Let’s Just Call this A “Mea Culpa”

Mea Culpa =  Latin for “My Bad”, I was really wrong about a certain topic and need to eat some crow.

I remember walking into Gold’s Gym about two years ago and after talking with the head trainer I came to conclusion he was a complete idiot. He was a muscle head. He had a fake spray-on tan. He had tribal AND barbed wire tattoos. He told me he was training for a body building show when we was obviously about 25 lbs overweight. What closed the deal, in my mind at least, wasn’t the gym douchebag attitude but when he told me I needed to eat about 4500 calories a day to lose weight. I’m not even kidding when I say I almost laughed in his face. I mean how can you eat that many calories a day and actually LOSE weight?

So, naturally I walked away with a defiant spirit with a single goal in mind to prove him wrong. After all, what did he know? He only had a BA in Sports Medicine/ Nutrition and obviously, judging by his muscle mass, he knew what he was talking about. Who was he to tell me to eat more protein and carbs so that I would gain muscle and burn fat? WHAT A JERK! Truth is if I could find that guy today, I would need to offer up an apology cause wouldn’t you know, he was right.

To back track a minute, I did lose weight (about 100 lbs) the old-fashioned way. So, in a way we were both right and both wrong. For years we’ve been told: eat less, workout 5 times a week and you’ll lose weight. That makes sense and in fact, it does work. But only to an extent. What they don’t tell you is that if you’re goal is for a fit, lean body you’ll need to approach weight loss in a completely different way. Because eating very little and exercising a lot may produce weight loss but doesn’t build muscle. Ill use myself as an example. Sure, I lost 100 lbs but in the end I still wasn’t fit. I had fat pockets and didn’t have a low body fat percentage.

If you want to speed up your metabolism and make your body a fat burning machine, you need to eat a lot (of the right foods and the right time) and work out 4-5 times a week. Both ways will lead to weight loss but only one way will leave you trim and lean. The other will leave you thinner, sure, but also flabby and with a slower metabolism than when you started. Which one would you prefer?

Try this routine on for size and I dare you to tell me it doesn’t work:

6-7 meals a day consisting of a portion size each (about the size of your fist) of protein, whole wheat carbs and veggies. Combine that with a 4-5 day a week weight lifting routine. For best results try a heavier weight/ lower rep lifting routine, rather than a lighter weight but with higher reps. Also, add at least one 20 minute cardio session in every day. (This keeps the body burning calories all day)

With this routine you’ll eat a lot more but you’ll be burning it off faster than you can consume it. Trust me, it works.

So yeah, my bad y’all. I’ve been promoting the eat less and exercising a lot routine for a while now not knowing that you are actually hurting yourself in the long run.

Quick pointers:

– If you are severely over weight (50+ lbs) I still suggest the lower calorie diet plan in the beginning. This will teach you self control and portion control in the early goings. After you get to the point where food is no longer an idol in your life, move on to a higher calorie but more intense exercise plan. Remember, baby steps.

– No matter which diet you’re on, try and avoid high sugar foods and even fruits. Sugar may be the most pointless substance on earth. Sure it provides energy, but whole wheat/grain, slow burning carbs provide a longer lasting, more healthy energy. Yes, you can have a treat everyone once in a while but avoid them for the most part.

– All I ask is that you think before you start any diet plan. Don’t eat 800 calories a day and work out for 3 hours. Trust me, you’re actually doing more harm than good.

Be well,

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2 thoughts on “Let’s Just Call this A “Mea Culpa”

  1. its like you read my mind. i lost about 100 lbs the same way and the only muscles i had left were my calves from sheer genes! it’s a lot of damn work moving these weights now when you’re doing 15 lb dumbbell flys at 6’3″ :p

    • Thanks Cliff. Yeah luckily I had a decent amount of muscle mass to begin with but had I switched to the higher calorie diet sooner, I would have been in a much better place in the end.

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