Welcome back. Hopefully if you're reading this you are well under way to getting your head around staying lean during Christmas. These articles are designed to help normal average people negotiate the inevitable body fat increases that is assumed will happen to us all. With these helpful tips, you can start to understand your body and the rigors you may endure around Christmas eating.
3. Train your ass off.... literally
So far, I've only really spoken about food and behaviours surrounding avoiding overindulgence and binge eating. However, how do you define what overindulgence and binge eating is? Generally, most people would say it is just eating too much in one sitting. Really though, what is too much? How do you define when you've eaten too much? Is there some kind of pre-determined volume?
I eat a lot. No really, I mean a lot! I eat around seven times a day. I doubt that many people could eat the volume of food that I do in a day without feeling sick. I am not a particularly big guy either, I'm 5'10' and around 90kg. I can lose body fat still consuming 4000-4500 kcal per day. So why can I do that and you might gain fat on less than 2000 kcal?
Simple......he says with a wry smile. I train really really hard.
If you're not exercising it is very difficult to maintain/lose body fat by just diet alone. I'm not saying it's not possible, but it is a damn sight easier if you build regular exercise into your regimen as well. I'm not going to discuss the how's and whys of particular training programs as yet. I'll cover that on another day. I just want to point out that if you're training through the Christmas break then it's going to make your life so much easier.
Exercise burns calories. Primarily this means you're burning stored body fat, stored muscle sugar and circulating blood sugar. Essentially, when you consume food, your body digests it, breaks it into glucose (sugar) fatty acids (fat) or amino acids (proteins). These nutrients will either be used or stored. Without going into the rocket science of biochemistry and physiology (which I love by the way I'm such a nerd!) just accept this is what happens. If you consume more food than you need and the nutrients are not utilised for energy or rebuilding your body at that time, they will be stored. Basically, if you eat more than you need you're on the road to adding more fat as this is the body's way of storing unused nutrients. It seems so obvious doesn't it....?
If you exercise, your body is moving more. Movement requires energy. If you train hard you move more, faster and more intensely, therefore you use more energy. The faster and harder you train, the more likely your muscles will need to grow and adapt, this also needs energy and the raw materials to grow. Simply put, if you train hard you will make use of the calories you have consumed and you'll be far less likely to still have excess calories flying around your body. If there's no excess calories, there is nothing to store.
You see where I'm going with this......If you exercise regularly and it's a good hard work out that gets you knackered......you don't get fat. You may even lose some body fat! Hurrah! the magic pill you've been looking for has been starring you right in the face. Training hard makes you less fat, or at least prevents further fat gain. I should try to sell that somehow.... I could be a millionaire....
The take home message for Day 3 is to train regularly to avoid excess body fat production. I can hear you say "derrr, well I knew that" But really, how many of you actually do it? Christmas is a time of eating more and time off work. So, use your extra time off and put it to some good use, go do some exercise. FYI I don't mean one of those wafty training sessions where you barely break a sweat, I mean get your head down and go for it until you feel like you have absolutely nothing left to give.
Thanks for reading todays tip. Watch out for day 4 of your 12 days of Christmas dieting.
Keep on liftin' Ali 'Fat Al' Stewart