Don’t forget to move
You often hear that nutrition is 80% of the equation when looking to lose fat.
But, the truth is that we were meant to move.
We were meant to run,
We weren’t meant to spend as much time on our butts as we do.
It goes against our physiology…
And even how we process nutrients.
Now don’t get me wrong,
Nutrition is huge.
And it’s nearly impossible to outwork a diet of whole pies,
Dozens of donuts,
And extra-large pizzas on the daily,
But our worry is that people might start downplaying the role that activity can have when getting into shape.
Here’s the deal…more activity = better.
Seems pretty obvious, right?
We’re sure you knew this.
And we’re not trying to insult your intelligence.
But, often times common sense doesn’t mean common practice.
So, this article will dive into the mechanisms responsible for this improvement in health,
And how you can use these principles to make getting into shape easier.
Back in the day
As mentioned above, we didn’t always sit like we do these days.
We used to move…a lot.
Research suggests that we used to walk up to 5-10 miles per day.
We would forage for berries,
Hunt for meat,
Take trips to the watering hole,
Carry babies around for miles on end,
And build a shelter.
The modern conveniences of our world have spoiled us immensely in that we no longer need to do these things.
We need to get stuff done on our computers,
We need to get to- and from work,
We need to get our kids to- and from sports,
We need to pay bills.
And often times these things can be done with little- to no movement.
Eat more, get healthier?
This is going to sound crazy, but believe it or not,
A body that moves more but still eats more will be healthier.
Plus, It can lose more fat.
Plus, it can gain more muscle.
Plus, it can perform better.
Plus, it can recover better.
It’s a process called G-Flux or Energy Flux.
A term coined by John Berardi and the folks at Precision Nutrition.
G-flux basically refers to the shifts in body processes that result from changes in activity and changes in food consumption.
So, if you eat a 2500-Calorie diet and have a 2500-Calorie daily expenditure,
and you bump it up to a 3000-Calorie diet and 3000-Calorie daily expenditure, you’re better off.
How can that be?
Well, first off all, eating more food allows for more nutrients, vitamins, and minerals to get into your system.
This, in turn, contributes to better health, recovery and muscle gain.
Second, more activity improves nutrient partitioning.
Nutrient partitioning basically decides where the food we eat goes.
So eating more food combined with little to no movement will result in Calories more likely going to fat
and less likely going to muscle tissue.
But, the inverse is also true.
More activity leads to more Calories directed to muscle.
Next, insulin sensitivity improves.
Insulin is most famous for its role in diabetes,
but it is a very powerful hormone for muscle gain and fat loss.
When we have more activity in our day, our muscles become more sensitive to insulin.
This helps shuttle more nutrients to muscle instead of fat cells.
Next, tissue remodeling improves.
Tissues in the body are in a constant state of being broken down and built back up.
When we move more, more Calories are sent to the tissues being remodeled.
Finally, protein turnover improves.
One of those tissues constantly being broken down and fixed is muscle.
Eating more and moving more facilities the repair of your muscle and directs more Calories away from less desired areas ie. fat cells.
Getting G’d up
So, if you want to lose more fat,
Gain more muscle,
And have better overall health,
You need to move more.
But you can eat some more too.
So, that’s kind of fun.
We aren’t saying to start eating entire pies,
But we’re also not suggesting that you need to work out 2 hours per day in the gym.
Even just a little increase in activity can be of benefit.
Research suggests that the benefits of G-flux start at 5 hours per week.
So, something as simple as adding a couple walks into your schedule,
And a couple more mobility drills to your strength training warm-up,
Can be enough for an increase in G-flux
and therefore an increase in health, fitness, and performance.
Here’s a sample week
Monday – total body weight training for 1-hour (includes dynamic warm-up)
Tuesday – 30-minute walk with the family (instead of watching just one TV show)
Wednesday – total body weight training for 1-hour
Thursday – 30-minute walk at lunchtime
Friday – total body workout for 1-hour
Saturday – cut grass for 1-hour
Sunday – Family activity for 1-hour ie. playing soccer at the park
We get it.
You probably have 18 things to do every day that don’t involve movement,
And that’s fine.
We’re not trying to get you to completely overhaul your life.
Introduce the principles of G-flux in a progressive fashion and build up to that 5 hours.
And once you get to 5 hours, build to 6.
And once you get 6, build to 7.
Even something like shoveling snow,
And gardening in the yard counts as movement.
So, start off by picking just one thing you could add to your daily activity.
Is it a walk with your family?
A walk at lunch?
A Sunday family activity?
Whatever it is,
Just start with that one thing,
Make sure you’re 90% confident you can do it,
And do it for a couple weeks.
Then add some more activity for a couple weeks.
It doesn’t have to be complicated,
It just needs to be a step in the right direction.
Just take that first step…NOW.