Good morning! How are you today? Good? Good.
Getting back on track
I completed another trip around the sun this week and I took the day off to go down to North Berwick with Z to eat all their food. And what a day of eating it was. The lobster shack for lunch, Bostock bakery, Alandas ice cream and into Andersons butchers for a perfect fillet steak to have with a side of mac cheese. There was also my favourite Guinness cake. Needless to say, I had no intention of tracking calories or macros that day.
And you know what? If I did gain a small amount of fat, it was worth it. But in reality, if I did gain any weight (I don’t have scales so I have no way of knowing) it would largely be food volume and water weight. As it is after all one off high food intake days. And we all have those no and again. And, as afar as I’m concerned, they are totally worth it for all the other reasons we eat food. Whether it’s social, celebratory or whatever, eating is often about far more than just fuelling ourselves. So when these days come along, don’t stress, enjoy the food but get back on track the next day.
It’s what you do on average over a long time that determines your results.
Swapping one full sugar soft drink to a zero cal alternative doesn’t sound like a big step. But doing just that, can drop your calorie intake over a week by a minimum of 1000kcals (assuming 1 per day). Over time that 1000 kcals per week will add up.
Getting to bed 15 minutes earlier doesn’t sound like it’d make a big difference, but over time you could pull your bedtime forward an hour and gain some much needed extra sleep.
Getting one more rep in on a set of an exercise doesn’t seem like a big step, but repeated over time it adds up to big improvements in performance.
Breaking big goals down into smaller, bite-sized chunks takes away their power to intimidate us and also gives us an opportunity to get quick successes that help motivate us and keep us going.
So if you have a big goal you want to achieve, how can you break it down into smaller goals, ideally progress based, and start ticking them off. Before you know it, you’ll be all the way at your goal.
Exercise vs diet for fat loss
I get asked often about the best exercise or training style for fat loss. Not a week goes by without that question popping up somewhere, but the answer is always the same, you don’t exercise for fat loss.
You see, exercise, even high intensity exercise, doesn’t burn a lot of calories. And high intensity exercise, by definition, is a short duration activity, so any class or plan that says you’ll be doing high intensity work for anything more than about 10 minutes is getting itself confused with effort. I.e. It’ll make you sweat lots but doesn’t go anywhere near high intensity which is a measure of load, not effort…
Anyway, the point is that exercise does a lot of very wonderful and amazing things for you, but burning fat isn’t on that list anywhere. You get stronger, fitter, improve mood, confidence, and positively impact a whole host of health factors.
But if fat loss is your goal, then it is driven by calorie intake. Reducing the amount of food you eat to force your body to pull energy reserves from fat stores is what causes weight loss. Yes, exercise can influence your result by adding lean mass and thereby increasing your energy needs, (it’ll also give your the toned look you want) and it makes sure that more of the weight you lose comes from fat stores. But it’s pretty rubbish at actually burning calories.
So remember, exercise for health and fitness, diet for fat loss.
Have a great day,