I saw an interesting post on Facebook today. Someone asked Molly Galbraith the question, if abs are made in the kitchen, what do I eat??
She makes some good points. I'd never considered the number of fat cells theory, or that fat cells once created can actually go away after a period of years. I think the cortisol factor is huge. The genetics thing is interesting. I'm definitely someone who carries weight in my lower body not my abs. I fit the description of seeing an outline of abs at mid-20 percent body fat and pretty decent definition at 17-18%. Other people walk around with naturally great legs, even at higher percentages. It really depends on how you're built. She also describes the danger of too much cardio. I've seen chronic cardio, especially in guys, produce a potbelly and stick arms effect.
Nutrition. It's common sense stuff: Eat real food when you're hungry. Don't hurt yourself. Don't starve. Find a way of eating that you can live with. I really LOVE that she says that instead of - everyone must eat 6 meals per day, totally clean diet, yadda, yadda, nonsense. I also think it's interesting that she seems to think you need less protein if you do intermittent fasting. Why is that I wonder? I've found it to be true for me. Actually, I've found consuming less protein in general to be true and right for me (compared to bodybuilding levels). Say I'm having 2 meals in a day. If I were to believe that 1g of protein per pound of body weight theory, am I really supposed to eat 65g of protein with EACH MEAL? Ha! No! I'll pass! When I went cold-turkey on nutrition software, I'd been consuming 45-90g of protein most days, or more like 15-30g per meal. My guideline is that I eat some quality protein with most meals. I don't make it any more complicated than that.
I've done the little experiments where I totally eliminate dairy (vegan experiment) and where I totally eliminate grains and gluten (paleo experiment). I noticed zero difference so I put them back. Dairy is actually a pretty substantial protein source for me, and grains do nothing bad unless I overeat them, and then I get fat. That's true for anything though!
Thoughts? Do you tend to carry weight in your abdomen or your lower body? Have you ever tried cutting out grains or dairy? What is your protein intake like? Calorie counters, did you have any thoughts on her multipliers? Or on eating too little?
I think I've had a small but sustainable deficit going for the last couple of years. I may still have that, but my food intake has definitely increased as I've gotten leaner. My four course lunch often involves a whole blender of green smoothie, then a steak (or a burger, or a chicken breast, or a couple of pork chops, or salmon), then the apple wedges and peanut butter extravaganza, and then a couple pieces of dark chocolate for dessert. I never go a day without chocolate.
This is a recent discussion on happyeaters.net, see more of the conversation here.