We've all been there before: dieting and exercising hard for months, dropping 98% of that excess visceral fat, but then... WE GET STUCK?! Impossible! You've been getting 6-8 hours of sleep more often than not, have eaten well a vast majority of the time and continue pushing your threshold in the gym. What gives? Aren't those three things the keys to avoiding a plateau and continual success?
The answer: Yes and No.
Without a doubt, if you get the proper amount of rest, eat right and work out harder than you did each day before, the potential of hitting a plateau is virtually non-existant. But, you can still keep on those few extra pounds of visceral fat.
You know what I'm talking about when I say 'visceral fat': that little extra flab around your midsection, your thighs or your butt. No matter how many situps, squats or cardiovascular exercises you perform you can't get it to go away. What can you do?
1) Get more rest - but you can't possibly get any more!
2) Work out harder - not possible.
3) Eat the right foods - A-HA! Now we're on to something...
I want you to take whatever the FDA, American Heart Association, and any other US governmental body has told you about how to eat, and completely forget about it. I'll give you a two-word critique of the Food Pyramind, or the dietary recommendations you see on popular diet apps like MyFitnessPal: THEY'RE BULLSHIT. The Reason? The enormous quantity of 'healthy whole grains' you have to consume. You know: whole wheat breads and pastas, rye, barley... That's all good for you, right? WRONG! These things may not only be the reason you can't shake that last bit of flab, but may be a cause for several chronic diseases the American population suffers from in spades.
Just to name a few of the health issues continual ingestion of wheat has been SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN to cause: heart and cardiovascular disease, several forms of cancer, Celiac's and Alzheimer's disease, and America's favorite epidemic: OBESITY.
But how can you possibly eat without your precious whole wheat and whole grains? Remember the best mantra you'll ever hear regarding this (thank you CrossFit Founder Greg Glassman): Eat meats, vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. So what starches can you eat that aren't wheat or grain-based?
Personally, I'm not a fan of eating starch period as these foods are high-glycemic 99% of the time, but some wheat-less examples include: potatoes, corn and some variations of rice. If you MUST continue to include these foods within your diet on a semi-regular basis, be sure to ingest these AFTER a workout to replenish energy stores. Eating these or any other high-glycemic foods before a workout (or even as a snack) can lead to a sugar high, which always ends up resulting in a sugar crash, which can be detrimental to your peformance, whether it's in the gym, at work or just in life. That 2:00 feeling 5-Hour Energy says it can fix? That can be omitted from your life ENTIRELY when eliminating wheat, grains and high-glycemic foods from your diet.
If you're interested in learning about ways to replace wheat/grains in the diet, as well as further research the detrimental effects these foods have on your health, I suggest you read these two books: 'Wheat Belly' by William Davis, M.D., and 'Grain Brain,' by neurologist David Perlmutter.
Be sure to tune in regularly for updates on how to eat, and the latest trends in the fitness and health industry.
To You Having the Courage to Take Back Your Life,
Founder of Fitness Retriever