With so much advice online and with one view contradicting the other, context can often be lost in the health and fitness industry.
For instance, watching 2 weight loss tv shows and listening to one radio show the past week, it stated that a high fat diet with a low carbohydrate intake was best for burning fat.
Is this true? The short answer is yes.
When a diet is predominately fat based, the body will predominantly burn free fatty acids as energy as it’s the most readily available energy source. Now if you were to eat a high carb and low fat diet, then your body would use glucose as it’s main energy source.
However!!! With high fat diets, the fat you are burning isn’t necessary body fat, it’s the free fatty acids that are circulating in your bloodstream from the fat sources you ate that are being oxidised for energy.
If we were to over consume our calorie needs from dietary fats, then our body would store these extra fatty acids as tryglycerides and body fat. The same as is you were to over consume carbohydrates. Once glycogen levels are full, the extra glucose would be stored as body fat. When it comes down to burning body fat, it boils down to energy balance. For the majority of people, it doesn’t matter whether your diet is high carbs or high fats. It comes down to creating that energy deficit from overall nutrition and activity.
One area that shouldn’t be cut from a diet is Protein. Whilst more protein doesn’t mean more muscle tissue, when looking to drop body fat, keeping protein intake appropriate with feedings spread over the course of the day will help satiety, create greater energy expenditure due to proteins thermic effect to digest and finally protein helps retention of lean tissue which helps your metabolic rate.
Bottom line for successful dieting.
- Keep protein stable. A good guideline being 1.8-2.5kg body weight.
- Look to exercise 3-5 days a week relative to your experience from a mix of resistance training and cardio.
- Be active outside of your training by walking, hiking, gardening etc
- Most importantly choose a diet you enjoy and can adhere to.