Can’t I Achieve the Body of My Dreams if I Micromanage my Calories?
In 2003, I made the commitment while working with Rutgers football strength and conditioning to compete in my first bodybuilding show the following year, in 2004.
I was all ready to go.
I had studied the iron magazines for years, surrounded myself with the right crew and even had a new exercise science degree from the University of Delaware.
I knew it all.
Until I didn’t.
I did in fact compete in 2004, yet it was physical hell.
I wouldn’t change the experience for anything, because it was a part of my path. But I did starve myself on 1600 calories per day without a single cheat meal for 4 months.
I got shredded and took second place, to a guy that would later go on to be a top level national competitor (that seemed to happen to me quite often).
2 months later, still living at my parent house, I remember coming down for a family dinner in which my grandparents were over and my grandfather looking at me and saying, ‘Kyle, you’re fat! What happened?’
He didn’t mean me any harm. He was always my biggest supporter. But it stung. Not because of who said it, but because it was true.
I was devastated. I was a bodybuilder and damn good at it, but yet, shortly after the show, I was heavier and much fatter than when I began my preparation.
How could that be?
Simple, I had programmed my body to store more fat and to resist change by the way I dieted.
I played the simultaneous game of weight loss (calories in, calories out, burn more, yada yada) rather than understanding that permanent weight loss was sequential and a process of hormones and stress.
It took me over a decade from that point to discover fasting and then another 6 years to master it, but I got it.
And when I look at all the people still following the North American Diet dogma, sometimes I cringe and sometimes I am excited, like when they ask me for help.
Will some of these dogmatic people lose weight? Yes, certainly.
Will any of them be happy and/or keep off the weight? A very infinitesimal number.
Will many of them wind up heavier and more round than before they started to micromanage their calories and food intake? Yes, you can bet your life on it.
What do they do then? Well, most of them will try harder next time or pursue the next most difficult diet in which they have to cut out carbs or an entire food group, only to repeat the vicisous cycle to even try and stay afloat and remain within reaching distance of their original weight.
They’d have been better never ‘dieting’ in the first place.
Weight loss is about a consistent, habit based approach that will have an effect on your hormones. Sleep is the most obvious example. In fact, sleep is the best diet in the world.
Another article for another day.
Point being, get out of the vicious cycle if you are in it and don’t listen to the fake fitness experts out there. That’s a start.