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EXPLORING THE BENEFITS OF INTERMITTENT FASTING




Excerpt


WE KNOW YOU’RE LOOKING FOR A CHANGE—and not just a temporary fix that will last for a few weeks or months or for the length of the two-phase Thirty-Day Plan that you’ll find in the next chapter—but big, lasting, and positive change for life- long good health, including meeting your weight-loss goals and feeling healthier and stronger than ever. It’s time to get started and find your Smart Fat Solution. You know the reasons why we advocate smart fats, protein, and fiber. We’ve given you the science behind our message (and if you’re hungry for more facts, visit our website, www.SmartFat.com, for the latest studies and news). Now it’s time to turn all this knowledge into practical advice on how to eat every day. But before we get to meal plans, recipes, and other specifics, we want to intro- duce you to the foundation of the Smart Fat Solution, because that is the frame- work that will ultimately help you “smart-fat” all your food for life, after Day 30 of the Thirty-Day Plan, without a recipe or a meal plan, no matter where you are or what you’re faced with when it’s time to eat. What to Eat Every Day for the Rest of Your Life: 5-5-10 You don’t need to remember how many calories are in a cup of berries or how many grams of sugar are in a teaspoon (four, if you’re wondering). All you have to remember are three numbers: 5, 5, and 10: Five (5) servings of smart fat every day Five (5) servings of clean protein every day Ten (10) servings of fiber every day You don’t have to create a “perfect plate” with precisely balanced amounts of fat, protein, and fiber every time you have a meal or snack. Just remember 5-5-10 (servings) as a minimum, not a maximum—a framework or template for your daily diet. What you’re aiming for is a daily intake that you can configure based on your needs and wants. Our Thirty-Day Plan and recipes will help you hit the mark every time, but when you’re ready to take off the training wheels and smart-fat food on your own, you’ll want 5-5-10 to be second nature—and with a little practice, it will be. Choosing Your Food: What to Expect with Your 5-5-10 Day In order to get the most out of the Smart Fat Solution, particularly for weight loss, follow the Thirty-Day Plan in Chapter 6, which is designed to help you eat 5-5-10 every day. You don’t have to go off the meal plan after Day 30, as we’ll explain in Chapter 7; you can stay on it indefinitely, but eventually you’ll want to put together your own meals and snacks as you move toward smart-fatting all your food, for life. The lists below will give you an idea of what your breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks can look like. You don’t need to remember percentages, count calories, memorize grams of carbs, or anything else. Just think 5-5-10. SMART MOVE: LEARN TO DO SOME NUMBERS (EVEN THOUGH WE’VE DONE THEM FOR YOU) We don’t want you to get out a calculator every time you feel hungry, but no doubt you’ve noticed our references throughout this book to “the right amount” or “not enough” of certain foods, and you’re probably wondering what those amounts are, exactly. We’re going to answer that with specific amounts in the charts and lists to come, and we’ll steer you to other sources with that info (and you’ll probably get good at reading nutrition labels!). Don’t balk when you see “grams” and “ounces” in the information we’re about to provide. It’s part of our strategy to help you get some basics down with regard to serving sizes and quantities. Here’s the reason: If you understand the numbers behind the food you eat, you’ll definitely be more successful at reach- ing your goals, especially for weight loss. Grams (g) are the standard unit of measurement on most nutrition labels (for example: “fat: 4g, carbohydrate: 22g, protein: 10g”). Ounces are the standard unit of measurement for individual serving sizes of many foods, particularly meats, poultry, fish, nuts, dairy, and beverages. In our 5-5-10 lists, we give many (though not all) individual serving sizes in ounces, followed by gram amounts of fat, pro- tein, and fiber per serving. We provide this detail in grams and ounces because we want you to get a handle on what’s in your food, and we want to share some tips that will simplify your approach to diet and nutrition. For instance, here’s a good one: There are about 7 grams of protein in each ounce of an animal protein food. For example, 4 ounces of fish provides approximately 28 grams of pure protein. Smart Fats: Pick Five (5) a Day Have at least five servings of smart fat a day. You can configure them in your diet as you wish. For instance, you can have one or two per meal, and if you snack twice a day, one per snack; or work a few smart fats into each meal and don’t in- clude them in all your snacks. However you choose to do it, have a minimum of five servings of smart fat daily, and a maximum of ten servings of total fat per day. If you are trying to lose weight, however, we recommend no more than seven servings of smart or neutral fat per day. This will help keep calorie intake at a level consistent with weight loss. Unlike protein and fiber, as you’ll see, there is no gram amount of smart fat that you’ll be aiming for, though we include the fat gram counts below for reference. Think of smart fat intake in terms of servings rather than grams. Half an avocado (14 grams) 1 ounce (handful) of nuts—our favorites are almonds (14 grams), pistachios (13 grams), pecans (20 grams), walnuts (18 grams), hazelnuts (17 grams), and macadamia nuts (15 grams) 1 tablespoon nut oil (from any of the nuts listed above) (approximately 14 grams)† 1 tablespoon virgin or extra-virgin olive oil (14 grams) 1 tablespoon coconut oil (14 grams) 1 tablespoon MCT oil (14 grams) Two large whole eggs (organic, cage-free) (10 grams) Two extra-large whole eggs (organic, cage-free) (12 grams)

1 ounce dark chocolate (at least 70 percent cocoa) (12 grams) You can also use other neutral fats in moderation, such as butter from grass- fed cows or even some cold-pressed oils like sesame oil. And you may be con- suming some fat from foods like grass-fed beef, cage-free and organic poultry, or natural peanut butter. (You can grind your own peanut butter in some food mar- kets, or find one made with organic peanuts, a bit of salt if desired, and a small amount of peanut oil for a consistent texture and spreadability—but no sugar or other additives. See Chapter 7 for more information on peanut and other nut but- ters.) These foods can all be enjoyed in moderation as part of the Smart Food Solution (one to two servings per day), but as fats, they are neutral; therefore, they don’t count toward your five daily servings of smart fat under the 5-5-10 regime. EAT FIVE SERVINGS OF SMART FAT DAILY COCONUT OIL AND CHOLESTEROL Coconut oil will most likely affect your cholesterol levels. It may raise your total and LDL cholesterol numbers, but it’s important to realize that most of this change is positive. Coconut oil will raise good HDL cholesterol levels as well as shift the distribution of your LDL particles so that you have more LDLa (harm- less, fluffy) particles and fewer LDLb (small, dense, and harmful) particles, which cause arterial damage. The overall effect on your total cholesterol profile is prob- ably more positive than negative. But if you are taking a statin drug for high cholesterol, or if you have heart disease, it’s important to discuss coconut oil in- take with your doctor because it will very likely raise your numbers and, as a re- sult, may cause your physician to increase your medication dosage. Don’t be sur- prised if your doctor suggests that you choose virgin olive oil, other nut oils, or avocado oil instead of coconut oil. In addition to the cholesterol issue, saturated fats do increase arterial inflam- mation and, in one study at least, adversely affect function (albeit in a modest way). Coconut oil is of course a saturated fat. In light of these concerns, Steven asks the patients at his clinic who are at high risk for heart disease to use the other smart fats instead of coconut oil with their eating plans. For the average healthy person, however, we both believe that coconut oil is a healthy smart fat choice. It’s a great fuel for exercise, and it has some clear bene- fits for your brain and immune system. That’s why we’ve put it firmly in the smart fat category. Clean Protein: Pick Five (5) a Day Depending on your age, gender, weight, and weight-loss goals, your protein “num- ber” (number of grams per day) will vary, but we can say without a doubt that most people simply don’t get enough protein, in part because of various official recom- mendations. For instance, the Food and Nutrition Board at the Institute of Medicine recommends daily allowances ranging from 13 grams a day (for a child one to three years old) to 56 grams a day (for adult men); but in our opinion, that’s way too little. While the recommended numbers provided by government agencies and medical groups may in fact be the minimum numbers for basic survival, they are very far from the desired numbers for optimal health. In fact, we believe they are inadequate when it comes to weight loss. We think the ideal range of protein in- take for most adults should be somewhere between 80 and 120 grams. If you’re pe- tite, your needs will be closer to 80 grams, but if you’re physically large or very ac- tive, you’ll more likely lean to the higher end of the recommended amount. Please remember that we’re talking about clean (or lean, if you can’t find clean) protein sources, not the mean protein you find in fried chicken, burgers, sausage, and deli meats. Much has been written about Americans eating too much protein, and no doubt many eat too much mean protein. But because the “official” protein recom- mendations are so low to begin with, we doubt that most Americans are eating too much. Aim for a minimum of 20 grams of protein at every meal. If you pick five protein servings a day from foods on our list, you’ll easily meet this goal; but we want to point out that 20 grams is a minimum per meal, so if you’re having a salad for lunch, for instance, keep that in mind. A fiber-rich salad with spinach and other greens, tomatoes, carrots, broccoli, bell peppers, and mushrooms may seem superhealthy, but it’s protein-poor. Once in a while a big salad for a meal is fine, but as a general rule, you’re better off adding a couple of hardboiled eggs (18 grams) and half a cup of chickpeas (6–7 grams) and making it a smart fat lunch. You’ll be getting 24 grams of hunger-curbing protein and you’ll be satisfied until dinner. Or add one egg, one slice of organic dark-meat turkey bacon (6 grams), and the chickpeas. Once you understand just a few basic numbers, punching up the protein is simple. If you’re trying to lose weight, we recommend 20 to 30 grams of protein at break- fast. Protein is essential for muscle development—and the muscle cells are fat- burners. Therefore, the more muscle you have, the more effectively you can burn body fat. Eating more protein at breakfast stimulates your metabolism to burn more calories all day, even if you’re sitting during much of your workday. Here are some single-serving protein options that deliver slightly varying amounts of protein. As we’ve pointed out, roughly 1 ounce of an animal protein food like chicken will deliver 7 grams of protein. That’s why so many 4-ounce serv- ings deliver 28 grams of protein! Beef and pork, as you’ll see, contain more protein per grams than poultry, and the white meat of chicken contains more than the dark meat. If you eat five servings of clean protein a day, using the list below as a guide, you’ll easily fall into the 80–120+ gram range without doing any further calculation, and that’s exactly where we want you to be. 4 ounces grass-fed beef (about 28 grams) (sirloin has 30 grams; prime rib has 27 grams) 4 ounces pastured pork tenderloin (24 grams) 4 ounces leg of lamb (33 grams) 4 ounces free-range poultry, dark meat (19 grams) 4 ounces free-range poultry, breast meat (24 grams) 4 ounces coho (silver) salmon (preferably wild-caught) (28 grams) 4 ounces tilapia (28 grams) Three cage-free, organic eggs (18–24 grams) (large eggs have about 6 grams; jumbo eggs have about 8 grams) 1 heaping cup cooked lentils (20 grams) 1⅓ cups cooked black beans (20 grams) 1⅓ cups shelled edamame (20 grams) Two scoops (or one serving, per manufacturer’s guidelines) of whey protein powder (20–30 grams) Two scoops (or one serving, per manufacturer’s guidelines) soy protein pow- der (20–30 grams) Two scoops (or one serving, per manufacturer’s guidelines) pea-rice protein powder (20–30 grams) 1 cup organic Greek-style yogurt, plain (22 grams) (Greek-style yogurts are generally higher in protein than regular [plain] varieties) 1 cup cubed tofu (20 grams) You may find on this list a lot of animal protein that you aren’t used to eating or preparing. But we’re not telling you to consume meat, poultry, and fish five times a day—though you certainly could, provided, of course, that it was clean. What we are telling you is to eat five servings of protein a day from any source—not just animal foods. In fact, both of us follow this program, and Steven doesn’t eat meat at all and Jonny eats it frequently. As you can see, there are many sources of nonanimal protein. Even a vegetarian can achieve our recommended protein intake. For example, have a protein-rich Smart Fat Shake for breakfast (25 grams of protein), a bowl of black bean soup for lunch (20 grams), edamame and fruit for an afternoon snack (another 10–15 grams), lentil and vegetable Indian curry for dinner (20+ grams), and a bowl of or- ganic Greek-style yogurt with fruit for dessert (21 grams). Voilà! Five servings of clean protein without having to eat meat, fish, or poultry—and this day didn’t even include eggs.

Keep in mind that a 4-ounce portion of chicken is actually very modest and will rarely satiate a hungry eater. Six ounces is a more adequate and realistic portion, so 6 ounces of chicken counts as 1.5 servings. Many of our recipes feature servings of clean protein that are between 5 and 8 ounces. Restaurant servings of meat, fish, and poultry are frequently 8 ounces or more—a double serving. (Note: If you eat out regularly, it’s especially worth familiarizing yourself with portion sizes and what they look like; restaurant portions are usually too big.) In the case of the 8-ounce grass-fed steak, or the 8-ounce serving of chicken or seafood per person in a recipe, figure those amounts as two servings. As you can see from the examples of 4+ ounces of meat, poultry, and fish, you don’t need to consume animal protein five times a day to get to five servings a day. You can also power up your protein intake significantly by using protein powder, which is why it’s such an important ingredient in our morning Smart Fat Shake (see Chapter 10 for recipes). Adding beans and legumes to your meals, as well as plain Greek-style yogurt, is also a smart way to increase your protein intake. See our website, www.SmartFat.com, for more protein sources. EAT FIVE SERVINGS OF PROTEIN: At least 20 grams per meal, 80–120 grams per day. SMART MOVE: EAT MORE PROTEIN, LOSE MORE WEIGHT We think that most people aren’t consuming nearly enough clean protein and that the standard recommendations are too conservative. The Centers for Dis- ease Control and Prevention, for example, recommends 0.8 grams of protein per every kilogram of body weight. (To calculate: Divide your body weight in pounds by 2.2 to convert it to kilograms, then multiply by 0.8.) This works out to about 47 grams of protein for a 128-pound woman—practically half of what we’re recommending. Furthermore, the recommendations don’t take into account such questions as whether our hypothetical woman is overweight or underweight. Is she preg- nant? Is she an athlete? Is she menopausal? How old is she? All of these factors affect her protein intake, but except for basic human survival, 47 grams wouldn’t be adequate in any scenario. Nutritionist Donald Layman has done a significant amount of research on protein and weight loss, and he suggests that if your goal is weight loss— meaning reducing your level of body fat, not just lowering your body mass index and the number on your bathroom scale—the ideal amount of protein for you to eat is closer to 1.4 to 1.5 grams per kilogram of body weight—almost twice the amount recommended by some health organizations. (By Layman’s formula, our 128-pound woman should be consuming closer to 90 grams of protein, assum- ing she wants to shed weight, which works out to about double the minimum re- quirement.) If you are trying to lose weight and lower your body fat, start by calculating your protein needs using the formula above (convert your weight to kilograms and then multiply by 1.4–1.5), and eat 20–30 grams of protein at breakfast. (For more information on the importance of protein in the morning, see the section on shakes and protein powders later in this chapter. And for more on the impor- tance of losing body fat, not just losing weight, and for tips on the best ways to track your weight loss, see Chapter 7.) Many popular weight-loss diets recommend protein intake based on a per- centage of calories (for instance, the recommendation that 30 percent of your calories should be from protein, or for some diets, a mere 10 percent). But that’s a complicated way to think about your daily diet. It’s also misleading. Your body needs a certain amount of protein, not a certain percentage of protein. If a tiny woman who weighs 100 pounds and consumes 1,200 calories a day ate 10 per- cent of her calories from protein, she’d consume only 30 grams a day. But you don’t have to worry about these percentages with the Smart Fat Solution. Just eat five servings of protein every day, and you’ll be fine!