Monthly Archives: November 2011

Fast Food for Weight Loss?

Fat loss is a numbers game:

Calories In – Calories Out = Change in Fat Stores

Therefore, fast food can absolutely fit into a fat loss plan, however:

Nobody needs huge portion sizes when it comes to processed foods.

We would probably be better eating all organic, unadulterated foodstuffs like our ancestors, but I like to remain practical and live in the environment as it is.

Do you know why fast food chain restaurants offer ever-increasing portion sizes of their menu items? From a business standpoint, it made more sense (and dollars) to offer larger sizes instead of assuming customers would just order more of the same item, because consumers don’t want to appear “gluttonous”. Instead of 3 burgers, you order a triple stack. Instead of 3 orders of fries, you get the large, and so on. In fact, the “small” sizes as we know them now were once the standard size.

Fast food is known to have a high calorie density (food energy per weight/volume). In other words, you get more calories per bite in processed foods vs. non-processed foods. This is why cake tastes better than carrots. However, your eyes (and stomach) will deceive you when determining a “sensible” portion size of man-made food. Long story short, the most waist-friendly size is usually the smallest. I go for “value” or “junior” when I want a tasty treat because I get the same satisfaction (without the bloated regret) as I do from larger sizes. If it’s there, you’ll eat it. The last bite is always the same as the first, so might as well enjoy it slowly without sacrificing leanness. Did you know the average person spends only 11 minutes in a fast food restaurant? It’s easy to pile in 2000 calories in one sitting, so you have to be careful.

Remember, the way to lose fat is through a calorie deficit and as a result, you’re going to feel hungry some of the time. Get used to it.

The Athletic Body

When you consider the shape of an athlete, what do you see? Keep in mind there are a variety of athletic body types as there are different sports. Even within a sport as diverse as football, there are clearly a wide range of body types suited to their positions on the field. Outside of football, the spectrum goes all the way from the stringy build of a distance runner to the hefty build of a sumo wrestler.

You do not need to be an athlete to build an athletic body type. The universal signs of an athletic body are: broad shoulders, comparatively slim/narrow waist (not necessarily a six-pack), strong arms, sturdy legs, and good proportions. In short, well-muscled or at least slightly above average for your genetic body type, and reasonably lean (again, not necessarily ripped).

An athletic body screams sex appeal (men and women), and by building correct proportions and staying lean, you may be mistaken for an athlete even if you are not.

The process of getting there is a story unto itself. But the important thing is to start the journey. Use resistance training as a productive tool and learn all you can about nutrition to feed your body for optimal health while avoiding excess. You won’t be a freak (unless you’re supplementing hormones) but you will turn heads in a more self-fulfilling way.