Today I would like to share with you one of my most powerful lessons. This information encourages JFW clients & OPERATHLETIC readers to make positive changes forever so that they can experience life long wellness and finally start living the life that is waiting for them.

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This myth shines a light on the critical part nutrition plays in fitness. It addresses a popular fitness based philosophy that is, or once was, taught in almost every gym. The fitness audience will immediately recognize this dieting method and will be intrigued about the consequences of muscle and energy loss. Plus, teaching balanced eating is the perfect way to achieve a super lean and strong body poised for performances and strength & cardiovascular workouts.

Screen Shot 2015-12-28 at 9.56.33 PMFor years I believed what I read in magazines and was taught by fitness pros:

  • Work out longer, Eat minimally
  • Burn more than you consume
  • Create a calorie deficit
  • For every 3500 calories of deficit you will lose 1 pound

So for years, this was how I tried to lose weight. But eventually I would always gain the weight back AND SOME. Then, when I once again hit a breaking point with my weight I would start deficit dieting again. And once again, this method would fail me. This yo-yo pattern continued until I studied physiology and nutrition. Only then did I learn why it is scientifically impossible to find an optimal weight and peak fitness using deprivation and restriction.

Nothing in life has a quick fix or can run in deficit. I sure know my checking account or training can’t! What made me think that my nutrition could? Our bodies deserve better. And what do our bodies ultimately want? What every hormone, organ and function of your body is doing right now…

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Deficit dieting is just the opposite…unbalanced nutrition and fitness. This in turn forces our body to replenish the balance internally for energy to return to homeostasis.

The fact is that deficits create unstable blood sugar which makes the body to go into emergency mode and respond with a low blood sugar response. This response includes the pancreatic release of the hormone glucagon which tells the body to burn muscle for energy, hold onto fat and increase food cravings.

The deficit dieting misconception often lies in the thought that our bodies will solely burn fat for energy in times of deprivation. However, science tells us differently. Stored body fat cannot be converted into glucose so the body attacks the muscle to produce glucose for energy. Simply, the muscle breakdown provides amino acids which our body converts to glucose (sugar) to supply the body with ATP (energy).

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Losing muscle reduces our metabolism which will always work against our weight loss and strength goals. Catabolizing muscle sacrifices the precious time we spend in the gym, deprives us of ideal muscle strength and could be one of the reasons some don’t yield optimal results even after repeated, intense workouts.

To once again, use me as an example, this is why when I returned to normal, non-restrictive eating after a deficit, the reduced metabolism made me look ‘softer’ and forced me to gain weight back plus pack on a few additional pounds. I’m eating what I ate before but now also have a slower metabolism. And the fact is that we will always return to our normal eating because all deficits need to be filled, hunger (depriving ourselves of food or food groups) is not sustainable long term and our body releases hormones (ghrelin) to signal stronger hunger. This is the scientific evidence behind Yo-Yo Dieting.

Fitness At HomeSo what can we do to promote a lean, strong, healthy body? We will greatly be rewarded with optimal weight, faster times and stronger bodies if we can create homeostasis externally by eating to stabilize our blood sugar. This is accomplished by eating a sensible portion of your macronutrients every 3-4 hours. Simply, eat 3 to 5 ounces of some protein, 3 to 5 ounces of a carb and around 7g to 10g of healthy fat every 3 hours. An example would be grilled chicken, apple and peanut butter. Or a perfectly balanced protein shake. The perfect way to always be fueled for a performance or a workout.

This effective and healthy way of eating, that is based in physiological evidence, will drive you to achieve your weight and fitness goals. The compounding effect of this lifestyle radiates throughout the body, brings each system of the body in balance and creates internal and external harmony. To liberate your mind, make best use of your energy and create a stellar strong, lean body, say GOODBYE to deficit and HELLO to creating a healthy, smart partnership with food.

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Keep Rockin!

Jennifer Signature

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