Teresa's Split Jerk
Changing Weight 1.0
(The Simplified Version)
by Christian Fox
Many people start fitness routines like CrossFit because they just plain want to look better naked, this does not escape me. With my being a fitness coach you may be surprised, however, that I see nothing wrong with it. Vanity, if it gets you moving and eating well, is a fine motivator in my book. It does however, frequently shock me when clients kick ass on the training floor only to have their progress toward said goals negated by crappy nutrition. I know, I know, it’s hard work…but it sure isn’t rocket surgery or brain science (haha). Some of the rules depend on where you are with your diet but here are two simple guidelines to help.
1. Focus first on food quality. What does this mean? A healthy diet should be based around a few components: quality animal protein, healthy fats, vegetables, and fruits.
A. Quality animal protein – This means “the good stuff” - grass-fed meat, pastured chicken and eggs, wild game, and fresh fish from uncontaminated waters. If you can’t afford or don’t have access to these types of things then you should buy the lower-fat cuts of animal protein to reduce your exposure to “the bad stuff” (and add in extra fats from the following list). Toxins are stored primarilly in the fat and organs of animals, so avoid organ meat from conventional animals as well.
B. Healthy fats – If you’re getting “the good stuff” then you can get a lot of good fat from the animals you’re eating. If not then add or cook with things like coconut oil, virgin olive oil, fish oil supplements, tinned sardines, and avocado. This is not a comprehensive list, but do make a point to stay away from vegetable oils (except the few listed above) and the fat of poorly raised animals. For some people, nuts and seeds and their butters can be problematic (aside from being a potent calorie source) so it may be best to limit intake or at least keep an eye on any possible negative reactions.
C. Vegetables and fruits – This is a no-brainer, right? Aside from a few outliers, anything in this category is a safe bet. Prepare them simply, get organic if you can, but don’t stress out about it. Nobody ever got fat by eating too much apple and broccoli.
2. Focus then on food quantity, or more specifically on caloric intake. If you’ve been eating a diet based on pasta, bread, rice, potatoes, soda, desserts, and take-out, then just focusing on quality at first will help regulate weight. If not, and eventually anyway, you’ll need to change overall intake. Again, not rocket surgery or brain science here.
A. Small changes in caloric intake while taking longer to change weight are better for long-term weight change.
B. A lower-carbohydrate diet will help with losing weight, and adding more carbohydrates will promote growth. When going lower-carb be sure to eat enough of them to keep you feeling and performing well. If you always feel sluggish and your performance in the gym is diving add some carbs back in a little at a time till you feel better.
C. Remember also that changing weight is a process. You’ll need to make constant adjustments along the way. What helped you lose the first 5 lbs will not help you lose the last 5. You’ll need to reduce calories as you weigh less, you need fewer calories to support the new, smaller you. The other side of the coin is gaining weight. As you grow you’ll need to up intake to keep up with the beefier version of yourself.
D. For gaining mass, liquid meals can be a real help. Try adding milk to the equation and see if you don’t grow.
E. Alcohol, while it can be extremely enjoyable, is not a desired calorie source. Try and limit intake whether you’re trying to gain weight or lose weight. It has estrogen-promoting effects that will hamper muscle synthesis needed to gain lean mass, and alcohol alone can destroy an otherwise valiant effort at dropping body fat. Beer belly, wine belly, tequila belly, whatever, let less be more. A few drinks can add up fast calorie-wise, so be wise, wise guy.
Make sense? I know it’s hard to stick to a plan, but if you don’t have a plan you’re lost. So develop your plan and get cooking!
What’s your nutritional plan for the New Year? Same? Different?