3 Realizations One Comes To When Getting Less Fat

Hidy ho there!  How’s life been for you?  That’s wonderful.  I’m glad.  It’s been awhile since my last post, I know this.  You don’t need to point it out.  Life has been full of ups and downs, and it was a busy summer workwise.  Not much of an excuse, but it’s the only one I have for you.

Anyways, this isn’t the first time that I have been in a weight loss transformation, as I have said before.  While going through this most recent change, I was coming to some realizations that I had came to the last time.  I had forgotten some of these, others are things that I knew but haven’t mentioned, others I have.

I thought it would be a good idea to put these in a nice list form for you people, especially the ones out there with the attention span of a gnat (lists are fun!).  Now, I aim to provide links to some of these that need them.  You know, so you can see I’m not just blowing smoke up your ass with my own opinion.

  1. You Are The Reason You Fail

Redundant?  Damn right it is.  It is one of our major philosophies here at Tough Love & Kittens, and with good reason.  Remember when I spoke about Bob?  You know, that little voice in your head that tells you you aren’t able to do that?  Or that there are too many problems keeping you from achieving your goal, or that it will take too long.  This is you, psyching yourself out.  You CAN do this, and have to.  You got yourself here, you’re the reason you keep failing.

Now don’t get me wrong, there are medical reasons why people have issues here.  There is a video that came out recently by comedian and satirist Nicole Arbour.  She has gotten a lot of backlash for saying what she said about fat people.  Do I think that’s deserved?  Hell no. I agree with a lot of points she made.

One video was put out there in response to it, and the individual was going off on how you can’t tell what’s going on with a person just by looking at them.  This is true.  I have some things going on, and am correcting the problem, and moving forward in becoming less fat.  Other people don’t seem to care, and say “Fuck it.  I am this way and that’s good enough for me.”  That’s okay too.  If you want to be a poor example of a person and use a medical excuse as the reason your life isn’t the greatest, that’s fine.  Just shut the fuck up anytime you get flack for it.

 

  1. Not All Weight Loss Is The Same

This question I have asked a lot of people, and the amount of times it gets answered correctly is quite frightening.

“Which weighs more: a pound of fat or a pound of muscle?”  I’ll give you a second to answer that, without using Google.  You’re probably wrong.  Most people say muscle, as it is a myth that has been ingrained into our minds from day one.  They weigh the same.  Muscle does NOT weigh more than fat.  Don’t think that you have lots of muscle, it’s just under the fat.  I mean you do have muscle, it’s just covered by fat.

Muscle and fat have a different density.  Look at a cut of beef that hasn’t been trimmed for example.  If you exist in a world that encompases only you, are from Toronto, or are just stupid. you probably have no idea what I am talking about, so I’ll explain.

Muscles are tight, and compact, ie have a higher density.  Fat, is the opposite.  It’s less dense, meaning it is more spaced out and lucid, like water.  It occupies more space.  This is why you can have two people stand next to each other that are the same height and both weigh 250 lbs.  The major noticeable difference will be the fact that one is a healthy and less fat, with more muscle definition, and the other is not (that’s a nice way of me saying they look like I did back in January).

 

  1. Failure Is Inevitable, And Okay

People get really hard on themselves when they stray from their path.  “I ate this piece of cheesecake, then the rest of it.  Diets done  MAOR CHEESECAKE!”

This above scenario happens a lot.  Way more than most people will admit to others.  They usually end up alone, depressed, and binging on junk food.  But I am here to tell you a little secret.  It’s a big one that people try telling you, but you don’t want to hear it.  Mostly because you still feel bad.

It is OKAY to fail.  It’s inevitable.  There are going to be days where you will fall off the wagon and not eat 100% healthy.  There are going to be days when you can’t get to the gym.  There are days where you just don’t go because you made some bad choices.

Life gives you obstacles and days where you can’t make it to the gym. That’s okay, just remember to go hard when you do.  When you can go, go.  You will be happy.  I put my back out and for the last almost two weeks I didn’t go.  Granted I wanted to make sure I didn’t over do it.  But I still felt like a sack of smashed assholes, and guilty as hell.  The gym is relaxing, and therapeutic.

Don’t believe me?  You’re either still making bad decisions, or you’re doing it wrong.

OH MY GOD! THERE’S A MIRACLE PILL!

Just kidding.  Now that I have your attention, I thought it would be best to bring up and discuss a few things.

Dr. Oz is full of shit.  The guy has been discredited multiple times, and had to go to court for his claims on weight loss products.  He even admitted his claims were not backed by any science.  I understand the idea of having sponsors, and discussing the products on TV to sell said product.  It’s how product placements work, and it’s how popular shows keep cash flow coming in for the stars and the network, without having to fork out fuckloads of cash.

By the way, have you tried Brawndo, and his amazing cousin Powerthirst energy drinks?  They are fantastic!  Trust me, you will not be disappointed.

Yeah, that’s how product placement works.  And honestly, it’s just that fucking stupid to me when people tell me about these “amazing and awesome products that actually work” with no science behind any of it.

**Side note**  Most of the “miracle” pills you see advertised on TV that tell you they work, ever notice it’s on an American based channel?  That’s because there are only two countries that allow it (That’s right. ‘Murica, fuck yea!)  That’s how bad it actually is to do.  And anyone that says there are not a lot of side effects is full of shit.  With those pills, there is always a danger.  Trust me here.  I bought into a lof of that shit a while back, and fucked myself up for a while.  How so?  My heart fucking stopped.  This is why we can not stress this enough: SEE YOUR FUCKING DOCTOR. I was fortunate that I was around friends that helped me (it’s kind of a funny yet freaky story for another time) and that’s why I am here today.  We have experienced the problems and are lucky to be here to tell you this stuff.

But hear me now when I say this with the utmost clarity and truth: There is no miracle pill that will make you lose the weight.  So stop buying useless products.  You’re wasting your money.  Don’t get me wrong, there are certain stacks (don’t do them unless you know a large portion about said products, as well as the effects on people.  And especially without consulting your doctor) and even then, they don’t “make you skinny”.  They assist in regulating certain things, and feature products with different intended purposes that work together to enhance energy, endurance and recovery.  But for everything we are telling you, YOU WON’T NEED THEM.  They are more something worth researching because it’s an interesting aspect of the field, and not really something you need anyways (like I said, not for the purposes we are doing, not yet anyways).  As well, unless you’re planning on getting into fitness competitions, you don’t need them.

Those “magic”pills are primarily made up of the same “special proprietary blend of ingredients”.  It’s mostly all the same base items in varying amounts, that really don’t do anything special.  It’s much easier (and cheaper) taking them on their own instead of in pill form.  “What are they?” you are frantically asking? For the most part, its regular items you see everyday, and sometimes use a fancier sciencey term for it.  Others are new age “miracles”.  Some include:

    • Capsicum/Capsaicin: Which is mostly Cayenne Pepper/Chili Powder.  Add that shit to your food people, gives you flavor.
    • Garcinia Cambogia:  When you see works like “…fail to replicate this…” in studies, skip it.  Next.
    • Hoodia:  Next.

 

 
There are so many more items that I could list, but would be here all fucking day.  The bottom line is, there is NO MIRACLE PILL that will cause you to lose weight (speed might, but that gets pricey, is supplied by some terrible people for the most part, and is, well, highly illegal).  The best way to do it is to get off your ass and work for this kids.  How badly do you want to see your son or daughter graduate?  Or get married?  Or grandchildren?

We all have our reasons for doing this.  I just want to give you the truth from someone that has and is suffering through it, so you don’t make the mistakes I did.

High Protein Sugar-Free Jello

Yes, it’s awesome, and yes, that’s a shitty picture. It’s jello in a bowl, what do you expect from me?

The texture is just like regular jello, except almost a little bit creamy. It’s really good though. I suggest making it with slightly less water than recommended on the box, as it gets a bit soft and sloppy if you use the amount they suggest.

This is excellent as a snack that is pretty hard to eat too much of, or as a guilt-free dessert for those of you who still have guilt about things.

I’m working on a DIY version with gelatin that can be made in bulk.

Ingredients:
1 box sugar free jello, any flavour
3/4 cup boiling water
3/4 cup cold water
1 scoop whey powder

I did 4x this recipe. Half of it was breakfast, and delicious.

Make the jello as per the directions on the box.
Whisk in whey powder immediately before putting the jello in the fridge.
Let set.
Eat.

Per portion (this will vary slightly depending on your whey):
Carb: 2g
Fat: 7g
Fibre: 0g
Protein: 29g
Calories: 162

Designing the exercise portion of your plan

There are more ways to train than you can possibly imagine. Thankfully, there are some fundamentals that underlie all of them, which makes things a lot easier.

I can make it really simple for you: you should probably not do Crossfit, and you should lift weights instead of doing cardio if you only have time for one.

Now, I don’t have any personal reason to dislike Crossfit, but for the vast majority of people it seems to give much higher likelihood of getting injured in a minor or major way. There a few reasons for this, namely:

  • Crossfit is based around explosive lifts (clean and jerk, snatch, thrusters, etc), done to something approaching failure. Going to failure on a lift that gets you to lift a loaded barbell over your head is in most people’s mind Not a Good Thing.
  • Training to close to failure in general is somewhat inherently dangerous. When you are fatigued you make mistakes, and the Crossfit mentality is essentially “go till you puke.”
  • Some Crossfit trainers don’t spend a lot of time focusing on adequate training in those lifts, which increases your risk of injury. Some do, but do you know which ones to pick, or how to properly assess this?

There is nothing wrong with Crossfit when it is properly instructed and controlled, but it doesn’t take much to get “Certified” and open your own box. So just be aware.

You should lift weights before doing cardio, both in a timing and priority sense, unless of course you are a pure endurance athlete and feel like looking like one of those kids on the unicef commercials. Cardio is a time sink more than anything else – yes it burns calories fairly effectively, but if you are not pairing it with resistance training, you will probably lost a bunch of muscle with the fat you are trying to torch off.

Some people recommend High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) for fat loss, which is somewhat reasonable, but not something I personally recommend. First, it’s ridiculously fatiguing if you do it right, and this only really possible to do about two times per week. World class athletes don’t do it more than a couple of times per week, even when they’re on drugs, and you think you can recover better than them? Didn’t think so. Working out at this intensity isn’t really necessary, ever. If you enjoy it, go to town – but there are much less fatiguing options out there. Like basically every other thing you can do that gets your heart rate up. I personally prefer hitting the bike and holding my heart rate around 160-170 bpm. This is pretty much the sweet spot for maintainable calorie burn that can be done basically every day.

So, weights. They’re good, don’t be scared of them. And just to go completely against the current grain of things, I think machines are just fine too, especially because it’s a lot harder to hurt yourself if/when you fail. You can push a lot harder on a machine and be safe, especially if you are like me and have no friends to spot you.

How should you lift your weights though? How often, and how heavy? This part depends a lot on your goals.

If you are just looking to maintain your muscle mass while losing fat, the basic principle is to maintain the intensity (weight on the bar) while cutting down the volume you are doing (so it’s less fatiguing and requires less repair). Keep doing what you are doing on the same schedule, just do less on any given day.

If you are brand new to training and trying to lose weight, you could probably do reasonably well just squatting and benching a couple of times per week, which would train both your upper and lower body. This would also leave you lots of time to do cardio if you so desire.

For everyone else, the basic principles look something like this:

If you are training for pure strength, you should spend the majority of your time in the 3-5 rep range. True 1RM max efforts are just too fatiguing to do too often. Something like Starting Strength or Bill Starr’s 5X5 routine isn’t a terrible place to start – I cut my teeth on SS, and made some pretty impressive strength gains in a fairly short amount of time.

If you are training for hypertrophy (bigger muscles), the rep range is essentially everything above the strength range of 3-5, so 6-15 (Anything higher than that will still have hypertrophic effects but will have more of a muscular endurance focus.) This is all wildly over-simplified, and there is a lot of overlap, but this is a reasonable approximation for the vast majority of people.

This is traditional bodybuilding type training and there are many, many reasonable variations on this theme that work quite well. Lyle McDonald’s Generic Bulking Routine, Bryan Haycock’s Hypertrophy Specific Training or HST, and Dante Trudeau’s DoggCrapp are all time-tested options in this area.

There are basically as many ways to structure a bulking routine as there are days in the year. Many people default to a body-part (bro) split. Upper/Lower, Push/Pull, and 4 or 5 or 6 day splits are the most common overall structures. Basically, do a lot more volume than the pure strength guys, with a lower average weight on the bar. I’m currently doing a upper/lower four day split.

How many days you train is up to you, with most strength routines falling in the threeish days per week area, and bro splits generally being more frequent at up to six days per week. Because hypertrophy training is generally less fatiguing overall than strength training, it can be done more frequently. When you hear guys talk about being “completely fried” they are probably powerlifters and have just pushed too hard too long and basically bonked. Fatigue is not just physical but mental as well.

In beginners, volume is the primary driver of hypertrophy, while the biggest driver of strength is neuromuscular adaptations. This means you need to do more for hypertrophy, and you need to give your brain time to figure out what you want it to do for strength.

We’ve talked about goals before. Go set some. But make sure that enjoying your every day workouts is part of the plan, or you’ll crash and burn sooner rather than later.

Sunday Update: May 17/2015

Two Week In A Row!

 

Huzzahs!  I managed to sneak two weeks worth of recordings this week!  Go me!  (I know that this is actually Monday that I am posting this, but I wrote it on Sunday night.)

Enough of that shit.

So, interesting week.  I’ve been working as much as I can on not shoveling food in my gullet.  And it’s been working.  I don’t mean that I have been starving myself and not eating.  I simply just cut my caloric intake based entirely on the fact that I knew I would be behind the wheel more than I would be able to get into the gym or move.  Lincoln yelling at me helped a lot.  For once.  Dick.

It’s a simple equation really: calories in vs. calories out.  If you know you will be doing enough activity for a certain period of time that will burn X amount of calories, consume Y amount.  Y is an average amount that isn’t overly more than what your intake is.  If someone is telling you that that doesn’t matter, and that calories in, plays no part in being fat or not, than that person is a fucking idiot.  Chances are they are trying to tell you something.

It’s a major factor.  Telling me that being only slightly active and consuming 6000+ calories is okay, just means you’re an idiot, and clearly do not understand reality.

Moving forward, when you are aiming to make your weight goals, meals make up (I firmly believe it’s this high) around 80% of the task.  Being relatively active and doing the normal things a person would do on a day is usually good enough.  Adding extra activity is just icing on the cupcake…mmm, cupcake…one second…

When you first start out, keep a food journal.  Check out our Downloads page for some decent Android apps that we use.  They do help quite a lot, especially when you are first starting out, to gain a reality check on what you are actually putting into your body.  Trust me when I say this, the results will shock you.

Anyways, time for the results.

Last weeks:

  • Weight: 309.2 lbs
  • Chest: 128.3 cm
  • Right Arm: 47 cm
  • Left Arm: 47 cm
  • 2″ Above Navel: 122.6 cm
  • Navel: 124.5 cm
  • 2″ Below Navel: 121.9 cm
  • Hips (widest point): 116.8 cm
  • Right Thigh: 66 cm
  • Left Thigh: 66 cm

This weeks results:

  • Weight: 303.2 lbs
  • Chest: 127 cm
  • Right Arm: 45.7 cm
  • Left Arm: 45.7 cm
  • 2″ Above Navel: 119.4 cm
  • Navel: 124.5 cm
  • 2″ Below Navel: 121.9 cm
  • Hips (widest point): 114.3 cm
  • Right Thigh: 67.6 cm
  • Left Thigh: 67.6 cm

I am happy that I managed to drop my weight (yay!).  Simple really, just eat less.  It’s actually easier than you think.  Don’t believe me?  Try it!  I double dog dare you.  Until next time.