‘’Eat less, train more’’ frequently litters our social media feeds from various fit pros who want to get the ‘’healthy me’’ message across – the thing is, I disagree with everything this statement stands for. On the face of it you could be forgiven for thinking that you need to ‘’diet’’ harder and ‘’train more’’ but the reality is less and more are not always the answer. I for one am yet to set my eyes on more than a handful of client reports (when you become a client I have you fill in a questionnaire) which make me think ‘’s*** you eat too much!!’’ However, 95% of the time I DO find myself saying ‘’you eat too many calories from poor choices of food.’’
Whilst the introduction might sound more like a rant rather than an article I want to quickly change that and go into a little more depth as to why I think this is one of the worst messages I am yet to see.
Above anything else most people under eat so telling them to eat LESS will just compound the issues they probably already face, not to mention the ones which will develop. What will this do? Make the body more catabolic leading to a reduction in lean muscle tissue which will equate to a lower metabolic rate. With the anabolic rate of a neutered kitten you will be fighting a losing battle to progress with the inability to build lean tissue which is one of the biggest factors in forcing the body to transform and become more metabolically efficient.
Those who solely focus on the calorific values they eat will often have the above issues because they are not giving the body the relevant nutrients to support anabolism which is at the end of the day the key to getting leaner and more muscular.
As if the first bit wasn’t bad enough you are now going to do MORE exercise. Yep, most people tend to do too much exercise, often the wrong sort as well in relation to the goal they are trying to achieve. By doing more training you will simply speed up the negative process described above – less muscle tissue, more catabolism, less anabolism and metabolic issues for the future. Nice!
If it were my catch phrase being pinged about on social media sites it would read something like this ‘’Eat more food from quality sources and train intelligently.’’
Almost every client as I outlined above needs to eat more. Typically increasing their protein is a must in order to support the growth of muscle tissue (protein has other benefits in relation to body recomposition as well!!). Fats need to go up because they support the production of anabolic hormones and they also support fat metabolisation. Carbohydrates often need to be ‘’managed’’ better at the beginning to improve insulin sensitivity. As the person becomes more insulin sensitive it becomes important to reintroduce carbohydrates in larger volumes (often in cycles) to once again stimulate the secretion of the master hormone which is the most anabolic hormone in the body. If you are insulin resistant you won’t be able to enjoy the anabolic effects of insulin at least to the same degree, therefore addressing this issue is key. It certainly isn’t the enemy, just like carbs are not – however you need to know how to manipulate both to improve health and body composition.
To bring this to a close I think the take home message really is eat food which support your goals, don’t fear food and don’t think gazillions of hours in the gym is the answer either. Three well planned whole body workouts for 45-60 minutes per session can work wonders!!