It seems logical: eat less and exercise more and you should lose weight, right?
Although it is necessary to create a caloric deficit in order to lose weight, the above statement isn’t always true. Trust me when I say I have tried all the gimmicks, starve myself, and frantically added ridiculous amounts of cardio (while neglecting any weight training) in an effort to try to get skinny.
And it never really worked out the way I wanted.
If you are doing any of the above, are YOU getting the results you want?
I’m willing to bet not.
There is all kinds of science behind the fact that when you starve yourself, your body will hold onto the fat it does have right now. There are also hundreds of articles on that, so go ahead and Google it, because I am not a scientist.
Sometimes a crash diet will work.
But, what happens?
You gain it all back and then some, right?
Yep, been there. Done that.
So, what DOES work?
What I have learned from my own coaches in my training process as an athlete is that getting lean has to be a gradual process. That includes how you adjust what you are eating.
It’s been 18 weeks since my last bikini competition. Since then, my Coach Lauren has had me on what is called a Reverse Diet. During prep, which is the time period
leading up to a show (competition), we slowly backed off the calories (macros). My Coaches like to do a nice long prep period of 18-20 weeks so that the drop in nutritional intake is not a shock, but rather a slow process of decreasing calories. My Coaches are Registered Dieticians and use very strategic science catered to each athlete, monitoring it very closely each week.
Yes, I got very lean for my shows. It’s super fun being that lean AND it’s not sustainable. Show weight and that final physique for the stage are as lean as humanly possible on purpose. Not easy, not exactly all fun and games getting there, and not anything that one can maintain for a long period of time. Once the show is done, most athletes enjoy a day or two of celebration. And then, if that’s the last show of the season, it’s time to Reverse Diet.
A Reverse Diet is a slow and gradual increase in calories. I will admit that slowly reversing through the holidays as I did was VERY difficult. I wanted to eat ALL the goodies. The truth is that no one who has put in as much work as I did for show prep wants to turn around and get fat. If I were to go straight from a caloric deficit to “normal” eating whatever I wanted, there’s a high probability I would gain weight in all the wrong places.
So, my Coach has slowly increased my daily macros over the last 18 weeks. I am training hard to build an even better physique for my upcoming show season in the Fall of 2021. I am definitely gaining weight. But, because we have increased intake slowly and gradually, keeping it super clean 99% of the time (I have been given some “intuitive eating” days when I can eat what I want within reason.) I am gaining weight in all the right places. And, it’s lean mass, not fat. I’m still quite lean. Just not competition-ready-shredded AF.
You don’t have to be a competitive athlete to apply these concepts. Broken down simply:
- If you are trying to lose weight (which probably means you want to lose fat and maintain lean mass), then don’t suddenly start starving yourself. It’s not going to lead to sustainable fat loss. If you starve yourself suddenly, you aren’t going to get the results you want. And, you’ll likely run off the rails and binge or completely give up, go back to your old ways and gain all the weight back you lost.
- DO start tracking what you eat and drink daily. You might be surprised at what you are taking in as far as nutrition. Most of my own clients see that at their starting point, they are eating pretty high fat and carbs and not enough protein and water. If you begin tracking what you are actually eating, you will establish a starting point. Then, you can gradually create a deficit.
- I highly recommend working with a Registered Dietician or at minimum a Coach who can guide you and create accountability. Remember: change never happens overnight. Change that is sustainable takes time and consistency. All the gimmicks and no-carb diets and pills and TV advertisements are not going to give you long-term results.
Food is fuel. Once you shift your mindset from food being comfort, or the enemy, or a weapon to be used against yourself, it gets easier. You would probably be shocked to see what I eat every day. As I build muscle mass, there’s a lot of healthy food involved. That’s a whole other post!
Remember this: your body is your home. The home you live in now might be something you consider normal. If you want to build your body into a castle that is spectacular to behold, you must start using better building blocks. And you certainly can’t build a castle with a meager amount of building blocks. You’re going to need quality materials to build your body into what you desire.
You’re worth it.
If you need some guidance getting started, contact me HERE.
If you are interested in taking it next level and starting a journey towards becoming a competitive athlete, reach out to my Coaches at Bair Aesthetics HERE.