Most of us have the image in our mind when we think about a "balanced diet" is enjoying some treats along with healthy foods, there's a balance between indulgence and 'good behavior'. The word moderation usually goes along with balanced eating.
But when I talk about a balanced diet I am talking about what is going on within your body, the biochemistry happening because of the types of foods you eat - mainly having to do with your blood sugar.
Managing a healthy, stable blood sugar is the KEY to fat loss for the long term. Forget what the fitness industry is telling you about calories in and calories out, burning more energy than you consume, or something along that line.
Fat loss is such an important body mechanism to understand and talk about because we keep hearing the same wrong answer over and over. Your body is a complicated system, not a machine. Hormones are involved, which any woman can understand means there's a lot more happening than what we can assume!
The main hormone we have to understand with fat loss is insulin.
Insulin is the body's response to a rise in blood sugar. When we eat sugar of any form our insulin levels also rise in order to manage the influx of sugar we just ingested and to bring that sugar where it needs to go. It will first try to bring it to our muscles for energy. If they don't need energy, insulin will bring the sugar, or glucose, to the liver and into our fat cells to store the excess for later use (what our body does to survive in case of famine).
If the body continuously has a lot of glucose and a lot of insulin in the blood the insulin will prevent our body from releasing and using our stored fat as energy. Insulin will make our body hang on to fat and store even more.
To simplify: if we eat a high amount of sugar we will have a high amount of insulin. A high amount of insulin in our blood will prevent our body from losing fat. It'd be like wanting to empty your full deep freezer; you take a few things out each day but you keep buying more food at the grocery store to store in the freezer. If you keep buying more food to freeze your deep freezer is never going to get empty. The solution? Stop buying food for the freezer!
So if your goal is to lose fat, here are some helpful steps you can take to slow down and lessen the amount of glucose and insulin in your blood using this PFC method:
1) Improve the quality of carbohydrates you eat!
All carbohydrates break down into sugar, but quality will always trump quantity. Broccoli is a far better option than ice cream, and yet both are carbohydrates. Your body will use and store broccoli very differently than it will use and store ice cream. The fiber in the broccoli will help to slow the breakdown of the carbohydrates into glucose and will slow the release of insulin into your bloodstream as well. And of course 1 cup of broccoli has far fewer total grams of carbohydrate than 1 cup of ice cream. Eat more fruits and veggies and you'll naturally eat less carbohydrates than a diet full of sweets and treats.
2) Eat more protein with each meal!
Protein is the P of PFC, my favorite macro for many reasons, mainly because protein makes us feel full! It triggers our brain to turn off the hunger cues, thus solving the cravings for sugar. Again, the less sugar we eat the less insulin we will have in our body and we can burn our stored fat easier.
3) Eat healthy fats with your meals!
By now you could have guessed that it is the excess sugar, or carbohydrates, we eat that make us fat - NOT fat [necessarily]. A healthy dose of fat with each meal is another helpful way to slow the breakdown of carbohydrates into your bloodstream because fat digests slowly. Be choosey with your fat options, unhealthy fats are still linked to weight gain, heart disease, diabetes and more.
PFC is all about quality macro choices eaten together to balance your blood sugars, prevent blood sugar spikes and prevent sugar cravings that will only keep you from reaching your fat loss goals.
The right amounts of each will depend on many factors including your weight, phase of life and motherhood, diet history, and genetics. Finding the right equation for you and learning to listen to your body to make progress can all be done in the Strong Mom Bod program with my guidance as you go along.
The power of balanced blood sugars has resulted in women feeling full and satisfied, solving out-of-control sugar cravings, and watching the scale go down in a way that feels effortless because they're not hungry or depriving themselves of food.
Understanding how our body works is the first step to knowing what action to take towards health and towards fat loss.
I invite you to ask me more about this topic or about the Strong Mom Bod program either by sending me an email or giving me a call!
I've been in your shoes and want you to feel the same food freedom I felt when PFC eating became my new normal.
References used and to do more research on your own:
Physiologic Effects of Insulin
The Key to Automatic Weight Loss