For decades, scientists, dietitians, and even fitness professionals have been selling the “calories in < calories out = weight loss” bit. Now, for the most part, this is true. Taking in fewer calories than you expend will result in weight loss for the average person who is either below or just making the daily requirement of exercise and physical activity.
However, this method only works for so long. Besides, you’re not the average person, are you? If you’re reading this post, chances are you dedicate a solid 3-6 days per week busting your hump in the gym, but you may not be seeing the results you anticipate. This can be extremely frustrating, and were it not for the “high” of physical activity and exercise, you would probably just give up.
So, why are you not getting the results you want? If you’ve been following this blog and read the earlier posts on proper resistance and interval training, then you should know how important these aspects are to your physique. You may also know that nutrition is important to achieving this goal, but I doubt you know it’s responsible for nearly 50-70% of our results. Here are my top 5 reasons why you are not seeing the results you want, solely from a nutrition standpoint:
Reason #1: You Aren’t Eating Enough
WHAT!??!? Yeah, you’re probably not eating enough. The whole “calories in < calories out = weight loss” may work for the average person, but if you are training intensely for 4-6 days per week, chances are you aren’t fueling your body properly. It’s not so much the quantity as it is the quality of food. Eat good food and eat it often! Not eating enough to match your metabolism puts your body in a catabolic state which wastes away healthy muscle tissue. When we lose muscle, our metabolism slows. When our metabolism slows, we put on fat.
Reason #2: You’re Eating the Wrong Things
High protein, Moderate Fat, Low Carb is the way to go, for most people. Things may need tweaking at first to find the right combination of foods, but generally, physically active people need more protein and fat and not nearly as many carbs as your 10K buddies lead you on to believing.
Reason #3: You’re Not Getting Enough Protein
Protein is probably the most important nutrient for our body physically besides water. It repairs tissues, builds hormones, stimulates bone growth, and elevates our metabolism. Protein is far more difficult for our bodies to break down versus carbohydrates, with fats being the easiest to break down (aside from our nutrient rich fats from fish, nuts, seeds, and oils). It also fills us better, which leads to eating less during the day.
Reason #4: Seriously, bro, eat the protein…
Can’t stress it enough; No protein = No lean muscle tissue = Slow metabolism = lots of fat. Aim for around 1g of protein per pound of bodyweight daily. So, if you weigh 125lbs, you’d want to get 125g of protein daily, mainly from animal sources.
Reason #5: You’re Going Low-Fat or Taking Out the Wrong Fats
Also, take half of that protein intake and you’ll have your recommended dietary fat consumption for each day; 125/2 = 62g of fat. I know that sounds like a lot, but these fats are a necessity for building hormones, fueling the body, and optimizing your metabolic health. Get these fats from fish, grass-fed beef, nuts, seeds, and certain oils.
The reason the mainstream media has given us the calorie myth is not to trick us to make us all fatter. For the most part, it’s true. Counting calories will allow a person not to eat nearly as much, until they lose all control and screw their “diet”. Eating high protein, moderate fat diets will allow you to satiate your hunger and allow you to eat less. The average person on a high protein diet eats up to 50 calories less per day. That’s 350 calories per week. That’s 18k calories per year. That’s 5lbs of fat that could be kept off your body every year just with the calorie reduction alone!
Extra: For a quick way to calculate your calorie aim for losing weight, try my calorie calculator http://wp.me/p49Iw6-1X . It’s not perfect by any means, nor should it be used for those who are extremely active on a regular basis, but it does offer an idea of how many calories to take in.
1g Protein = 4 calories
1g Carbohydrates = 4 calories
1g Fat = 9 calories