I was thinking in the shower the other day about this. I was thinking about when I started on this fitness journey but more importantly when I learned about nutrition and how to get lean. I did not learn this stuff from a doctor in an office or a professor at college. I learned most of what I know about nutrition from the bodybuilders in the gym that were living it. The guys and girls that were getting up training clients, eating or drinking a shake on the floor, getting in their morning cardio or training sessions, going home for a a couple hours and than coming back to do it all over in the evening. They were jacked, they were lean and they knew how to eat. I learned a ton of info about nutrition from them. The main thing was to track my calories, protein, carbs and fat. I did this in a marble notebook.
Fast forward to today and we have mobile apps instead of notebooks. We have iPhone’s, iPad’s, and watches now that we can text from and go on the net. However the thing that has stayed constant from the early 90’s til now is how to lose bodyfat. The story has remained the same in one big sense and that is in order to lose bodyfat and get a leaner body you must look at calorie balance. Calorie balance is the most important factor to getting that elusive six pack that everyone wants for the summer.
In this post I want to go over some factors to look at in regards to calorie balance.
Some points to take a look at:
- Carbs are not the enemy
- Food Composition
- Organic or Not
Carbs are Not the Enemy
Everyone immediately thinks in order to lose fat all they have to do is cut carbs. I really don’t blame them for thinking this way. There is so much information out there people really don’t know what or who to believe or follow. So here is the deal with carbs. If you have a high percentage of bodyfat than limiting carbs will be a very good move for you. This however does not give you free access to as much fat and protein and to eat as much non-carb food as you like. When you have a high bodyfat it is more difficult to utilize carbohydrates as energy. The best way I was explain is having inventory on a shelf. If their is enough inventory on the shelf (bodyfat stores) and you go buy more inventory (new carbs) than you will just be putting the new inventory in the back making the inventory much bigger. You should burn up the inventory you already have first before ordering more inventory.
With that being said if you have a lower bodyfat percentage and are an active person than you do not have to give up carbs to lose fat. If you calories are in check and you are eating the proper amount of calories for you body size than you can still burn fat while maintain good quality muscle and having good energy for your workouts.
So the bottom line is if your calories are in a surplus amount it really does not matter if they are protein, carbs, fat or any of the combination of those three you will still not lose bodyfat. In order to burn bodyfat you must maintain a calorie deficit for a period of time to allow your body to use its fat stores for energy.
Food Composition Still Does Not Equal Fat Loss
Ever decade or so their is something health related or nutrition related that comes out that is THE ANSWER to the fat loss problems. First it was fat was bad. Than it was Atkins Diet was the answer. Followed by years of magical foods and plans that would change your life, burn fat and maybe save the world too. We had acai berry as the magical food which turned into avocado followed by coconut oil was the answer. It hasn’t stopped and most likely never will.
Food composition or basically the quality of the food you are eating has some great benefits and will keep your body healthy. Brown rice is most likely healthier than white rice. Sweet potatoes will have some more healthy nutrients in them than their white counterpart. And if you think couscous is the magical carb and want to eat that because it cures cancer than go for it. Just remember if your body requires x amount of calories and x amount of carbs on your plan and you go over that amount with some extra lentil bean organic paleo hummus or have an extra half cup of couscous which puts you over the calories allotted for your body to stay in a deficit, fat loss will not happen!
Organic or Not Doesn’t Matter
So nowadays the big craze is organic. Everything has to be organic and if it’s not you are going to hell! I completely understand the reason people want to go here and understand that some of the farms are doing some shady stuff out there to turn a profit but the fact of the matter when it comes to fat loss is that this is absolutely IRRELEVANT! It may ward off cancer for another decade or so. It may not make your child at age 13 look like she’s 25 and built like a victorian swimsuit model. Eating organic food may keep some of these issues in check but when it comes to fat loss the story once again remains the same. If you eat too many organic calories you will wind up organically fat and won’t lose any organic weight and get organically leaner.
So please do yourself a favor and figure out how much you weigh, how many calories your body requires and eat a little less than that. Find out how many calories your body needs and start to learn how many grams of protein, carbs and fat are in the foods that you like to eat and try and eat that specific amount of calories consistently. Or better yet find a coach that can do all this for you and with you and work with them to learn how to eat properly in order to burn some bodyfat you know you have been wanting to do for some time now.
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