Let's talk about getting ripped.
Now, in order to have that lean, chiseled look so many of us are after, we need to burn some fat.
And in order to burn fat, we need to do a few key things. The most crucial of which is eating in a caloric deficit (eating fewer calories than we burn).
It works like this:
When you eat more calories than you burn, you gain weight.
If you eat roughly the same amount of calories that you burn, your weight stays the same.
And if you eat fewer calories than you burn, your body needs to make up for that lack of energy another way. Ideally, by burning up your body fat stores. And this is how you lose fat.
Simple. But there's a problem.
For some of us, a big problem.
It's called Hunger.
Your body doesn't want to burn that excess body fat. It wants to stay the same- the same amount of body fat, and the same amount of food.
So when it notices there aren't as many calories coming in, it lets you know in the form of hunger.
"Eat more food, you asshole." it says.
"I've got homeostasis to maintain ova heaa."
(I imagine your body talks with a hardcore Jersey accent)
And quite frankly, hunger can make a fool of us all. Derailing more attempts at a lean, chiseled physique than almost anything else.
But there is hope. And that hope comes in the form of two strategies that I've used successfully with my 1-1 Clients for years.
Check 'em out.
Strategy #1: Manage Your Hunger
There are a few tweaks you can make to your diet that will do a great job of snuffing out that hunger.
The first is...
Eat Plenty of Protein
0.8-1g of protein per pound of body weight (or more, if you're feeling like a rockstar).
Now, getting enough protein is a challenge, mainly because it's incredibly satiating. It fills you up and keeps you full. Which is the same reason it keeps hunger away so effectively.
Protein is the game changer.
If a lean body is your goal, and you're not getting enough protein, that's your new mission, should you choose to accept it.
Eat Plenty of Fiber
Protein keeps you full. Fiber keeps you full.
But the two of them together is an unstoppable duo.
Eat more fruits, veggies, beans, lentils, and sweet potatoes, . Better yet, include them in the same meal as your protein source (beef, poultry, pork, etc).
And one more point worth noting about veggies: you can eat a LOT of veggies without adding many calories at all. Eat them until you'e blue in the face. You'll have a full stomach, plus a host of other benefits.
Caffeine can be found in the nectar of the gods (coffee), which is reason enough to drink it.
But as an added benefit, it also suppresses your appetite (and increases your metabolic rate, and the thermogenic effect of food. Read more on that here).
So, as if you needed another reason to love coffee, there you go.
Strategy #2: Embrace the Fact that You'll Be Hungry Sometimes
There are some who can get lean, and never deal with hunger.
But that's rare.
For most of us, it's just a necessary part of the process.
You can nail all the strategies above, but sometimes you're going to deal with some hunger.
And when you do, how you view it will make all the difference.
When most people feel hunger, they see it as a problem. Something to be fixed.
"Maybe I should eat. Clearly, my body is telling me something."
But here's the funny thing about hunger. It's not great at telling you when, or how much you should eat...
...but it is good at telling you when, and how much you usually eat.
Which means, if you ate enough food to gain excess body fat, eating less than that will likely trigger a hunger response.
It doesn't mean you're starving and need food. It just means your body is letting you know you normally eat a little more.
So, let's re frame how we look at hunger.
Instead of seeing it as something wrong, embrace it, because it means you're on the road to a leaner body.
Welcome the challenge with open arms.
Enjoy any discomfort that comes with the process.
And if you happen to be one of the lucky ones who doesn't experience hunger while losing fat, embrace that too.