Translated, not only is the mantra “a calorie is a calorie” proven to be false, but “all fats are created equal,” and “a protein is protein” are also incorrect.

For example, we now know different:
• Fats (e.g. fish oils vs. saturated fats) have vastly different effects on metabolism and health in general; we now know different
• Carbohydrates have their own effects (e.g. high GI vs. low GI), and that different proteins can also have unique effects.

An optimal diet or nutritional plan should be designed to make a person lose body fat and retain as much Lean Body Mass – muscle) as possible. This is not the same as a diet designed for simple weight loss.

Diets need to be designed with fat loss, NOT just weight loss, as the goal, but total calories can’t be ignored either.

NEVER, Ever go Food Shopping Hungry

This is one of the most effective strategies I know of to avoid unwanted junk and various snacks from finding their way into your shopping trolley; which end up in your home, which end up on your butt! Make sure to eat something before you go food shopping and you will be able to resist the junk that often finds its way into your cart. If I go food shopping without a good meal in my stomach, I often come home with a family sized box of Cheezits and feel like sh*t for days after eating the entire box!

Human hunger and appetite are regulated by a phenomenally complicated set of overlapping feedback networks, involving a long list of hormones, psychological factors, and others way beyond the scope of this section. Suffice it to say, we often make snap decisions and impulse purchases with certain foods due to one or more of these feedback loops being activated by an empty stomach while we shop. Translated, your “willpower” to resist junk foods will be much greater if you eat something healthy at least 20–30 minutes before you go food shopping. You can either plan your meal schedule so that one meal is eaten before you go shopping, or have a snack (at least 20–30 minutes before shopping) which will have the desired effects.

NEVER Keep Snack Foods in the House

This tip is a logical extension of Tip #1. If it does not make it into your cart at the food store, it’s not in your house. However, many people use excuses like “I have snack foods for the kids” or “my spouse keeps a box of Oreo cookies in the kitchen cupboard” as reasons they can’t avoid the snacks that sneak into their diets and sabotage their efforts. Many of the foods we eat that we know we should not be eating are eaten on an impulse. Impulse control goes a long way here, but few will deny that it’s harder to resist that impulse if your favourite junk food is under your nose. That’s human nature. When I have an impulse for some Cheezits, I won’t resist it well if it’s only a few steps to the kitchen vs. having to get in the car to go get a box.

Know Thy Self

The lesson here is, we are all human and we all have our weaknesses. The trick is to know your weakness and develop strategies for coping with them. How well do you know yourself? That is, do you know what cues/triggers tend to set you off? Have you examined that issue for yourself? It’s essential to recognize the cues that sabotage your efforts. We all have them. Find yours and take steps to avoid them where possible.

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