The following selection is taken from writer David Robson (BodyBuilding.com). Each post will contain a new foundation from his article, "12 Fat Loss Transformation Foundations for your Future Physique"
Foundation 4: Maintain A Well Balanced Diet
Steady, consistent fat loss probably results more from sensible eating than any other variable. As mentioned, to elevate one's metabolic rate to encourage an around-the-clock fat burning effect, we need to build muscle and train with weights to stimulate this and, directly, the metabolic process. However, to achieve the energy levels needed to maintain sufficient training intensity and to recover from our intensive workouts and grow we need enough high quality nutrients interspersed throughout the day. Protein, carbohydrates and fats along with a wide variety of vitamins and minerals are to be consumed and a good balance of each is to be planned for.
To lose body fat it is important to ensure that we do not eat too many of the wrong types of nutrients. People often become caught up in limiting overall calories when the real problem lies with the types of calories we consume. One of the major barriers to maintaining low body fat levels is the craving for carbohydrates many people have. A nutrient that is comforting - due to the positive effect it has on specific brain chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine - necessary for energy production and easily stored as body fat if over-consumed it is often hard to strike the correct balance between eating enough carbohydrates to fuel our workouts and to support day to day living, while discouraging its transformation into body fat.
Whenever we eat too many carbohydrates - especially those that cause a rapid output of energy such as the simple variety which include cakes, sweets and some fruits - we cause insulin to be released, which, in turn, transforms these carbohydrates into glycogen to be stored for future use. The problem is, if we already have sufficient glycogen stores then any excess will be transformed into body fat and stored as such. And this is one reason why bodybuilders - and those who wish to success with their body transformation - often include almost as much protein as they do carbohydrates in their diet.
As a nutrient that requires more energy to process and which is instrumental in building the muscle mass needed to increase metabolic rate, protein is important for fat loss success. A good diet, therefore, might include around 40 percent protein calories, 45 percent carbohydrates with the remaining coming from essential fats such as specific oils (including olive and Omega three fish oils), avocado and nuts. Eat around six meals per day comprised of the above nutritional profile and avoid carbohydrate consumption after 6:00 pm to further accentuate fat loss success.