Processing Increases The Calorie Availability Of Foods

Processing increases the calorie availability of food which means a greater percentage of calories end up in our body. Beneficial for weight gain, terrible for weight loss.

The act of food processing is like a form of pre-digestion breaking down complex foods into easily-absorbed energy. Sugar, refined carbs and oils (the staple ingredients in most packaged foods) are the primary culprits. This is one of several reasons why weight gain is so much easier and more common on a highly processed diet.

On the flip side the calories in whole-foods are less readily available and require more work from our digestive system to access. Coupled with high nutrient density and its a weight-loss home run!

Eat Foods That Nature Provides

 

‘The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.' - Ann Wigmore

 

Eating food that nature provides (at least most of the time) is one of the most impactful things we can do for our health. Vegetables, fruits, tubers, beans, herbs, spices, nuts, seeds, meat, fish, seafood, eggs. Eating these foods provides more nutrition for fewer calories and helps restore our bodies natural mechanisms of satiety and fullness making it much harder to overeat.

It should be such an easy decision to make but the food industry has spent billions creating convenient food-like substances which trigger all the reward centres in our brain and billions more marketing these substances on a massive scale. Coupled with cheap prices and it’s a tough combination to resist.

But resist we must. The evidence is clear. The further we stray from nature to factory the more likely it is we will end up overfed and undernourished.

Where Does The Word Diet Come From?

The word diet derives from the Greek word diaita which described a whole way of life conducive to healthy body and mind. It seems a shame this rather more positive outlook has been replaced by the narrow modern-day focus on weight loss, hardship and deprivation. We need diaita not diets!

Use Resistance Exercises Which Allow You To Fail Safely

To maximise the efficiency of a resistance workout it helps to put a really high degree of effort into a smaller number of sets. This means reaching a point where you can no longer complete another repetition with good form otherwise known as momentary-muscular-failure. However, to do this sustainably without getting injured you need to be able to fail safely.

Reaching momentary-muscular-failure with a heavy barbell on your back or over your chest… not a good idea.

Reaching momentary-muscular-failure with a low-skill bodyweight exercise such as a push up or pull up… a much safer proposition.

For long-term success with your resistance training make sure your exercises are fit for purpose.

The 4 Criteria Of Highly Effective Resistance Training

Does anyone else constantly change their resistance training routine? I use to all the time thinking there was always a better way of doing things.

A different combination of exercises, a different number of sets, more frequent workouts, less frequent workouts, higher rep totals, lower rep totals and the list goes on.

Now, I’m not so sure. Assuming your resistance workouts meet four basic criteria I think all paths eventually converge on your genetic potential (and it certainly makes for a more chilled approach to exercise.)

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So what are the four criteria of highly effective resistance training?

Safety

Most importantly your resistance training program needs to be safe. If you get injured you can’t train and you can’t make progress. Joint-friendly exercises, good technique, sensible loads, slower rep speeds and sufficient recovery all play a part in making resistance training safer.

Consistency

When it comes to getting in shape, nothing trumps consistency. Don’t rely on motivation to inspire your training efforts. Create a schedule and stick with it. Even when you don't particularly want to!

Intensity

You need to work hard enough to trigger a positive adaptation in your muscles. No intensity, no trigger, no change. This means getting comfortable feeling uncomfortable and pushing your muscles (safely) to their limits.

Progression

"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results." As the weeks and months go by try increasing time-under-load and/or the resistance being lifted. Along with intensity, these small and steady improvements hold the key to making significant changes in your bodies appearance and capabilities.

Safety, consistency, intensity and progression. Before getting bogged down in minutiae check to see whether your resistance training program meets these four basic criteria.

If it does, keep at it.. you probably don't need to change a thing!