Don’t you wish you knew the mechanics of a car and how it ran, or how the A/C or plumbing in your house operated? If you did, you wouldn’t need to call anyone to fix these things; once they broke, you’d fix it yourself. However if you knew the fundamentals or the basics of these things in the event you needed to call someone out for repair, you could immediately tell if they were shooting you straight or if they were trying to take advantage of the situation and prey on your naivety.
Well when it comes to health and fitness, most of my clients are dedicated to paying closer attention to what’s going into their bodies and making that lifestyle change and that’s what I’m there for. My clients also know that this is a gradual process and doesn’t happen overnight. Look at it like a college course – you don’t get a Bachelor’s degree of knowledge in four days – it usually takes four years; same principle. Good things take time. If you want faster results, sure, there are crash courses. In this case, you work harder or tweak your diet and exercise a bit more.
How do we start? You start by counting calories. Calories are basically energy. It’s defined as how much energy it takes to raise the temperature of one kilogram of water by one degree Celsius. Sounds like complicated science and it can be, but let’s take the simpler approach and just look at how we consume calories – by eating. Most people think that they build muscle when they are in the gym working out. Although there may be some truth in that, working out (weight training, NOT cardio), tears down the muscle tissue, which is more of a catabolic state (muscle destroying), and you are in the building process (anabolic) when resting in conjunction with proper dieting. Most people are under the assumption that they need to eat and eat and eat when working out, in order to build. Not so. Your body has this amazing way of letting you know when it’s time to eat -you get hungry. Now it’s up to you to feed your muscles the right quality of foods AND in the right quantity.
Every other gym goer I see has either a protein bar or shake that they are eating/drinking almost around the clock. I guess they aren’t aware that protein account for calories just like fat and carbs. There are 3,500 calories in a pound of fat regardless of the source. If you are eating the right quality of foods and the right quantity, then you shouldn’t see too much fat in any particular area. Excess fat in any one area (unless you have a medical condition) is a clear indication you are eating too much or not exercising enough, or both. Your body has an amazing way of telling you these things if you’d listen to it.
The idea of eating several meals a day (healthy ones) is a good one because it keeps a slow induction of nutrients flowing through the body which keeps the metabolism revved up, as does exercise. When the food intake slows down, so does the metabolic productivity. Now when I say to eat six meals per day, I don’t mean six huge meals. It simply means, take your three normal (healthy: breakfast, lunch and dinner) meals and cut them in half. Not literally, just as far as portions go or by counting the calories in them. Roughly 500 calories per meal should give you a good amount by the end of the day, or you can do 800 per the three meals, and around 400 for snacks; however you want to do it. Just stay consistent.