Today I am going to the “Bad Guy.” Losing fat and improving your body composition is all about the food you consume, simple, but hard. You don’t have to like it, but it’s so important, fat-loss is all about your food. Personally, I wish I could eat as much as I wanted, but alas, no one can out work poor food choices. In a world where one donut can be 500 plus calories, the forces of “evil” are just too strong to win the war of fat by trying to out train food.
So, what’s the problem with food?
My problem and your problem is most likely about the quantity of food you eat, and sometimes about the quality of the food you eat.
How to think about QUANTITY.
I explain it this way, when you think of quantity, think of your scale weight. For example, today I was 219. Last week I was 217. This means that over the course of a week the quantity of food I ate was more then I needed to maintain my previous weight.
How to think about QUALITY
On the other hand, when you think of quality, think of lean body, aka your bodyfat percentage, we measure this with calipers. This means even though I consumed more food then I needed to maintain weight the kinds of food I ate were high in protein, had good fats, and I also consumed a lot of colorful veggies. Using me as the example, my body fat percentage stayed the same at 17%. This means I gained weight, but I didn’t gain body fat, so my body composition actually improved.
So what? Does this mean for me?
This means when I help people, lose the jiggle in their middle we are trying to figure out how to change the quantity or the quality of the food they are consuming. We do this by documenting the food they are eating. At first, I honestly don’t really care what they are eating (unless we have a small window of 6 to 8 weeks like for a wedding or a vacation), I am only really concerned with them documenting what they eat and together we sit down and create a customized nutrition PLAN, based on their goal. I also create a customized workout plan for just them, based on their assessments and goal.
Once they have a plan for the week, their homework is to go shopping and buy the items necessary to follow their plan and then prepare those meals ahead of time so they are less likely to wander off the reservation so to speak.
After week one we check the quantity of food they ate. Remember how? By getting them on a scale. If they lost weight (2-5 pounds) the quantity was likely right and we keep things as is. If they gained or maintained, we review the quantity/amount of food they ate and make small adjustments. For example I have a client who follows his Plan like a Rockstar…expect he liked to add about 10 Hershey bars with almonds to it at night. So what did we do? We knew the amount of Hershey bars he ate last week so we talked about and decided to limit it to 7 for the following week. He was successful the next week and he lost weight we then used the same tactic and limited it 4, we worked our way down.
Doesn’t sound like much huh? But 10 hershey bars is equal to 1,800 calories! By making small measurable steps we effectively eliminated 1,800 per week, over the course of a month and we only really focused on one thing. Awesome right! We also celebrated each and every success.
The second week we check the quality of good they ate. This is measured by the calipers (generally we alternate between scale/quantity and calipers/quality on a weekly basis), did their bodyfat percentage improve? If yes, awesome, stick to the plan. If not, we check the meal log. Was every meal based around protein? Was there healthy fat included? Was there at least 1 cup of colorful veggies? 99% of the time we find, “No, they did not stick to the plan.” What went wrong? How can we overcome that obstacle? How can we plan to overcome it? We then write the tactic down and go for it.
The reasoning is simple, but the execution is hard. That is why you need accountability.
In short, to lose fat and improve your body composition is it all about the food.
Now go and be awesome!