One of the most common requests we hear in the gym is to ‘burn calories.’ Folks often want to sweat it out and feel like they’ve really ‘done something’ at the end of their workout. And while there’s value to hard work, the best way to burn calories throughout the day might surprise you.
But this isn’t to say that sweating in the gym is bad.
First, I’ll tell you why not. It’s not gluten. It’s not fat or carbs or sugar. No, it’s not animal products. Or dairy. Or because there aren’t enough gyms. It’s not because you don’t workout enough.
So then, by this logic, none of the following are going to help: more diets, more diet foods, more gyms, more obstacle course races and 5ks, or more trainers crafting clever blog posts about making sensible lifestyle choices.
There are three main reasons why America is so overweight and they all stem from the fact that we’ve spent hundreds of years attempting to create the most luxurious, convenient, easy-peasy-lemon-squeezey lifestyle of any human beings in history, ever.
I mean, it makes sense, why would we make food less accessible if we don’t have to? Why use manual labor when we have machines that can do twice the work in half the time?
We live in this age of technology and information. But unfortunately, half of the information on the internet is outright wrong and we’ve forgotten that human beings are actually just gorillas that can drive to Starbucks and order a latte.
With intermittent fasting on the rise once again, the question of meal frequency is rearing it’s myth-covered head.
How often should I be eating?
How many meals should I eat each day?
Won’t more meals speed up my metabolism?
Should I be eating breakfast?
Is it bad to eat before bed?
Shouldn’t I consume at least 20 grams of protein every two hours?
Is it ok to go more than 2-3 hours without food?
First off, yes. Your body, as a rule of thumb, can go about two weeks without food. So, yes, it’s okay to go hungry for a few hours.
Meal frequency is a hot topic in the fitness & nutrition industry right now. And along with it comes meal timing, so we’ll cover both today.
After reading through this article, you’ll have the knowledge and tools to design your own meal schedule, allowing you to work efficiently, train intensely, sleep better, and live an awesome life in general.
Are interested in being healthier or “just feeling better”
Enjoy comparing apples and oranges
It’s no secret that “fat loss” is probably one of the top three most common goals of the non-competitive gym-goer. But don’t read that as a criticism of the 99% of people that never play a sport past their senior year of high school.
A few years ago, I came up with the acronym DEER. I even wrote a short pdf about it. It stands for “Drink more water, eat more protein, eat more vegetables, and replace crap.” See, when I’m coaching nutrition, I generally start by asking somebody to drink more water. It’s fairly simple and a relatively “win-able” task that helps set somebody up on the right path.
Protein always came next. Protein assists in recovery from workouts, requires more energy to digest, and usually keeps us satiated longer. The third thing was always vegetables. Vegetables are usually the hardest thing to add to a diet. Our Western diet doesn’t include many vegetables (save for the lettuce, tomato, and red onion on our cheeseburgers) and it can be tough to find a “spot” for them in our meals and snacks. So this is where people usually get hung up.