Friday, October 17, 2008

Grains in a fat-burning diet?

Craig Ballantyne weighs in:

Q: Craig - It seems that everywhere I turn I see yet another nutritionist suggesting that we all steer clear of, or severely reduce our intake of grains, whether in whole grain form or not. I think I also read that you had mentioned that your diet contains very little in the way of grains.
I guess I'm interested in knowing your thoughts on this subject, how much grain you do eat (probably oatmeal?), and what your primary sources of carbs are (my assumption would be vegetables, fruit and small amounts of dairy).

Answer from Craig:

I have found that reducing grains did two things for me.

1) Eliminated post-meal tireness/eliminated post-meal redued mental alertness (in layman's terms, I feel I don't have a lack of energy after eating)

2) Helped me drop another 1-2% body fat and be able to maintain it. Taking the abs to another level as you can see on Turbulence Training for Abs.

That said, could 1 & 2 be "all in my head"? Maybe. I don't think so, but maybe.
I still get lots of carbohydrates from:

a) Fruit - about 10 servings a day
b) Vegetables - lots of servings, but few calories
c) 2 cups chocolate milk after exercise - 50+grams of carbohydrates
d) Nuts - you get carbohydrates in nuts & i eat a lot of raw nuts
e) Kidney Beans or Amy's Organic Chili - I eat a can every other day
f) Reward meals (Last night was Canadian Thanksgiving - turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, squash, asparagus, and carrots)

As I've mentioned before, there are a lot of diets that work for weight loss. We all need to find one that suits our personality, environment, and genetic response to food.

I thought this was pretty interesting. Craig's diet sounds a lot like mine in some respects. I have a few servings of oatmeal a week, and every so often when I go out to eat I'll have some starch, usually rice because Paul and I both love Asian cuisines. But other than that I've pretty much cut grains out of my diet, and it's working well for me. I do eat way more fruit than is allowed on many fat-loss diets, and I also have nuts and some dairy. Beans, not so much because I don't especially care for them, but I keep meaning to revisit that because they're wonderful sources of fiber and protein as well as carbs, and I love minestrone soup which has beans in it, so I probably just need to find some good recipes.

Anyhoo, the part of Craig's answer that I liked best was where he says that there are lots of different approaches that work, and that each person needs to find the one that suits him or her best, taking into account personality, environment and genetic response to food.

My own personality and environment (by which I mean my family and sometimes my job) absolutely require me to have a Cosmo every so often. How about you?