The human body is an amazing thing! It is highly adaptive, tolerant to 1000's of various stimuli, both internal, and external. Our structure is built off a very unique system of both stability and mobility. In fact our entire kinetic chain is based off that exact model. If you look at a building! It's height, structure, and engineering is designed in a manner that does not require movement.. It's stagnant and built to stand rigid.
Our bodies on the other hand require much much more.. With many functions both skeletal and muscular. Adaptive in nature us, we, our system(body) adjusts to all things both internal and external.
The list goes on and on...
One thing I have learned over the last decade of dieting, dieting others, creating nutrition programs both short term and long term for many different types of people in different circumstances, training every type of body genotype possible, is that the body is extremely homeostatic.
When it comes to nutrition there is no exception!
This is where many fail.
THERE IS NO BEST WAY TO EAT and NO ONE SIZE FITS ALL PLAN!
Even with all the knowledge on the internet, what your friends friend had luck with, beach body coaching advice, and the multitude of other avenues we get our info from these days. I rarely ever hear anybody put things into the right context... Frame it correctly so to speak.
There is no best of anything. Well at least not forever. The body will adapt to high carbs, low carbs, high fat, low fat, high protein low protein, and all the mixtures in between.
Here are a few things I have learned along the way that I hope can help you in your pursuit of attaining and more important maintaining your best body..
1. YOUR your own individual and require unique nutrition to fit your genome . Your blood type effects how your body uses food so this is why one type of diet may not be for you.
2. You cannot eat the same things day in and day out and expect drastic changes to incur to your body. Getting back to the homeostasis thing for a minute, this is a big one. This is where learning how to either daily, weekly, or monthly wave your calories as well as wave your macronutrients in different patterns. This is very hard because here is what happens
We get into a good ROUTINE! Routines are very good, but also can be self destructive for long term success. Short term they are awesome. You go 4, 5, 8, maybe 12 months and things are going good. Your losing fat, gaining muscle, then boom the adaptive wall has been built and what do you do???? This method is all you know, your use to it, it fits your lifestyle, its easy, and most of all you like it.
3. Everybody responds similar to most programs but some adapt faster and/or slower then others. Therefore some see results faster or slower.
I think this is very important because with all the social media, all the information we see, even this blog post, its hard to decifer what's wrong, what's right. Well for the most part most of the info is neither right or wrong it just may not be presented in the right way or optimal.
Progress/results ARE NOT LINEAR! Although they may appear so in the beginning the same physiological adaptation occurs but at a much faster rate. So it appears to be constant progress.
In reality its a simply process of stress overload and adaptation. I am using adaptation in a very broad light here. We have many levels of adaptation occuring. Endocrine(this cover a broad spectrum of hormones), skeletal, muscular, neural, psychological, enzymatic, lymphatic, all attempting to adjust to a new level.
Progress is like climbing up stairs. Not climbing a steady steep hill. Except these stairs get further and further away as your body becomes better equipped to handle the current stress your placing on it. You may have to take 1 step between each step to start. Then 2, 3, 4, 100 before you get to go up another floor.
So be on the lookout your next level could only be a couple more steps away.
4. There is no black and white when it comes to nutrition although there are many rules one could follow to ensure health as well as performance. On that note, there is a great big difference between eating healthy to be healthy and eating healthy to create a change in appearance or for performance. Eating generally healthy is easy! Heck you can get fat eating healthy as I know I have! I only see the change in my body and others when a few things are tweaked.
5. Do not combine carbs and fats if trying to lose bodyfat.. These are our bodies 2 primary means of energy sources. Eat one with the other and depending on the current state the body is in one will be used and one will be stored for later use. Usually it stores and uses a mixture of both as substrate utilization is never 100% glucose or triglycerides.
6. Calories matter but not like most people think. A more modern approach is an hormonal food response model. When you ingest carbs a certain hormone is released and/or not released. When you eats fats or proteins other types of hormones are released. Certain foods actually release one hormone while suppressing another. This is very confusing and why when many seek the help of a professional that understands it can lose weight very fast and never put it back on!!
7. If you cannot maintain a "diet" then its better not to even attempt it.. But how do you lose weight if you don't know what works for you? This is a great question... We are a summation of our daily habits! The secret is to create a bunch of good habits and then your on cruise control. Change is hard, change creates stress, change is never a want...
Willpower will only take you so far as to perhaps START a new plan but STAYING the course forever is behavior modification, as well as establishing a proper mindset.
8. Take the label off of nutrition... Paleo, Atkins, IIFYM, etc.... Are simply ways to compartmentalize a diet that is simply comprised of Carbohydrates, Fats, and Proteins.
That's it!!!! It's that simple
Now of course we have the many sub categories of each. Complex carbs of many varieties, simple carbs or many varieties, fibrous carbs, complete proteins, incomplete proteins, and the many different types of fats. This is where the confusion usually sets in.. When somebody ask's you what diet your own just tell them I am on modified macro diet..
9. The primary macronutrient that many need to adjust is unequivally carbohydrates. Simply picture your body like a car! If you do not use any gas then you don't need to keep putting any in! In terms of your body the gas can usually be put into only a couple activities. Weight lifting of some variety, sprinting, or some other anaerobic activity. That's about it.. When your sitting, standing, performing most everyday sedentary activities your primary fuel is fat. No being that fat is a high energy but easily used source of energy it does not have to release much into the blood stream to enable us to perform everyday activities. What gets most people is the brain gets addicted to sugar because sugar in decent quantities releases insulin and both are seritonin precursors. This is our feel good hormone! So for most in order to "feel good" or at least think they are until the next carb fix its not a body thing, its a brain thing! Although once you or should I say your brain adjusts you feel more amazing then ever.
10. Don't stress!!!
I know waaaaayyyyyyy easier said then done. The body works off a system of hierarchy..
If you have cancer your body will not put on muscle!! It may burn fat because it needs energy for survival. But, after that comes bone tissue, smooth muscle tissue (heart), striated tissue (shoulders, arms, back), you get the idea..
Stress acts in a similar manner.. When your in an overly stressed state the body is simply not in a state to do good things. It will but its twice as hard and not a priority. I can vividly remember how easy it was to lose fat at certain less stressful times in my life. While other times would not budge due to being overly stressed out for whatever reason.
I hope some of this can help you in your pursuit to figure it all out. Perhaps fast track you or open up some new idea's to things. Do not always take things at face value. Question things, question the status quo, think outside the box!