Train. Diet. Train. Diet. Train….DIET!
As competitive athletes, most of us understand the true meaning behind a strategically structured training regimen and how this regimen becomes increasingly difficulty and strenuous the closer you get to “game day.”
Bodybuilders, tri-athletes, team sports, you name it. Success only comes when training and dieting have been perfectly aligned and finely tuned like the woodwinds, brass and strings of a classic, romantic orchestra. But for the average, everyday “gym rat,” or the guy working 9-5 trying to keep his waist down, often times the misconception of merely “working out” can lead one to believe this is enough. Sure, in the beginning changes might be evident, and for some, downright mesmerizing and astounding, to the point where those midnight indulgences of Nestle drumsticks, or Sara Lee cheesecake, might take over.
“I’ll just workout harder tomorrow,” tends to be the general response to such gluttonous demonstration of “feed the belly, not the mind.”
But let’s face it, we’re not all ectomorphs (difficulty gaining weight/easily losing weight) when it comes to overeating. Contrarily however, not everyone is an endomorph either (difficulty losing weight/easily gaining weight). If the world were perfect, tomorrow morning you and I would wake up as mesomorphs (just about the most awesome physical body type God ever made). These guys are perfectly symmetrical, maintain lean amounts of muscle all year round, and have no clue what cardio is. Did I mention when they gain weight it’s usually muscle? The audacity! But have no fear, SUPERMANIMAL is here!
The difference between you and the guy who walks around at 8% body fat all year long, like he’s ready to star in the next action movie is simple. He understands his body, what it can be tormented with, and its limitations. Many of us fear food, and while for some, this isn’t necessarily a horrendous idea (I keed I keed), the fact is, you can’t burn fat without fuel. Your body is a furnace and if you refrain from adding wood to the fire, you’re left with an empty flame. No flame=No fat burning.
The difference between you and the guy who walks around at 8% body fat is he understands his body.
Enter KETOGENIC DIETING, or simply put, KETOSIS. As I mentioned earlier, finding out what your body can positively react to is always going to be key to understanding its ability to burn fat and build muscle, and while adding muscle will require more calories in the forms of protein and even complex carbohydrates, burning fat is a slightly different obstacle. Our bodies understand how to generate ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) from glucose, which is supplied to the body whenever we ingest carbohydrates. The body is able to “metabolize” these carbohydrates into glucose (sugar) which is essentially transformed into energy. Think of this in the same way photosynthesis works in plants through absorption of sun light.
The problem for some is that dieting over long periods of time can cause hormonal changes in the body which change how it burns fat. Our physiological regulatory system reaches a point where it may never actually burn through stored fat, believing it’s reaching a starvation front and therefore stores these carbohydrates, but before converting them INTO FAT! Storing fat = you get fat!
In ketosis, the body is trained to RECEIVE ITS ENERGY DIRECTLY FROM FAT. The process is pure biological genius. As we increase our intake of healthy fats (avocados, nuts, omegas, salmon, flaxseed, olive oil, etc) and concurrently decrease our carbohydrate intake, the body begins to understand fat intake as its primary energy source, causing it then metabolize stored fat for future energy!!!! In essence, we’re tricking our body into treating fat as energy.
“Finding out what your body can positively react to is always going to be key to understanding its ability to burn fat and build muscle.
I typically like to use a 60/30/10 split, where 60% of my food comes from protein, 30% from fats, and 10% from carbohydrates.
Now here is the key: HEALTHY FATS ONLY. If you start chomping on cheeses and chips and sauces you can start looking for bigger jeans. On the plus side, give yourself a “carb refeed day” once a week, but limit yourself to roughly 1 gram/pound of bodyweight. And lastly, drink WATER! WATER! WATER! Aim for at least a gallon per day! Here’s a sample of my meals below! Enjoy!
10 egg whites/2 tablespoons flax seed/ 1 cup coffee
Snack 1 (usually post workout: I prefer whole food after my workouts)
4-6 ounces of lean beef
50 grams sweet potato
10 oz chicken
100 grams avocado
2 scoops whey protein
1 tablespoon shredded coconut
8 oz salmon
2 cups of salad
1 tablespoon olive oil/lemon juice/vinegar (this is my salad dressing)
1/2 cup non fat greek yogurt
2 table spoons flax seed
Handful of almonds