Flex sorts out the legit nutrition “rules” from the nonsense

April 21, 2011


You Can’t Get Lean Eating Carbs

FICTION. Getting lean boils down to the fundamentals: (1) consuming fewer calories than the body is used to getting, and (2) burning more calories than normal through lifting and cardio. Outside of that, you have to control carbs to some degree, but you can get lean with higher carbs. In fact, adequate carbohydrate intake prevents thyroid hormone levels from dropping. (Thyroid hormones are produced by the thyroid gland and are extremely important in governing fat burning.) If carbs plummet too drastically, thyroid levels are likely to take a dive too, which will put a damper on your fat-burning efforts. So keeping your carbohydrate intake adequate – enough to train hard and keep hormones in check – is the smart way to go.

Skipping Breakfast Can Lead to Fat Gain

FACT. Without a doubt, bypassing breakfast is violating one of bodybuilding’s golden rules. When you wake up hungry and skip breakfast, levels of the protein hormone leptin, which regulates appetite and metabolism, can change, thus encouraging the body to hold onto body fat. In addition, skipping breakfast facilitates a catabolic (muscle wasting) state, which also causes the metabolism to slow. Think about it: You’ve been sleeping for 7-8 hours (maybe more), which basically means you’ve been fasting. Outside of maybe brushing your teeth, the first you should be thinking of upon waking is getting adequate protein, complex carbs and even some dietary fat. This muscle wasting state is such a concern for bodybuilders that guys like Jay Cutler have been known to wake up in the middle of the night and down a protein shake just to stay anabolic.