Sure, I could write this long, in-depth article about the numerous reasons why your diet may be failing you. It could be a hormonal issue or the fact that your overtraining your body (most do) or, for the most part, your just undereating. I’m going to choose the road less traveled. I’m going to present a few of the predominate issues that one faces when they are attempting to lose fat and maintain muscle mass and what the “quick” change is. Note that there is no such thing as a quick change with your diet, just a daily change.
Problem: Your eating too much protein.
Fix: Start rotating your nutrients.
I love protein powder, probably more so then others. Don’t get me wrong, I eat my chicken and beef and turkey and I feel better when I eat whole foods but when I’m dieting I just love the taste of protein powder better. Sad really but I digress. Most physique folks like us tend to over consume protein because we think we have to.
Not that it’s bad for us ( it isn’t) but you have to look at each of the three macronutrients (protein, carbs and fats) as pieces of a puzzle. Every piece might not fit in a certain spot that you want them to fit but they fit none the less. We’re so focused on the need for more protein that we can’t see the forest past the trees. Yes, we do need more protein when we diet because our need for amino acids increases but too much protein will be converted to glucose and spike blood sugar, in the same, albeit smaller, fashion as carbohydrates.
What happens when the excessive glucose starts floating around our body and can’t be stored in our muscles? We get fat especially when we consume moderate amounts of fat during a low carbohydrate diet. So you should begin to see that every macronutrient has its place in our diet.
It’s not as simple as saying “when carbs go up then protein goes down” either. We focus on eating what we have to instead of eating to fuel our efforts in the gym that day so just deciding to lower protein slightly and raise your carbs a little bit is like deciding to take your eyes off the road when driving here or there. Eventually you’ll crash.
I’ve put together a complete manual detailing, step-by-step, how you would set-up and use a calorie rotation diet to achieve your ultimate level of leanness while maintaining your muscle mass. Here’s just one of the many examples of individuals that have used my system with great success.
Problem: Your Eating Too Many Meals
Fix: Eat Less
Hold on, before you jump to the conclusions that I’ve gone loco, hear me out. The general thought process is that one should consume 6-7 small meals per day in order to lose weight. Generally speaking, this works. If you’re someone that doesn’t eat enough and/or eats the wrong foods then splitting your food intake up into 6 meals with better food choices will go a long way.
What happens if you’re someone that eats a large amount of protein or carbohydrates with your meals to maintain your muscle mass? Better yet, let’s back up slightly. Say you have a good amount of muscle mass, you would need to eat more. At 6’6 230ish I need to consume 6 meals or so a day or else I won’t be able to function. That’s just what happens when you have more muscle, you either deal with it or get small.
So is there an advantage to eating 3 small meals versus 6? Rather than repeat myself, I’ll copy a selection from a previous article that I wrote called small meals and your metabolism (check it out for a more in-depth look at this topic).
“That being said, the main positive thrown out when people suggest that you eat every two to hours is the thermic effect of food (TEF). Basically everytime you eat your body will need energy (calories) to break down the food. the TEF is dependent on the food that you eat. Protein is the highest and wiill account for about 20-25%, while carbs will be 5% an fat being around 3%.
So everytime you eat, your body responds according to your food intake. The problem start with our thinking of TEF. If we’re on a 1500 calorie diet, for example, and we eat 300 calories over 5 meals (I just threw out a random calorie number here) or eat 500 calories over the course of three meals the net TEF at the days end is going to be the same. The only difference is going to be the blood sugar spike, either we spike it 3 or 5 times.
We can either give our metabolism a small or big shot. The entire theory of multiple small meals came about years ago with the though process that since you were eating 6 small meals the chances of adding bodyfat would be lower then 3 small meals.”
Problem: Your training doesn’t support your diet.
Fix: Take an objective look at your training and make changes.
This is a nutrition article so I don’t want to get too far away from your diet but we tend to look at nutrition and training as one whole big thing as opposed to synergistic pieces. Most people, from average individual to gym rat to hardcore athlete focuses on what we do in the gym as the thing that will cause the biggest change. We do curls for big arms.
Unfortunately, that’s a completely incorrect way of viewing your training and diet. Your training supports your nutrition. Why are most people fat? It’s not because their doing low intensity cardio as some internet fitness people will have you believe. It’s because they aren’t causing their body to deplete itself of the stored calories that are making them fat.
This goes across the board for hardcore physique people and the average individuals just looking to burn some fat. Your diet could be picture perfect but if you aren’t matching your depends in the gym to your nutrition then your just repeating the cycle. It’s why high intensity exercise has become so popular lately, no one’s training hard enough.
Problem: Your forcing yourself into a box
Fix: Do it your own way.
Ok,you may be slightly confused here. This happens to everyone, even the top guys at the natural and unnatural levels will hire a adviser or coach to help them lose bodyfat. People don’t want to think and just follow templates that aren’t personalized. Heck, you can go online and find 100 diets to try tomorrow. Stick with them and you’ll get some results but they won’t help you.
Again, take me for an example. If I followed a typical low carb diet, I’d eat the same amount of carbohydrates on Monday, Wednesday and Friday (the days I lift) as I would on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday (low intensity cardio and off days). Can anyone else see the problem in that?
Maybe you’re following a dieting that’s causing you to feel great part of the time and awful for the other half. Are you going to stick with the diet just because you feel ok 3.5 days per week? Of course not, but you like the results? Don’t stay in the dieting mold, fix it, break it.
Tags: Amino Acids, Array, Blood Sugar, Carbohydrates, Carbs, Depth Article, Faces, Fat Diet, Fats, Glucose, Low Carbohydrate Diet, Macronutrient, Macronutrients Protein, Moderate Amounts, Muscle Mass, Muscles, Nutrients, Overtraining, Physique, Pieces Of A Puzzle, Protein Diet, Protein Powder, Trees, Whole Foods