NSNG is short for No Sugar, No Grains. A simple approach to eating fewer process carbs and becoming a natural fat-burner.
Eating More Fat to Get Leaner?
This is a really hard one for me to wrap my head around as it goes against everything I’ve been told, and I’m not really writing from rich experience, as “no sugar, no grains” or NSNG as the community calls itself, is all very new to me. The idea is to eat at least 50% (ideally even more) of your calories from healthy fats and the rest as non-processed carbs and protein. Overall, it's not recommended to consume any more than 30% of your diet from proteins, which is such a refreshing change for me.
3 Reasons Why I love Eating NSNG
- It’s simple and it’s not exclusive to any one nutritional camp. For example, there are two very active Facebook groups that support this philosophy, one is straight up NSNG and the other is plant-powered NSNG. Both are very inclusive and not tyrannical about their food ethics.
- I love fat. Avocados, nuts, coconut oil, peanut butter….bring it on. You can keep your carbs and protein powders as long as I can be at peace with a jar of peanut butter.
- It’s not food obsessed. I’ve noticed that people in these communities don’t worry too much about their next meal and rarely even take pictures of what they’re eating. They talk more about how long they are going in between meals, because they’re just not hungry. A refreshing change from my 6 meal o’ day bodybuilding counterculture.
Starting Out With NSNG
I’ve already started to play around with this diet to see how it makes me feel. I’m a big fan of satiety, so I’m excited to experiment with an eating regimen that doesn’t promote hunger at any point. My aim is to eat 60% fat from avocados, coconut products, nuts, seeds and some eggs. The rest will be 20% protein from fish, tofu and protein powders, and 20% carbs in the form of non-starchy veggies. I’m curious to know how this will impact my cholesterol levels, so I’ll be sure to get some blood work done when I get my physical next month.
The Science of Fat Adaption
The science behind this process is called fat-adaptation, where basically you train your body to use fat as it’s preferred source of fuel rather than sugars. Therefore, when the fat from your diet sources is depleted between meals or during workouts, the body will start using its own stored fat for energy. Sounds like a dream come true, right?
As I mentioned, I’m still very new to this process and I’m still educating myself on the health benefits and risks, so I encourage you to poke around and do your own research. Meanwhile, I’m playing with my diet by upping my fats and reducing my carbs and protein. I’ll keep you posted on how this comes along especially now that I’m easing back into endurance sports.
Here are a few resources to get you started if you’re interested in learning more.
- Here's a straightforward article to get you started.
- This is a fantastic podcast that talks all about metabolic efficiency and fat adaptation.
- More NSNG recipes than you can ever hope to get through.
Caren is a certified yoga teacher, fitness instructor and author of The Fit Habit. Here she shares simple, low carb recipes, quick home workout ideas and practical ways to foster mind + body wellness.