I'm About To Eat My Arm Off...
“I’m about to eat my arm off.”
It was more a cross between said and snapped if you want to be picky about it but she really did say it.
I was busy checking to make sure it wasn’t my arm she was about to eat.
Admittedly, I've said it to her too. It's become our way of expressing hunger during a cut. Cutting is a term used in fitness and bodybuilding to mean you’re losing fat. Specifically, it means losing fat while preserving as much muscle as possible – think of a bodybuilder about to compete or a model before a big photo shoot. It’s also all of us when we want to look great for a wedding or a high school reunion.
But don’t we want to look like that all the time?
If I told you that you could lose weight and eat steaks, burgers, chips, baked potatoes with pats of butter, pancakes, chocolate and ice cream would that be cool?
Because you’re in a calorie deficit in order to lose some weight doesn’t mean you can’t eat delicious food. It just means you have limits to what you can eat – namely, how much. When we’re cutting we still eat chocolate, some ice cream or a Popsicle. It’s just figured into our calorie and macronutrient totals for the day.
That’s what makes the journey fun and that’s why we get results.
We eat all of those things when cutting. But we eat them in moderation and we make them work in our calorie and macro totals. Did you try our Protein-Balanced Pancakes recipe? I eat them almost every day, with different variations and they’re delicious. Eva and I eat out pretty much every Tuesday night. It’s Taco Tuesday at Chronic Tacos – we plan what we’re going to eat at the restaurant and then work the rest of our meals for the day around it.
You can’t always eat whatever you like but you can darned sure like whatever you eat.
Food is your friend. It wasn't long ago that humans spent the majority of their time wondering when they would eat next and where it would come from. We're fortunate to have it in such abundance. And that's become the problem...
Nutrition. It's the Powerball of your workout program. But food is the Powerball of life. Eating is so many things - in our culture and every culture. It's energy our body needs. Nourishment to the soul – good times with family and friends. Backyard barbecues to Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner. Just watch TV and you're bound to see a commercial showing people having the time of their life around a table surrounded by family and friends. It resonates with us because we’ve all done it. And there’s nothing wrong with that. That’s what makes life awesome. The problem is they’re usually selling something that’s not always conducive to our goals – and we’re unable to fend off the onslaught.
We need to be able to have a great time, lose the weight and then keep it off.
As fitness professionals we usually talk about food as it relates to reaching our goals. At the end of the day, food is fuel for your body. Eat too much and you'll gain weight. Eat too little and you'll lose weight. Sounds easy, right?
Let’s just say while the concept is simple, carrying it out isn’t always so easy.
When you’re bombarded on a daily basis with the newest miracle diet it becomes almost impossible. There’s the latest one all your friends and coworkers are doing. One of them might have had some success with it. You're wondering if that's the one that will do it for you this time.
Most of our clients are on a weight loss journey. It seems most of America is. Everyone has a story about dieting. It can be tough. No, it is tough. So many have struggled with losing weight and it always seems the few who get there have trouble staying. It’s not from lack of information, opinion or slick marketing – or from trying. So what’s it all about?
You want to lose weight, keep the muscle you have and stay at that weight while enjoying life.
There’s no sense going through the pain and difficulty of losing weight only to reach your goal, start “living” again and end up in the same place you started. We see it time and again.
Some of the best advice I ever received was to enjoy the journey and it’s guaranteed you’ll arrive at your destination.
And, yes, there are times when you’ll be hungry. Your body is more than happy for you to store up energy reserves (fat) for lean times. That’s from centuries and centuries of humans fighting to find food for their survival. Every time you feel hungry, drink a big glass of water, set your timer for twenty minutes and it’ll usually pass. Get busy doing something and you’ll forget about it.
Try sticking to a normal eating schedule. The hormone ghrelin is responsible for hunger signaling. Your body will learn your eating schedule and, when the time to eat comes, it’ll let you know with hunger pangs. Since we’re in a calorie deficit, if we miss or run late for a meal, it’s very easy to get so hungry the deficit flies out the window and you wake up to find an empty can of frosting and drool running down your chin.
Plan your meals according to your calories and macros and know when you’re going to eat. If something comes up, no problem, it happens, but try to find something you can snack on that will work in your totals and keep you on track.
Keep in mind what you’re going to achieve and enjoy your food along the way.
Your health is an investment, not an expense.
You need some guidelines to help you go through life, feel great about yourself and enjoy all the fun times with friends and family. There are a few things that will help you do that. We’ll give you a quick overview, show you how to filter out the noise about food and dieting and focus on the things that have been shown to deliver results.