The #1 Thing That you need to do…
Eat Less Food Energy than your body uses!
If your goal is to lose weight it does not matter so much what you eat as opposed to how much you eat which is part of the beauty of the Fasting Diet. Although it will be easier to lose weight if you stick mostly to one ingredient foods like meat and vegetables which is where the Paleo Diet comes in.
You need to work out how many calories you need to maintain your Ideal weight or Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). Also figure out that you will need to lose about 1kg for every inch lost around your waist for an ideal waist measurement.
An easier method is to use electronic scales which determines fat percentages. weigh yourself in the morning so that the water percentage is consistent.
So your Ideal weight will be your current body weight less the percentage of fat that the electronic body scale has calculated, at a consistent body water content.
1: Weight of your fat = Scale weight X Body fat %
i.e. if you weigh 100kg and your body fat % is 30%
Then if you are a man you want about 10% body fat and 15% for women. So that would equate to 20% fat to lose for a man and 15% for a women.
Weight of your fat = 100 x 0.2 = 20kg fat to lose (man).
2: Ideal weight = Your weight – Weight of your fat
i.e. 80kg would be your Ideal weight at 100kg with 30% fat.
* There are 4.2 Kilojoules in a calorie
3: For men: BMR = 10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) – 5 x age (years) + 5
For women: BMR = 10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) – 5 x age (years) – 161
OR: Just use a calculator on Google.
These will give you your BMR in Calories. If you want it in Kilojoules multiply by 4.2. Kilojoules to Calories divide by 4.2.
Another easy way to do this is to use a free app like MyFitnessPal or My Diet Diary to calculate your maintenance calories and your calories for losing weight. They also search all the foods you enter for calorie content and add all your meals up for the day so you can monitor your total calories for the day and keep it below the recommended amount. Compare the apps calculations with yours for a more informed idea of the weight you should or could be.
On days that you are not restricting calories which would be once or twice a week you can let your calories increase to the maintenance calories needed for your ideal weight which is about the same as your BMR x 1.2.
Your body converts Carbohydrates into glucose. Your muscles store about 400g and your liver stores about 100g of Glycogen (The storage form of Glucose) once your liver and muscles are full of (Glycogen) it stores the excess carbohydrates as fat.
However when the body has too little carbohydrates, it converts protein to glucose , which is a (carbohydrate). When the body does not store carbohydrate as fat or produce glucose from protein, then the carbohydrate consumed is just right.
about 150 g of carbohydrates per day in the form of rice or sweet potatoes should be about right. But don’t stress as the body will produce glucose if there is not enough carbohydrate. So best to underestimate than overestimate what your bodies needs.
What is The Paleo Diet
The Paleo Diet is sometimes called the caveman diet, as it essentially boils down to only eating what a Paleolithic caveman would have eaten about 10,000 years ago. Thus the Paleo diet avoids all processed foods and foods that have evolved as man converted from a hunter gatherer type to more of a farmer.
Paleo Diet Theory
The theory is that the bodies of human beings have not adapted to the grains and dairy and in addition to that, the refined and processed foods of the modern lifestyle leading to obesity and disease.
Types of Foods in The Paleo Diet
The types of foods in the Paleo Diet include:
- Grass fed meats
- Wild Fish
- Nuts and Seeds
Types of Foods Not in The Paleo Diet
The types of foods not included in the Paleo Diet are:
- Grains (Wheat, Oats, Barley)
- Legumes (peas, beans, peanuts, lentils)
- Dairy Products
- Refined Foods (Sugar, Alcohol).
- Processed Foods
Benefits of a Paleo Diet
Since the Paleo Diet advocates a whole food diet, it may be beneficial as cavemen would probably have achieved some health benefits from this whole food diet and the physical exercise necessary to survive during this time in history, so presumably they were less prone to modern diseases brought on by eating processed foods and large amounts of sugar such as diabetes, heart disease and obesity. There are some studies that suggest that the Paleo Diet has some benefits leading to a reduction in diabetes type 2 by lowering blood sugar, losing weight and lowering blood pressure.
Possible Paleo Diet Disadvantages
The possible disadvantages of the paleo diet are that some of the foods excluded from the diet may lead to a lack of some nutrients and fiber. For example grains are a good source of fiber but the loss of fiber from this source could potentially be canceled out with fiber from nuts, seeds and berries. The one big worry is the nutrients from dairy such as calcium. I’m not sure where you could get calcium from unless you were constantly boiling bones and sipping bone broth as suggested by Jaminet and Jaminet (2013), in their book ” The Perfect Health Diet” and getting some of your calcium and other nutrients from spring water.
What is the Intermittent Fasting Diet
Intermittent fasting is done by people who are not underweight and have no health problems. Anyone contemplating intermittent fasting should probably consult their doctor first.
Intermittent fasting is basically going without food for a relatively short period of time (up to 20 hours) but does not involve starvation.
Types of Intermittent Fasting Diet
There are several types of intermittent fasting that are divided up into the periods of time that you fast during the week.
1. 16/8 – involves fasting for 16 hours (No food) but drinking plenty of water and eating your entire caloric intake within an eight hour window.
2. 5/2 – involves eating normally for 5 days and restricting calories for 2 days, usually to 500 – 600 calories.
3. Eat Stop Eat – involves not eating for up to 24 hours 1 to 2 times per week.
4. Alternate Days – Involves eating reduced calories, about 500.
There are others but they tend to have no structure or seem not to be fasting at all.
Benefits of the Fasting Diet
There seems to be an increase in some beneficial hormones such as testosterone and growth hormone during fasting, helping to build muscle and slow down ageing. However these hormones are more beneficial to men, so for some women intermittent fasting may not be for them. But the main benefit is that you keep your insulin low, therefore making it easier for your body to burn fat. Other benefits include fat loss, control of diabetes, reduced risk of heart disease and cancer.
Adverse Effects of the Intermittent Fasting Diet
Intermittent fasting should only be done after you have seen your doctor. Intermittent fasting is not so good if you have diabetes as your blood sugar could get too low. Similarly if you are underweight or pregnant you should not try it. Other effects are that the lack of food could make you irritable and prone to make rash decisions.
You need to know what dieting really is before you decide what you want to do. It doesn’t really matter what diet you try, the fact is if you consume more energy than you expend, you will become overweight.
It could be argued that the Paleo caveman actually would have experienced both styles of diet in that there was nothing to eat but whole foods, and grass fed meats and wild fish as well, they would have to hunt and gather the food which would naturally lead to intermittent fasting as it takes time to gather food whether it be fruit and vegetables, berries or meats.
That’s why it may be even more beneficial to try a combination of the two. However you should do your research first and read books such as Jaminet and Jaminets widely acclaimed Perfect Health Diet which is based on the Paleo diet with a few suggestions as to how to get the nutrients you need which they have studied as part of their research and are Phd’s in such fields as biochemistry. See below.
Jaminet, P. and Jaminet, S. (2013). Perfect health diet. Brunswick, Vic.: Scribe Publications.