You've been exercising like a fiend, eating all the right things, and taking every fat burner known to man. Yet, you just can't lose that fat. What is going on?
Before you blame your genes, glands, or other mysterious source, look first at the hidden calories in your diet. We'll talk about those and then show you exactly what steps to take to correct the problem.
It takes 3500 calories to form a pound of fat. Think of those calorie lists you've seen. For example, one "shake" from a fast food outlet is 800 calories. Most calorie guides hold that an active 150 pound man needs around 2,000 calories a day.
Have you ever run on one of those treadmills that does the calorie burn calculations? You're going to run quite a while to burn off that shake you gulped down in just a few minutes. Add in the other sources of hidden calories, and you are looking at more exercise than you have time (or joint endurance) to do.
To lose fat in a sensible and practical manner, you must reduce the calories coming in. You cannot exercise away a high degree of excess caloric intake and have any reasonable semblance of a balanced life. Yes, exercise helps--but it can't work miracles. The "miracle" is in controlling how many calories you consume.
Don't make the mistake of focusing on the glycemic effect. Like exercise, it provides only a partial answer (and glycemic management isn't as effective as exercise for fat loss purposes). The big factor is controlling your overall caloric intake. Which is one reason Bill Phillips says, "Great bodies are made in the kitchen, not in they gym."
If you are following the bodybuilder's insulin management diet of 6 small meals a day (eating per schedule, not "when hungry"), you probably have fewer hidden calories than most people do. Yet, you may be surprised just how many of those little buggers still creep in. These are the calories that are "outside" your diet. Off your radar. The little snacks or extra portions that seem inconsequential at the time. They add up.
If you find yourself eating to satisfy hunger, you can bet you have hidden calories turning into fat. Correct that problem, and you still may have hidden calories.
Unplanned food consumption always results in hidden calories, unless you track what you just ate and subtract it from your next meal. Uncontrolled portion size always results in hidden calories.
Remember, calories you haven't planned for are "hidden." They are like the soldiers in the Trojan Horse--they sneak in and do you damage. At some point, you are going to be very aware of their effects.
Many people start off on an exercise program "to lose weight." They mean to say they want to lose fat. There is a big difference, but that's another topic. So, they do their exercise and then add in a "health drink" (this may be a protein shake or whatever). Or, they decide they need more fruit, so out come the apples, bananas, and other calorie sources--not bad in themselves, but they are easily overdone. Ditto for protein--it is simply not true that you need to consume massive quantities of protein just because you are exercising. You probably need more protein in that case, but not in the quantities stated in the muscle magazines.
Here's a quick list of hidden calorie sources:
Worse than just adding calories is adding highly glycemic calories. These are the ones your body rapidly absorbs sugar from. When that happens, your insulin spikes up to convert that sugar to fat. Take a wild guess as to what happens to your body composition (lean mass vs. fat) when you do this repeatedly.
You should become very familiar with the glycemic index, so you avoid highly glycemic foods unless your cells are glycogen-depleted. Your cells are in this state only after intense exercise or after sustained fasting (such as overnight, when you sleep). So, have that glass of orange juice only in the AM.
Here are some highly glycemic foods:
Do note, however, that when you're talking about root vegetables you aren't talking about very many calories anyhow. Trading a 250 calorie low-glycemic handful of nuts in place of a 40 calorie carrot is misusing the glycemic scale
Getting out from under the cloud of hidden calories isn't especially hard, once you make up your mind to do so. Here is a fool-proof plan to put you on the road to recovery--and the body you deserve:
Please note: Poisons like fat blockers and left-hand sugars are not the answer. These are not sustainable, and they do cause problems in the body. The answer is simply not letting food control you. We've just covered how to do that. Now, go forth and conquer!
Here's another calorie site: www.calorie-counter.net.
The articles on this site are authoritative, because:
Where an article is not bylined with a specific author's name, it was written by Mark Lamendola (see photos on home page and elsewhere on this site). Mark is a 4th degree blackbelt, has not been sick since 1971, and has not missed a workout since 1977. Just an example of how Mark knows what he's talking about: In his early 50s, Mark demonstrated a biceps curl using half his body weight. That's a Jack LaLanne level stunt. Few people can even come close. If you want to know how to build a strong, beautiful body, read the articles here.
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