I get it. You’re watching your caloric intake, you go out for a run, hit the weights, go for a swim, bike, etc….during the week. Then the weekend rolls around, you hit the bars with your friends, maybe go out to eat 3 or 4 times, Then Sunday night rolls around, and you’re feeling guilty about how much you “misbehaved” the previous 2-3 nights:
(not groovy, baby.)
Next thing you know, 2 months have gone by, and you haven’t lost a pound of weight, let alone the fact that your butt isn’t looking any more awesome in your favorite pair of jeans that used to fit you 5 years ago. Sound familiar?
If it does, then take heed to what your ol’ boy Mikey G has to say, because it just may change your life, or at the very least, change the way you look in the mirror.
So, without further ado, I bring to you…
Mikey G’s Top 10 Reasons Your Mirror Is throwing a monkey wrench in your well laid plans of getting your body right:
Today, we’ll start with the first 5:
1) You’re not Front-Loading your Carbs!
This one is a big one, and unfortunately is one that many-a-trainee often times underestimate its importance. Let’s think about it like this: Carbohydrates are our readily available, fast digesting macronutrient that our body needs to use to remain energized throughout the day. Problem is, we as a society aren’t really needing as much “energy” (in the form of carbohydrates) as we often times consume. So many people are clueless about what a realistic portion size is for them, and modern day society does absolute poopoo to help us with this.
Since our body doesn’t need them, they stores them primarily as either intramuscular glycogen (if you have enough muscle in your body for it to be sent here), the liver, the brain, or…..(dun dun DUUUUN) adipose tissue (that’s your fat stores, yo!). Obviously this is no beuno, so how do we get around this? Well, one way is to consume the majority of your carbohydrates in the morning and around your workout. Without getting into too much details about somatotypes (i.e. endomorphs, ectomorphs, mesomorphs), the degree of how strict you need to be with yourself about this will be fairly significantly dependent on your somatotype. Traditionally speaking, endomorphs have the greatest difficulty shedding body fat, while ectomorphs will have a relatively easier time with this, and mesomorphs sit somewhere in the middle of the two. Below is a simplified example:
One of my clients falls HARD into this category, and he and I have been really working hard on tinkering with different types of carbohydrate loading methods. What we’re starting to see is that, besides breakfast and post-workout, he has had to really reduce the quantity of carbohydrates he eats from his diet out for the rest of the day in order to see appreciable fat loss**.
**(besides vegetables…since vegetables usually fall lower on the glycemic index, not to mention they’re chalk full of essential vitamins/minerals. We’re even shifting fruits consumption to the morning only… Yes, even though fruits are good for you, they’re still consisted of simple sugars, and this must be taken into consideration when the end goal is to shed body fat in the most time-efficient manner. Therefore, he front-loads his fruits as well).**
Take-home point: Get your carbs in the morning and around your workout.
2) Get your “Lower Body strength” Game Up!
I’ve covered the some of the many benefits of squatting and steps you can take to improve it here and here. While I touched briefly on how challenging the lower body musculature under progressively more challenging loading strategies really helps ignite the fire that is your metabolism, it must be reiterated here again: Work your lower body with some appreciable, progressively challenging variations, and watch the fat melt off your body like my face after watching a Slash guitar solo:
Why is lower body work so effective at incinerating fat? Well, for starters let’s just talk about the fact that you’re activating the biggest muscle groups of your body under an appreciable load, which, if employing the right sets/rep schemes, can help stimulate the release of endogenous (produced or occurring inside the body) growth hormone. Hang on there, I ain’t talkin’ about the stuff Sylvester Stallone plugged into his butt cheek.
Ridiculous! Anyway, I’m talking about the stuff that is produced naturally in your pituitary gland. After hard workouts including a high volume of lower body work under moderate to moderately heavy intensities, about an hour after you fall asleep, your body begins to dump this polypeptide into the bloodstream, and that’s when we enter the magical world of lypolysis, aka hydrolysis of triglyceride, aka it’s time to chop up some lipids and burn that fat up!
3) You’re Still Lifting the Same Weights you did a Year Ago!
I eluded to this earlier: Its all about Progressive Overload. If you’re not willing to put in the extra sets, reps, heavier weights, or more exercise variations, then you leave me no choice but to play the world’s smallest violin for you.
What was that? Did you want some cheese with that wine too?
Simply put, its time to stop the “if I lift too heavy a weight my thighs will turn into tree trunks” excuses. I’m callin’ bullshit on this one folks. Stop being a Sally and start seeing the light. Do you think Jessica Biel progressively overloads her workouts? Yes sir.
How about Beyonce? You bet.
How about Chris Farley? Absolutely.
Yup. Like I said, absolutely.
4) You’re not Eating REAL food!
This should come as no surprise, but unfortunately the line discriminating real food from processed crap gets blurrier by the day. Regardless, if you’re one of those people focusing on calories in vs. calories out, and think that by eating ramon noodles and celery all day will yield the most efficient, long-term weight loss solutions, then…well you’re killin’ me, smalls.
Rather than go into extreme detail, check out any readings by Jon Berardi, Mike Roussell, or Brian St. Pierre.
5) You’re not Eating Protein with EVERY Meal
Why does this work? Well, one of the most simplest explanations comes from our good friend, the Glycemic Index. Basically, this scale is used to measure how quickly or how slowly foods gets metabolized. Protein, by in large, is very low on the glycemic index, trickling its constituents into the blood slowly, and therefore avoiding any unnecessary insulin spike that otherwise would occur if you consume only simple sugars (ramon noodles falls into this category. So does soda, bread, rice, and cereals like raisin bran, corn flakes, and even bran flakes to some extent). Bottom line, get some protein with every meal, SOLID protein (milk isn’t going to cut it, folks. You need something your metabolism actually has to work hard at to digest. Think greek yogurt, cottage cheese, mozzarella cheese sticks, etc. Making your metabolism work harder burns calories, too!)
That’s all for today. Next post I’ll cover the next 5 reasons why your mirror hates you, and what you can do to change that.
Have a great one folks!