Cracking the Fat-Loss Code
Alright gentle readers, here's a synopsis of how to the CTFLC plan works.
1. Your body burns carbohydrates in food for energy first
2. Your body burns glycogen (built up in your muscles from carbohydrates) for energy second
3. Your body burns fat only as a last resort
The author then adds that your body only wants to survive, so it cares not about what size your jeans are. Thus, when you give it less calories, it adjusts the amount of energy it uses to keep things functioning. The 8 week plan is designed to shake up our metabolism and change our body's direction for energy - making it choose fat, and not carbs. There is also an emphasis on exercise to develop muscle, because as we all know, more muscle means you get to eat more! I mean, we burn more calories, and hopefully, more fat.
There are several cycles of eating, all regulating the amount of carbohydrates you take in. The first week of the plan is called Carb-Deplete. One must consume less than 20 grams of carbs per day. I read through a sample menu plan and noticed the absence of fruit, and limited vegetables. Of course, no added sugar or alcohol. This week is the only week that is super strict. The menu has no fruit, and only lettuce, cucumber and broccoli for veggies. Also, making a protein shake with Crystal Light. This turned me off. Being fiber free is not good for me.
It is clear that a good point is being made in that we need to take in more protein to build muscle, and that if you reduce your carbs, your body is going to have to find alternatives. But I'm trying to keep my fiber intake up - moving things along makes a difference on the scale. And fiber = carbohydrates. For this week, I'm compromising.
My usual breakfast for the past few months included:
1/2 cup yogurt
1/2 - 1 cup fruit
2/3 cup of Smart Bran cereal
Coffee with half and half
This equaled 12 grams of protein and 35 grams of carbohydrates. And, I would be hungry 2.5-3 hours later. I do think that the cereal was a bit to blame, and the sugar in the yogurt.
So this week, here's what I’m eating.
1 crust less spinach quiche
Coffee with half and half
Which started my day at 20 grams of protein and 12 grams of carbs. And, I went a full 3.5 hours before I got hungry.
I made the Barefoot Contessa Lentil recipe for lunch - because my friend the lentil offers protein and fiber! I added chicken breast too. And then I passed on the mashed potatoes at dinner.
Most important to me is the satisfaction level for whatever I am eating. If it tastes good, and I'm not walking around feeling hungry, I'm a happy girl. So, I won't be following the fat loss code dieting plan. However, today I finished my day with 111 grams of protein and 99 grams of carbs. I never felt starving - just that comfortable it is time to eat now hunger.
My dietitian suggested eating protein before a workout, and that I should get 95 grams or higher per day. I think I will focus on keeping my protein levels up, and giving myself a challenge in the exercise realm. But this was good perspective, all the same. I think it would work for someone who needs a kick start, and is willing to follow menu plans, and stick to them. The author does allow for some wiggle room after the first week, offering a list of acceptable substitution foods.
But for now, I gotta do it my way.