The Overwhelming World Of Fitness: Calories Are Key, Not Fad Diets

The Overwhelming World Of Fitness: Calories Are Key, Not Fad Diets

Volume two: You lose weight is because of a calorie deficit.

You've heard it. I've heard it. Just about everyone who is looking to lose some weight and trim that stomach fat has heard it. "You just have to eat clean." While the amount of calories you usually cut by eating clean does the trick, eating clean or depriving yourself isn't the magical solution to losing weight. This is where we learn the magical words caloric deficit.

I know this will piss a lot of people off, but THE REASON YOU LOSE WEIGHT IS BECAUSE OF A CALORIE DEFICIT. Not a magical keto diet. Not carb cycling or avoiding carbs. Not eating eight times a week. Whether you adjust your diet for your body to burn more calories than it's consuming, or you exercise to burn those daily calories off, calories are the how you shed pounds.

Do your research. Any registered dietitian will tell you the same thing. My personal experience will attest to it as well. It is up to you to set a diet with a calorie limit that you know will cause you to lose weight but not starve yourself. The way to do this is to track your calories and experiment with certain intakes to see what works best for you, your schedule, your appetite, and your workouts.

You shouldn't have to cut out bread or pasta to lose weight. You shouldn't have to avoid any single food to lose weight. Flexible dieting is your best friend. Knowing that one bad meal won't derail your progress is the most important thing; that's like getting a flat tire then stabbing a hole in your other three tires. The opposite is also true-- one grilled chicken salad won't make you skinny, either.

Myth 1 debunked, carbs are not the enemy. Carbs are just as essential as any other macronutrient. If you lift heavy consistently, you need a carb-heavy diet to supply your muscles with adequate glucose for energy and recovery. Additionally, consuming enough protein is important to build lean muscle mass, which in term burns more fat in your body for energy, increasing the limit of calories you can consume and also decreasing your body fat percentage.

Myth 2 debunked, eating fat doesn't make you fat. Limiting your fat intake is important because it is the most calorie-dense macronutrient (9 calories per gram compared to 4/gram with protein and carbs). Don't let this fact deter you from fat consumption, but instead consume the bulk of your fats before a workout for optimal energy!

Ultimately, your diet should start with your calories if the goal is to lose pounds. Don't over-complicate things, and don't go all in. Create a diet that is flexible and maintainable, not a crash diet that deprives you of anything and everything. Enjoy your food, stay motivated.

Last but not least... be patient because real results take time, consistency, and your full effort.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.

You won't see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won't laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won't go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They'll miss you. They'll cry.

You won't fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won't get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won't be there to wipe away your mother's tears when she finds out that you're gone.

You won't be able to hug the ones that love you while they're waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won't be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won't find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won't celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won't turn another year older.

You will never see the places you've always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You'll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges, and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it's not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don't let today be the end.

You don't have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It's not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I'm sure you're no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won't do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you'll be fine." Because when they aren't, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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Part 1: Necessary Changes

One of my favorite movies is "Fried Green Tomatoes" with Kathy Bates. In the movie Bates' character Evelyn Couch says, "Someone helped put a mirror up in front of my face, and I didn't like what I saw one bit. And you know what I did? I changed." I know the feeling.


I looked in the mirror over the weekend and didn't like what I saw.

The person I saw looking back at me is petty, selfish, manipulative, and unattractive. It wasn't that I hated what I saw, but I definitely didn't like what I saw either. It's a surreal feeling, looking at yourself through a critical lens, and it doesn't make you feel good in any way shape or form.

The image that I see of myself is not how I want others to perceive me. I want to be someone that people look at and see kindness, compassion, strength, and confidence.

I have enough general life experience to know that these types of changes aren't going to happen overnight, and not all of them will be physical; most of these will have to happen from the inside, from within myself.

When you find out you are all broken and damaged, it's hard to know where to start putting the pieces back together. I figured the best place to start would be the most literal: my actual insides; so, I decided to embark on a deep-cleansing journey to get all of the toxins out of my body, from the inside out.

I found this book on 10-day green smoothie detox stashed away in the dark corner of my bookshelf. The science behind it seems accurate and legitimate. By eliminating certain foods, your body is able to detox itself off of chemicals and foods that are slowing down your metabolism; the smoothies are specifically designed with combinations of foods that help restart your metabolism. Part of the detox process is getting rid of all dependencies on caffeine, alcohol, and sugar.

Every day you are given the recipe for a specific smoothie; you make the smoothie (about 40 ounces) and sip on it throughout the day whenever you get hungry. Every smoothie is a combination of leafy greens, water, fruit, and flax seeds. If you do happen to get hungry throughout the day, you are encouraged to eat raw nuts, hard boiled eggs, and a wide variety of crunchy green vegetables. There is also a detox tea that you have first thing in the morning, but other than that no other beverages are allowed except water.

I know that this is only the beginning of a very long, emotional, and draining journey. But I think I'm at the point in my life where I have to make these changes. I have to put my pieces together, I have to become a normal functioning adult, I have to find out who I am. I think that this is the perfect way to start.

For the next 10 days I am going to be documenting my experiences, how I'm feeling, what my emotions are doing, and any results that I see.

Stay tuned!

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