I've been reading some books on fat loss science and also started (more like renewed) a discussion on nutrition with Chad Tackett from Global Health and Fitness (http://www.global-fitness.com). Chad taught me alot of interesting things. We discussed carbs and their effect on your glycogen stores, carb cycling, fruit, dairy products, and man-made carbs.
Chad has convinced me that the ideal daily meal plan would work like this:
Meal 1 – Starchy carb and protein source with fruit
Meal 2 – Starchy carb and protein source with fruit
Meal 3 – Starchy carb and protein source with fruit
Meal 4 – Protein source and fibrous carbs (load up on them)
Meal 5 – Protein source and fibrous carbs (load up on them)
No fruit after meal 3. This would be a “low-carb” day.
On the “high-carb” days we sould do basically the same thing, but we could eat fruit at all meals. The ratios would change as well. High carb days would be 50% carbs, 30% protein and 20% fat. Low carb days would be 40% carbs, 40% protein and 20% fat.
I have really focused on this because, as Chad says, diet is the major reason for not getting the results we want. Chad has informed me that going low carb will deplete my glycogen store, so cycling in 2 days each week where the carbs are higher will replenish those glycogen stores. Chad has made it clear that fruit is not evil like some people would have us all believe. Chad and I also discussed dairy products. He made it clear that low-fat and non-fat dairy products are perfectly acceptable. He explained the following:
“Provided that you select reduced fat sources (lowfat/ nonfat), dairy products are healthy foods that should be included as a part of almost any fat-loss diet. Dairy products contain complete proteins and they are excellent sources of calcium and Vitamin D. These days, you can find lowfat and nonfat versions of just about anything, including cheese, cream cheese, sour cream, milk, cottage cheese, yogurt, and frozen yogurt.
Many bodybuilders and fitness models swear they get leaner by reducing or eliminating dairy products before competitions, but most dieticians claim that this is not necessary. There are several reasons why bodybuilders believe in this practice: First, complex carbohydrates (especially fibrous carbs like green vegetables) are higher in fiber and lower in calorie density, and they are more slowly released than simple or sugary carbohydrates. Dairy products contain a simple carbohydrate called lactose.
Although lactose is naturally occurring and not a refined sugar, replacing some dairy foods with lean proteins and high-fiber complex carbohydrates may help increase fat loss.
Complex carbs with lean proteins (e.g., High Protein Oatmeal, Chicken & Spinach Salad) also help to control insulin better than simple carbs (for more information on insulin, see below). These foods have the highest “thermogenic effect” on your metabolic rate. When you eat from a limited number of calories, it is most effective to eat the foods that will get your “metabolic flame” burning the hottest; those foods are lean proteins and fibrous carbohydrates, not simple carbohydrates.
Bodybuilders also frequently report that dairy products make them bloated and water-retentive, producing a “puffy” appearance that ruins their hard-earned muscle definition. This may have something to do with the sodium content or with lactose intolerance. People who are lactose-intolerant do not posses the enzyme needed to digest lactose. This produces symptoms including gas, bloating, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea. In those with severe intolerance, the symptoms can be very pronounced. In those with a minor intolerance, the symptoms can be as subtle as bloating and water retention.
It would be incorrect to say that lowfat or nonfat dairy products are fattening. As long as your calorie balance is negative (you expend more than you consume), you can lose body fat even with a large amount of dairy in your daily menus. However, by reducing your intake of dairy products for short periods of time when maximum fat-loss is desired, you may find that you can lose body fat even more quickly and maintain a sharper, more ‘cut' appearance.” (excerpted from Global Health and Fitness online book located at http://www.global-fitness.com/nutrition/n_onlinebook.php).
Thus, it seems that there is nothing wrong with dairy products.
The fact is that if we eat correctly we will turn our bodies into fat burning machines. Focus on the nutrition, mix in the weightlifting and cardio and you are headed for success.