Diet and nutrition articles for weight loss, muscle growth, and strength! Learn how to eat right, stay healthy, build strength, lose weight, gain muscle, burn body fat, get stronger, and transform your body forever!
Starting a gluten free diet can be a bit awe-inspiring. All around the world, whole grain food is most preferred. However, some people have digestive issues like celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. So they have to avoid diets that contain gluten in rich quantities. And some people find it makes for a great weight loss diet!
But no matter your reason for starting a gluten free diet, with only a little effort and dedication, you can be well on your way to better digestive health and weight loss. All you need is a simple diet plan, like this one, to follow regularly. After which you may find a gluten-free diet is more enjoyable to you.
And in this ultimate guide for a gluten free diet, we have some great tips to help make gluten free eating easier for you!
What is Gluten?
Most people don’t really know what “gluten” is. So, first of all, let’s talk about it!
Gluten is a specific type of protein found abundantly in foods like barley, rye, oats, wheat, and spelt (remembered easily as B.R.O.W.S.).
How to know if you are Gluten Intolerant or not?
Gluten intolerance has many symptoms. But diagnosing it on your own can be quite challenging. The reason being there is a broad range of inflammatory response that is caused by gluten intolerance. And most of them are internal or very subtle. So this systematic inflammatory response can never truly be diagnosed without medical testing.
However, the first step in diagnosing gluten intolerance, or some issue related to your villi, is determining if you have any symptoms of gluten-intolerance. Then, to officially diagnose gluten intolerance, you will need to take 2 more steps:
Eliminating gluten from the diet for some time and reevaluate your symptoms
The same goes for diagnosing Celiac Disease.
What is Celiac Disease?
Celiac disease is an extreme form of Gluten Intolerance. And it is a condition that is triggered only by ingesting gluten.
When a person with Celiac Disease consumes gluten their intestines have an extreme inflammatory response, similar to other allergic reactions, and tries to fight off the unwanted proteins.
This mere consumption of gluten then causes damage to small intestines. And over time leads to loss of organ tissue and even organ failure. This internal damage also leads to the inability to absorb nutrients properly, eventually causing weakness.
Additionally, the long-standing utilization of a gluten-containing diet by people having celiac disease is susceptible to having everlasting health tribulations, such as:
Other autoimmune circumstances
Reduced bone compactness
Generally, one out of a hundred people are susceptible to having a celiac disorder.
How long do you need to be on a gluten free diet to see noticeable results?
If you notice some of the symptoms of celiac disease or gluten intolerance, you should go gluten-free for a minimum of two weeks.
However, for the complete elimination of the disorder, it is recommended to be on at it for almost three months. That is the correct time in which your villi come back to the normal state, and the small intestine restores usual health standards.
What you can’t eat on a Gluten-Free Diet
If you want to be on a gluten-free diet, then you need to know what is in everything you consume. To be gluten free, you cannot eat anything that contains barley, rye, oats, wheat, or spelt.
That means no:
*Unless they are Certified Gluten Free.
Though it may seem like there is a lot you can’t eat on a gluten free diet, there is far more you can eat. You just have to change your habits and find new things you like. That may be a gluten free version of your favorite baked good, pasta, or bread. Or it could be something new entirely!
Here are all the healthy and enjoyable things you can eat on a gluten free diet!
Meat & Fish
Fruits & Vegetables
Nuts & Seeds
Most Herbs & Spices
Beans & Legumes
So, really, all you are doing on a gluten free diet is eliminating one unnecessary food group! Which then leaves more room for all the rest!
What is Tofu? And why you need a Super Tofu Press?
Tofu is a gluten free high protein and low-fat product that is created using soy milk. It is packed in the water, much like a sponge. And to get the original flavor of tofu, you need a super tofu press to drain out the extra water.
Tofu is highly recommended for people with gluten-intolerance due to its low fat and high protein content.
Fitness Benefits of a Gluten-Free Diet
A gluten free diet can be very beneficial to anyone. Especially for those suffering from a celiac disorder.
Benefits of a Gluten Free Diet include:
Relieve digestive issues and even improve nutrient absorption
Cure constipation and diarrhea
Decrease gas and stomach bloating
The Final Word on Gluten Free Dieting
Today 1% of the general public has stomach issues, primarily associated with small intestine villi. And gluten intolerance is the main cause.
Starting a gluten free diet can help fix this issue for most people. And by doing so, you will be able to get a completely healthy intestine and stomach.
Just follow this ultimate guide for gluten free diet, and you are well on your way to a healthy body!
Choosing a Safe and Successful Weight Loss Program
Weight Gain is a major concern among many of the adults and millennials in the modern world. To remedy it, there are a lot of weight loss programs offered to help you reduce the excess weight. We often see different programs through magazines, TV, newspapers, radio, and websites that promise to help you lose weight. These programs often include a combination of a diet plan and exercise activity to help you lose weight.
Now, there are different weight loss programs available to follow that caters to certain individuals. If you are interested in losing extra weight but don’t know which weight loss program is best for you, then this post will guide you in choosing the right one.
Before beginning your weight loss journey, it is essential that you talk to your doctor. You might have a medical condition that restricts you from doing a certain exercise. Or you might not able to follow certain diet-plan due to medication. So, it is important that you consult with your doctor before beginning any new diet or exercise program.
You will also get important information regarding your optimal BMI, weight, and other health-related information from your doctor or health-care professional that will help you to choose the right weight-loss program for you.
Things to Consider in a Weightloss Program
There are a variety of factors that composite a good weight loss program. A single weight-loss plan will not be suitable for everyone as it will change upon an individual’s need. To choose a diet plan that will meet with your liking, you should consider the following things:
Cost and Time
Some weight-loss programs are much more costly than others as they demand you to buy certain exercise equipment and meals. Some weight-loss programs also include visiting clinics and support meetings. So, you need to spend your time when you follow these types of weight loss plans.
If you have time and money, then you can choose any premium weight loss program. However, if you have limited time and budget, then you should definitely try a different weight loss plan as it may interfere with your day-to-day life.
Your current health condition also affects how you choose the weight-loss program.
If you are on daily medication or have any condition that restricts you from following a certain diet, then you should choose your weight-loss program carefully. For example, some people cannot run for long or lift heavy weights because of certain cardiac or bone conditions. So, they should carefully choose their weight loss program as it may interfere with their condition.
As mentioned earlier, it is best to consult with your doctor before choosing a weight loss program.
There are different diet-plans present in different weight-loss programs. You should pick one that suits you best.
A flexible diet-plan has food items from all food groups and doesn’t restrict you from having certain food types. It is good for people who are new to weight loss programs and young people.
A balanced diet plan is like flexible dieting but puts restrictions on how much you can intake certain food items. It is a safe and healthy diet-plan and is suitable for young and older people alike.
Other plans like high-protein, low carbohydrates, low fat, and low calories include a severe restriction on certain food types. It will give you a rapid weight loss than the aforementioned types, but you should choose carefully as they do not suit everyone.
Some other factors that you should consider are the risks and the success of the different weight loss programs. Some programs will have inherent risks but may give you quick success in reducing weight. While others don’t have high risks or good success.
You should do some research behind the science and technique of each weight loss program. Then choose the one that you think is best for you.
The experts at the Mayo Clinic have created a popular weight loss program that is suitable for most people. It includes good guidelines to lose excess weight along with living a sustainable life.
You should follow this plan if you intend to live a healthy lifestyle and have a diet that sticks with you for life.
The two main parts of this program are the losing and living phase. The losing phase happens for the first two weeks where you lose up to 5 kilograms by modifying your diet. The living phase helps you to keep your optimal weight permanently. It is a lifelong approach.
The Mayo Clinic diet plan encourages you to have a good amount of healthy foods that are low on calories such as fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain meals. You also get lean protein food items like fish, unsaturated-fats, etc.
The thing to know is that this food-plan doesn’t eliminate any food items for you to have. You can eat everything but in certain portions.
Also, this plan also encourages you to do at least 30 minutes of exercise every day. You should also be active throughout your day like taking stairs instead of the lift, etc.
By following this plan, you not only get to reduce your weight, but you also reduce your chances of developing chronic health conditions; such as diabetes, heart-related problems, high cholesterol, High Blood Pressure, etc.
This plan is one of the most practical and sustainable weight-loss programs for all that you can follow all your life.
When you’re dieting, it’s always recommended to track your weight using weighing scales.
2. Intermittent Fasting
This diet-plan is now the most popular among the young generation. Intermittent fasting includes a time period throughout the day where you can eat and then fast for the rest.
There are different forms of Intermittent fasting that exist today based on the time periods and calories such as 16/8, 5:2, etc.
In the 16/8 method, you can only eat for 8 hours per day and continue fasting for the other 16 hours per day.
In the 5:2 method, you should only take around 500-600 calories for 2 days per week and continue your normal diet for the rest of the days.
By restricting the time and calories that you should intake, Intermittent fasting works well in reducing your weight. If you don’t eat too much in the rest of the time, you can see significant weight loss by following this program.
Studies show that intermittent fasting can reduce up to 8 percent of your weight in just 5-6 months. It can also reduce your belly fat, which is the most harmful fat in our body, by 4-7%.
Research into the intermittent fasting also shows that it can improve your mental health, increase your insulin sensitivity, and reduce inflammation.
Intermittent fasting is a popular weight-loss plan with a lot of health benefits. But it also has its fair share of risks. While it is generally safe for young and healthy people to follow, the same cannot be said for people with a medical condition. People with diabetes, eating disorders, low weight, and pregnant women should talk with their health care professional before following this diet.
3. Paleo Diet
Another popular weight loss program along with intermittent fasting is the paleo diet. It follows the principle of eating foods that our ancestors took before they developed agriculture to lead a healthy life.
Weight gain along with the chronic diseases that plague the modern world can be linked to modern processed foods. If you avoid these foods, then your weight automatically reduces.
In the paleo diet, you get to eat food that is rich in lean protein such as meat, nuts, and seeds; along with different fruits and vegetables. You also limit the food that is processed and rich in calories such as sugar, dairy, etc.
Now, there are different versions of the paleo diet available that includes and restricts different food categories. But overall, following the paleo diet, reduces the number of calories you intake every day.
Studies show that by following the paleo diet, one can significantly reduce their weight along with harmful belly fat. As you intake only foods that are rich in proteins, you get to reduce the risk of developing heart-related problems, high cholesterol, and diabetes.
Like Intermittent fasting, the Paleo diet has risks for some people. People who have kidney problems or other related conditions cannot intake high-amount of calories. So, they should consult with their doctor before following this diet.
It also restricts you to have whole grain and dairy that are healthy and nutritious.
4. Plant-Based Diet
In a plant-based vegetarian diet, you are restricted to have anything outside of plant-related food items.
Foods such as meat, dairy, eggs, honey, and other animal-derived products are restricted in this diet. Plant-based items such as whole grains, vegetables, and fruits are encouraged in this diet.
This diet works well in reducing weight as it contains food that is high in fiber and starch. It keeps your stomach full for a long time, thus reducing the number of calories you intake every day.
Studies too show that people who follow a vegan diet can reduce their weight significantly while also reducing their risk of having heart problems, diabetes, and other chronic conditions.
While the plant-based diet is safe for everyone, you get to lose nutrients such as Vitamin B12, D, calcium, zinc, iodine, etc that are exclusively found in animal-derived products.
5. Low Carb & Low Fat Diets
Low carb and Low fat diet-plans have been popular for decades because of the results they provide in reducing excess weight.
The Low Carbohydrate Diet focuses on intaking a high amount of proteins and fats while limiting foods that have carbs.
Studies have shown that these diet plans are good in reducing your weight; especially the harmful belly fat. They can also reduce your risk of developing heart disease, high cholesterol, high Blood Pressure, and diabetes.
While these diet plans are generally considered safe and good for everyone, they are not suited for all. While some may feel good on the low carbohydrate or low-fat diet, others may feel miserable.
You have to understand that there is no perfect weight loss plan that works for everyone. So, you should carefully consider all the factors and choose the one that suits you best. We hope you got some information on choosing a successful weight loss program to live a long healthy life.
Many people are sure that active sports and a keto diet are not compatible. They believe sports records can be set only by absorbing a lot of protein and carbohydrates. So, let’s see how a keto diet training differs from the usual training methods of others.
Technically, all types of regular physical activity can be attributed to two types:
Aerobic Exercise: Low-intensity and high-duration exercises, such as long-distance running, low-intensity aerobics, walking, and cycling.
Anaerobic Exercise: High-intensity and short-duration exercises, such as strength training, Crossfit, and short-distance races.
In a state of ketosis, our body is predisposed to an aerobic type of physical activity. Glycogen, which is stored in the muscles, can be spent in one marathon. But there are great fat reserves in the body of even a very slender person. So there will be enough ketones for a very long period of physical activity.
Keto Diet and Strength Training
First of all, let’s determine for what purpose you are using a combination of a keto diet plan for athletes and strength training.
Option A: You are already on a ketogenic diet and would like to increase muscle mass and strength. In this case, it is worth keeping a positive balance of daily calorie intake; taking into account regular training, and maintaining the perfect keto ratio of 20/75/5. Sometimes, a slight shift towards protein is precisely recommended in cases where the goal is to increase muscle mass. Read some reviews on the best keto protein powder to learn more. Also, your proportions may change slightly to 25% of calories from protein, 70% of calories from fat, and 5% of calories from carbohydrates.
Option B: While in ketosis, you are trying to reduce body weight, in particular, get rid of excess body fat. Here, of course, the calorie balance should be negative while maintaining the same classic keto ratio of 20/75/5.
However, no matter which option you choose, the pros and cons of the keto diet during strength training remain the same and comply with the following parameters:
Training frequency: No more than 2-3 times per week. After several weeks from the beginning of strength training, it is advisable to break the trainable muscle groups by days – training each muscle group once a week.
Selection of Exercises: Without a doubt, preference should be given to compound exercises. Ideally, these should be free-weight exercises. But if you replace them with exercise machines due to poor technique or old injuries, this would be a worthy alternative.
Repetition Mode: It is optimal to adhere to a range of 5-8 repetitions in working sets. You should select your working weight within two sets into the exercise.
Training Duration: Workouts should not exceed one hour, provided that you exercise at a calm pace. Thus, you will get 5-6 exercises for 3-4 sets.
Understand that the main task of this type of load on the musculoskeletal system is to stimulate the production of hormones – testosterone and growth hormone. This production begins after the training is complete, and the rest and recovery phase begins. That is why strength training should not be frequent.
Intermittent fasting, with the right approach, in combination with a keto diet, will help in the production of growth hormone.
Our advice is to treat regular strength training as a daily routine. This is precisely the place it should occupy in your life. And most importantly, remember: the main influence on metabolic processes is not in what to eat before your workout on a keto diet, but after – in the recovery period. And special attention must be given to the quality of recovery. First of all, use stress-reduction techniques and take care of healthy sleep.
Do you practice keto diet and strength training? Do not hesitate to share your thoughts in the comment section!
About the Author: My name is Adam Reeve and I have been a professional personal trainer and fitness instructor for over 10 years. Also, I’m a life coach, wellness writer, and low carb diets, enthusiast.
People have been flocking to the Keto Diet in recent years because of its reputation for enhanced weight loss. And a survey of dieticians in the United States in 2020 showed that the Low-Carb Ketogenic Diet will continue to be the most popular fat loss diet this year. But there are tons of other health benefits of Keto apart from total weight loss.
You might already know that ketogenic diets were actually developed to reduce symptoms in epilepsy patients. Or that Keto can help to boost your immune system function. However, there are lots of other unexpected health benefits that are contributing to the Keto diet reigning supreme.
So, here are seven other unexpected health benefits of the Keto diet…
1 – Lowered Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
On a ketogenic diet, carbohydrates are cut to just 5% of your daily food intake. High-fat and low-carb intake is part of the keto basics. Your body usually breaks down carbs to produce glycogen which fuels your body. On Keto, the high fat intake and reduced carb intake trains your body to start burning fat into chemical compounds called ketones for energy instead.
Type 2 diabetes usually develops as a response to overconsuming sugary and starchy foods. Eating too much of these foods causes your pancreas to make high levels of insulin in an attempt to regulate blood sugar levels. When your insulin levels are consistent that high, your body becomes resistant to insulin which is a key marker of Type 2 diabetes.
But on the Keto diet, your body is not relying on carbs and sugar for energy. The drop glucose helps to regulate blood sugar levels, and therefore lower insulin levels. Doctors often recommend lower carbohydrate intake for patients with Type 2 diabetes, and studies have shown that the Keto diet helps to improve weight loss and reduce insulin levels.
2 – Alleviation of Depression & Anxiety Symptoms
Depression and anxiety are closely linked to the brain. And early research has begun to establish a link between ketogenic diets and the alleviation of typical symptoms of these common conditions.
A study conducted on rats showed promising results. Low physical activity is a common symptom of depression in people. In this study, one group of rats were put on a ketogenic diet. Those rats showed similar results to other groups of rats that had been treated with antidepressants. The scientists concluded that the Keto group were less likely to show “behavioral despair.”
In another study, one group of pregnant mice were fed ketogenic diets while another group was fed a standard diet. The mice born to the Keto group were more active physically than their standard diet counterparts.
The exact link between Keto and depression and anxiety has not been established. But anecdotal feedback among people who suffer from depression and anxiety has been very positive so far.
3 – Improved Sleep Quality
In the short term, Keto can actually have a negative impact on your sleep. This is most likely due to lower levels of serotonin and melanin. But these symptoms are short-lived. And research suggests that in the long term Keto can lead to better quality, deeper sleep.
Once you transition into ketosis (when your body is primarily burning fat into ketones for energy), your body settles down into better sleep patterns. Not only does Keto result in a deeper sleep and increased time in the all-important REM cycle, but a study by the International League Against Epilepsy found that people on Keto diets also needed less sleep time.
Fatty liver is a chronic condition that can lead to very serious health implications including cirrhosis of the liver, cancer, Type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. It’s also a condition that affects around 25% of adults in the Western world.
Two significant research studies have shown that low-carb diets, such as the Keto Diet, can quickly and dramatically reduce liver fat and the risk of these conditions. The first was a small study but produced highly compelling results. Participants experienced a massive loss of liver fat when following a low carbohydrate diet.
In another study, patients following a ketogenic diet showed significant improvement in the risk for non-alcoholic liver disease (NAFLD), liver scarring, and a 60% reduction in liver fat.
5 – Increased Brain Function
In the early twentieth century, ketogenic diets were developed to help relieve symptoms in epilepsy patients with groundbreaking results. More recently, studies suggest a link between the Keto diet and reduced risk for other neurodegenerative conditions such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease amongst others.
Some followers of Keto experience alleviation of chronic ailments like headaches and sleep disorders. It also has the potential to decrease the risk of certain brain cancers.
The science behind Keto and improved brain function is complex and not conclusively established. But scientist’s early research suggests the production of certain chemicals and ketones interact differently with the brain as a more efficient energy source.
6 – Healthier Cardiovascular System
Following the Keto diet has also been shown to improve cardiovascular health and may help prevent heart disease. However, this health benefit is closely linked to the nutrition sources used by Keto diet followers. It’s vital that your high fat intake is achieved from healthy sources and the “right” type of fat.
For example, a study in 2010 found that, between two low-carb diet groups, those that sourced their fats from vegetables and rich Omega-3 fatty acid foods decreased the risk of heart disease by 23% more than those who sourced fats mostly from meats.
To derive cardiovascular health benefits from Keto, it’s essential to source fats from unprocessed options like avocado, salmon, and nuts.
Much of the evidence that says ketogenic diets improve acne is largely anecdotal. However, when you examine what we know about how acne flare-ups are triggered, combined with conclusive biological changes due to ketogenic diets, the effect of Keto on acne makes sense.
Acne is caused by a build-up of excess oil on the skin through sebaceous glands. This causes blockages in the pores which result in acne breakouts.
In one small study, it was found that diets low on the glycemic index reduced insulin levels and androgens (male hormones) which contributed to a reduction in acne. Keto is also proven to reduce inflammation in the body. And since inflammation can drive acne flare-ups, it’s logical that this may be a contributing factor in how ketogenic diets alleviate acne symptoms.
It’s pretty clear that the benefits of ketogenic diets go far beyond weight loss. So, if you’ve been thinking of trying Keto to eat clean and improve your general health and wellness, give it a try!
Keto Diet Starter Guide
Get started on your Ketogenic Journey today with this awesome infographic fromTotalShape.com.
If you workout, then we know you want to get SHREDDED; aka Lean, Cut, Aesthetic, Defined and Muscular. I mean, who doesn’t want to have 6-pack abs to show off? The thing is, as with everything in life, there is a right way and a wrong way to do it. This article will go over the best way of how to get lean while maintaining your hard-earned muscle mass. So, then you can look like Bruce Lee, Arnold Schwarzenegger, or the new Bodybuilding Mr. Olympia sooner than you think!
First, this article is a continuation of our previous article, JACKED – How to get Big and Strong. In that article, we discuss your basal metabolic rate, activities for muscular growth and nutritional concepts to manipulate your weight. If you have not done so already, I recommend you go back to that article first to get a base for what we discuss here. Then you will have a basic understanding of how to get bigger and build muscle mass, properly.
This article will teach you how to maintain your muscle mass while losing body fat. So then you will look lean and shredded like a pro bodybuilder!
What does it mean to be SHREDDED?
So what do we mean by getting SHREDDED?
What most people want to do when losing weight or getting leaner is lose body fat while maintaining, or even increasing, muscle mass. This helps to give an aesthetic look that shows off the muscle you have already built. But, oftentimes people have a non-optimal way they go about losing body fat that also decreases their muscle mass.
So, before getting into the details of how to get lean, let’s review a little…
“To lose weight you simply must eat fewer calories than you use.”
First, to lose weight you simply must eat fewer calories than you expend through your basal metabolic rate and daily activity, or exercise.
Your basal metabolic rate is the number of calories you expend without activity, or at rest. This rate can be raised by increasing your muscle mass; as muscle is calorie expensive tissue compared to body fat. That means your body has to work to maintain your muscle mass where fat tissue just sits around. This puts stress on your body to keep your muscles working.
So, if you want to increase or maintain muscle mass while losing weight, you must give it a reason to stay. You can do this by placing stress on the muscles, forcing them to be maintained.
Then, if you want to gain weight, you just have to eat more calories than you use daily. However, if you don’t stimulate muscle growth, then the extra calories will be stored as body fat.
This is the basis for using muscle mass to your advantage when manipulating your body weight.
Designed for Survival
Our bodies are designed very efficiently and only have one goal in mind…survival. So, our body systems work in unison for us to be able to survive out in the wild on our own.
With this in mind, we were not designed to have a plentiful supply of food throughout the day. We can see this through our ability to absorb almost all of the nutrients we consume and our capacity to store body fat.
Our bodies were designed to be ready for fasting, or starved states. So everything we consume is absorbed and what we do not use is stored.
Body Fat Is Necessary
Knowing this, we can see that storing excess calories as body fat is a necessary adaptation for survival. However, that does not always fit into the current aesthetic goals of most people today.
Many people of today want to lose body fat but maintain muscle so that they can look good, or SHREDDED. The problem is our body does not care how we look. It just wants to survive. And, unless properly stimulated, body fat is more valuable to survival than muscle.
This is because muscle is energy costing and vascular, or has blood vessels. These characteristics of muscle make it difficult to maintain compared to body fat; which is stored energy that can be used for survival when needed.
This poses a problem for those trying to maintain their muscle while losing weight. But there is a solution…exercise!
How To Lose Weight
Overall, losing bodyweight is an easy concept to understand. It is just the opposite of gaining size. You just have to eat fewer calories than you expend daily.
This is easier said than done because many people do not like to feel hungry.
Still, what do people do to lose weight? They eat less and start to exercise more by doing a ton of “cardio”. This can work, but it is not the best way for your health or long term success.
If you exercise more, you must eat more, or be in caloric balance, to adapt to the new workload. Otherwise, you will not have enough energy to workout as hard as you should. Then you will lose muscle mass due to lack of nutrients.
Also, “cardio” is not the best way to lose weight.
Doing cardio is great for burning calories but it does not have long-lasting effects extending beyond 24-48 hours after training.
Think of this…cardio burns calories today, muscle burns calories forever. What that means is that when you do cardio you burn calories during and shortly after. However, the effects will wear off within 24-48 hours, depending on the intensity. Then you will have to do another session to get the same results.
When building muscle, though, the new muscle burns calories during your training session and every day thereafter as long as you maintain it.
Of course, resistance training and cardiovascular training should be used together to present the greatest results.
Just remember that whatever you do, it must be intense.
Resistance training must be intense enough to stimulate the muscle to grow or maintain itself. And your cardio should be done as high-intensity intervals. That form of cardio helps to maintain muscle mass while burning the most fat.
Overall, it is better to use muscle stimulating training that will cause growth in combination with some intense cardio training, such as sprint intervals, to obtain the greatest overall calorie deficit.
Training vs. Dieting
“Weight loss is NOT 10% training and 90% diet!”
How many times have you heard people say something like, “Weight loss is 10% training and 90% diet.”?
I’m here to tell you that is not true. Not even close! How can it be? Diet has limits much smaller than that of exercise. Plus, you do not get the same adaptations through diet as you do for exercise.
Diet affects your energy balance, but exercise affects everything.
Exercise influences your energy balance, muscular growth, hormonal changes, cardiovascular system, digestive system, central nervous system and so much more!
Still, don’t believe it?
Let’s think of it like this…an elite athlete is going to look like an elite athlete even on a poor diet. However, a sedentary person will not get a 6-pack no matter their diet.
“When it comes down to it, exercise is what makes people look lean and SHREDDED.”
Sedentary individuals can be lean but they cannot have a strong muscular look without some form of exercise to create muscular growth. This is because diet does not influence your body as much as exercise and activity do.
Yet, it almost doesn’t matter what an endurance athlete eats because their energy expenditure is so high that even if they only eat what we consider to be “unhealthy”, they will still have low body fat. Assuming that their caloric intake to energy expenditure is balanced.
However, a sedentary individual that is in caloric and energy balance, meaning they eat the same amount of calories they expend through their basal metabolic rate and any activity, will be much more likely to lose muscle and gain body fat even on a healthy diet.
Diet only plays a role in energy balance and performance but has minimal influence on your ability to lose body fat alone.
Exercise, however, plays a major role in stimulating muscle and reducing body fat. So, when it comes down to it, exercise is what makes people look lean and SHREDDED.
Stimulate Your Muscles
Again, losing weight is as simple as eating fewer calories than you use to survive on or use for activity. This is true, but when losing overall weight on a caloric deficit you will likely lose muscle faster than you lose fat unless you give it proper stimulus.
If you stimulate your muscles for growth or at least put enough stress on them to be maintained, then you will lose less muscle and more body fat.
Again, your body just wants to survive. So if you put stress on your muscles to where they need to adapt by growing you will maintain your muscle mass while using your body fat to balance your caloric deficit.
This is beneficial in two ways: by allowing you to maintain your muscle mass and burning more body fat than you would have without the exercise.
Now in order for this to work the best, and allow for the least muscle loss, you must make only small, incremental changes over a long period of time.
After you have built yourself up enough by eating enough to maintain your current activity load, then you can start cutting back calories to lose body fat.
You should start by being in a 200-500 calorie deficit while training in order to start losing weight. Then, only drop another 200-500 calories after it has stopped working. I recommend you start with 200 calorie change, then adjust as needed.
Whatever you choose, the exercise MUST be intense. Without enough intensity and volume, as discussed in the previous article, your muscle will not have enough of a reason to be maintained.
Also, you must continuously increase your total workload, so your body to be forced into muscular adaptation or maintenance.
With a caloric deficit and intense training, you can force your body to survive in a low body fat state, making you look lean and SHREDDED!
Eat More and Exercise More
“Eat more, exercise more, and then start to drop weight.”
For most people trying to lose weight, it is best to simply start increasing their workload through exercise. Start small and progressively increase over time for the best results.
As you increase your activity, you should actually eat more before trying to lose weight. This allows your body to adapt to the stresses of exercise while increasing your basal metabolic rate, before decreasing body fat. Basically, you need more calories to meet the energy needs of your new activity level.
Then, by eating more you will increase your muscle mass and basal metabolic rate so you can eat more calories than before. This allows you to have more room for free eating, or cheat meals. Then you can stay satisfied with little effect on your total caloric balance.
Which would you rather be?
This can be best viewed by thinking of two situations.
Situation #1: An individual trying to lose weight eats 2,000 calories daily on average. Then they cut out 500 calories per day to be in a deficit. After they plateau, they then cut out another 500 calories to lose more weight. They are now down to 1,000 calories per day which greatly limits the amount of food they can have to reach their nutrient needs and poses health risks.
Situation #2: An individual exercises and eats more calories until they reach a 3,000 calorie daily balance. They then have a much greater amount of calories they can cut down on to lose weight while still getting in enough food to be satisfied and healthy. Not to mention, they also gained more size and strength in the process. So, when they cut back calories they have more room for adjustments. Plus more drops they can do. And that is how the IFBB pro Bodybuilders do it, so it obviously works!
So the best approach is, eat more and exercise more, first. Then you can start to decrease your caloric intake by 200-500 calories while maintaining the same workload.
This allows you to eat more than you would have previously so that you can feel more satiated, while still allowing you to lose weight.
Eat more, exercise more, and then start to drop weight.
Final Notes on How To Get Lean
So, the next time you start on your goal to look lean and SHREDDED or hear of someone trying to lose bodyweight, you have an idea of what it takes.
I recommend anyone trying to get leaner does so with a partner. You can make each other accountable and help each other during the times when it gets hard. Just remember, consistency is the key.
Exercise intensely while consuming appropriate amounts of calories before starting to slowly decrease calories over time. As you reach your goals, keep training hard but then you may begin to eat more so that you are in caloric balance with your activity level, or excess to build muscle.
I wish you the best of luck and remember to keep getting stronger!