Monday, August 22, 2011

How Can I Eat So Much and Stay So Lean?

Since I started posting what I eat each day, the feedback I get most often is surprise that I'm able to eat so much and stay so lean.

I have a secret for you (ladies, this is directed at you especially, because guys, by and large, already get it): I am lean BECAUSE I eat so much.

First, lets define lean. It's not thin. Lets get that out of the way. Lean and thin are not synonyms. Lean means not fat, and there's a big difference between 'not fat' and 'thin'. Fat and lean refer to body composition (body fat percentage), and thin refers to body size and shape.

I'm not interested in being thin or delicate or graceful or slender. My goal from the get-go has been to be lean and strong. There are two ways to get lean: lose fat by losing weight, or build muscle. I chose building muscle. Why? Well, for one I like to eat, and losing fat by losing weight requires an energy deficit best achieved by reducing food intake. And for two, I think strong women are beautiful.

Guess what? You need lots and lots of food to build muscle. Your body can't increase lean (or fat) mass in an energy deficit. It needs raw materials, and those raw materials are calories and micronutrients. If you're using all the calories you eat just to fuel your daily activity, there won't be any left to build muscle. So you gotta eat MORE than you need to fuel your activity, and you gotta be ok with gaining a little weight. Don't worry, once you gain a few pounds of muscle, you can always eat less and move more for a few weeks and drop some body fat weight. The end result will be a leaner you (more muscle, less fat). Worried about gaining fat? If you're lifting heavy things you will gain muscle (and ok, maybe a little fat, but you can lose that later!). I spend most of the time eating at a surplus (and slowly gaining weight) and every six weeks or so I spend a couple weeks eating at a (small!) deficit and get back to my 'happy weight' a little leaner each time. I don't have a 'system', and it happens pretty organically, most of the time without my even realizing it. I suppose if I really wanted to get all 'rocket science' about it I'd see faster results, but you know what? I have a job and kids and a house to manage and a freaking LIFE, so I'm not going there.

That's the jist of it. It's a little more complicated, but unless you're training for a bodybuilding competition, you really don't need to know any more than that. If you WANT to know more, message me and I'll send you some links.

And ladies. Please, eat.

No comments:

Post a Comment