Thin Dad, Fat Dad
The title of this post is taken from Robert Kiyosaki's Rich Dad, Poor Dad, What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money--That the Poor and the Middle Class Do Not!. What you're raised to believe will govern your actions, and this has the ultimate effect on your success later in life. Applying the principles that the thin use to maintain weight requires an adjustment in thinking, much like acquiring a massive amount of money requires a frame shift.
The concept I'd like to draw upon is the power of our aerobic metabolism. If our ancestors hadn't become so efficient on burning fat for fuel (using the aerobic energy system), they would've starved to death during periods where food was scarce. This basic premise is what we can leverage for our weight loss and body composition goals.
But first, let's start with two essential tenets for financial success:
1. Pay yourself first.
2. Let your money work for you.
Simply put, you have to invest in your own assets as soon as you get some money and then let those assets make more money for you.
In fat loss terms, I'd reword it like this:
1. Consume modest amounts of fat and protein first.
2. Let your aerobic metabolism burn fat for you all day.
The shift in thinking involves becoming aware that all day long (even while we sleep), if we are engaged in low level activity, we are most likely using the fat for energy. However, if we are constantly supplying our bodies with rich carbs, we shift our energy source from aerobic to glycolytic (glucose as fuel).
Also, a big mistake that many people are making which is analogous to their financial difficulties is that people are working out hard to lose fat. In the financial world, if you're working to make money, you're really never going to be financially free. In the weight loss world, if you're trying to lose fat during the hours you work out in the gym, your success will be minimized. Fat loss occurs all day, and during activities where you're not sweating up a storm.
To be constantly feeding the body sugar is like debitting your credit account. In this case, the interest rates work against you.
With this in mind, how do we shift our metabolism to becoming an aerobic, fat burning machine?
Here are a few ways ideas:
1. Move constantly at low levels of exertion. When you convince your body that you will be needing constant supplies of energy all day, it will tap into the fat stores you've been saving up.
2. Control the amount of carbs you ingest - don't top up your carbs if you aren't breaking a fast or fueling up before/after intense activity.
3. Slowly introduce good fat sources into your diet. It's fine to be generous with the olive oil on your dressing, or cook with a good amount of coconut oil. Just understand that your body will take some adjustment to utilize this fuel source.
Having a basic understanding of your body's fuel sources (macronutrients) is essential to achieve weight loss. Gary Taubes is on the front lines of changing this paradigm of weight loss in pointing out the real effects of consuming fat or carbs as fuel.