At Trench Fitness we don’t expect our client to be perfect. Yes we expect consistency and strict adherence to the program and plan we have set out, but we don’t expect perfection. We don’t give our clients meal plans or strict meal times. We allow clients to build their diets with foods they enjoy eating and encourage a flexible approach to nutrient timing. If you skip a meal or eat an extra one once in awhile the world will not come crashing down, causing your fat loss progress to come to a screeching halt. We understand life circumstances and account for this with our flexible approach to diet and exercise.
With that being said … I think we have gotten a bit lax on exactly what needs to take place in order to lose bodyfat. Recently a lot of people seem to be under the impression that fat loss should be a walk in the park. Everywhere we look nowadays, articles are being written to warn people of the dreaded caloric deficit and to avoid any quantity of cardio. Pair that with the IIFYM crowd that is dieting, yet posting up pics of their daily Pop-Tarts, and it’s no wonder everybody is confused!
I had a new client say the following statement to me last week “I am really excited to begin working with you guys. I love to lift heavy, I don’t do any cardio, and after each workout I always have a Pop-Tart and an icecream treat like Neil does.”
Newsflash – Neil and I eat vegetables, lean proteins and other whole foods. The majority of our calories come from healthy food sources. Although we joke about ‘clean eating’ we eat mostly ‘clean foods’. And we do just enough cardio to achieve our goals. If you think all we do is lift heavy things, and eat Pop-Tarts all day your sadly mistaken.
The Big, Bad Caloric Deficit Everybody is scared shitless of the caloric deficit. They are worried that their metabolism will shut down and their fat loss will stall. I will take some responsibility for this fear. I became so annoyed over the horror stories from people about how some professional “diet guru” practically starved them to death on 800 calories per day that I overcompensated. I shoved the pendulum a little too hard in the opposite direction, and in doing so I may have managed to lead people to believe that dieting should be easy. Couple this with the Pop-tart pics that are taking over Facebook and Instagram (interestingly enough, typically posted by very lean physique athletes), and we have caused an extremely distorted picture for some people in regards to what it takes to whittle away some body fat.
So what gives? I promise you that no one following IIFYM working successfully towards fat loss is living off of Pop-tarts (or similar foods). If I post a photo of a steaming hot bowl of oats topped with marshmallows and proclaim I’m eating the gooey bowl of goodness for dinner, please understand that I have stockpiled some macros throughout the day to allow for that indulgence. This means that the rest of my day was probably comprised of meats, vegetables and other whole foods.
Hunger. It Happens. It’s Okay. We have all read about the dangers of extreme dieting and the repercussions that it can have on our physique. “Metabolic damage”, or whatever-the-hell-you-want-to-call-it, it happens. Crazy starvation diets cause a mess that is a bitch to repair. The problem here is that people are misunderstanding how this works and now everybody is paranoid. Any hunger pangs at all are causing people to frantically push the panic button, declaring something must be horribly wrong because – holy shit! – they are a little bit hungry! Hunger is actually not a terrible thing.
Dieting: Normal vs Abnormal When it comes to losing bodyfat, an energy deficit must be present. Period. This is easier on some, but harder on others, so no two people will feel the same. Assuming that your goal is to lose bodyfat, you may occasionally feel mild hunger, mild irritability, moderate food cravings, slight dips in energy, and mild discomfort. These things are normal. Feeling shaky, extremely fatigued, experiencing sleep disturbances, light headedness, constantly feeling cold, loss of hair / sex drive and the like are not normal.
Cardio – It’s Not All Bad. Cardio has gotten such an incredibly bad rap that it’s become quite ridiculous. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a bit of cardio here and there for general cardiovascular health, stress relief, enhanced recovery, and/or to further increase an energy deficit. Some people can get away with very limited cardio while losing bodyfat, while others will need a few sessions per week.
So the take away message is clear – fat loss doesn’t need to be miserable. In fact is shouldn’t be. Keep these three things in mind.
First off don’t fear a slight caloric deficit. It is necessary for fat loss. Secondly a little cardio isn’t a bad thing when prescribed in the right doses. And third no one gets shredded like Neil sitting on their ass eating Pop-Tarts all day.
Our latest food obsession is the result of new toy Neil bought me, the VITAMIX. We have been concocting various protein icecream using various Optimum Nutrition casein powder.
1 scoop O.N whey
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 handful of ice
Options: After blending top with fruit, chocolate chips, Pb2, almond butter, brownie bits or sprinkles. Whatever floats your boat. Toss it into the freezer for 20 minutes or so.
MACROS – dependant on ingredients used.
With love from the Trench kitchen,
xo Erika ♥