Sunday, January 5, 2014

When you're not getting results through restrictive means

according to conventional wisdom
  • you’re still eating too much
  • you’re not eating clean enough
  • you’re not burning enough calories at exercise
then if you’ve seen too much fitspo you can start to believe a lack of results means something about who you are as a person. Because if you’re dedicated and disciplined you earn results. Therefore if you’re not getting results, it means you’re the opposite of all those things.
BULLSHIT.
In the pursuit of weight and body composition goals I have come to believe that UNDEREATING is actual far more detritmental to your progress than overeating. Obviously you need to be in a calorific deficit, less than would be required to maintain your current weight. But if you “over eat” and exceed your target calories for weight loss… well as long as you’re still below maintenance levels you havent’ really over eaten. Even if you do exceed maintenance levels TODAY but generally you hit an appropriate intake suitable to your goal weight, your progress won’t be effected.
Now if you habitually under eat, on the other hand… your body needs to compensate. It starts to think “well if I run out of fat stores, I’m fucked” and the survival mechanism prioritises the conservation of fat stores over everything else. This is why you often find that you’ve lost weight after what you thought was a “bad” week indulging yourself on holidays or whatever, when you didn’t lose any while dieting and training obsessively.
I’ve had a tremendous amount of success with people who are already very active and performing at training to quite a high level, but aren’t seeing the changes in body composition that they are looking for despite following all the conventional “eat less, cut carbs, eat clean” advice.
Simply put… if your goal is a lean, athletic body type, you need to fuel it properly. Especially with some of the taller, younger, more active women I coach… the prospect of eating “too much” to an extent that their progress would go backwards is so unlikely as to be ridiculous. Often I don’t even set a “maximum” calorie limit.
The issue is with failing to hit a MINIMUM calorie target suitable to fuel their active lifestyle and build the strong, healthy, lean and athletic body that they desire.
The greater issue is with the messages everywhere, that restricting calorie intake or restricting choices of foods is a sign of strong character and makes you a good and valuable person, and that indulging means the opposite. 
That’s bullshit.
It is ok to eat.
More than “ok”, it is entirely necessary. 
You already know this. The problem is we are bombarded with messages to the contrary. This creates cognitive dissonance especially where (as above) we have been conditioned to equate eating habits with being a good or a bad person.
Well… fuck that. 

I'm kicking off my next 12 Week Flexible Dieting For Recovery Challenge next week. You should totally get in on it.