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When Losing Fat, Should You Cut Down on Fat or Carbs?

The relationship between carbohydrates, fat and fat loss is a classic topic that must be answered. In fact, more than 99% of people who need to lose fat are not qualified to know the impact of carbohydrates and fat on fat loss, because without controlling calories, understanding these things is more likely to have misleading effects, and controlling calories is more effective than Controlling carbs and fat is even harder. However, I will still talk about the impact of carbohydrates and fats on fat loss, but before that I

This answer applies to both health-oriented fat loss (fat people lose weight back to a normal figure) and body-shaping fat loss (those who pursue the figure of a god or goddess). Most people have to go through three rounds of inspections.

Key points:

The most important principle when it comes to how to eat fat and carbohydrates when losing fat is that the focus of your fat-reducing diet is not on carbohydrates and fat at all.

Continuing, if you do not follow this principle and instead pursue the maximum fat loss effect and ideally set carbohydrates and fats, it will easily damage the final fat loss effect.

When most people ask about the impact of carbohydrate and fat intake on fat loss, they often think that some kind of “carbohydrate-fat” combination, such as cutting off carbs or cutting off fat, has a magical effect on fat loss, which is a gorgeous neglect. The absolute prerequisite for fat loss is the calorie difference.

The neglected caloric difference is not only the absolute prerequisite for fat loss, but its size also has a dominant impact on the fat loss effect. Moreover, it is very difficult to control the caloric difference, which is significantly more difficult than the manipulation of carbohydrates and fats.

Translation: The vast majority of people only pay attention to things that are unnecessary, have extremely low effects, and are simple to operate, and completely ignore things that are necessary, have significant effects, and are difficult.

If you do not directly control the caloric difference, but adopt qualitative methods such as “eat more carbohydrates and less/no fat” or “eat less/no carbohydrates and more fat”, etc., you are likely to achieve significant fat loss. Effect, but this temporary success will eventually make you go through a painful circle, and finally you have to return to the embrace of controlling the heat difference.

Misunderstanding: People find that “high-fat” or “high-carbohydrate” diets are one of the causes of obesity, and then they think that “low-carb” or “low-fat” diets can solve the obesity problem. wrong!

Under the same caloric difference and protein intake, different carbohydrate and fat configurations will indeed have different results, but these results are very unstable, and we are currently unable to accurately grasp the rules, but one thing is certain, that is The difference between different results is actually very small, so when we finally set carbohydrates and fats, all theories must give way to one extremely important thing in fat loss-you are willing.

At the end of the article, I will give specific operation methods, divided into two parts: health-oriented fat loss needs and body-shaping (strength exercise) fat loss needs, telling you how to maximize the realization under the same level of caloric difference – you are willing .

A simple summary of factors affecting fat loss

(I will publish a long article separately to explain the factors affecting fat loss, this article will only briefly explain)

Among the many factors for fat loss, there are only two that deserve attention, namely “calorie difference” and “stress feeling (degree of hardship or pleasure, both physical and psychological aspects)”. The former almost independently determines the effect of fat loss. Size, the latter determines how long the effect of the former can last (easy and painless fat loss methods are more likely to be successful in the end, while painful fat loss methods not only have a very high failure rate, but may also rebound back to their original weight after failure).

Among the remaining factors, there are two that deserve more attention, namely “protein” and “food selection”. The former protein has the effect of protecting muscles (directly increasing fat loss in disguise) and positively affecting “stress feelings”; the latter “food choice” has a great impact on “stress feelings”.

The remaining factors require only a little attention, or no need to care at all. These factors include 1. Carbohydrates and fats; 2. Micronutrients, fiber, and drinking water; 3. Meal time allocation; 4. Supplements. (Rest also counts, but rest should be classified as a means to achieve “calorie difference”. I haven’t figured out how to classify it yet.)

Among them, 1 carbohydrates, fats and 3 meal time allocation are generally considered important, or reasonable settings will work wonders. 1 is the main topic of this article, and 3 will be briefly discussed: importance rating – it doesn’t matter, whether it is eating less, more meals or more. If you eat small meals or even fast on alternate days or light fasts, as long as the overall caloric difference is constant, there will be no difference in the fat loss effect. Many people believe that skipping dinner or skipping dinner has a miraculous effect on fat loss. Here I will tell you the conclusion clearly: as long as the total calories are fixed and as long as you stay relaxed and happy, even if you only eat dinner every day, you can go to bed immediately after eating. That’s okay (note I’m not encouraging you to do this, I’m just giving an example!). 4. Among the supplements, except for caffeine, which has a moderate indirect effect (suppressing appetite), all the other supplements available on the market are not bad, but in order to prevent the destruction of supplement sellers, I will not explain them here. Named directly.

Note that this paragraph summarizes the factors that affect fat loss, not the means. Things like “exercise” and “diet control” are all means to achieve the effect of factors.

The calorie gap is huge, there is no magic in low carbs and low fats

Basically, any weight loss method that does not clearly explain the method of calorie control, but blindly tells you to limit or even cut off one of carbohydrates or fat, and eat the other as you please, is naughty. To be clear, cutting out carbohydrates without limiting fat and protein, and cutting out fat without limiting carbohydrates and protein, are both methods of losing fat that cannot be ignored. In particular, cutting out fat will directly harm human health.

A simple summary of the relationship between “calories – macro nutrition – fat loss”: 1. The calorie difference is not only the absolute prerequisite for the fat loss effect, but the size of the calorie difference is also the dominant factor that determines the size of the fat loss effect; 2. (Attention!) Unilateral restriction of carbohydrates or fat cannot effectively ensure the existence of the caloric difference. Direct control of the caloric difference can ensure the existence and size of the caloric difference; 3. Controlling the caloric difference is better than controlling carbohydrates and fats. Fat is more difficult to manipulate, and people would rather choose simple and ineffective methods than difficult but effective methods.

In other words, if you just try to reduce carbohydrates or fat as much as possible, you cannot guarantee the fat loss effect, because low carbohydrates and low fat will not necessarily produce a calorie difference.

but! but! Regardless of whether you lower carbs or fat, when you first start the operation, you will almost certainly have a more significant fat loss effect. At this time, you will have an illusion – “low carb” or “low fat” is really magical. Say it. The scale falls off the scale. (You may also post your “successful” process of losing fat using low-carb/low-fat online, allowing others to have similar hallucinations.) The reason why the fat-loss effect occurs is simple: in your existing diet , suddenly cutting off carbohydrates or fat will produce an obvious calorie difference (even if you deliberately eat more other things – because many of the foods you swallow contain both carbohydrates and fat), the existence of the calorie difference makes fat loss difficult. The effect occurs.

However, the caloric difference generated in this way is very fragile and can easily disappear completely. The main reason for the disappearance of the caloric difference is that your ability to eat other things has become stronger: take the carbohydrate cut off as an example. After cutting out carbs for a period of time, you will You will slowly explore some delicious foods that do not contain carbohydrates, and eat these foods unscrupulously, taking in more and more calories until you exceed your consumption and the calorie difference disappears. And when the fat loss effect disappears, you have no carbohydrates or fat to cut.

Conclusion: Skipping total calorie control and focusing on carbohydrates or fat is basically a dead end.

When the caloric difference is fixed, protein is the best

As mentioned in the previous paragraph, as long as the caloric difference is constant, the difference in fat loss effects brought about by different macro configurations is actually very small. The principle is also very simple, because heat is actually energy, and energy neither creates nor disappears out of thin air. However, there is one thing that is recognized by the fat reduction theory circle, and that is the role of protein. Different styles of fat-reducing diet configurations have similar protein intake requirements.

When the caloric difference is fixed, protein will affect fat loss in both direct and indirect ways. The direct effect of protein is muscle protection, and the muscles are protected. Of course, more fat must be decomposed to make up for the calorie difference (note again that the degree of “more” is not much, and it cannot shake the dominance of the calorie difference); indirect effects It is achieved through the strong feeling of fullness produced by protein foods (except protein powder). The feeling of fullness is one of the manifestations of “stress feeling”. Insufficient feeling of fullness will often make you feel miserable.

Because of these two powerful functions of protein, almost all fat-reducing diets require relatively high protein intake (a minimum protein intake of 1g per kilogram of total body weight, and most diets require about 2g). Currently, I have not I have heard of any serious fat loss method that does not require high protein.

The protein intake of the Chinese diet is generally low, and most people simply don’t know that they need to increase their protein intake when losing fat. In addition, protein itself is the most expensive macronutrient (meat, rice, oil, which one is more expensive?). Therefore, fat losers should pay certain attention to protein.

When calories and protein are fixed, the impact of carbohydrate and fat settings on fat loss

Only when I write this do I really start talking about the impact of carbohydrates and fat on fat loss, just to prevent you from putting the cart before the horse. When you see so many claims about carbohydrates and fats, you think that a carefully designed carbohydrate-to-fat ratio will achieve incredible fat loss. In fact, although these statements are varied and complex, the overall importance of carbohydrates and fats is very low.

To put it simply, when the caloric difference and protein are relatively fixed, the direct impact of carbohydrate and fat settings on fat loss can be ignored; the indirect impact is more complicated, but the final conclusion on how to operate is very simple.

Direct impact↓

When caloric difference and protein are fixed, there have been many studies on the effects of different carbohydrate-fat ratios on fat loss, but the number of truly high-quality and convincing studies is very small, and the results vary. Some studies have concluded that The ratio of low-carbohydrate (both ketogenic and non-ketogenic) has better effects, and some conclusions are completely opposite. It seems that the differences must exist, but we have not yet grasped the rules, and have not been able to summarize what can be used. specific method. But from these studies, we can basically determine the fact that the difference in fat loss effects caused by different carbohydrate-to-fat ratios is very small.

Indirect impact↓

This is the key point, and it is also one of the hotly debated topics in the fitness and fat loss circles. A book could be written, but here are just some important conclusions.

Let’s talk about fat first. This is relatively simple:

“Essential fatty acids” in fat are essential nutrients. Essential nutrients = must be eaten, otherwise it will significantly damage your health. If you must reduce fat, you need to supplement essential fatty acids separately, such as fish oil or flaxseed oil.

The presence of fat can increase the residence time of food in the digestive system, prolong the feeling of fullness, and have a positive effect on the eating experience. Of course, this benefit cannot be achieved if fat is reduced.

If there is no fat in a meal, the eating experience will be very poor, in other words – unpalatable. And eating experience is an important manifestation of “stress feeling”. It is difficult to achieve fat loss with a poor eating experience. Even if you get to the end, you will still face the big problem of maintaining body fat rate.

Fat has twice the caloric density of carbohydrates and protein (9 calories per gram of fat, 4 calories per gram of carbohydrate or protein), making it slightly more difficult to control fat, which means it is relatively easy to overeat.

Fat is actually very simple, but carbohydrates are much more complicated, because carbohydrates have a significant impact on various hormones, and there are many different types of carbohydrates:

When setting carbohydrates, we mainly consider three factors: “insulin resistance”, “addiction” to carbohydrates, and emotional impact. Strength training will also have some impact.

Many people have “insulin resistance”, which is more common in obese people but also in thin people. When people with insulin resistance consume a large amount of carbohydrates (especially refined grains or sugar, but whether it is directly related to GI is not yet clear), their blood sugar will fluctuate violently, and the result is that they feel hungry right after eating. This can make it harder to control your diet – if you’re always hungry, it’s obviously not going to be easy to meet your daily calorie goals. If you think back to whether you are “hungry after eating”, you can roughly know whether you are obviously an “insulin resistant” person. This group of people is more suitable to use a low-carbohydrate diet to improve their eating experience and indirectly reduce the difficulty of diet control.

Carbohydrates (also mainly starch and sugar) have an obvious “addictive” effect on some people. They can’t stop eating after one bite, and even if they are full, they can still eat two more. There is currently no rigorous explanation or effective solution to this phenomenon, but the phenomenon definitely exists, and it seems to be more common among girls.

Some people will develop emotional problems, palpitation and anxiety when on a low-carbohydrate diet. Emotional problems cannot be underestimated in fat loss. Such people should avoid the low-carbohydrate state.

Medium- and high-intensity strength training can almost only rely on carbohydrates for energy. In other words, if you need to do strength training to protect muscles, you must eat some carbohydrates. Otherwise, your training performance will be significantly affected, and the muscle protection effect will not be very good. realization. If the carbohydrate intake after one training session and before the next training session is too low, it may prevent muscle glycogen from being restored, which may also affect the performance of the next training session. Another point worth mentioning is that training will temporarily improve insulin sensitivity. Eating refined foods after training will not cause obvious blood sugar fluctuations like usual.

Some people are energetic and lively on a low-carb diet, but often feel as limp as a flying lump on a high-carb diet (especially after just eating a carb-rich meal). Some people are the complete opposite. Feeling fine on a high carb diet but unable to tolerate a low carb diet.

In short, your feelings will give you very clear guidance.

In general, a moderate carbohydrate-to-fat ratio, that is, a diet that is neither low-carb nor low-fat, is suitable for most people. Only those with severe insulin resistance need to use a low-carbohydrate diet. However, a high-carb and low-fat diet is actually not suitable for ordinary people. It is generally only suitable for endurance athletes. I won’t go into more detail about this in this answer.

Specific operations: How to implement – you are willing

The prerequisite for reading this paragraph is that you have the ability to control calories more accurately. Basically, you need to weigh it with a kitchen scale and then check the nutritional content of the food. If you don’t know this, this instruction will be of little value to you. If not, you can go to the official account of Transformation Master and reply 2421 to see the diet control tutorial, and reply 111 to see the specific fat loss plan.

Basics: Set calories and protein first

The setting of calories and protein is briefly discussed here. The 111 plan recommends a calorie difference in the range of 20%-30%. Fat people can appropriately increase it, and thin people can appropriately reduce it. The recommended protein intake is between 1.7g and 2.5g of net body weight in kilograms. It can also be roughly set to 2g to 3g of total body weight in kilograms. People with muscle protection needs should choose a larger number.

After setting the total calories and protein, start setting the carbohydrates and fats.

Start: Set a moderate carbohydrate-to-fat ratio

Except for people with obvious insulin resistance, everyone else is recommended to start with a moderate carbohydrate-to-fat ratio, including fitness and bodybuilding people who do strength training 3-4 times a week. The energy supply ratio of carbohydrates and fats is 1:1. When converted into weight, the ratio is almost 2:1. In fact, many people follow their feelings and get results that are almost this ratio.

Under this configuration, the choice of carbohydrate types can be relatively loose (translation: you can eat some delicious things), refined grains are acceptable, and even sugary foods are completely acceptable.

Pay attention to how you feel as you perform. If you have a mild situation of “getting hungry soon after eating”, you can reduce the amount of sugary food within your own acceptable range, and at the same time try to gradually replace it with whole grains (note that most whole wheat bread is not considered whole grains) Refined grains, if it still cannot be effectively relieved, skip to the next step and reduce carbohydrate intake. If you feel that this kind of diet is easier and less stressful, you can always use this configuration. In fact, as long as the caloric difference is always sufficient in protein, most people will be suitable for this kind of diet.

Tweak: Try low-carb

Let’s talk about the situation without strength training first, and finally how to handle the situation with strength training.

In order to quickly test whether you are suitable for a low-carbohydrate diet, it is recommended to set the carbohydrates below 50g. Some vegetables and a small amount of fruits can easily increase the carbohydrates to this number. It must be noted that using a low-carbohydrate diet cannot change the previous total caloric intake and caloric difference, and there is no need to continue to increase protein. You can only ensure total caloric stability by increasing fat. Don’t be smart and cut off the total calories when you lower the carbs, because once you feel miserable, you won’t know whether it’s because of the low carbs or the huge calorie difference, and of course you can’t accurately make the next adjustment. Strategy.

After three to five days of acclimation, observe how you feel on a low-carb diet. If there is no obvious hunger, the satisfaction of eating is okay, and there is rarely a situation of being particularly hungry for certain foods (eating two free meals a week can often suppress the occurrence of this situation, the details can be found in the deformation Master public account reply 218 view), energy and vitality have not been affected, and there is no obvious panic or anxiety, then it basically means that you are suitable for a low-carbohydrate fat-reducing diet, and you can try to implement it for a long time. If the above negative situation occurs, adjust the carbohydrate to a level above 100g, such as around 110g. It does not need to be precise. Try to use whole grains, fruits and vegetables as the carbohydrate supply source.

For people who need strength training, a low-carbohydrate diet below 50g is basically unable to effectively support strength training. However, the method of making up for it is also very simple. When training is about to start, add 5-10g of fast carbohydrates (preferably glucose, Jack Ma sells it, special carbohydrate supplements are also acceptable, there is no difference), and then add 15-30g during training. Just use fast carbohydrates. The more training groups you have, the more you need to replenish. Note that the carbohydrates you replenish before and during training need to be calculated into the total calories of the day.

Adjust to – you wish

Generally speaking, with a mild caloric difference and sufficient protein, there will definitely be a normal carbohydrate or low-carb diet that is suitable for you. Combined with a reasonable diet and rest (Transformation Master official account back to 218), sufficient dietary satisfaction can be achieved Satiety and pleasure. As long as the food choices are not too extreme (containing a large proportion of junk food), you can often figure out a reasonable carbohydrate-to-fat ratio based on your feelings. Following the above instructions will speed up the process slightly.

Here is another clue, that is: you can even reduce some protein intake to gain some room for improvement in carbohydrates or fat, and further improve eating pleasure, because eating pleasure is an important manifestation of “stress feelings” (even It is the core expression) and its status is higher than protein. However, pay attention to the magnitude of the adjustment. Because of protein’s satiety-enhancing properties, reducing protein in large amounts is often counterproductive.

Finally, through some exploration and experimentation, you can form a relatively fixed fat-reducing diet pattern that can provide sufficient eating pleasure. At this time, you no longer need to consider the setting of carbohydrates and fats. The configuration approved by your body will It is often the most reasonable configuration.