Weight loss with CrossFit - Part 4

We have talked about the most important parameters of the weight loss: 1.) Exercising, also CrossFit, contributes by burning calories and helping you out with a negative calorie balance. In theory, weight loss can also work without any form of working out as long as your calorie output is higher than you input. The input is controlled by the most important part of a diet, the 2.) Nutrition. You can pick any of the many existing concepts from Low carb to IF, as long as you eat lesser then you will burn in a day. Just be honest and strict with yourself. Dieting is not an easy thing to do. 3.) Supplements will not make up for bad nutrition choices. All legally sold supplements only support your weight loss very marginal and should be considered more as a mental support.

Any questions left?

How can I reduce my belly fat in particular?

Unfortunately, there is no such thing as locale fat loss. Where you lose fat first when in a calorie deficit depends on your genetics. Many women tend to have their "stubborn" fat at the legs and glutes while men store it at the belly. Fat around the stomach protects the massive amount of vital organs sitting there, so from a biological point of view, it is a smart form of isolation. If you are one of those persons becoming slim around the waist only at the very end of a diet, see it like this: You are an optimized result of evolution :-D.

How can I build up muscles and lose fat at the same time?

Back then it was said that you can not gain muscles and reduce fat at the same time since the first-mentioned requires a positive calorie balance while the last-mentioned is based on a deficit. However, a total beginner and/or an extremely overweighted person (BMI > 30) can achieve both effects at the same time.  

I wouldn't focus that much on the muscle gain-fat loss scenario anyway since we have no accurate measurements for neither of it. It doesn't make sense to give up on your diet while trying to build up muscles nor should you stop exercising when on a diet because you feel like both projects "block each other". It is highly recommended to combine hard progressive training with a healthy, balanced diet, no matter if you are in bulk or weight loss. Your body will start to look better in any case, you will increase body awareness, improve your posture and make healthier food choices by instinct.

Also: You might not gain much muscle mass, but you still could increase strength while on a diet because strength does not only depend on muscles, but also on neuromuscular adaptions such as building more nerve cells and improving the signal efficiency. And this also works on a calorie deficit for sure.

I only want to tone. How do I eat and train?

The word "toning" is a tricky one. It is almost solely used by women and I guess it means something like a slim look that doesn't really exposes muscles but no "jiggle" either. In other words: Fat loss and a bit of muscle gain. 

A healthy nutrition around the individual daily calorie requirement (see Part 2) and regular strength and conditioning training will do the work for you. Actually, you can as well do hard, progressive strength training. Like CrossFit :-). As a woman, you will very unlikely gain much more muscles then you desired "toning look" contains (unless you are a genetic freak or on illegal substances).

How do I deal with cravings?

  • Do not have junk food at home. Just don't buy it.

  • Distract yourself with activities once cravings appear. You know that there is a correlation between cravings and boredom right? So keep yourself entertained.

  • Do not eat sugar or as little as possible. Sugar manipulates your brain and has an addictive effect.

  • Do not play with your phone while eating. Concentrate on the foot.

  • Drink black coffee.

  • Make sure you sleep sufficient hours. Lack of sleep leads to more cortisol leads to cravings for comfort food.

Dimitris.jpg

 How about the Jojo-effect?

The Jojo-Effect - gaining so much weight after the diet that you weight more than before the weight loss eventually - is supposed to be caused by the body slowing down the metabolism when on a remarkable calorie deficit. 

Recent studies have shown that the metabolism activity actually doesn't change significantly under any circumstances. The weight gain many people experiences after a diet is therefore caused by either water retention - especially when coming from a low-carb diet back to normal nutrition - or, more likely, from granting yourself a bit too much as a reward after the weight loss. 

With that in mind, make sure you actually never do a terminable weightloss, but find a sustainable healthy lifestyle you can actually maintain ... for good.

Ulrike