It must be insanely irritating for you.
There you are, being ever so careful with everything you eat. Yet there is this region of body fat which just doesn't want to shift. It just gives you the flip every single day.
Meanwhile Miss Captain Wow over there is wolfing down 5 double decker sandwiches, multiple cocktails loaded with sugar and an entire moon.
Still looks fantastic.
S'not fair, right?
Whilst I completely understand this gnawing feeling, I want to pose this question. Are you sure you're looking at it the right way?
The reason I ask, is because I happen to sit on 'that' side of the fence myself. I can eat a moon every day and not gain weight. This gives me the insight to recognise why this is the case.
I say with a resounding No! It is nothing to do with being genetically favoured or somewhat special. It is far more to do with what I'm going to illustrate to you today. With that, opening up a better way to understand where you're unknowingly pulling yourself into the fitness abyss.
Let's call it - The Health Gauge
I know. Utterly earth shattering thinking.
So what's the deal?
To put it shortly, The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
To put that into context before expanding on that point. Just gauging something by one aspect of the entire profile which drives fat loss vs gain - In the example provided above which was food - you'd be missing the power of understanding the whole picture.
You're all unique.
Not just in genetics, which I personally feel is given waaaaaaaaaay too much emphasis/importance than it truly deserves, but also in:
- Metabolic rate
- Sleep levels
- Stress levels
- Hormonal profiles
- Nutritional profiles
- Activity levels
- Activity types
- Activity programming
- Favourite colour
- Favourite herbal tea
- Hair styles/tones
Look, you get the idea.
I have cherry picked the most influential aspects of this overall "Am I going to gain or lose body fat" profile. As you can see by the legend in the above table I threw together.
And yes, bad ass level matters. Don't even ask.
Let's mess around with the graph to broadly represent two particular types and illustrate the overall point. Look at the full 360.
I eat everything and never gain a pound.
I eat a cookie and I turn into a mound.
Both types are the same age, say mid to late 20's. Both are smart and hardworking ladies, both are the same height too, say 5'10". The only obvious difference is perhaps body fat percentage and overall composition.
Type 1 Graph typical scenario.
Disclaimer: This isn't the result of some scientific study, this is just a representation of what I typically find with this type of individual. And I have trained hundreds, if not into the thousands of different people. The purpose is to get you thinking differently.
So, what are we seeing here? In a nutshell:
Their hydration, sleep and training are pretty sweet.
Hydration? About 2 litres per day
Sleep? About 8 hours average
Training? about 2-3 times per week
Calories are sky high, perhaps into the 2,500-3,000kcals region.
The stress levels are low. Plus the levels of sitting down are crucially, also pretty low.
Sitting down? About 2-3 hours tops.
Resulting in a solid bad ass level. There's your general breakdown.
Type 2 Graph typical scenario.
Here? In a nutshell:
Hydration and sleep aren't too great. Perhaps less than a litre per day and about 5-6 hours of sleep.
training? 5-6 times per week. Astronomically high to say all you want is to maintain a good waistline.
Calories are on the modest/low side. Perhaps 1,500-1,700kcals per day? Sometimes lower.
Hours sitting down? That's where it really goes south. Perhaps 8-9 hours per day?
Stress is higher than ideal too.
All resulting in a lacklustre badassery level.
Guess which type has really good energy levels and which one doesn't?
What am I supposed to do?
You definitely need to be honest with yourself. For example.
If you're in a job which makes it extremely difficult to reduce your sitting down hours, then you need to be open to covering the damage by maximising the other, more controllable areas in life.
We can definitely smash hydration.
We can definitely improve our sleep.
We can definitely maximise our training.
Here's the doozey. But we can definitely maximise our food.
Above, you can see I have listed calories. So I haven't even dug into the complexity of variations, with respect to where you obtain your calories from.
Calories in vs calories out is fairly straight forward, however the difference between empty refined junk and nutrient dense whole foods - Even if the calories are smack bang where they should be - Will make a world of difference.
Going into the optimal nutrition is beyond the scope of today's post.
The nutrition is the hardest part.
It's tough as hell. I feel more often than not, our distinction of 'moderation' is where the proverbial crevice lies.
To me, 'moderation' seems to have become a justification to sooth our pain, in light of our more.. questionable choices. Quite frankly, most peoples definition of moderation is akin to shooting yourself in the foot.
What we call moderation in poor food choices, is actually too much.
What we call moderation in going out for many cocktails, is actually too much.
It's all tipping the scales against you.
Let's wrap it up.
To ensure clarity, this post is here to illustrate an understanding that you might just be overlooking in your pursuits. If you're banging your head against the wall wondering. 'Why. whyyy!'
It may just be, precisely this simple and logical ideology that is tugging you back. That if you train your ass off 5-6 times per week, you therefore MUST be able to "burn it off"
Alright, subject over. Anything you're not sure with, drop me a line.
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