The Death of the Diet – An End Game Approach to Fat Loss and Muscle Gain

Hi Guys,

As those of you who follow my Facebook page (www.facebook.com/GeorgeStuddFT) will know, I have taken part in some seminars by the good people at Exceed Nutrition. The message they put across is a lot different to the ones that are very popular at the minute and from anything I have tried before, but it’s SO SIMPLE.

To lose fat, the most important thing for you to focus on is your diet. This, unfortunately, is also what people find hardest about losing weight. You start a diet, see some early fat loss and then you either cave and give up, or plateau and give up. By their very definition diets cannot work in the long run. People often say ‘I’m going on a diet to get right for the summer’ or ‘I’m going on a diet to shake off that Christmas weight.’ Already, they have set themselves an end date. They are going to lose weight by this date/when they have reached that point and then the healthy lifestyle ends. Many people will never even reach the end point because diets are hard, and they don’t want it enough.

To lose weight and KEEP IT OFF you need to change your lifestyle. Think about it, if you are fatter than you want to be, the chances are that the food and drink you consume often is the culprit. That one off pizza you had didn’t make you fat! Try looking at the sugary drink you have with every meal or the crisps and chocolate you have for lunch every day at work.

Most effective diets revolve around the same basic principles, the rest of the stuff that makes them stand out are the details. So why not take these effective, simple principles and turn them into a way of life?

 

Exceed Nutrition suggest 10 rules to live by, ‘the cornerstones’ of healthy living:

1-      Never starve

2-      Eat protein at every meal

3-      Eat vegetables at every meal

4-      Eat whole foods

5-      Eat one ingredient foods

6-      Learn to Macro Nutrient Cycle- Eating protein in the morning and carbohydrate later at night and around training.

7-      Drink lots of water

8-      Remove food intolerances

9-      Eat healthy fats

10-   Get lots of sleep and reduce stress

 

However, the process suggested by Exceed Nutrition revolves around one basic principle: self awareness. You know your body and what it needs – you just need to learn how to listen to it.

I learned to do this by using intermittent fasting (IF). I have been critical of IF in the past, I saw it as starving yourself and the worst kind of fad dieting, even so, it is picking up a lot of momentum and I have received a lot of questions about it. For the sake of good practice I did a lot of research on IF and eventually tried it for myself. I have to say, I am very happy with the results, I have lost fat but more importantly, I can clearly see the difference between mental hunger and (actual) body hunger. With a 16 hour fast, over night, I wasn’t starving myself I was just extending the natural fast of sleep.

I’m not saying that IF is for everybody, it has a lot of well informed critics and seems to clash with the advice that is out there. However, I do recommend even just 1 fasted day; because once you have learned to listen to your body, it changes everything! Overeating stopped almost overnight as the compulsion to eat when bored disappeared when I adopted the rudimentary “Hungry? Eat. Not? Don’t” approach. I will go into more depth about my experiences with intermittent fasting later to stop this turning into a 5000 word post!

 

As we are looking to improve your overall health and performance, to make this completely sustainable and effective, it is important to add exercise into your routine. While I will go on to talk about what exercise you should do and when you should be doing it in a later blog, I will now show you how your nutrition combined with exercise can lead to these cornerstones becoming fat loss and muscle gain.

First of all, girls, doing this WILL NOT MAKE YOU HUGE. You don’t have the testosterone to build serious muscle, and even if your physiology did allow it, it takes a specific and concentrated effort with training and nutrition to build the muscle you are scared of.
This lifestyle is based around the fact that at different times, your body is optimised to do different things. For example; you are geared up to lose fat in the morning. Testosterone peaks at 7 am so morning workouts and fasting until 12 will encourage fat loss; whereas post workout, your body is primed to take in the most nutrients as your muscles need to replace the glycogen stores depleted by the workout. Because of this there is no reason that you have to follow a cutting/ bulking regime. You can both build muscle and lose fat without having to suffer through horrible meals and loss of mental performance. Here is a guideline to fit both components into your week.

 

Muscle Building Day

Fat Loss Day

Training day

Non Training Day

Calorie Surplus

Calorie Deficient

Adequate Protein

Adequate Protein

Low Fat

Moderate Fat

High Carbohydrate

Low Carbohydrate

Feasting Around Training

Intermittent Fasting

 

High carb? But that goes against everything I’ve heard!

Carbohydrate is not the enemy, you need carbohydrates for energy and muscle growth. Most people are not capable of achieving a completely ketogenic state (burning fat as the primary energy source). It takes about a year and the use of specific training protocols for your body to adapt to this. So unless you have the complete dedication to take it on, you’re better off embracing them and using them properly. Carbohydrate is generally being wildly over consumed in the modern western diet due to our reliance on bread and pasta. You have to be smart about your carbohydrate intake and again, it comes back to listening and adapting to your body. Eating the majority of your carbohydrate around exercise will allow your body to not only perform at its best throughout the workout, but will ensure that the glycogen is stored in the muscles and not as fat.

The fat loss days are based around intermittent fasting protocols. Most people are not really hungry when they wake up. Of course if you are properly, body hungry then eat something (going back to not starving yourself) but if you are just eating breakfast because you always have then give a 12pm  to 8pm eating window a go. Your energy levels balance out after a week of getting used to it and you may just start to see some real changes.

 

If you are interested in improving your knowledge on the subject of nutrition I urge you to go and check out the Exceed Nutrition website (www.exceednutrition.com) or alternatively; Nutritional coaching comes as part of and separately to the personal training service I offer. Email me at George.studd@hotmail.co.uk or get hold of me on my Facebook page www.facebook.com/GeorgeStuddFT for more details!

I hope this helps and as always if you have any questions or want me to go into more detail about certain areas feel free to ask!

 

Thanks for reading

George
George Studd Fitness Training

http://www.facebook.com/GeorgeStuddFT
george.studd@hotmail.co.uk

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