Dieting,Meal Plans,and the Junk in Between
the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.
Therefore science is only OBSERVATION by definition. Facts are only facts until more information is gathered and theory now becomes the new replacing “fact”
So many people are so caught up in the right ways and wrong ways to diet. They lose sight of the value of the vast array of information that we have at our disposal. This information is sure to point in one direction. There is no perfect direction that works for every human being on the planet. (Excluding my own biblical beliefs)
Dieting for a competitive fitness athlete vs Dieting for a non competitive fitness athlete.
Let’s start with macro nutrients.
Protein,fat,carbohydrate,(sugar). Most people process protein equally. There are people who can process protein faster, and in greater amounts than others. Usually through genetics or supplementation.
Fat is slightly more complicated. In order for our body to lose body fat, we must take in certain types and amounts of healthy fats. Otherwise our body will refuse to let go of it’s highly valued fat. (Fat is our most efficient source of energy)
Carbohydrates are the most complicated of them all. Some people process carbs perfectly fine. Some people are carb sensitive. Some people just don’t thrive on a traditional carbohydrate in general. Depending on genetics, origin, nutritional history. All affecting our ability to process carbohydrates. In most cases our hormonal response to carbs is out of wack for one reason or the other. All carbs are not equal. Glycemic index basically ranks by speed of conversion how fast carbs turn into sugar. Which in turn decides calorie storage or use.
Sugar, I give sugar it’s own category because of it’s extreme affect on our society. Sugar is the largest contributor to our obesity epidemic. It’s causes more issues than I care to discuss for this piece. The basic idea I’d like to show is sugar tells your body to store energy (fat) as fast as possible.
Now that we have a basic concept of macro nutrients, let’s move forward into micro nutrients. As far as health is concerned, we should be far more focused here. Micro nutrients are vitamins & minerals that are essential (required). Not only for optimal health but optimal performance for our circulatory system. Which is the system that transports all nutrients. If our micros are off then our macros become only guess work. I won’t go into great detail for the lack of most attention spans. Basically if your macros are not packing your micros you will struggle in more than just weight loss.
I suggest three films if you really want the education. (Food inc, Food matters, Sugar, the bitter truth)
Dieting for competition is an extreme. It can be done safely, but there are many different methods. I like to categorize them as so.
IF IT FITS YOUR MACROS
Hormonal response is basically recognizing that Protein burns fat, healthy fat burns fat, and carbohydrates have the ability to store fat. Although over consumption of any of the three can cause weight gain, and disease. For most people completely cutting out carbs for long periods of time can cause damage. The damage comes not from lack of carbs but transitioning at extreme rates. Not replacing your bodies need for external energy. Also not supplying with sufficient micro nutrients. Ketosis is very powerful but should be used in moderation in most cases. Most hormonal response diets are carb cycle diets. A simple search on google will explain both Ketosis and carb cycling if you are interested.
IF IT FITS YOUR MACROS
This strategy is gaining quick popularity because of it’s great variety in food choices. It works really well in a body that is well balanced in it’s hormonal response. (Insulin production and timing being the key). The misconceptions about this diet are prevalent in both supporters and those who appose the IIFYM strategy. If you have a carb sensitivity through genetics or self inflicted damage to receptors this diet can pose some undesired roadblocks. IIFYM is not solely based on caloric intake. 1500 calories in twinkles is not aligned with this theories approach. It is based on specific amounts of protein,fats,and carbs. As basic as that seems many who appose the theory don’t understand that basic concept. On the other side the supporters promote the variety and ease. Which in cases can prolong the lack of discipline and food addiction that has gotten so out of control. Again a quick google search can give the guidelines to this strategy
This is the theory of calories in calories out. Which is often mistaken for IIFYM. This is where IIFYM gets most of it’s negative response. Many studies have shown that if you stay in a caloric deficit no matter the food type (twinkies for example), you will lose weight. This by no means says you will be healthy or look healthy or attractive. It just means the scale will change. I won’t spend time on this approach. DONT DO IT!!!
Although I have my opinion on what works best, I’ll let you come up with your own conclusion. Just kidding
For competitors or non competitors I like to start with a short Ketosis 1-3 weeks to a carb cycle to a carb back load to a macro nutrition calorie count. When getting closer to a competition i get really strict on protein choice, carb choice and veggies. In some cases all the way back to a Ketosis (low to no carb diet.)
For non-competitors I won’t get as strict because we don’t have a date to peak out.
As far as health risk. What are we comparing? The average American diet? A healthy balanced diet? I guess we really have no generality to compare it to. My theory is this, keep your vitamins and minerals where they need to be and you can play with your macro count. Observe how your body reacts and adjust if needed.
When going to the extreme of a show diet, taking it all the way down to extremely low body fat. Taking it down to really low macro nutrients. It’s imperative to understand adaption of hormones.
Example: If you take pain killers and become addicted, you body will stop producing certain hormones. If you just quit cold turkey, you will have some extreme consequences. In some cases death.
So in the case of dieting, if you over load your body with hormonal response (insulin overload) after a long period of time of controlling it. You will have tremendous hardship. Your body will react in crazy ways. Extreme water retention, adrenal fatigue, “metabolic damage” ect. So we stair step into extreme diets and stair step out. (Reverse dieting) (water reloading)
To sum it up, people all over the world react different to food choice both mentally and physically. Our society is made up with an extremely dynamic culture. So many different physical responses to food because of size, origin, genetics, habits, disease and so on. Focus on finding what works rather than what’s comfortable. Be mindful and observant of how your body is reacting. If you have any influence at all in other peoples life, never stop absorbing information. Not just information proving your theory, but all information. Otherwise you may miss out on some great truth. For the people who argue about healthy balanced diets. Sometimes you have to trade just a little bit of healthy for a whole lot of hot. The argument spurs from a subconscious rejection of your new choice not lining up with their vision of you. People are very uncomfortable with you doing what they are not. That’s a whole other topic. I hope this gives at least a topical view of
Dieting, Meal Plans,and the Junk in Between
by Justin Blevins
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