Guest Post by James Gaida
Author: 4DFL Method
It was Oscar Wilde who said:
“Everything in moderation, including moderation.”
It was me who said:
“Everything in moderation, yes, even including pizza.”
When we’re talking about health, fitness, fat burning and body transformation, “moderation” and your definition of it becomes very important. It is moderation that is going to allow you to live a life in a “lean” state without feeling like you are constantly always dieting.
Moderation allows for the occasional pizza night, or birthday cake. It allows you to not have to hide from your friends when they want to go out for dinner.
Moderation creates mental balance that keeps your mind healthy and makes keeping body fat off an easier proposition.
But, it is how you define moderation that makes the difference. And your definition of moderation needs to be based on your goals.
The 80/20 Rule
You may have heard of the 80/20 rule.
The way the 80/20 rule applies to your diet is that you are simply eating “good” fat burning foods 80% of the time. The other 20% of the time you are free to eat anything you want. In practice and simplest terms, if you are eating 3 meals each day that works out to 21 meals a week. In any given week, 17 of those meals (80%) are designed to get you closer to your goals and the other 4 meals (20%) can be anything you like.
In my experience as a nutrition coach and fat loss expert I’ve found the 80/20 rule can work, if used responsibly. By this I mean that it is really easy to “undo” a lot of good work even with only 4 meals a week. Eating “anything you like” cannot turn into eating “as much of anything you like”. This is where moderation becomes so important. You must be able to indulge in those 4 meals a week without going way overboard on calories.
But the 80/20 rule done properly, is far more effective as a maintenance plan than an active fat burning diet. When you are actively pursuing a goal of fat loss, I have found that 80/20 does not provide most people with a fast enough fat loss to keep them motivated.
In my experience, one of the most important elements of a successful fat loss plan is the ability to rapidly lose body fat. Rapid fat loss fuels motivation and keeps you excited to carry on with the diet even when cravings creep in.
In this case, as Snoop Dogg would say, you need to Step Ya Game Up!
When fat loss is your goal, shoot for a diet that is at minimum 90% geared towards fat loss and in some cases 100%. This means, using our 3 meal a day example, you are only indulging a maximum of 2 meals a week and if you want really fast fat loss you may find short periods without any indulgence is ideal.
You can very easily find what works for you by tracking your results. If things are going well at 90%, and you’re happy with the progress than stick with that plan. If you’re not happy with the progress than move closer to 100% compliance.
When is a Large Pizza a Good Thing?
I do have to say, I’m pretty good at “cheat” meals. There’s a lot of food out there that I really can’t get enough of and won’t ever be able to completely remove from my life, pizza being at the top of that list.
There are instances when these “cheat” meals can actually speed up your progress and it all hinges on one very special hormone. This hormone is Leptin.
Leptin is a hormone secreted from body fat cells. The more fat you have the more leptin is released. When you eat an excess of calories, leptin’s signals the body that it is fueled up. Once this happens your brain then sends the signal to decrease appetite and speed up your metabolism.
On the other side, when you are not eating enough calories, as is often the case with prolonged fat loss diets, the opposite happens. Your fat cells shrink causing less leptin release. Your brain senses the low leptin levels and the message is sent out to lower your metabolic rate and increase appetite.
Bottom line, to burn body fat you want to be able to control and manipulate leptin levels so that your metabolism doesn’t decrease.
Eating low calories and low carbs for long periods of time depresses your leptin levels slowing down fat burning. Basically the more fat you lose the harder it becomes to keep losing, unless you keep your leptin levels under control.
Now, here’s where the large pizza comes in. It turns out that Leptin is best increased by eating meals high in calories and high in carbohydrates. By strategically eating high calorie and high carbohydrate “cheat” meals you can keep you Leptin levels elevated thus keeping your body burning fat.
This technique of strategically indulging in your favorite foods is the most effective way of coaxing your body to rid itself of even the most stubborn deposits of body fat.
The moral of the story is have a strategy for moderation. Define your goals and then shape your definition of moderation around those goals.
Moderation will change as your body changes. When fat loss is your goal you want to combine high compliance of “good” food (90%-100%) with an occasional high carbohydrate “cheat” meal to keep your Leptin elevated and keep fat burning rolling.
Go after your lean body goals with purpose and you will create a body transformation of epic proportions.
About the Author: James Gaida
In the words of International Man of Mystery Austin Powers, “Allow myself to introduce……..myself.” I am a fat loss expert and certified Precision Nutrition Coach. I have spent more than 13 years coaching clients towards “real world” results. In that time I have also became certified as a Specialist in Performance Nutrition and a Certified Fitness Trainer.
My experience and passion went into creating the ultimate fat loss diet program. 4 Day Fat Loss (4DFL) is dedicated to teaching simple techniques to rapidly burn fat, increase energy and live a healthier life. If you want to find out how to burn fat quickly and transform your body check out the 4DFL Method.