I feel like I shouldn’t have to say this. However, I have dealt with clients who workout 8 times a week and can’t figure out what the missing component is. Somehow they aren’t considering it might be the screwdrivers and mimosas they were drinking all weekend. Or maybe the religious taco Tuesday they can’t miss or the foamy macchiato whatever they’re drinking in the morning.
I’m not trying to be judgmental about any of those things because all of those sound delicious and exciting to me. However, if you’re looking for the body of your dreams, you must look first at what’s going in. We all know about the bad things like doughnuts and ice cream which are great, just be prepared to deal with reversing the likely calorie surplus they add with much more diet and exercise.
If you’re trying to lose weight you almost always need to be at a deficit, lower-calorie count, than your base metabolic rate. For more info on how to get this all set up, check out “The Basics for Dropping lbs. It’s so easy to calculate you don’t need a trainer or dietician, just a calculator.
If you look at how many calories are burned throughout a standard day of working out. Where do most of them get used? It’s not during your workout. It’s the rest of the day. Now working out will create a greater calorie expenditure, create more muscle mass which will compete for calories over fat, and overall increase your metabolism. If you’re not focused on the nutrition aspect and what goes into your body for the rest of the day you will not see the results you want, period.
There are exceptions to every rule so don’t base any counter-argument to this on your friend who is at 9% body fat and crushes pizza and beer every time you see them. These people just happen to have optimal genetics for this body type. If you don’t believe me, look at professional MMA fighters Daniel Cormier, Roy Nelson, and Mark Hunt. These are all spectacular fighters, performers, and most importantly athletes. These guys can go for rounds and carry a bit of extra fluff.
I guarantee this is no fault of their training regime. The problem lies in their eating habits. Step one for cleaning up your diet if that is the issue. Start by creating a food log. 3 days is good, a week is better. For this week, if you want, you can even just eat what’s regular for you. Just make sure that you are recording everything you ingest. This includes beverages.
First thing is to cut out the sugar. The only sugar I would accept for a successful diet would be from fruit, and I would keep those reserved for only right after the post-workout (within 30 minutes) or first thing in the morning. If you’re on a low-carb high-fat diet, plan on losing the fruit and sugar. People have been under the impression for a long time that we are dependent on fruit as a species.
Not the case, but I digress. Once you’ve lost the sugar, check to see if you are way overeating for certain meals and keep checking to make sure there aren’t any hidden sugars there. I even do my best to stay away from artificial sweeteners. This is my personal preference because I get heartburn easily. Also, these don’t digest well and if you have too much they are often left sitting in your gut fermenting instead of digesting. Side note, if you’re really bloated and don’t know why to check out your artificial sweetener intake.
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It is smart to invest in a food scale. Nice electronic ones are around $10.00 and last a long time. You may be eating way too much and don’t know it so I would suggest getting in the habit of measuring your portions when you eat. This will allow you to understand how much to eat in a sitting, and might even give you more self-control at restaurants. Focus on increasing your vegetable intake.
For high-fat diets make sure most fat sources are coming from things like egg yolks, omega 3,6,9 commonly found in fish oil, coconut oil, olive oil, avocados, and red meats. Stay away from mayonnaise, canola oil, vegetable oil, peanut oil, and lard. If you’re going the carbohydrate route, keep your fruits minimal in the parts of the day previously mentioned.
Look for carb sources like oats, brown rice, quinoa, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and save white rice for your 30 min post-workout. I always stay away from bread, doughs, high sugar, and pasta. Not my cup of tea but if you find alternatives that work for you that’s excellent. Nutrition facts are key, once you look at the values check the ingredients and always monitor what you feed the machine.