Why can fat people be athletes? Well, because body fat and athleticism are the children of your dad’s estranged wife’s cousin who had 5 wives and no one is really sure if the kids are even his. Meaning, barely related. I know what you’re thinking. Did I just read that right? Or you’re thinking this girl is an idiot my doctor says…. My point is you can’t out exercise a bad diet. Let me repeat, “You can’t out exercise a bad diet.”
I am 100% proof of that. I’ve been busting my ass in the gym for 1.5 years, I’ve lost about 28 pounds total and still have probably 130 pounds to go. You should be thinking, “But wait, you do Crossfit. How are you still overweight? Isn’t Crossfit like super intense?” Yes, it is intense! I am overweight because you cannot and will not ever out exercise a bad diet. As much as I want to go drink beer every weekend, eat pizza and burgers and all the cookies, I know I will end up back to where I started, pushing 300 lbs and being miserable. In addition, I won’t be able to perform in the gym because I’ll be a bloated sack of belching indigestion every time I move.
With so many fad diets out there, it’s easy to get lost. The saddest part is even doctors fall for the gimmicks (by the way Dr. Oz is a quack, stop taking dieting advice from him). Truth be told is doctors have very little nutritional training, if any. Even within the world of nutrition, there is controversy. Why? Because different things work for different people.
If you’re lost in the dieting world, there are a lot of tools out there to help you.
MyFitnessPal-The first tool I’m going to recommend is of course MFP. Free to use and accessible online and from any and all smart phones. I’ve been using MFP on and off for years. One of the things I like the most about MFP is the community. As the majority of my friends don’t make their diary public or even log in daily it’s helpful for me to find people in similar circumstances as myself and be friends with them. Currently, I’m friends with a lot of Crossfitters. I like to see what they eat because I never have enough ideas. In the past I found friends in the area I lived who were able to recommend stores for good running shoes, various events, etc.
If It Fits Your Macros (IIFYM)- I am a big proponent of macro nutrient (fats, carbs, protein) counting. It’s not enough to say eat 1500 calories every day and come to find out you get all 1500 calories from gummy bears and brownies (mmmm brownies). How you fuel your body is just as important as how much you eat. IIFYM can be free if you understand how to calculate your Macros, however, I would recommend hiring someone to do it. I’ve had people do it in the past for about $30. You should have them recalculated every 10 lbs or so which means this can get expensive (but to be honest I would probably cheat and just keep my nutrient percentages the same and lower overall calories because I’m a cheap bastard). The great thing about IIFYM is that it keeps your Macro count constant everyday. So once you plan a few days in food that fit your macro profile you can repeat those days as needed to ensure you’re hitting your goal. This diet style allows you to fit in your favorite junk foods once in a while, though you generally will struggle hitting your macro targets if you don’t eat healthier foods.
Eat to Perform (ETP)- ETP is the program that I currently utilize and am having some great success with. It’s costly. Plan rates vary and once you choose a plan you cannot change it until a lifetime membership opportunity comes around, and even then you’re either stuck with the plan you chose or the lifetime membership rates. I personally think their website is terrible! It literally looks like a spam site, but I promise it is not. Currently there is a waiting list to join as it’s really trending in the Crossfit crowd. An additional negative (just to get them out of the way all at once) is that they don’t yet have an app for Android (Android for lyfe)! ETP is a carb cycling program and they review your progress every couple of days. If you really like food (especially carbs), this is the plan for you because every time they want you to lose more weight they give you more food. I don’t know why or how it works, but it does.
I know there are many other tools out there such as Weight Watchers, Renaissance Periodization, etc that I unfortunately cannot speak to as I have zero experience with these programs. Please know I do not promote fad diets of any kind. These are programs that help manage portion control. You still choose what you eat. You will not see me promote things such as Keto, Adkins, Herbalife, Shakeology, Advocare, etc. I don’t believe in the sustainability or corporate intentions of these diets and do not follow them.
I made this blog to represent and encourage fathletes everywhere. But part of being an athlete is performance and a key to performance is fuel. While I’m happy being a fathlete and showing the world what I can do I am also aware that having a high body fat percentage does impact my overall health. The reason I started working out was to optimize my health and it’s the reason I will constantly seek a diet that complements my healthier lifestyle choices.
In order to make these choices, I had to choose to love my body. I may not love what it looks like all the time and there are definitely things about it I don’t like, but I love my body for what it can do. I love my body because it’s my home. I love my body because it’s the only body I will ever have and despite the social norms and stereotypes, people with body fat are worthy of confidence, self love and self worth. Once you find those things you will be able to make the healthiest choices for your body. After all, we all make sacrifices for those we love and if you want to make sacrifices (like putting the brownie down) for yourself you need to love yourself.