Eating the wrong carbohydrates makes you store belly fat. Eating high-quality, digestible protein puts on lean muscle. Most people know that.
But a recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that when you over eat on a low protein diet, you store bad fat around your organs including the liver, kidneys and pancreas. But if you eat a high protein diet, you add metabolically active tissue (muscle) and increase your resting metabolic rate.
Remember muscle burns seven times as many calories as fat, so that’s great news!
In the study, researchers admitted 25 volunteers to a hospital ward for 12 weeks. They controlled everything they ate and did. But they made them all overeat about 1,000 calories a day. The only different was where the calories came from – protein or carbs.
The low protein group (5% protein) lost 1.5 pounds of muscle, and gained 7.5 pounds of fat. The high protein group (25% protein) gained 6.3 pounds of metabolically active muscle. They also gained fat because they were being force fed. But even though they gained more total weight, they were LESS fat than the low protein group.
This has important implications for our thinking about calories vs calories and what macronutrients are best for FAT loss, not weight loss.
Bottom line: Not all calories are the same. Some calories make you store fat, while others make you store muscle.
In a world where for the first time in history more people are overweight (over 2 billion) than underweight this has important implications. And the world is getting bigger – over the next 30 years, the prevalence of obesity will double and mostly in countries like China and India (because how do you get twice as many fat people in a country like America where 65% are already fat)!
Here’s what you need to know:
Quickly absorbed carbohydrates from the bulk of the American and increasingly the world’s diet – from sugar, high fructose corn syrup, flours and pastas , are very efficiently turned into belly fat in the body. And that leads to obesity and diabetes, or what I call diabesity.
Another recent study found that the free fructose in high fructose corn syrup (not in fruit), led to dramatic increases in belly fat, inflammation, blood pressure, blood sugar and even pre-diabetes in adolescents.
Carbohydrates and protein trigger produce very different chemical messages in the body independent of calories. Carbs lay down the fat, while protein builds down lean muscle.
This study on protein adds to a whole slew of research that proves that higher protein diets does all sorts of obesity fighting things to your body and your brain.
- It makes you feel more full than an equivalent amount of calories from carbs.
- It leads to more weight loss in “free-living” humans as compared the ones who were force fed extra calories.
- It prevents gaining weight back after you have lost weight.
- It speeds up metabolism and builds muscle so you burn more calories all day long and even while you sleep.
- It boosts the fat-burning hormones growth hormone and testosterone (yes this helps women too).
Reducing belly fat and building muscle is quite simple. And it is not just about the calories you consume. It is about where those calories come from.
And how those calories affect your hormones and metabolism like I teach inside The 3-Week Metabolic Fat Loss Challenge.
Here are a few simple tips to speed up your metabolism and get rid of belly fat:
- Skip the sugar – in all of its forms. Especially liquid calories from any source (soda, juice, alcohol) all of which store belly fat. Be on a mission to get high fructose corn syrup out of your diet, it is especially good at laying down belly fat.
- Cycle your carbs – carbs are essential for losing weight. In other words, carbs don’t make you fat, the type of carbs do. The easiest and most sustainable way to drop stubborn fat and continue to eat carbs, is to cycle your carbs
- Ditch the flour – wheat flour, especially, is just like sugar. Did you know that 2 slices of whole wheat bread raise your blood sugar more than 2 tablespoons of table sugar?
- Start the day with protein not starch or sugar. Try whole omega-3 eggs, a protein shake, nut butters or even kippers! Skip the bagels, muffins and donuts.
- Balance your macronutrients – stabilized blood sugar and insulin levels is the fastest way to a fat-burning metabolism and weight loss. Use my simple 33/33/33 formula for eating. 33% of carbs, fats, and proteins. You just need to figure out which whole foods to use for your meal planning OR you could sign up for my 3-Week Metabolism Diet program and learn exactly how to macro-balance for fat loss.
- Have protein with every meal – try nuts like almonds, walnuts or pecans, seeds like pumpkin, chia or hemp or have beans, chicken or fish.
Somehow we are still duped by the idea that all calories are the same. They are not. It still boggles my mind that “experts” are still having you count calories and track points.
We need to focus more on metabolism, hormones, and food quality to prevent diabetes, obesity, and other hormones imbalances.
My personal mission to find a real, sustainable solution to eat, exercise, and live to reverse obesity, diabetes, insulin and leptin resistance, and disease.
I started with my best-selling program The 3-Week Metabolism Diet that shows you exactly how to eat for a fat-burning metabolism: Learn More HERE
Remember, your daily habits make or break your ability to lose weight and get healthy. Choose the right habits that give you the best results possible.
Helping you transform your body one habit at a time,
P.S. Check out what others are saying about The 3-Week Metabolism Diet