There is a lot of misinformation in the fitness community about dieting for weight loss. Thanks to a lot of fad diets promising miraculous results, many people are left feeling unsure about how to eat for fat loss. If this is you, you are in luck!
I asked Brandon Mentore, a well-known personal trainer in Philly, to dish his most valuable nutrition advice. Brandon has a Bachelor’s Degree in exercise science and is a certified nutrition coach through Precision Nutrition. Check out Brandon’s responses to some common questions regarding eating for fat loss.
Q: How important is the fat/carb/protein ratio for fat loss? What percentage of total calories should come from each?
Brandon: Macronutrient ratios are very important for fat loss. It is important to pay attention to macronutrient ratios as opposed to calories. Calories are important for people who overeat, people who do not eat enough, and people who eat inconsistently. However, most people struggle with not getting enough protein while consuming too many carbohydrates. Excessive carbohydrate intake leads to increased production of insulin, an anabolic hormone that builds tissue. Spikes in insulin can lead the creation of adipose (fat) tissue. The ideal macronutrient ratio for fat loss is 40% of calories from protein, 30% from carbohydrates, and 30% from fat.
Q: What is the biggest mistake that people tend to make with their diets?
Brandon: There are many mistakes that I see, but the most common mistakes are:
- People often try to change too many things at once. It is better to make small changes to your diet gradually. Trying to change too many things at once will most likely only lead to frustration and falling short of a set goal.
- People often fail to develop an exit strategy when they diet. Once the desired goal is reached, people sometimes revert back to old habits or go on binges. This can be seen often in figure competitors who follow a strict diet for months on end and then begin binge eating as soon as their competition has passed. An exit strategy is essential for lasting results.
Q: What impact, if any, does dehydration have on fat loss?
Brandon: Ideally, people should drink half of their body weight in ounces of water daily. This is crucial to fat loss because water is involved in the breakdown of fat cells. Fat cells are broken down into 3 fatty acids, glycerol, and water. This process is handicapped when the body is dehydrated. The body needs water to break down fat efficiently.