what newbies need to know about getting lean

Most of our readers engage in a distinctive combination of cardiovascular conditioning and resistance training; as such, it places an incredible strain on both your central nervous and musculoskeletal systems. While acute bouts of stress are necessary to trigger positive adaptations, chronic metabolic stress kills progress as it relates to body composition. As an athlete, you are infinitely better off keeping your Calories higher so you have the materials and energy necessary to recover from your training, especially when you first start off. Don’t fall into the trap of eating chicken and broccoli every day because conventional wisdom says it’s “healthy”. This brings me to my next point; energy density.

The diets themselves aren’t necessarily to blame; a lot of my frustration stems from individual application under improper context. Despite the “marriage” between the two, Paleo was not intended specifically for athletes. It does not provide us with many energy-dense food options.

For a sedentary person, this is an advantage; however, for athletes, it can become a big problem. Because of the emphasis on eating high quality animal proteins and fats, it’s incredibly common to feel satiated on Paleo while operating on a caloric deficit. This can lead to a highly efficient metabolism that will gradually stall fat loss, muscle gain, as well as performance.

because they likely don’t have nearly as much to lose as they think they do. You can bet that they’ve been riding the “eat less, do less” train for a while and more often than not, they’re using a low carb approach to do it. When I suggest to them that going very low carb could potentially be part of their problem, they are baffled. Here’s why:

For each gram of carbohydrate you eat, your body is required to hold roughly 4 grams of water. This is part of the reason why a lot of people are chronically inflamed and heavy.
If you lose 20 lbs. on a low carb diet, a good portion of that weight loss will amount to extracellular dehydration.
This dehydration means that your body will also deplete glycogen storage, leaving your muscles starved for energy during your training. This makes it increasingly difficult to perform at a high level and maintain a healthy metabolism while you lose weight. In the end you will be weaker, skinny-fat, and as confused as ever.