CUTTING THROUGH tHE DIET NON-SCience
making sense of the dietary dilemma
weight in waterwater. So drop the carbs and you get what appears to be a super bobody transformation. This is a fave with most of the coaches, becausebe it keeps the client happy. Well, before the show it doedoes, after could be a problem! I mean the first two dietary theories are nutritionally flawed because they don’t pay attention to what your body is built on, nutrients… That’s why we call it nutrition! Swapping lean chicken for pizza is just fooling yourself, as is getting away with eating carbs at night if you are looking to compete in a fitness show. Sure you can still compete but you won’t be in anywhere near the condition that you could potentially be. Believe me; I have tried all of this and more. I have made the mistakes. What happens when someone can no longer sustain the low carb deal? Mega weight gain, because it’s easy come easy go. Low carb diets prime your body to store more glycogen as soon as you jump of it. This is what most athletes do before a show, they restrict carbs and then load up say 24 hours or so before in the attempt to super compensate. The body releases more glycogen synthase allowing more glycogen to be stored in the muscle. But what happens after the show, once an athlete keeps eating, and eating, more and more carbs? They explode, often gaining more fat and water than when they started the diet! You can look it as mega super compensation, because they have primed their body to suck up food like a sponge and store it as fat and water. If you have monk-like control over your urges the low carb diet may be sustainable, but most of us mortals are not blessed with super-monk powers. Hence if you can’t sustain it, you can’t maintain it. So super low carbs will generally not work for 95% of the population over the long term.
So what works?
I get asked this question all the time, especially when I post a photo of myself on Social media. I do tend to stay in pretty good condition all year round, so I guess people want to know what my secret is. I don’t have enough time to go into precise detail in this article but I will give you an overview. I will be covering my nutrition plan in full detail in my up and coming book, along with my training style, supplementation and one of the most important the winning mind set. I don’t like to call them secrets as I feel this is somewhat of a cheesy internet guru term. I like to call them “Nutrition Fundamentals’” as most of the time fitness enthusiasts look for complex solutions where the answers are sitting right in front of their nose! So here we go.
1. Stop over thinking
Dwelling on what you can’t eat as these thoughts are not real it’s just your inner critic telling you that this whole diet thing is going to be hard work. When these thoughts come into your head, recognize them and just let them go. You can’t ignore them, you have to acknowledge them and then release them. Food is your friend not your enemy, it’s good for you.
2. Stop counting!
This relates to what I have said above. It reinforces what you can’t have, for example you can only have 1800 calories per day, or 30gms of protein per meal, etc. Counting is the ultimate diet killer.
3. Think Nutrients.
Your body wants one thing and one thing alone, and that’s NOT numbers, or calories. It craves nutrients.
Supply it what it needs and it will thank and reward you for it. Make sure you have a basic understanding of protein, carbs and fats. Protein and Fats have essential elements we require on a daily basis to sustain, build and provide energy to the body. Carbs are not as important, because there is no such thing as an essential carb! You body can use fats and amino acids to create glucose for energy. Don’t fall for the old “Carbs for energy”. Because as soon as you program your subconscious mind with this nonsense you will always crave carbs, the fact is carbs or I should say over eating carbs make you more tired and drowsy. Have you ever noticed how sleepy you feel after a big bowl of pasta of high sugar food! So if carbs were all for energy, why do you feel tired?
4. Stop fooling yourself
All calories are not equal. Junk food is nutritionally barren… You can’t swap a lean healthy chicken and veg meal for pizza. That’s a BIG red flag, that’s a little like saying you can stay at home yet still receive your weekly paycheck. It’s not going to happen, not in this world. You will have to make a few changes and sacrifices to facilitate change. Nothing plus nothing equals nothing, so don’t expect results from folling yourself that ALL things are equal!
5. Don’t eat too much
Real science, yes the studies that have more than 8 participants have shown that under eating, even intermittent fasting enhances longevity (You live longer). Think of your body as a giant chemical processing plant, like a machine. The more you ram food into that machine the quicker it is going to wear out, right? Its logic, just like a car…the more you thrash it, the more kilometers on the clock the shorter its life span. The secret is to give you body what it needs but nothing over and above what it needs. How do we know exactly what quantities per meal? This is where numbers kill the situation once again. Don’t be concerned about how much per meal; just cut back your total number of meals per day. Forget the eating every 2.5 hours that is total nonsense. Believe me it is. Eating more often will actually make things a whole lot harder for you because every time you eat you spike your insulin. Hence you get hungry quicker. The idea is to stabilize your blood sugar levels and this can only be achieved by eating fewer meals per day. This may not compute for many folk, but believe me meal placement (timing) is more important than meal quantity. I will cover this in detail in my book.
6. Don’t let your weight fluctuate too much
If you are into the gym stuff and are looking to build a lean body drop all this off season, on season, lean bulk business. This alone will destroy any potential for “real progress” that you may have. High body fat levels boost estrogen and lower testosterone. Not an ideal playing field for those seeking aesthetic prowess. I am not talking about bulking up by eating junk food, I am talking about bulking up by eating too much food full stop. You can still get fat on healthy food if you eat enough of it. If you are a competitive athlete you should be staying within 3-5 kilos of your prime condition.
I hope this article has shed some light on the whole dietary non-science that is circulating. It does not have to be complicated, but at the same time you have to have a clear understanding of what foods do and the effect they have once they enter your body. It’s about nutrients, not numbers, not counting, not fooling yourself that you can get away with replacing chicken with pizza. Scientists themselves still struggle to get their heads around what really matters when it comes to diet and how it affects the human body. Why? Because they are numbers people, and for that matter very few of them actually workout yet alone eat healthy or look remotely healthy themselves.