Shilstone makes practical recommendations for healthy eating.
Many diets offer short-term weight loss results, but you often gain the weight back in the long run. Mackie Shilstone, author of "The Fat Burning Bible," claims his diet is a permanent method of eating that helps you lose weight and keep it off in the long run. Central to the diet is a 40, 30, 30 ratio of macronutrients and low-glycemic meal plan which Shilstone says promotes weight loss. While there's no clinical evidence showing a 40, 30, 30 ratio has weight loss benefits, following a low-glycemic diet does appear to promote fat loss.
Shilstone claims eating a balanced ratio of carbohydrates, protein and fat maximizes your weight loss potential. He recommends getting 30 percent of your calories from protein, 40 percent from low-glycemic carbohydrates -- and 30 percent from healthy fat. His recommendations for protein and fat are within the range that the Institute of Medicine, which creates Dietary Reference Intakes for Americans, recommends. Shilstone's recommendation for carbohydrates is slightly lower than the minimum of 45 percent the IOM recommends, putting it on par with other low-glycemic diets. While an expert review of the"Fat-Burning Bible"is lacking, clinical data to support low-glycemic meal plans exists. Researchers in France found following a low-glycemic diet for as little as five weeks improved lipids, decreased total fat mass and increased lean mass in overweight, non-diabetic men, although weight remain unchanged. This suggests low-glycemic diets promote a healthier body composition. Results of the study are published in the May 2002 issue of the journal "Diabetes Care."
Maximizing Your Fat Burning Capacity
Eating the right amount of carbohydrates, protein and fat maximizes your fat-burning potential, according to Shilstone. He recommends that you get 30 percent of your calories from lean protein. Protein is essential to the repair and maintenance of your body. It helps build muscle and balance blood sugar. He places emphasis on choosing skinless chicken breasts, 95 percent lean ground beef, low-fat cuts of beef such as loin, turkey, soy foods and all types of fish. You can also include low-fat and fat-free dairy. Aim to have protein with every meal.
The Carbohydrate Connection
"The Fat-Burning Bible"diet suggests getting 40 percent of your calories from what Shilstone calls the "right" types of carbohydrates. This refers to low-glycemic carbohydrates. Foods with a low-to-moderate glycemic index are digested slowly and cause blood sugar to rise gradually, which helps keep glucose balanced. High GI foods cause spikes in blood sugar, which promotes fat storage, according to Shilstone. Examples of "good" carbohydrates include vegetables, whole-grains and beans. You'll avoid high-glycemic carbohydrates such as white bread, white rice, pastries, table sugar and white potatoes. On the"Fat-Burning Bible"diet, you aim to eat at least five fruits and vegetables each day.
Fighting the Fat
Shilstone recommends getting 30 percent of your calories from healthy fats. On the"Fat-Burning Bible"diet, you'll limit your intake of saturated fat and place emphasis on unsaturated sources of fat. The best sources of fat are vegetable oils, nuts and avocados, according to Shilstone. You'll also get essential fats from fish and other seafood. Saturated fats are found in full-fat dairy, meat and processed food. You'll be able to limit your saturated fat intake by choosing low-fat dairy, lean meat and avoiding high-fat refined foods.
The Bottom Line
The theory that following a high glycemic diet promotes weight gain due to increased insulin has not been well established in scientific literature. But, animal studies appear to support this hypothesis. In Australia, researchers from the University of Sydney compared the effects of a high-glycemic diet versus a low glycemic diet on the body fat and insulin level of rats. The high-glycemic diet resulted in high baseline insulin levels, or hyperinsulimia, and an elevated insulin response to glucose, as well as higher body fat. The results were published in the January 2001 issue of the "Journal of Nutrition."