TIP#3.1 It Has Never Been About Calories
No calorie is created equal. The term 'Calorie' in a simple way just defines the amount of energy released by different foods through digestion, and it has absolutely nothing to do with 'Nutrition'. Just so you know, Protein holds 4kcals per gram, Carbs the same and Fat holds 9kcals per gram. It's the amount of energy that food releases if your body chooses to use or store it as 'energy'. However, the energy is used in very different ways depending on what food it comes from.
The Law of Thermodynamics simply states that if you eat more energy than you burn, you store the excess as fat. Conversely, if you eat less energy than you burn, you must burn extra energy already stored in your body (Fat or Muscle). What Thermodynamics does not tell us is what kind of stored energy is burned or what extra energy taken in through food is specifically used for. These factors completely depend on our diet specifics, and our hormonal environment in our bodies. It's this factor that continually sets people on a confusing path when it comes to dieting, getting stronger or bigger, losing fat and becoming healthier.
The first problem people get to is when they are structuring their diet around their body weight. When I explain diet related topics to my clients I always use this analogy; "Think as yourself as only your lean self, without any excess fat at all, however much you hold. This is the 'you' that you are eating for, and what your diet must support, build and/or maintain." The excess skeletal fat does not need to be fed or supported in any way, it's useless and is just irrelavant to constructing your diet around what you 'weigh'. Yes, your body needs some internal fat to insulate your organs, but optimally humans do not need very much skeletal fat to be healthy - so this analogy really helps people understand what they should be eating, rather than what they currently are.
Most of the time, people eat way too little energy for what their body needs to lose fat or way too much for what is needed to get stronger or bigger and/or healthier. As a result they put on more fat than muscle, or they reach a fatloss or muscle gain limit very quickly through malnutrition. Like I mentioned in my article TIP#3 Eating Well Will Change Your Life, modern guidelines for healthy eating are completely wrong and I outline some effective changes to how you should divide your Protein, Carbs and Fats. These adjustments will change your body profoundly.
When we realise that what we are eating is not 'calories' but 'nutrients' we can finally accept what we need, and not worry about how much energy is stored in each gram of food. Protein is what will grow and/or maintain your muscles, which is your 'lean' mass on your body. So, like before, we wish only to feed our 'lean self', so of course the main bulk of our food must come from protein, about 40-50% of the total - on average. Fat is an essential nutrient as well and is the primary and most efficient source of energy in our bodies, so that is at 30-40%. Next is carbs, a predominantly useless food diet wise, as it is non-essential, but that makes up the last 10-20% of energy to help with Intense workouts and 'peace of mind'.
We have all been victims of the 'bulking' diets. Diets that demand we eat 3-4,000kcals every single day in order to build muscle and get big and strong. It's the common misconception that 'eating big will get you big'. Please understand, you cannot excellerate your muscle growth just by eating a lot - I've said before, everything you eat must have purpose, otherwise it will most likely be stored as fat, not to mention disrupt your digestion, hormones, health and general well being. Right now, I am eating 2,700kcals per day, getting bigger and leaner every week. Eat Right To Look Right!
Thanks for reading. I will try my best to write helpful info that you can implement right now and make your fitness journey much more effective.
Matt The Trainer
Personal Trainer London
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