We all know that one guy, or girl, who can eat anything and everything that isn't nailed down and not get fat, sometimes not even gain weight! For me that person is my brother. He shovels down more food than I've seen anybody eat before (except for Furious Pete) and he still doesn't gain weight! I'm willing to bet that's not you, otherwise you probably wouldn't have clicked on this article. We could sit around acting jealous all day for these individuals with miraculous metabolisms, or we can do something that will get us closer to having the same lean physique that we envy!
Get on dat dere good food eh?
More and more research has been coming out in recent years showing that exercise combined with nutrition is the way to go if you want to see substantial weight loss that lasts.
Here's one study on this fact in overweight post-menopausal women.
The study I always like to refer to when educating clients on the need for combining exercise and nutrition is one that John Berardi of Precision Nutrition fame did down at the University of Texas.
The summary of the study goes like this: People following a well-designed 5 hour a week program with 3 hours of weight training and 2 hours of interval or group exercise lost 1 lb of fat and gained 2 lbs of muscle over a 12 week period compared to the control group.
What does this mean?
Exercise alone just doesn't cut it when it comes to weight loss!
Sure, you can try to lose weight by exercising on the treadmill for an hour and counting calories, but not changing what they eat otherwise. It does work... for the short term, or if you have incredible discipline.
So what's the problem?
Well for one, how often do you see someone work out for an hour, where they supposedly burn 500 calories on the treadmill only to follow it up with a trip to Starbucks to treat themselves?
It makes it very easy to fall off the wagon and revert back to old habits when following this kind of "exercise regime."
Most of us just don't have the discipline to stick to calorie counting year round and exercise makes us hungry. So we think that because we had a good workout that day, it's ok to have another cheat meal... wait how many was that this week? 4 or 5? You can be perfectly content with adherence that low if your goals are just improving health and you exercise for the cardiovascular benefits and "try to eat healthy most of the time," but most of us have body composition goals in mind too.
Compare the results of exercise alone to someone following a customized meal plan following smart science-based nutrition principles, while doing the same exercise program and you see typical results of 15 lbs of fat loss in 12 weeks while maintaining muscle mass.
Remember that you should be around 90% adherence to healthy eating principles if you are try to lose weight.
So what should you do?
Build the healthy nutrition habits into your lifestyle and you will be set for life.
Eat lean meats; lots of fruits and veggies; drink plenty of water; get in enough healthy fats from nuts, avocados, healthy oils and fish. Limit everything else. It's what nature intended, so why go against it?
When you follow the right eating principles, your body gets in the nutrients it needs and you won't feel hungry! Hunger is usually a sign that your body is craving a nutrient you are deficient in, not that you need a burger from McDonald's or another slice of pizza. Think about the last time you ate a bag of chips without blinking an eye only to realize that you were still hungry afterwards. It's because there's no nutritional value to it, so your body still sends out hunger signals when you're done eating all that crap begging you to provide it with the nutrients you need to survive!
So in summary,
- High intensity interval training or intense resistance training (compound exercises and circuits) primes your health and hormonal environment for any body composition goal you have, but exercise is only half the battle (and the smaller half at that).
- Eat healthy, nutrient rich foods to stoke your fat burning furnace and see 5 times greater weight loss results in the same amount of time!
Please remember to share this information with all your friends on their quest to look like that skinny person who eats everything and is still ripped! Also be sure to subscribe to stay up to date with the latest posts and join the Kayser Strongman facebook page by clicking the links below.
How do you fight food cravings? Leave a comment below.