Friday, December 30, 2011

Changing the Way You Eat

FEW THINGS IN American society have failed more often than diets
(with the exception of the hapless Red Sox). I think there’s an explanation
for the high failure rate. For one, many diets have re-
B U R N F A T D A Y A N D N I G H T 47
volved around low-fat menus. I’ll discuss fat in a later chapter, but
one of the problems with low-fat diets is that they can suppress
the manufacture of testosterone, the hormone that contributes to
the growth of muscle and the burning of fat. When testosterone
levels are low, your body stores fat like squirrels store nuts. In one
study, men with higher testosterone were 75 percent less likely to
be obese than men with lower levels of testosterone. Many diets
also fail because they don’t take advantage of the single most powerful
nutrient for building muscle and increasing your metabolism:
Protein—in proportion with foods from other groups—works
in two primary ways. First, eating more protein cranks up the
thermic effect of digestion by as much as one-third. Second, protein
is also the nutrient that builds calorie-consuming muscle. In
effect, you get a double burn—while you’re digesting food and
later, as it helps build muscle. In the Abs Diet, you’ll emphasize
protein for these very reasons, but you’ll also emphasize the most
powerful sources of protein. A Danish study published in the
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition took a group of men and
gave them diets that were high in protein either from pork or
from soy. They found that men on the diet higher in animal protein
burned 2 percent more calories during a 24-hour period than
men on the soy protein diet, despite the fact that they ate slightly
less food. That’s 50 calories a day if you’re eating a 2,500-calorie
diet. In other words, if you want to burn calories, tenderloin is
better than tofu.

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