"A body transformation is 30% training, 70% diet." You probably see that on social media all the time. The reason it smacks of cliché is because, well, it is a cliché. But, platitudinous as it is, there's some merit in the maths.
While the exact percentages don't matter, the message does: diet is the most important factor you must consider when approaching a weight-loss or muscle-building plan. But don't throw out the treats just yet; you can, with some clever planning, have your cake and eat it.
Just, y'know, not too much cake.
Unless you're a beast who can stay at 100kg of solid muscle no matter what you eat, your food needs to be planned out. I'm not about deprivation or starvation or any of the miserable 'ations' that take the joy out of eating. Rather, my approach is to integrate systems that utilise your body's hormones in a way that makes you optimised for burning fat and toning up. That way, it's not so much what you eat as when. Within reason, of course. Krispy Kremes do not a six-pack make.
So, if that has whet your appetite, feast your eyes on my diet secrets are below. Any questions on the best foods? Hit me up on Twitter: @davidkingsbury
1) Carb cycling This is simply cycling the quantity of carbs during the week. By doing so you will mix days of higher carb intake and days of lower carb intake. Days of higher carb intake correspond with weight training days; lower carb days correspond with cardio and non training days. Most people cut carbs when they want to lose body fat - this is less effective than carb cycling. Why? You'll get improved insulin sensitivity, better recovery from training than a low carb diet, better muscle toning, quicker fat loss.
2) Calorie cycling This is incorporating days of higher calories and then days of lower calories. It will help recovery from heavy training days as you can spike calories afterward. Also said spike will help to convince your body to drop unwanted fat, because if you sit in a calorie deficit - when you don't have enough calories for how often you're exercising - for too long, you will hold fat. Why? By cycling calories your hormone will give your body the confidence to drop extra fat. You'll have better recovery on heavy training days, keep your metabolism high and promote lean results
3) Meal frequency Forget the six meals a day thing. Aim for around three-four per day for best results. Meal frequency has gone full circle for me: I remember when I first qualified as a trainer that eating little and often was order of the day. (I used to eat about 14 times a day, much to my shame). Now I recommend eating less frequently. Not only is this much more convenient but it also yields better results. Why? Having more steady insulin levels keeps your body in a better state for lean mass. It improves insulin sensitivity, gives better control of blood sugar levels and less need for snacking. Particularly useful if you struggle to keep your hands out of the biscuit tin.
Keep your eye on the blog over the coming weeks for more food ideas and tips and some amazing recipes coming soon.