Dr Andrew Etuket
For the purpose of this discussion, we are going to consider two fitness goals: the first being losing fat, and the other being building muscle.
In order to lose fat, one must be in a calorie deficit (basically, eat less than your body needs). There are two ways of achieving this, the first being exercising, and the second being diet.
But since I want to eat whichever way I want, the latter is not one of my solutions. My only solution is exercise. Now, exercise will generally cause you to be in a calorie deficit. However, in order to achieve a deficit sufficient enough to cause fat loss, one normally has to do the wrong kinds of exercise.
This typically is long duration cardio. Cardio is any exercise which causes your heart to pump faster, common types of cardio include jogging on the road, swimming, and running on the treadmill.
Cardio when done at low to moderate intensity for more than one hour, what is called long periods, can result in a drop in metabolism, your ability to burn calories and a loss of muscle mass. Now I’m not saying cardio is bad.
Working on your heart is very important, but I generally advise people to do cardio for not more than 45 minutes — if you exceed, not more than one hour. A reduction in metabolism and the loss of muscle mass is definitely going to impair your goal of losing fat.
Great, so now we’ve realised that if your goal is fat loss, you definitely have to eat right. Let’s move on to goal number two — building muscle. In order to build muscle, one must definitely have meals high in protein and in some cases, also be in a calorie surplus, which is basically eating more than your body needs.
However, since I want to eat whatever I want, eating a high protein diet (the healthy option) isn’t one of my solutions.
Therefore, my only solution is having a calorie surplus. Now, if I’m having a calorie surplus while eating whatever I want, I guarantee that the calorie surplus is as a result of eating too much carbohydrate. High fat and high carbohydrate is the worst combination for someone whose goals are improving health and fitness.
Meals high in carbohydrates and fat, are going to make you insulin resistant, which basically means that your muscles will not be taking up nutrients effectively, and that they want to grow well. On the other hand, unfortunately, these excess nutrients, most especially glucose are going to end up being stored as fat.
Therefore, you will lose muscle and gain fat. Therefore, if your goal is building muscle, I wouldn’t advise that you eat anyhow. In summary, if you want to be fit and healthy, you definitely have to eat well. If you’d like to learn more about insulin resistance. I did a video on it, just look that the video link below.
So what’s the verdict? If your goal is health-related (losing fat and building muscle), be sure to eat well and then upon that foundation of a healthy diet, add the right kind of exercise, sleep well, and that will get you to your fitness goals.
If you would like to lose weight the healthy way: locally available foods and zero hunger cravings, be sure to reach us, and we will be glad to help. Till next week — same time, same place — stay blessed!
Dr. Andrew Etuket is a medical doctor and fitness and nutrition consultant.