Q&A: Does FLF Follow a "Low Carb/High Fat" Diet?
I got a great question yesterday via email and since it’s a hot topic in the wellness industry right now, I wanted to share my answer with you here.
Q: “Is this (Fat Loss Foodies, Fat Loss Cooking School) Low Carb/High Fat? Does this program include carbs such as bread and potatoes?”
My answer is a long one, because there’s no simple, black and white answer to this question. Hearing the words, “Well, that depends” may be frustrating, but any time you’re talking about nutrition and fitness, there are so many factors involved in arriving at an answer. So here we go:)
The FLF Philosophy
Fat Loss Foodies does not believe in not a one-size-fits-all program, nor is it a diet. We do not give you a meal plan.
So no, we are not:
Low Carb/High Fat
Low Fat/High Carb
High Protein/Moderate Carb and Fat
We are all of the above and everything in between because we take an individual approach to fat loss nutrition. Our program includes women of all different ages, stages of life, and activity and fitness levels, and they each have unique goals. How could we possibly give the same meal plan or apply the same nutrition to everyone and expect it to work?
FLF takes a hormones-first approach to female fat loss. By prioritizing real food - in the right amount and type for you - you will balance your metabolic hormones like insulin, cortisol, and hunger hormones like leptin and ghrelin. When these hormones are balanced, you are not hungry between meals, your cravings are minimal, and you have steady, consistent energy.
Stop the hunger, the cravings, and the energy crashes, and the calories will take care of themselves.
Where Do We Start?
During Prep Week for Fat Loss Cooking School (the week before the program starts), all of our clients take a quiz from Metabolic Effect. This gives you insight into how sensitive you are to things like stress, carbohydrates, etc. and gives you a starting point for building your meals.
Based on the quiz, you’ll be one of three different “Burner Types” and each type has a different nutrient make-up.
If you are someone who needs more starchy carbs, you will eat less fats. If you need lower carbs, you'll eat a little more fat. There are some people who are right in the middle!
Every template includes:
• Two to three servings of non-starchy vegetables and low-sugar fruits.
• A lean protein source.
• Starchy carbohydrates as determined by your Burner Type.
Your Burner Type is not set in stone and may even change over time! It’s just a place for you to start and it gives you a “formula” to follow at meals no matter where you are without weighing and measuring and tracking all your food.
Let’s Make It Personal
In Fat Loss Cooking School, you learn how to DO YOU.
You’ll cook and eat to follow your template and then do "detective work” to make adjustments based on you. Through trial and error, you find the right amount and type of food for you. You might need more protein, less carbs, more carbs, more carbs at certain times, less fats, etc. No meal plan or program that treats everyone the same can do this - and that’s why they don’t work and you’re still bouncing around the internet looking for answers. :)
Based on biofeedback and fat loss results, you will learn how to modify these templates based on your metabolism, activity level, and preferences.
You are unique. Every woman is. And the way we eat should be, too.
Okay But The Carbs Though…
There are three macronutrients that make up the foods we eat: protein, carbohydrates, and fat.
Each of these macronutrients sends different signals to your body via hormones, chemical messengers that control everything from our appetite, mood, and sleep, to whether we’re burning or storing fat. Food is information for your body.
Carbohydrates do not make you fat. Over-eating does that.
For balanced hunger, energy, and cravings, some people need more or less carbs than others. In our programs, everyone is eating carbs - both starchy and non-starchy - but you decide what kind and how much based on your results and preferences.
“I’d rather just not eat any carbs and get results faster.”
If you’re used to dieting and eating very low carb, you may be thinking: "This all sounds like a lot of food. Can't I just skip the starch? It will help me lose weight faster and I always gain weight when I eat carbs."
#1 We don’t do weight loss. We do fat loss: burning only the fat while retaining as much lean muscle mass as possible. Our focus is on improving body composition.
#2 Carbs don’t make you fat. I know I already said that. You probably need to hear it again. If you ate carbs and gained weight, it was because you consumed too many calories for your activity level.
Eat Real Food
At FLF, we get our carbs from real foods: non-starchy vegetables (like asparagus, kale, cauliflower, peppers, etc.), low sugar fruits (like berries, apples, etc.) and starchier vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, and - if they work for you - legumes, pulses, and hypoallergenic grains like oats, rice, quinoa. Because starchy carbs (root veggies, grains, legumes) have a higher starch/sugar content, we keep an eye on amounts here, but we are not eliminating them completely.
Slashing all carbs (even vegetables) will almost always lead to increased hunger and cravings and other compensatory actions that cause you to overeat and eat the wrong kinds of foods later.
And yes. You will be eating a lot: mostly vegetables and some protein at every meal. This is how lean physiques are built, not by under-eating, eating “snacks” all day, and doing more cardio. Fat loss is different than weight loss.
“Ran out of vegetables again. Going to the Farmer’s Market. BRB.” #FLFproblems
Bread and Potatoes
I’m not sure why this person inquired specifically about bread and potatoes, but I’m guessing it’s one of two things:
She loves bread and potatoes and is scared someone is going to tell her they’re off limits, or
She hates bread and potatoes and/or has a belief that these foods (or maybe all carbs) will make not work for her, so she does not want to be forced to eat them.
If bread and/or potatoes are your favorite foods and you need them to be happy, then we will find a way to include them in your life each week. Having them at every meal will probably not work, but for some of our clients who are very athletic and train frequently and intensely, they need the carbs and will get great results eating them.
For women who are more sedentary, overweight, or in/near menopause, carbs will be lower. They will still be eating a high-protein, high-fiber, high-water-content diet, they’ll just include slightly more fats and slightly less carbs.
During week 4 of Fat Loss Cooking School, we implement a weekly Treat Meal where you will eat whatever you like. This meal needs to be higher in carbohydrates to reset hunger hormones and keep your metabolism from compensating (i.e. slowing down because you’re eating less).
Depriving you of everything you love or forcing you to eat something you hate - neither of these options is on the table at FLF. You have to do what works for you.
A Fat Loss Diet Is…
A fat loss diet is high-protein, high-fiber, and high in water-content. During Cooking School, all of our meals will be based around protein and vegetables with low to moderate amounts of fat and/or starch, which varies by person.
A low carb/high fat diet could be what works best for you to lose fat. It depends on you, your goals, your activity level, your metabolism, and your preferences.
BOTTOM LINE: You need to figure out how the metabolism works and how YOU work so you can eat and train accordingly.
There is no one right way for everyone to eat and we don't all have to do the same thing.
If you’re ready to stop doing diets and hopping from program to program trying to find “the one” - break the cycle in Fat Loss Cooking School. Learn how to create a way of eating that works for you.
Program details and sign up are here: