Diet and Exercise: Personal Reflection
Who among us has not ever heard that success is 80% diet and 20% training? Or that abs is made in the kitchen? Although these phrases are intended make us see the importance of diet, many takes as an insult to the other side of the equation, which is training.
Just last week, in an interview I gave, I was asked which was more important factor when it comes to losing fat, my opinion on the subject is quite clear:
Both are equally important …
The reasons are simple:
- The training allows us to put more calories in our diet as well as maintaining our muscle and bone mass.
- Diet meanwhile, allows us to reduce hunger by controlling what and how much food meter. We could say that one needs the other to function.
Train for aesthetics or performance
From experience and as a personal opinion, I observe that people walk more often fail in training, while those looking for a high target (competition) fail more in the diet. This is because the high-level athlete, knows he must train hard to achieve their goal, neglecting diet and getting worse recovery.
In the case of the person walk, a recommendation that comes by different means “You performed 30 minutes of tape a day or exercise bike” should “weights are for those looking to increase their muscle mass” and other similar phrases. With this message, we do a disservice to the individual, as this only focuses on weight.
If we compare two people, one with diet + cardio tape and another with diet + weight training and aerobic, probably the first person to lose more weight than the second, but simply because of losing more muscle mass.
It is not uncommon to find how girls are afraid of weights and perform only diet, are not comfortable when they reach the weight they wanted for failure to stimulate muscle mass along the way.
Still, many wonders what the role of “weights” when it comes to burning calories. The reality is that in this sense, the weights are “overvalued”.
Before many neck pull me, I must stress that talk of calories burned, or what is the same, the calories you burn during the day.
If we look at the calories we expend during a workout weight, and compared it to a “typical” aerobic training, we note that the extra calories we burn, very few (we`re talking about 100-170Kcal approx). In fact, studies show weight training NO prevents metabolic adaptation produced by weight loss / caloric deficit. What does this mean? That even though we do weights, we will not stop our metabolism to slow down.
However, although the amount of calories we burn are similar, this does not prevent weight training provides other benefits such as:
- Reduce visceral fat
- healthier bones (via IGF-1 and FGF-2)
- Increased sensitivity to insulin and glucose
- Increased protein synthesis, which helps prevent muscle loss
- Better absorption of carbohydrates
- Creation of new mitochondria, which improves the use of fatty acids as an energy source
That is why, although the diet is a valid tool when creating a caloric deficit, weight training gives us benefits regardless of our caloric intake.
And what about you to gain muscle? I do not want to get big and strong
The process of gaining muscle mass is a really expensive “energy”, or what is the same, our body needs enough energy to increase the size of muscle fibers, a process so that only obese people can increase muscle diets low in calories, the reason being that your muscle is atrophied and therefore any mechanical stress (weightlifting) will change the hormonal environment incredibly.
A thin person with some physical activity requires years to win several kilos of muscle mass, so we could talk about muscle gain hundreds of grams if you moved a month. In addition, by genetics itself, women earn less muscle mass than men, so this gain is reduced.
In short, we can see how diet will always work when you lose weight, because it is the fastest in creating energy deficit factor, however, reduce the amount of calories we spend, we are much more complicated adherence diet, since we must make bigger cuts in our diet to create the same energy deficit.
What does this mean? Because every time we have to eat less and less, lose muscle mass and all adherence to the diet.
Remember that when we are in hypo caloric diet, our brain increases neuronal-associated signaling hunger, so you`ll have more hunger with a very low caloric intake. Result? It will be much easier sabotaging yourself and therefore recover the lost fat during those months.
In addition, we can see how training (weight mainly) brings benefits systemically improving our health. So my recommendation is that you do not focus on having a diet or perfect workout, but getting a balance between both, after all, this is a long process and adherence to your plan is what will mark the success.