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Most people who want to lose weight don’t actually want to lose weight

April 2, 2022 by

They want to lean out. They want to see a physical representation of their efforts in the gym. They want to change the way they look. This change requires gaining muscle mass and sometimes (not always) losing body fat.

The human metabolism is not a great multitasker. It likes to build, or it likes to break down. It prefers a state of anabolism OR catabolism. Trying to do both at once is the metabolic equivalent of patting your head and rubbing your belly.

Despite all the best evidence in the world, most people when left to their own devices do this when trying to change their bodies:

Eat less, exercise more.

This WILL work to drop body mass, but it will be from a combination of fat and muscle and unless you are a gross beginner, it is impossible to build new muscle tissue in this state. This is a catabolic state. It creates a wide calorie gap through exercise and nutrition. While it’s possible to maintain a level of fitness doing this, the physical results will be lackluster. Think marathon runner or skinny-fat. If done for long enough, this way of eating and exercise can start to have negative impacts on health.

If you want to change your body, this is the way:

Eat more, exercise more.

This is the athlete state of being. An anabolic state. The idea here is to ramp up food intake above baseline with a focus on protein and carbs (40C/30P/30F is a good start). Carbs will work to increase insulin levels. Insulin is the most anabolic hormone in our body. It is what delivers nutrients into our cells. And we are SUPER sensitive to it after exercise. So when you combine a high carb and protein diet with proper strength training intensity (very high), you can expect massive changes to occur. How do you know if your training intensity is high enough? Ask yourself how many times per week you work near failure on lifts? Not very often? Not intense enough. In this state, you can expect body weight to stay the same or go up while % body fat changes greatly.

With this approach, the scale is progressively less informative of our body composition and results. In fact, it becomes downright useless.

Eat enough, train hard, and use your eyeballs to assess your results.

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