The constant debate if one should eat less and move more or eat better and exercise harder? Which is most effective for optimal fat loss?
Eat less, move more seems to be basic logic like energy in verse energy out, however that may only work in theory. “While energy balance is a significant factor, fat gain and loss is also strongly affected by your hormonal state which is the result of the type of foods you eat.” There are some hormones that influence metabolism including; cortisol (stress hormone) ghrelin (is basically when your stomach is growling) and thyroid. The key is to have your hormones in balance in order to effectively burn fat. As you know, sugar and carbohydrates elevate your insulin levels which inhibit fat loss and promote fat storage, but it’s not just the type of food you eat it’s also when you eat it. For example, you probably shouldn’t be eating pasta at 9 pm unless you plan to run a marathon the next day. The key is to eat the right types of food that are nutrient dense and will provide you with energy throughout the day.
Even if you restrict your calorie intake you will inevitably produce the hormone cortisol which promotes fat storage, therefore your workouts are going wasted. Not to mention as soon as you increase your calorie intake even a little bit – you’ll gain back everything you “lost” and more (which was muscle, not fat btw). In simple terms – you lost muscle and gained more fat. Cool! “The proper role of exercise in a fat loss program is not to burn calories, but to maintain muscle while fat is lost.” In order to do that, you need to eat the right types of foods (lean protein, some dairy, healthy fats, whole grains in true form not processed, legumes, fruits & veggies), nix the processed foods and exercise the right way (combination of cardio and strength training with HIIT).
“Precautions when training with HIIT:
- The number one precaution is to make sure that you are eating healthy and that you have had 2-3 cups of water an hour before this kind of training. Also, you want to make sure you are getting adequate protein and carbs at least an hour before and after your workout as well.
- A great ratio to consider is 2:1 carbs to protein. The best carbs to consider include: bananas, mangos, carrots, yams, sweet potatoes, whole grains, and brown rice. Some smart protein sources include: lean meats (such as chicken breast, fish, prawns/shrimp, extra lean beef), beans/legumes, dairy products (low fat milk, yogurt, cottage cheese), and of course whey protein powder and hemp protein.
- The second precaution is that you should never do two days of High Intensity Interval Training in a row. This kind of training puts a great amount of stress on your muscles, joints, and bones and a minimum of 24 hours is required to allow your body to recover. Be smart and make sure you get adequate sleep or you may be compromising the integrity of your immune system. Read more…
This may sound too complicated for your liking, but we know that 70% of fat loss comes from your diet and 30% from your exercise. If you can find the right balance of the two you will burn the most fat!