Unless you're one of the genetically fortunate, in our society, getting fat is easy. You simply need to:
--> Eat too often
--> Eat too many calories
--> f up your hormones, by eating too much of the wrong foods (and drinking too much of the wrong drinks), too often, and not sleeping well/living in a healthy way.
*But, really, you knew that didn't you?*
To give us a little better framework, let's try and simplify and talk about macro's little.
Dr Ted Naiman suggests that what we eat as a society, represents obesogenic rat chow.
If you're a scientist, in a lab, and you want to do studies on rats, there's a sort of deliveroo for that. You can order their food and have it delivered. If you want them fat, you can order 'obesogenic rat chow'.
The macronutrients for that are 10% protein, 45% carbs, 45% fat. It works a treat. The rats cannot get sated, and eat and eat and eat, and get fatter and fatter and sicker and deader.
Funnily enough, or rather -- sadly enough, these ratios exactly match many of the 'best foods' that we eat:
--> other stuff like that
and if you keep the protein at 10%, but skew it to more like 65% carb and 25% fat, you match what most people in our society eat and are recommended to eat by government guidelines (that have no basis in sound science).
No wonder, that as a society, we are too fat and find it so hard to force ourselves to stop eating. We aren't sated. Our diets aren't giving us what we need. if an animal eats a species appropriate diet, it should have no problem eating the right amount of foods to meet it's needs without killing itself by overeating. It eats until it's full, then it stops eating.
So, when you build your diet: PRIORITISE PROTEIN.
That's the first step to effortless, natural weight control.
The same theory can be extended to all the essential minerals, micronutrients, specific amino acids (not just protein), and essential fatty acids our body needs us to obtain from our diets.
If you're not sated, you will still be hungry. If you don't have enough, you will still be hungry -- or hungrier more often than you should be. Our bodies don't work in calories -- they don't have a calorie sensor. We just keep going, other signals control appetite.
So, as with obesigenic rat chow, if you follow a traditional western diet, you’ll likely be too low in nutrition, but too high in energy.
You’ll be under-muscled and over fat.
Over-caloried, under nourished.
That's us as a society.
Dr Ted Naiman suggests that it’s protein that’s the real driver of satiety.
That a healthy diet will prioritise protein.
Or as I first learnt from Dr Ben Bikman: we should Prioritise Protein, Control Carbs and Fuel with Fat.
Naiman uses a useful ratio. He suggests that for health and fat loss, we should strive to take in a protein energy to non-protein energy ratio of 1:1.
So the calories we take in from protein, should match the combined calories we take in from carbs and fat. Any lower and you'll feel sluggish and eek towards rabbit starvation, but much higher and you'll be left unsated but too full of calories.
This is a ratio we often find naturally built into foods that are ideal for us, such as eggs and rib-eye steak.
These are often thought as as 'protein' foods, and then we add both carbs and fats to our plates to 'balance them out'. But actually, the foods on their own are probably ideal for us and should be eaten in larger quantities without extra oils, breads, fruits and wines. The fact that we always think to add more energy to these foods goes a long way to explain why we are both under-proteined and over-caloried as a society.
Any time your meal is not made up of these foods, especially if you are not particularly active, there is a good chance that you are skewing your protein energy to non-protein energy ratio for the worse.