Nutrition is even more important than exercise. What are you putting into your body to fuel it? Are you feeding your body with the highest quality nutrients, whole organic foods, free of unnecessary chemicals, preservatives and contaminants. The percentage of body fat each of us carries is always relative to what we eat, when we eat, how we eat, and why we eat. Food can be eaten for necessity or pleasure or both. Emotions play a very large role in food addiction, and disordered eating. Unfortunately, in addition, refined carbohydrates, denatured protein and chemically altered damaged fats from the basis of the Standard American Diet (SAD). Food must be chosen with health and performance in mind, or we will succumb to disease caused by weakness of the immune system and the slow gradual poisoning of every cell, membrane, tissue and organ. Empty calories devoid of enzymes, vitamins and minerals are deadly and can only serve to weaken the resources we need to offset the effects of living.
Intermittent fasting or as I like to call it, intermittent eating is one of the ways I like to cut down my body fat when I need to. It’s simple and relatively easy as you don’t have to worry so much on what you’re eating but when you’re eating it. The basic principle is that you eat for 8 hours of the day and fast for 16 hours, however there’s more to it than that. The first meal you eat should be at least 4 hours after you wake up, somewhere between 4-6 hours actually but 4 hours seems to be the golden number for me, especially when your next meal is 4 hours later and then 4 hours after that. It really doesn’t matter when your first meal is, if you wake up at 6 am your first meal is at 10 am and your last meal is at 6 pm, if you wake up at 10 am your first meal is at 2 pm and your last meal is at 10 pm. Yes that’s right, 10 pm, don’t worry about eating late at night, everything you’ve been taught about eating is wrong. What’s important is allowing your muscles to deplete themselves of glycogen which is stored sugar that your body uses for energy, before you restore them, if not, your body will store the excess glycogen as fat in your body which you don’t want. So breakfast is the most important meal of the day you say? Well, not really, every meal you eat is equally important, and if breakfast is the most important, then, ok, but it doesn’t have to be the moment you get out of bed, or even in the morning for that matter, the very word is break-fast, it is when you break your fast, so it is impossible to skip breakfast, whenever you first put food into your mouth whether at 6 am or at 2 pm, that is your breakfast, and you could say that is the most important meal but I believe every meal is equally as important to maintain optimal nutrition. The other key to intermittent eating is that you never eat between meals, no snacks whatsoever, not even an apple, because every time you eat your insulin spikes and blocks the growth hormone which you don’t want. Also you’re not allowing your glycogen stores to be depleted, so then any excess sugar you consume will automatically be stored as fat rather than be used for energy. So make sure your meals are adequate enough to satisfy you for 4 hours. If you find that you are still hungry only an hour after eating then that’s a sign you’re not eating properly. If you do desire having a snack that’s perfectly ok but just make sure you eat it with your meal, never in between your meals. Personally I think of intermittent eating as a guideline, so if I only manage the fasting one day with 14 or 15 hours then that’s ok and I just keep going the next day, and even with not a perfect record every day I found to be achieving great results. There are some people out there who recommend doing it once or twice a week which I think is more in line with maintaining once you’ve achieved your ideal fat percentage, however, for real results doing it everyday for 1-2 months should bring you the results that will be noticeable before you readjust. And when you do readjust I would keep these principles in mind, maybe then you only wait 2 hours in the morning before having breakfast, making sure you are getting at least 12 hours of fasting each day and limiting your snacks between meals to a couple times a week.
This diet is high in fat and very low in carbs which I’m not a fan of as we need carbs for energy, although your body will end up using fat as energy with this diet, it is a more extreme way of eating and not one that is sustainable in the long term, and for that reason it’s not for me, although it does work for some people it’s not one that I would recommend and it was also voted the worst diet in 2020. Another thing to consider if you are training hard and consistently, your energy levels will be low while on this diet making it harder to complete high intensity workouts.
Macros short for macronutrients are protein fats and carbohydrates. This is what we need to be thinking about when we eat. Forget about calories, calories themselves are not as important as what the calories are. You could have 2000 calories of healthy food or 2000 calories of unhealthy food, so start thinking in terms of what the calories are that you are eating, which is your macros. To calculate your macros, write down everything you are eating. 1 gram of protein is 4 calories, 1 gram of carbohydrates is 4 calories, and 1 gram of fat is 9 calories. Buy a scale so you can get a better idea of the proper portion sizes you should be eating.
Personally, I don’t count my calories because I’m not doing competitions, and I love to eat. So for me, I do my best guess work. I’m normally around 12-13% body fat which is in the athlete zone, however, for your abs to really show, you need to be below 10% bodyfat which is actually very difficult to do. I have been 10% bodyfat before and in order to do that I had to be very strict with my eating, and personally, I like to eat and enjoy life without having to worry about everything I’m eating. So it’s up to you how far you want to go. Starting with making sure you are getting enough and the right amount of protein every meal is a great start and the first thing you should be looking at.
Body Fat % Chart
Muscle is made of protein, and to build muscle and to avoid muscle breakdown you need protein. Protein should be the anchor of every meal you eat, and all meals should be based around it. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends that bodybuilders eat 1.2 to 1.7 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight each day. For example, a 190 pound (86kg) bodybuilder should aim for 103 to 147 grams of protein daily.
Carbohydrates are the body’s primary source of energy. After ingestion, they’re converted to glucose and used to produce ATP (adenosine tryphosphate)-a molecule that transports energy within your cells. For this reason, ATP is often referred to as “chemical currency.” Every Cell in your body needs this chemical to get the fuel needed to sustain itself.
Like carbs and protein, dietary fats provide and supply energy and support a number of biological functions. They contribute to nutrient absorption, hormone production, cell growth, temperature regulation and more. When your glycogen stores are low or depleted, your body can use fats to sustain itself. Some types of fats, such as Omega 3″s, fight inflammation and and promote cardiovascular health. Others aid in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins. These nutrients also assist in the formation of myelin, a substance that surrounds and protects your nerve cells.
Myths about diet
I get everything I need with my
Wrong. Even with the perfect diet you wouldn’t be getting everything you need because the food is grown faster than the nutrients can keep up, the soil is nutrient deficient and contaminated with pollutants and environmental contaminants. And unless you are buying organic, most of the food today is loaded with preservatives, which affect the quality of the nutrients. And hardly anyone can honestly say they eat perfectly every single meal.
I should be able to eat whatever I want as long as I workout
Wrong. You cannot out train a bad diet. Believe me, I’ve tried. You will be fighting an uphill battle. If you eat like a pig, no amount of training will fix it. Consistent training with small long lasting dietary changes is what will help you become fit. The more you exercise, the more you will be inclined to eat healthy, the two go hand in hand.
All I need to do to lose weight is cardio
Wrong. Resistance training plus cardio and a healthy balanced diet is the optimal way to lose weight. Remember, you actually want to lose fat, not just weight. By building lean muscle mass you will have a better chance of losing fat by burning calories while lifting weights and by building more muscle you build more of the mitochondria within the muscle cells which are where fats are burned for energy.
All I need to do to lose weight is to go on a diet
Wrong. Fad diets are useless and can actually do more harm than good. What you’re really doing when you go on a diet is changing what you eat temporarily and then going right back to the way you were eating before, not changing a thing. Small permanent dietary changes that you will be able to maintain as a lifestyle change will be the long term solution to weight loss but will need patience and determination to achieve it.
I should be able to lose weight
while eating out all the time
Wrong. Eating out is terrible for body composition but that doesn’t mean you can never do it. However, it should be limited if fat loss is your goal. Portion sizes are almost always oversized, with high amounts of carbs, fats and sodium. You just don’t know exactly what is in what you’re eating when you’re eating out. The safest and best way to lose weight is by always making your own food. The number one rule is to never leave home without food, otherwise you will most likely be forced to eat out.
My food should always taste good
Well yes and no. For one thing, food is for energy, not for taste, so if you are always putting taste first, you might be putting yourself at risk for weight gain. However, that doesn’t mean that your food can’t taste good, but it does mean that you should be thinking of food as an energy source rather than something to satisfy your taste buds. Your body is a million dollar machine that needs the best source of fuel to run optimally. What are you feeding your body? Are you running on highly processed, high fat, high sugar low nutrient dense foods? Or high nutrient organically grown natural foods.
Carbohydrates are bad
Wrong. Carbs are good, our bodies use them as a fuel source. Simple carbs like fruits and vegatables give us a quick energy source but also have fiber and other nutrients. And complex carbs like rice, potatoes and oats give us a longer more sustained energy source. Fast food and junk food carbs of course are the unhealhy carbohydrate sources which lack the fiber, vitamins and other nutrients so you end up getting a lot of calories without feeling full or satisfied. Know the difference.
Eating at night will make you gain weight
Wrong. I eat late at night all the time and maintain a very low body fat percentage. Your body doesn’t know what time of the day it is. Concentrate on spreading your calories throughout the day, making sure you are eating whole, natural, nutrient dense foods every time you eat.
In order to lose weight I need
to starve myself
Wrong. Starving yourself will not be a long term solution and may actually do more harm than good. Your body will automatically begin to store more fat in the beginning so you will start to wonder why it’s not working. Also, you will have to at some point resume your normal eating habits but now will have the added fat stored. Eating less is required to lose weight, but never starve yourself, a better method would be to make sure that you are getting the proper nutrition at every meal with only a slight decrease in the amount of food you are eating over a long period of time which takes patience, but becomes more of a lifestyle that is sustainable rather than a quick fix.
Eating small meals more often throughout the day will boost your metabolism
Wrong. There really is no evidence that this works. Although some people may see results from eating this way, I truly believe that each individual is different, and so will the way we eat affect us differently. Personally, I like to feel satisfied when I eat, so eating small meals doesn’t work for me. As for frequency, it depends on my goals. For maintaining, four times a day is usually what works for me, if I want to lose weight, eating three times a day works and if I want to bulk up I will eat five times a day. Remember, it’s important that the glycogen within your muscle cells becomes depleted before you eat your next meal, otherwise all the excess sugar you consume will be stored as fat rather than be used for energy, for this reason, going approximately four hours between meals is what I recommend, and that means, whatever you eat will need to sustain you for that four hours.
Brown sugar is healthier than white sugar
Wrong. Our bodies doesn’t know the difference and will process the sugar in the same way. An alternative that I like to use is raw, natural honey which I buy direct from a honey farm which has some additional nutrients. Sugar is 50% fructose and 50% glucose whereas honey is 40% Fructose and 30% glucose leaving 30% for water, pollen, and minerals including magnesium and potassium. Honey also contains trace amounts of amino acids, anti oxidants, enzymes, and vitamins. Some research indicates that dark honey has more anti oxidants than light honey.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day
Wrong. Every meal is equally as important. Eating a healthy balanced meal every time you eat is the most important thing you will ever do. No one meal is more important than the other. And to think so, devalues your intentions on how you will eat your next meal. By valuing every meal equally, you will have a much better chance of eating healthy every time.