The #1 Easiest Way to Lose Belly Fat (GUARANTEED)
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In this post, we’ll discuss the Ad Libitum plan. It’s a plan that doesn’t require strict dieting, counting calories, or crazy amounts of exercise.
Read on to learn how to burn fat and reduce your waistline by choosing the best fat burning foods to reduce hunger.
If you’re serious about losing belly fat, I bet you’ve already started cutting your calories, or you’re about to start. And even though you can restrict your calories and track every last gram of food that goes into your mouth to eventually burn the fat from all over your body, including your midsection, the truth is that tracking and restricting calories can be tough to sustain over time.
Of course, this doesn’t change the very well-known fact that you have to be in a calorie deficit to lose weight and belly fat.1 This is the reason why so many trainers have their clients count calories, to begin with. And counting calories can definitely help you reduce the size of your waist because it’ll help you ensure that you are in a calorie deficit at all times.
However, many people may not want to count calories for the rest of their lives. There’s a considerable portion of people who simply don’t have the time or desire to do it at all.
On top of that, even if someone’s great at counting calories initially, chances are very high that they’re no longer tracking their calories and macros anymore after weeks or months. And even if you do track everything, calorie counting doesn’t inherently make dieting easier. You’ll still struggle with hunger cravings that’ll make it very difficult to stay on track as time goes on.
But the good news is that you don’t have to count calories to lose weight. Even though it can be very beneficial for some people, there is another way—an easier way.
What is Ad Libitum Dieting?
And that’s something known as an optimized Ad Libitum diet.
For many of you, I’m sure you’re wondering, what is an ad libitum diet?
Well, Ad Libitum is Latin for “as you desire” or “at one’s pleasure.”
In other words, Ad Libitum dieting means you can eat as much food as you want. I know it might sound crazy but stick with me. So, you don’t track your macros, but instead, you eat based on hunger.
Now, given that you must be in a calorie deficit to lose weight, it may seem impossible to reduce your belly fat and get slim without focusing on your caloric intake. But that’s not true.
By following a set of guidelines, most people can lose belly fat without tracking calories… and without experiencing constant hunger. And you do that by eating highly satiating foods. In other words, you want to follow a high-satiety meal plan.
The Importance of High-Satiety Meal Plans
We can view appetite as something that’s more or less genetically fixed. You may have a big appetite. You may have a small appetite. Or, like most people, you probably fall somewhere in the middle of that spectrum.
Now, imagine your appetite as a tank and pretend that to fill your tank, you need to fill it with 100 units of food per day.
Each food you eat fills a certain amount of that appetite tank, and some foods fill the tank more than others. Now, once you’ve reached those 100 units, you’ll feel full and satisfied. But if you don’t get that amount, you’re going to feel hungry, and you’ll want to eat more.
The beauty of all of this is that different foods have different satiety values.
In other words, some foods satiate hunger better than others.
The satiety index is a ranking of the most satiating foods. If you only eat foods that score high on the satiety index, you would reach that 100-unit mark of fullness earlier than if you were to consume low satiety foods. That’s why a high-satiety diet causes you to consume fewer calories, while a low-satiety diet promotes overeating.
For example, potatoes are seven times more satiating than croissants.2 So even though both potatoes and croissants are relatively fast-digesting carbohydrates, you feel a lot fuller eating potatoes over croissants.
So, when you place people on an Ad Libitum diet, their aim is to eat based on food volume.
Let’s say, for example, they’re choosing between having 4 ounces of pasta, rice, or potatoes. Since potatoes have anywhere from one-third to half the amount of calories found in most grain products,3 they can provide an easy way to reduce your calories without impacting hunger.
The exact opposite is true with sugar which has almost no effect on satiety at all. It won’t help you feel any fuller than you were before you ate it. This explains why sugary foods and the calories they provide tend to go on top of the calories people have already taken in for the day.4
On the other hand, if you simply make your diet more satiating, it automatically reduces your caloric intake. That’s why research shows that increasing your diet’s satiety index is a reliable way to lose fat without having to track your calories or feel starved.5
On top of that, a high-satiety Ad Libitum diet is more effective than the National Health Service (NHS) Standard Care weight loss program, as highlighted in a one-year-long study.6
And even so, participants following an Ad Libitum diet got better results even though they could eat as much as they wanted as long as they followed the specific guidelines of choosing satiating foods.
What Makes a Diet Satiating?
So now the question is, what makes a diet satiating?
Well, there are quite a few factors that determine the satiety index of food or a diet, but I want to give you guys the top four that have the most significant impact.
Number 1: A high food volume
That’s right, food volume is the primary driver of satiety.
Low energy density foods provide far fewer calories when eating 100 grams of that food versus 100 grams of more calorically dense food. So you can eat more of those low energy density foods while still burning more fat.
Instead, high-energy-density foods like donuts, cheeseburgers, and fried foods are worse from a bodyweight management perspective, especially when you take hunger into account.
Overeating these foods tends to cause an excessive energy intake due to their high caloric value. You can only eat a small amount of them before you exceed your calorie target.
So with calorically dense foods, you have to choose between exceeding your calorie intake just to feel full and satisfied or staying under your calorie target. Still, due to a lack of overall food volume, you’re going to be feeling hungry.
Meanwhile, the main reason low-energy-density foods are so filling is that they take up more space in your stomach for a given amount of calories. That, in turn, activates the stretch receptors in your gut, which signals to your brain that it’s time to stop eating.
That’s why there’s a method sometimes used on obese men and women. A silicone balloon is implanted and inflated in the stomach to reduce hunger and aid fat loss. Having less space in your gut leads to an automatic reduction in calorie intake.7
You can create this effect without some unhealthy invasive procedure just by focusing on foods that supply the fewest calories per 100 grams. You’ll see superior fat loss results because your diet will be more satiating.8
Number 2: High protein consumption
Foods high in protein raise various satiety hormones, such as Peptide YY, cholecystokinin, and GLP-1 while at the same time lowering the hunger hormone ghrelin.9
So, consuming more protein tends to lower calorie intake automatically.
For instance, in one study, researchers raised their subjects’ protein intake from 15% to 30% of their daily calorie consumption.10 Then, they evaluated how that influenced factors like energy intake and body weight. The results showed that consuming more protein led the participants to consume 441 fewer calories per day, which produced an average weight reduction of 11 pounds in 12 weeks.
Number 3: High Fiber Intake
The third thing you can do is add foods with a higher fiber content because this is an effective way to lower caloric intake on an Ad Libitum diet. That’s because fiber reduces hunger and causes you to stay full for longer in between meals.
For example, data shows that for every 14 grams of extra fiber you eat, Ad Libitum energy intake drops by around 10 percent.11 And 10 percent of your calorie intake saves you hundreds of calories.
The best way to make sure that you’re getting enough fiber is by eating many vegetables.
Vegetables are low in calories but highly satiating. Fruit can also be an excellent option, mostly fruits like apples, raspberries, and pears, which score high in fiber. So, feel free to include multiple servings of fruit per day.
Number 4: High Viscosity Foods
Finally, the last guideline is to do your best to choose foods with a high viscosity. As a rule of thumb, viscous or solid foods are better at satiating hunger than those with a low density.12
For example, whole oranges satiate hunger better than the same product processed into orange juice. That’s why it’s better to stick to whole foods over liquids if you’re on an Ad Libitum diet.
However, with that said, if you’re in a rush or if you’re simply feeling too tired to cook, you can throw vegetables and some fruit into a blender and still fill your stomach up quite a bit, helping you avoid making bad decisions when hungry.
Even though you won’t meet the high viscosity guideline, when you make a smoothie in a blender, you still keep the fiber, and you’re still consuming vegetables that have a very low energy density.
Remember to always use common sense; obviously, just because a cookie is more solid than a vegetable smoothie doesn’t make it a better choice. As a side note, I definitely don’t recommend juicing because you lose almost all fiber when not blending.
A Step-by-Step Action Plan
So based on what we’ve covered, I want to give you a step-by-step action plan moving forward.
#1: Limit Foods with a High Energy Density
First of all, limit foods that have a low satiety index due to their high energy density. Some of these foods can be surprising.
Nuts are a perfect example.
Even though you can portion these into a plan where you monitor your calories or portion by only allowing yourself to have a handful—if you’re on an “eat when hungry” type of diet—nuts are definitely not the best snack because they tend to have around 600 calories per 100 grams.
Research shows that they are no more satiating than baked goods with the same macronutrient content.13
We can find other great examples with grain, beans, and pulses which all tend to have a low satiety index.
They usually don’t reduce energy intake any more than white bread. While these foods may have a bit more protein and fiber than white bread, the energy density is the same, making them about as poor of choice for reducing ad libitum calorie intake as white bread.14
And of course, as mentioned before, sugar is one of the worst for helping satisfy hunger, so do your best to eliminate sugar.
#2: Choose Foods with a High Satiety Index
The second thing you’re going to want to do is to choose foods with a high satiety index due to their low energy density.
Since food volume is the primary driver of satiety, focus on higher-up foods on the list.
Try to eat at least 2 to 3 cups of fruit and vegetables per day, aiming to have a higher percentage of vegetables than fruits.
It would be even better for most people to aim to eat even more, so around 4 to 5 cups of combined fruit and vegetables per day. Doing that would reduce total calorie intake by a lot, which is often enough to promote weight loss on its own.
A study found that when overweight people eat two cups of watermelon daily, which is a highly satiating food, they generally consume fewer calories than before, causing them to lose more fat over time.
On the other hand, if they ate the same number of calories in cookies, they would end up overeating and gaining fat in this study.15
Tips for an Effective Ad Libitum Diet
On top of eating more food with a higher satiety index, there are three final things that I want you to do to make this work.
#1: Consume enough protein
First, get at least 0.73 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day. This amount helps you optimally combat dieting-induced muscle loss while also helping control hunger.
You can technically eat more protein than that amount, but that likely won’t further reduce hunger. This is due to a phenomenon called the “protein leverage theory.”
#2: Drink enough water
Second, drink half a liter of water before every meal. Studies have shown that water helps fill you up.
One study, in particular, showed that when participants drank half a liter or about 1 plastic bottle of water thirty minutes before breakfast, they ate, on average, thirteen percent fewer calories.16
In other words, downing a glass of water before meals can assist with fat loss because it’ll help you eat less.
#3: Eat Attentively
And finally, the third thing is to do your best to try not to eat your meals in front of a computer screen, television, or around another distraction.
That’s important because we consume, on average, 10 percent more calories when we’re eating while distracted.17 Not only will doing this make you enjoy the food you’re eating more, but it’ll also help benefit your waistline.
If you’re looking for a done for you program that includes a customizable diet plan as well as a full workout plan that can be done at home as well as in a gym, and comes with a trainer to help guide you through the whole process and on average is helping my clients lose 20 lbs or 5 percent of their body fat in only 6 weeks then click the link below.
1 To lose weight and eventually belly fat you must stay in a calorie deficit.
2 According to the satiety index potatoes are seven times more satiating than croissants.
3 All meals led to comparable quantities of food intake while energy intake was significantly lower after potatoes”
4 Foods that are high in sugar and the calories they provide tend to go on top of the calories that people have already taken in for the day.
5 Research shows that increasing your diet’s satiety index is a reliable way to lose fat without having to track your calories or feel starved.
6 “Intention-to-treat (ITT) and completers analyses showed that the SW group lost more weight than the SC group [ITT: -5.9% (95% CI: -4.7%, -7.2%) compared with -3.5% (-2.3%, -4.8%), P < 0.05; completers: -6.2% (-4.8%, -7.6%) compared with 3.9% (-2.5%, -5.2%), P < 0.05]. The SW group reported greater control over eating and more motivation to continue the program compared with the SC group.”
– SW refers to Slimming World, which is an ad libitum diet that allows for unrestricted amounts of low energy-density foods
– SC refers to the NHS Standard Care weight loss program.
Research shows that increasing your diet’s satiety index is a reliable way to lose fat without having to track your calories or feel starved.
7 Filling up the stomach with low energy density foods can aid fat loss in the same way as a method in which surgeons implant an inflated balloon inside the stomach, to occupy space and lead to fat loss.
8 Focusing on foods that supply the fewest calories per 100 grams and you’ll see superior fat loss results because your diet will be more satiating
9 Foods high in protein raise various satiety hormones, such as Peptide YY, cholecystokinin, and GLP-1 while at the same time lowering the hunger hormone ghrelin.
10 Consuming more protein led the participants to consume, on average, 441 fewer calories per day, which produced an average weight reduction of 11 pounds in 12 weeks.
“An increase in dietary protein from 15% to 30% of energy at a constant carbohydrate intake produces a sustained decrease in ad libitum caloric intake that may be mediated by increased central nervous system leptin sensitivity and results in significant weight loss.”
“Spontaneous energy intake decreased by 441 +/- 63 kcal/d.”
11 “When energy intake is ad libitum, mean values for published studies indicate that consumption of an additional 14 g/day fiber for >2 days is associated with a 10% decrease in energy intake and body weight loss of 1.9 kg over 3.8 months.”
12 Viscous or solid foods are generally better at satiating hunger than those with a low viscosity.
13 Nuts are no more satiating than baked goods with the same macronutrient content.
14 Grain, beans, and pulses tend to have a poor satiety index, and they often do not reduce energy intake more than white bread.
15 “Relative to cookies, watermelon elicited more (p < 0.05) robust satiety responses (lower hunger, prospective food consumption and desire to eat and greater fullness). Watermelon consumption significantly decreased body weight, body mass index (BMI), systolic blood pressure and waist-to-hip ratio (p ≤ 0.05). Cookie consumption significantly increased blood pressure and body fat (p < 0.05)”
16 “Meal energy intake was significantly less in the water preload condition as compared with the no-preload condition (500+/-32 vs 574+/-38, respectively; P=0.004), representing an approximate 13% reduction in meal energy intake”
17 We consume, on average, 10 percent more calories when we’re eating while distracted.
* A 2014 meta-analysis found that weight-loss programs including calorie counting produce, on average, 7 pounds (3.3 kg) more weight loss over one year than those that don’t.