Thursday, June 25, 2009

Lessons about getting shredded

Im in a bit of a transition phase with my dieting at the moment i think. Im lean, Im under my maintenance bodyfat level and all my clothes are baggy but there is still a while to go before I get really shredded!

Just read an interesting article about someone who was already lean but wanted to get single digit body fat. He summarised some of the lessons learnt, Ive picked my faves to post:

Lesson #4: Food Is Only Fuel & All Eating Is EmotionalFundamentally, food is fuel. The only other reasons we eat is for socializing and for emotional reasons. This probably ruffles feathers, but I am basically saying that all eating is emotional, especially overeating and unhealthy eating.
It is also nearly impossible to divorce the emotional aspect from eating and make it simply a re-fueling process. If it was, we’d all eat nutritionally perfect gruel and be perfectly happy with it. Getting to an elite level of body comp and staying there requires wrapping your head around the FACT that the reason you reach for the bag of Doritos, or the cheesecake, or the Aero bar is emotional eating.

Lesson #5: Eating Will Always Be Emotional… Learn To Use ThatI don’t think we ever completely get past the emotional aspects of eating. But the people who are most successful at attaining elite body comp are the ones who get past it, and learn to look at food purely as fuel.
Decadent foods like pizza or ice cream become special occasions, kind of like the rest of the world might treat an expensive bottle of champagne. They are things to be savored and enjoyed rarely, not as a staple.

Think about this: a person who indulges in booze every day is called an alcoholic. Someone who indulges in junk food every day is called… your average North American.

Lesson #6: Fat Loss Is Easy, It’s Your Brain That’s Getting In The WayThis will pi$$ a lot of people off, but fat loss is actually pretty easy. It’s way, WAY easier than muscle gain. It’s not always pleasant, it’s pretty much always socially uncomfortable, and it forces you to go against the grain of your friends, coworkers and family. But when we break it down to a pure physiological process, fat loss is easy.
It’s all the mental stuff tied up in eating that make it pretty much impossible for most of the world. It’s the emotions around eating, the addiction to the taste and the feeling of food, the bonding that comes from sharing food with others, and the sense of belonging that comes from “going with the flow”. Most people fail not because they don’t have the right diet plan, not because they don’t have access to the right food, and not because they don’t know or understand exactly what they need to do. All the physiological elements are in place, and they work. Most people fail because they don’t consider the psychological aspect of the diet.
Food, particularly sugar and refined carbohydrates, is addictive. The cravings can be emotionally crippling. Hunger is a feeling completely foreign to westerners and we can’t handle it; it breaks us as brutally as being physically beaten.
There’s also the profound sense of alienation that comes from doing something “different”. Once food and shelter are taken care of, our number one need as human beings is to feel like we belong. When a person starts a diet they isolate themselves form the norm. And the single most social thing we do, as a species, is share food and drink. Many people will abandon a diet because it feels like they’re excluded, and for a heavy person already feeling badly about their self-image and their sense of belonging, that’s just too high a price to pay. They’d rather be obese than alone.

I’m not trying to be all haughty and holier-than-thou, let me be the first to admit I’m an emotional eater. I get a profound sense of happiness from sweets. It’s such a satisfying feeling it is (honestly and without exaggeration) practically sexual. But now I can control the psychological aspects of eating, and for long periods I can treat food purely as fuel. I feel like if any single thing allows me call myself an upper-tier gym warrior it’s that.

Lesson #7: Re-feed Days Are Great And TerribleRe-feed days are a mixed blessing. For the most part, the key is learning to stop eating when you get “satisfied”, but that is very hard to do when you’re in the throes of indulging your carb addiction. It’s like telling an alcoholic to have just 1 beer.
I found myself eating things I didn’t even want because the day was almost over, and if I didn’t eat the ice cream, or the chocolate bar, or the donuts now, I’d miss my chance for another two weeks! How stupid is that?
So be careful with re-feeds. Because they can be very helpful during something like the GSD. However, when emotions kick in, they can become difficult to control. Again, all eating is emotional!

Read the rest here


KRISTIN said...

Hi Steph! Thanks for sharing those lessons, definitely insightful :) and thanks for your comment, it's certainly nice to know others understand! Hope its all going well for you!

K xox

Jehanne said...

awesome post - thankyou!

SeLiNa said...

Hey Steph, I loved this post!!!

Food is fuel
Food is fuel
Food is fuel
Food is fuel
etc ;)

For incredible info, advice and support- get involved!