There are more than ever “diet-conscious” people nowadays. Funny thing that there are also more than ever fat people nowadays. There are several reasons for that, which I don’t want to discuss right now. The thing I’d like to address is that people concentrate on small picture ignoring the big one. What if I tell you that all those “diet” or “low-fat” foods and drinks are not the answer to your fat loss? In many cases they just slow down your progress. I often get questions like these:
“Is rye bread better than wheat?”
“What if I add freshly-squeezed lemon juice to my meal?”
“How many pieces of grapefruit should I eat per day for optimal fat loss?”
Stop it. You’re just wasting your and my time. None of this stuff matters. It just pisses me off. Minor tweaks work only if the big picture is in check. So in this article I’d like to share with you my version of what are the biggest diet flaws.
I guess, this is one of the biggest flaws in any diet. Sugar is bad. Of course, if you have great genetics and you are already ripped and muscular, then feel free to eat it as much as you want. Your health won’t be happy. Diabetes is just one of many problems caused by excessive sugar consumption. You can argue: “Hey! I can eat it in moderation” Well, yes, you can. But as experience shows, you won’t be able to reach maximum leanness with sugar if you have crappy genetics (as I do). So get rid of it and forget it. You don’t need that (of course, if you want to get lean and stay in that shape; if you want to get or remain fat, feel free to eat as much sugar as you want). The same thing about fructose, juices and sugar drinks. Fuck’em!
Ultra-Low Calorie Diet
Many people woke up one day, look at themselves in mirror, and think: “How the f-word could this happen to me? I look like a pile of f-ing fat! Fk!” That’s the time when most of them decide to eat nothing (or almost nothing). Bad idea. Most of them don’t realize yet that by eating nothing for long periods of time (usually at least more than 48 hours) they slow down their metabolism. [UPDATE: according to Lyle McDonald metabolism slows down after 3-4 days of ultra-low calorie diet] Sounds like nothing scary. In reality it is. These people drop down some fat with substantial amount of muscle. Say, 5 kg total. Rarely they can take much longer than several weeks. What happens next? They come back to their shitty eating habits and gain back those 5 kg, but almost exclusively fat. In addition to that, they gain 4-5 kg of fat more, because their metabolism was slowed down. Take-home point: stay away from ultra-low calorie diets.
Seems like everybody loves highly-processed foods. They are tasty, they smell good. However, you can eat like a ton of them and be hungry in an hour. They don’t satiate you at all, as well as they don’t absorb well by your body. That’s why so many fat people are regular fast-food eaters. Nature intended that we should be eating raw food. I’m not saying here that we should eat only raw meat or raw eggs, no. But our food should be minimally processed.
Wrong Amount of Calories
The basic law of thermodynamics works. Calories in vs calories out. If we burn more calories than we consume, then we would be losing weight. If we burn less than we consume, then we would be gaining weight. It’s not always that simple, but, basically, it’s always like that. Consume wrong amount of calories for your goal and you’ll fail. If your goal is to gain muscle, then add 200-500 calories per day. If your goal is to loose fat, then subtract 200-500 calories per day. And decide from there.
Proteins, Carbs and Fats. With high amount of available information on this theme, you can easily screw up in your macronutrient ratios. Some say that carbs are evil, others say that fat is bad and some of them even say that protein isn’t good. Opinions like assholes, remember? So let’s show another one.
As my experience shows, protein is the best macronutrient of all. I received a chance to lean out only with high to ultra-high doses of protein. 270-300 g per day for me. You should note that I don’t sell you anything here. These numbers were acquired purely from food. Read this article for more information. Moreover, most of knowledgeable coaches use such doses as requirement for muscle growth.
As for carbs, they are not that evil as low-carb gurus tell you. Of course, you’ll need some intelligent carb cycling plan if you want to be lean. But you don’t need to fear carbs as hell.
As for fats, you need them for your hormones to work properly.
One more thing. Carbs and fats are both sources of energy that are absorbed by different enzymes (according to Ori Hofmekler). So it’s probably not the best idea to mix high quantities of fats and carbs (following this logic you’ll just confuse your body). However, it’s minor tweak. [UPDATE: for some people this tweak is not so minor. But for overweight majority there’s nothing to worry about fats and carbs together while protein is high]
Relying on Supplements
I hear this very often: “I’ll buy some protein powder to gain some muscle”. What if I told you that you don’t need protein powders to build muscle? It will be just waste of money if your training and diet are bad. Supplements were created to supplement your training and diet, not to replace them. Use them only for convenience. I would rather go with food than with supplements.
So now you get it. Again, flush all your sugar in the toilet, avoid ultra-low calorie diets like a plague, forget about highly-processed foods, use right amount of calories for your goal, use right macronutrient ratios and stop relying on supplements. This way you’ll get to your goal in fastest manner possible and will be healthy along the way. In case you need help check this out. Thanks for reading. Feel free to share. I would love to read your thoughts in comments.