins. Fat is an incredibly energy-dense fuel, which means it’s going to curb my hunger and keep it at bay for a long time while maintaining my energy levels. Non-starchy vegetables are the “volume” component of my meals. I’ll often eat 3-4 cups of veggies like Brussels sprouts, greens, broccoli or cauliflower with a meal. I never walk away from the table feeling hungry!! Like fat, protein is a slow-burning fuel source so it’s going to fill me up and maintain my energy level for hours while also reducing the chances that I’ll experience cravings later.
If you want to burn fat and not be miserable (hungry, tired, cranky) while you do it, you’ve got to focus on fueling your body intelligently. That will look different for all of us, but some of the principles will be the same – especially as it relates to avoiding garbage carbohydrates from things like processed foods and grains. The other intricacies you’ll have to play around with. I limit my carbohydrates to either post workout or my evening meal. My breakfast meal is primarily fat. I get the majority of my protein at lunch and dinner.
Find what works for you. Pay attention to your hunger. What types of foods satisfy it? Pay attention to your cravings. When are you most likely to experience them? Can you reduce them with specific changes to your diet or exercise? Where is your perfect balance of sanity, satisfaction and success? Find that sweet spot and then tweak as you go.
I want to help you break out of this crazy carbohydrate cycle. I want to help you break your carb addiction. I want to help you overcome cravings and constant hunger. I want to help you beat the bloat that chronic carbs can cause and start to learn all the skills you’ll need to lose fat and KEEP IT OFF. And you know what? I don’t want to wait until the New Year. I want to start now. For free. I want to help you identify smart carbohydrate strategies and navigate the holidays without weight gain (and maybe even some fat loss!!).
Got questions? Hit me up on the Primal Potential facebook page!