The answer to why a person can train hard three to four times a week but still be fat is that on net, we in western countries are eating way too much.
Diets in the traditional starvation sense, are both counter productive and outright boring for many. I tried atkins amongst others and found it a bit dull, but more over it was really expensive and difficult to coordinate with family meals.
But I did loose a good few kilos on the atkins, putting them straight back on though after i got bored with it. And the Atkins diet got me thinking : okay all the naughty luxuries i eat and drink are high in simple carbohydrates. What if instead of atkins you just cut out the beer and the sweets?
Another reason i came off atkins was because i wanted to train cardiovascular condition and frankly i believe it is not a healthy combination.
So that got me thinking after i had put all the weight back on. I trained then five months in fat burning duration and intensity and lost maybe three kilos. This seemed pretty poor effect from 7 hours a week training in long sessions. It would take me several years to get down to 100kg. Also what if i couldnt train?
I went back to thinking about the atkins diet and cutting out sugary extras. What if I just cut them out and did nothing else (apart from my training)?
I decided then to count up my extras and got a shock which both explained why I wasnt losing weight and why back in the late 90s I had managed to put on an unwanted 3 stone despite being quite fit.
Take beer for starters of course. 150kcal per pint appx (c. Half liter) Beer is not so evil, in fact the sugars in beer are short chain starches and without the alcohol in it, beer would be a good endurance sportsdrink or liquid breakfast with medium to slow release carbo's. However many beers doth a beer belly consist of. So eight beers a week is 1000 kcal. Doesnt sound so much?
But then take the higher calorific nuts and crisps we take with said beer. That was about 200g at a wacking 500kcal per 100. Another 1000kcal per week. Hmmm.
Then take a regular "extra" - an additional glass of OJ in the morning and several glasses of squash with dinner. We can also round that off to 1000kcal per week.
Now chocolate and cakes or buns: one 250g bar per week @ 450 kcal/100g per week and a couple of cakes @ 250kcal each. That is for point of arguement 1500kcal per week.
You start to see the sudden awakening I was having to my theory, which started in fact as a joke about atkins compared to just cutting out beer and sweets.
Now i could find the last culprit for luxuries or extras and that was simple: extra portions of dinner. This was happening three to five times a week because i was feeling hungry from training or the food was just there, in the bowl or pan on the table which is how we like to have a family dinner or candle light for two. So that mysteriously enough I could approximate to 1000 kcal per week.
Now here comes the shock : i had been looking to train up condition gradually with long 2 hour sessions, and expecting weight loss to be best measurable as per month. So i then added up my weekly "extras and luxuries" times four, and this is how it went:
1000 extra dinners
1000 exta juices
1000 crisps /nuts
5500 kcal per week:
A staggering 22,000 kcal per Month!!!!
What was staggering was that I could easily allow myself all those extras without thinking much about being a candidate for obesity! Read again- they probably seem a reasonable set of little luxuries to you, and if you are from east coast usa, a paltry amount.
Now dieticians and physiologists disagree a little on aboslute quantity of calories per kilo of fat deposited (7000 to 9000 kcal per kilo) so let us bet on the high deposit side, and that means that i could be in theory larding up 3kg per month. (About a half a stone )
The fact is I wasnt laying on that much weight usually. However my weight probably did peak at 120 kg and was often around 118kg ( over 18 stone) and my waist line was pushing out of size forty trousers. The fact was, as we will see in my next blogg, that I was exercising and trying to be "grey calorie burn" active, walking about and so on. The fact also was that as i exercised longer, so crept in more snacks and more extra portions of dinner and OJ to the level above, because i was hungrier and I was thinking i should keep my blood sugar up to avoid exhaustion ( fat chance!! Excuse the pun).
At a level of five to seven hours training a week, averging maybe 24 hours per month, then my weight was creeping down a little but the trouble being that my appetite was creeping up! So the danger is when I get an injury or holidays and xmas come that bang, three weeks go and i eat 18000 kcal in extras and put almost half a stone on again.
I decided then upon a compromise as you will read in the next blog.