How to murder Fat with science
With any undertaking, you have to know where your point of departure is, and how you’re going to get where you want to go. For some, it’s a road trip. For others, it’s a business venture. For the point of our discussion, let’s just say that there’s Frank (I mean let’s be earnest) and Frank has accumulated a prime muffin top over the years, which he wishes to get rid of.
The conversation may run something like this:
Frank: Yeah, I started a gym program that I found online and I’m gonna lose my muffin top
Thorsten: That’s great Frank, what about your food.
Frank: I’m going low fat and high protein
Thorsten: Also great, but how much protein are you having
Frank: Quite a lot
Thorsten:, How much is that?
Frank Aah, you know… eggs and steak, twice a day
Thorsten:, What’s your macro split?
Frank:, What’s that?
Thorsten:, I’ll explain later, but first, tell me about your caloric intake
Frank:, I’m eating less than I used to and I’ve stopped putting cream in my coffee
Thorsten: So how’s it all going?
Frank: Not sure, I drank a lot of wine over the weekend, but the program is tough and I’ll lose the muffin top soon
So this is a fairly typical conversation that I have with some of my clients. Hats off to them for trying, but unless they hit a flook, I’m afraid it’s not gonna happen. You see, Frank’s plan is too vague and not based on his needs.
They say that you can’t have your cake and eat it… Whoever coined that phrase was probably a somewhat morbid realist.
I would argue, for the sake of the argument, that there are certain instances where diets can be counter-intuitive. I would like to propose that you could pack 7 meals of steamed chicken and carrots and perhaps butternut, or you could have a burger, smash an egg on top of it, and not be worse off than the guy who was hauling Tupperware across the country-side.
There’s a principle in the dieting world, called Calories in vs Calories out… Essentially, and very easily, you should be hitting a caloric deficit at the end of your day. In other words, make sure you’ve burnt up what you’ve eaten and then make sure you burn a few more calories. I would not dip below a 500 calorie deficit when you balance the calories. The deficit is determined from the point of your maintenance calories. We work these out by calculating your lean body mass, or LBM.
Let’s dismantle this a little further. An lb of fat contains 3,500 calories. This would suggest that if you maintain the deficit of 500 for 7 days, you’d have shed exactly an lb of fat.
There are many apps with which you can track your caloric intake. It won’t take long to get used to entering the size of the portions and you won’t need to weigh everything with a scale.
Strictly speaking, if you were preparing for a physique competition and needed paper-thin skin over your abs, you would probably want to go the low-fat steamed chicken route, because you can probably squeeze more protein into the same amount of calories as the burger smasher.
We’re made to enjoy our food and I would suggest that if you’re aware of the calories in vs calories out principle, you’re sitting pretty. Keep your caloric consumption about 500 calories below your maintenance calories on non-training days and around 300 calories below maintenance on training days.
This will allow you to factor in the caloric expenditure of the workout.
Take Care, and enjoy the burger