Why Can’t I Lose Weight?
You are a product of your habits, in order to change the product you need to be willing the build new habits and drop the bad habits like they’re HOT.
“You suck at math.”
The facts: 1g protein=4 calories
1g carbohydrate=4 calories
1g fat = 9 calories
1g alcohol-7 calories
Modern dieting suggests that losing weight is much more than calories in vs. calories out. Losing weight effectively requires you to consume the proper amount of calories AND consume them in the proper ratios.
Daily fat intake will depend on your goals (fat loss or muscle gain) but will generally need to stay within 20-30% of total calories. If your diet is set at 2000 calories daily, that means 400-600 calories will need to come from fat (45-67g of fat daily)…remember that there are 9 calories in 1 gram of fat. As you know and as you can see by looking around you, our bodies can store fat very effectively.
Protein requirements for “active” and regular strength trainers will be higher than the out of shape, sedentary, minimal activity requirements of non exercisers. Ideally, males would consume 1 to 1.2 grams per 1 lb of bodyweight (if you are 300+lbs, then go with 1 gram per 1lb of lean body mass (unless your name is Jay Cutler or Phil Heath); fit females would consume 0.9 per lb of bodyweight while not so fit to sedentary females should consume 0.75 to 0.8g per lb of bodyweight. Again, if you are heavy, go with lean body mass calculations. Protein promotes fullness, helps build lean muscle, and has a minimal effect on insulin.
Carbohydrates are required to fuel training. However, too many carbs will lead to excess fat gain and not enough carbs will impact your training intensities. Carbs will have the largest effect on insulin. Low levels of insulin turn on the body’s fat burning mechanisms while high levels of insulin will turn on the bodies storage mechanisms. NOT MANY PEOPLE WANT TO GET FAT…so insulin levels need to be LOW most of the time. I generally recommend that those who want to lose fat keep carbs no higher than 1 gram per 1 lb of bodyweight…for those trying to add muscle you can go up to 1.5 grams per lb of bodyweight (for those who train hard up to 2 grams per lb of bodyweight). A big mistake made by many is going low carb AND low calorie. When carbs are low, protein requirements will increase (to prevent muscle waste) and fat will increase slightly (to promote fullness and provide the body will an alternative source of energy).
Again the above recommendations are VERY general but I think you get it.
That being said, “counting nutrients” is the “currency or accounting” of fat loss/muscle gain. Whether or not you personally choose to track down your daily nutrients is up to you (personally I think EVERYONE should be counting nutrients), but at the end of the day your body is affected directly by your nutrient consumption.
Diets high in sugar and alcohol consumption ( a childs size handful of M&M’s will have about 20g of sugar, an apple will have about 16g sugar, bananas will have up to 28g sugar, alcoholic beverages will have about 30+g depending on size/type) will send ones carb intake through the roof. Chronic high levels of insulin will impact your ability to burn fat even if you are doing EVERYTHING right (chronic high levels of insulin lead to insulin resistance).
Diets low in protein make it impossible for people to lose weight because they do not have enough protein to support training. Muscles are metabolically active and require more calories. The more muscle you have the more calories are required for you to maintain your current level. More calories mean you can eat more! Having more muscles allows you to burn more calories even while sitting on the couch. Muscles are tight, give your body shape, and are functional. Fat is squishy, soft, lacks shape, and is not metabolically or functionally active. FAT IS DEAD WEIGHT.
Diets high in fat are linked to life threatening diseases (heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers). Foods high in fat are linked to obesity. Carrying excess weight is hard on the joints, internal systems (circulatory/respiratory/endocrine), and makes even the most basic of tasks a burden (walking stairs, putting on pants, walking dogs etc).
Enter Modern Dieting:
In order to successfully lose fat (or build muscle), you need to make sure you are meeting requirements for ALL nutrients. To do that, you need to know (or learn) how much of each nutrient foods are going to give you (yield).
Read nutrient labels (find out how much protein, carbs, fat these foods yield and how will they contribute to your requirements)
Measure out portions of starches (use a measuring cup or scale)
Measure out portions of proteins (use a scale)
There are many online nutrient calculators and phone apps that will allow you to track your meals effortlessly. I like to use livestrong.com, myself.
No amount of training will undo days/weeks/months of poor nutrition.
People can overdo it in the gym, they can overdo it with cardio, but you can’t overdo good nutrition, YOU CAN ALWAYS IMPROVE YOUR NUTRITION.
Every time you slack off, you open the door for FAILURE to rear it’s ugly disgusting face
HARD WORK and CONSISTENCY always pay off…you will not only feel better but your hard work will show itself in the mirror and not always on the scale.
Mike Salazar is a free lance writer and contributor to Muscleweek.com.
Evolution Personal Training
Owner/Personal Trainer/Sports Nutritionist
Sports Supplement Distributor
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