Important disclosure: Eating superfoods and good fats is a good thing and considered healthy. I know most people that join gyms or train regularly aren’t eating Hungry Jacks on Tuesday nights for dinner (at least I hope not). All notes and comments made in this blog are goal orientated towards changing your body composition.
One of the most common phrases I hear at the beginning of members’ journeys with Bodies By Ryan is “I’m all good with my diet thanks mate, I eat really healthy.” It’s this mindset that often stops members from achieving amazing things with us and it’s time to explain why.
The first thing we have to understand that words are symbols and have different meanings to different people. So, my version of healthy is weighing my meals and knowing how many grams of protein, carbs, fats (macronutrients) are in each meal and ensuring I have sufficient micronutrients in each meal as well. This is because most of my meals are designed around achieving certain goals.
The weekend warrior’s version of healthy might be making sure he doesn’t eat bread Monday to Friday, only has pasta three times a week and only consumes alcohol Thursday to Sunday.
The “superfood” Mum makes sure she starts her day with a big serving of muesli and yogurt. What’s wrong with muesli, it’s basically a bunch of oats right? Nothing is wrong with muesli but most brands are super high in carbs, fats and sugar and then adding more fats with yogurt isn’t something I would recommend everyday (I’ll explain more about nutrient pairing later in the piece, stay tuned!).
Superfoods are fantastic but if you want change in your body composition you can’t just eat as much of these foods as you wish. The whole reason they are called “superfoods” is because they’re an amazing source of fuel (calories) and while their nutrient profiling is amazing, we still have to monitor their intake. Moderation is key even with “healthy foods”.
Then there’s the “time poor” businessman whose version of healthy is a “skinny latte” for breakfast while driving to work, sushi for lunch or what ever looks the healthiest at the local lunch bar, followed by a protein bar in the afternoon and then steak and veg for dinner. All “healthy” foods but you’re only consuming enough energy to fuel an eight-year-old boy.
These are just a few versions of “healthy” diets people are knocking back and while they seem okay on the surface, you’ll absolutely fall short of your body composition goals. Our bodies are machines and if you’re training 3-5 times per week, you need to eat sufficient amounts of the right calories just to help your body recover from the exercise and your everyday duties. This is before we even start to talk about BUILDING LEAN MUSCLE…
Building lean muscle is the reason why we do resistance training. It is so important for changing our body composition and keeping the results/physique we work so hard for, let alone the benefits of increasing our bone density, endorphin/feel good rush, mental clarity, self confidence…. the list goes on.
When we build lean muscle our metabolic rate increases, which means we burn more calories at rest therefore keeps us leaner year round.
NOTE** Muscle is incredibly hard to build. You will not wake up the next morning looking like the hulk (and for those of us trying to get BIG, it’s a little offensive you think it’s that easy ha ha).
IMPORTANT SIDE NOTE **Do not listen to the 1-5% of people who were born with a six-pack or the Instagram models who have a flexible diet plan and are lean 365 days a year. These people have exceptional genetics; they put on lean muscle by looking at a dumbbell and somehow maintain a six-pack even when they’re holidaying through Europe, apparently consuming their body weight in wine and cheese. The vast majority of people do not get killer bodies this way, so unfollow those freaks of nature and lean into some professional advice on what will work for YOU.
There are certain processes you need to implement if you’re starting your own transformation journey. Prepare yourself some truth bombs, we’ll try to be gentle…
SUPPORT YOUR TRAINING WITH PROPER NUTRITION
The training at BBR is intense and we work really closely with members with form, intensity and posture. By changing the stimulus of training you will see increases in strength and lean muscle. Therefore, your body composition will change. But how far will training take you alone with out changing your nutrition protocols? A very small proportion may see massive changes just by training with the correct intensity and consistency. The rest of us have some serious work to do, when we start any type of resistance training we need to increase our protein intake. The average person will not consume anywhere near enough protein per day. It is shown that high protein diets consisting of around 1.6 grams per kilogram of body weight have been the most effective for weight loss and building lean muscle.
A GOOD COACH IS AN HONEST COACH
It is very hard to notice changes when you see yourself everyday, that’s why the before and after photos are so crucial. I can tell you now that photos don’t lie and we can also tell when people are starting to fall of the wagon. Higher carbohydrate intake will see your body hold water, which equates to approximately one gram of carbohydrate will usually see your body hold 1.5-2 grams of water. That’s why when you eat a pizza on Sunday night with the garlic bread and bottle of wine the scales give you a big reading on Monday morning. WAIT FOR IT…. Influx of emergency text messages and emails to Coach Rhino “I’ve put on 5kg in one weekend, help!!” Here’s where you get some tough love, so be prepared.
WE NEED TO CHANGE OUR BELIEFS AROUND FOOD
We need to move as far away as possible that the old adage “eat less, move more” switch our thinking to “food is fuel”. Eating less and moving more is not an effective form of FAT loss, it’s only effective for WEIGHT loss. There is a difference between burning fat and dropping weight. While we’re on the topic… ATTENTION ALL CARDIO KINGS AND QUEENS!! Walking or running on treadmills will not get you lasting results. Not only are you wasting your precious time, you’re most likely giving your joints a fair run for their money pummeling the treadmill day in and out.
To achieve the results we are after, we need to eat more of the right foods AT THE RIGHT TIME!
This is a simple rule I’ve learnt from several bodybuilding coaches while I’ve competed in shows. I’ve found it to be effective for myself and all clients who have achieved outstanding results in our challenges.
It’s a simple rule that I won’t dive into too much depth about, but nutrient pairing will always see protein and fats together, and protein and carbs paired together in meals. This is a simple ruled I’ve followed as the science shows that fats and carbohydrates are our two main fuel sources, so our bodies will always use one fuel more efficiently then the other therefore if your eating CARBS and FATS together you are more likely to store fat. EG MUESLI AND YOGURT for breakfast (#sorrynotsorry superfood mum).
MACRONUTRIENTS – The bottom line
At the end of the day, it all comes down to balancing your macronutrients. Even if your nutrient pairing isn’t 100%, if you can hit the same amount of carbs, protein and fats each day and get your calories to be consistent, you’re on your way to transforming your body. This is why “I eat healthy” means nothing. You can eat a healthy diet full of as much goodness as you can fit in to one day but if your macronutrient percentages are all over the place and inconsistent, every day you could run the risk of being Skinny Fat for the rest of your life. #truthbomb #readthatonetwice
WHEN THE PENNY DROPS
We regularly get members that don’t take any advice on food because they’re already pretty much Michelle Bridges and know everything because they read a book on quinoa once when on a yoga retreat in Dunsborough. #namaste
They will train for their first month and get good results as their training intensity picks up and increases enough to keep them coming back anyway.
Month two, they will train a little bit harder still eating bowls of quinoa everyday because it’s a super food right? Again, getting stronger and seeing small progression (the guns are starting to come out).
Month three comes around and they’re happy with their results, feeling fitter, stronger and #newme. Then they will see a handful of people finish a challenge month that have completely changed their shape (with defined abs and shoulder muscles for days) in half the time they’ve been training. What’s the difference? Both doing the same training program with the same coaches, training the same amount of days with the same amount of intensity… One is #STTP and following the nutrition plan.
Now it’s not rocket science, we’re not reinventing the wheel and we don’t recommend any expensive shiny supplements that will do the work for you. We just have a plan. All whole foods, all measured out from your age, height, weight and activity level aligned with your goals.