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So this week I had the honor to interview the one and only Lyle Mcdonald.
For those of you who don’t know who Lyle McDonald is, Lyle is a physiologist and author who has spent over a decade obsessively finding ways to apply cutting-edge scientific research to sports nutrition, fat loss and muscle growth. Lyle Is a very smart guy that really helps us all by taking the complex subjects and make them really easy to understand.
And just like tony robbins says:
“Complexity is the enemy of execution”
So I will write down some of the main points from the interview for those of you who prefer to read and not listen:
From a lil bit overweight kid, Lyle started his fitness journey in his early age and found out “fat loss” as a very interesting subject.
Today after writing 12 books about fat loss, flexible dieting ( actually Lyle, was one of the firsts guys that started it, about 13 years ago) lyle is still out there sharing his knowledge with others and really helping us all understand fitness to a much deeper level.
Lyle, there is so much research out there, so many studies that comes out every single day. How can you value a good research and what should be considered as you go deep into it?
what you really want to consider is to read it all and see how the study is designed. Too many people just read the titles. You also want to check on how many people it’s been test on, because there is a big differences between a 20 people research to a 200 people. But if you really want to make things simple, all you have to do is look at what statistics show and compare it to it.
For most people, this is not something they usually seek for knowing into details so I would suggest to leave it to people who really know how to read it. If you still interested, you can check the site pubmed and also consider finding people who has background and know the statistics.
What’s the difference between men/women fat loss?
the women hormones can change every week, what can make changes in their body.
If we look at their menstrual cycle, the first week they are more insulin sensitive so they can use carbs better so their hunger control is better. When looking at physical performance, men usually feel the same, they can feel super energetic in one day and another one a bit lower.
For women it can go from feeling good to not even wanna get out of bed!
Women can be super strong at week 2 and then not being able to lift at week 4.
Women also use more fat in aerobic exercises but less fat during the day ( which is the other 23 hours in a day). And that’s way more important than just the one hour aerobic.
As for men, they use more carbs during exercises but more fat during the day.
Also, women can lose less muscle than men when they diet.
If you are a male at 10% body fat, you can lose 1 pound of muscle for every 3 pound of fat you lose.
Women will lose about 1/3 of what men will lose and a lot of that is because estrogen decreases and less protein is used as fuel in the body. You see, women’s body are very biological involved to spare calories.
When talking about pregnancy, just to support that, women burns a lot of calories. Just from breast feeding they can burn about 400 calories per day!
Does women menopause effects on hunger and weight loss?
you see, estrogen can go up and down and progesterone can go up and middle, and women can retain water typically in the second to four week. They can even see an increase of 5 pound a day and after just 2-3 days it can go down. A good way to really calculate this is to do a 7 days average.
Another thing that should be consider is that women can mess up their hormones between just 5-7 days!
So if you take a women on a low calories that all she does is cardio, she eats 80% of her food from carbs, if you just increase her protein her hunger will be in a better control. For that you decrease her carb intake to moderate, give her a little HIIT workouts instead of long cardio session and weight training and BOOM! Just like magic- it works!
Too many women go too extreme with their diets and exercise and for that cortisol goes way up and even when they are stuck they go even worse! So they add more cardio and cut more calories.
We all love to over complex the simple stuff, this is the mentality we are living in today.
How can you difference between boredom/ emotional hunger to a real hunger?
try to wait for 10 minutes. If after 10 minutes you are still hungry, then you are physiologically hungry.
So a man/woman who just start their fitness journey want a “treat” And what he/she start to binge after they do eat?
If you are an obese person or someone with bad food habits, than flexible dieting might not be good for you as start. My recommendation is to wait between 6-12 weeks.
You also don’t want to go too streak in your diet and go ” black/white”.
Flexible diet is a psychological thing, if you are a cookie or screw up one time in your diet does not mean that you are a bad person.
We are all humans, so the main focus should always be on the bigger picture and the long term.
What about refeeds? Do you think that’s necessary to every dieter?
Refeeds allows you to eat more calories, specially from carbs.
It help your hunger and makes you have more energy, both mentally and physically.
So for some, refeed can be a great tool to use but for a person who is just starting out, specially if you are obese, you don’t need a refeed day.
What do you think about Cheat Meals?
I really don’t like the word ” cheat meal”, or even worth- “cheat day”! because people don’t eat normally when they “cheat”. They eat as much garbage as they can. Just like you won’t cheat on your wife or a test, you don’t cheat on your diet.
You want to make sure that you control your diet and not letting the diet control you.
So if you are gonna eat out, just buy what you want to eat and that’s it! Do not buy more or buy big amounts because if you do, you can end up eating the whole thing.
Usually you will want to stick to 1-2 refeeds per week depending on your current physique.
I recommend using the refeed meal close to bed time, and also because of a lot of people see that they are much less hungry the day after a refeed day.
Let’s talk about some trends in the fitness industry. What’s your take on IIFYM/paleo/ IF/ ketogenic and so on?
There is a lot of nonsense in the fitness industry.
You should look if the strategy works for a lot of people and how many people did not succeed on that strategy and why?
This way you can learn from others mistakes so you can get better results and know if that’s the right thing for you.
What do you think about intermittent fasting and fasting in general?
There is some great research on that but what works for one doesn’t mean It will work on another. For a lot of people it can be very convenient but for some, not eating for too long can make them binge and overeat.
The most important thing in training is always show up and in nutrition is consistency. It might not be “sexy” but that’s the raw true.
Gaining muscle is something that require a lot of time and same for fat loss, especially when you have a lot to lose. So those who will be consistent with their diets and training will guarantee to have great results.
How can you overcome plateau? And when would be the right time to cut off from your calories?
Most people don’t track their food intake correctly. They don’t measure the amount of food very well. They think they eat less but the true is they eat way more.
But how can you still calculate but at the same time not get too obsessed about it?
I would suggest to try tracking your food for about 2 weeks with an app like MYFITNESSPAL. This way your eyes can look at the difference between portions.
Once a male gets to 10-12% body fat or a female to 17-18% body fat, they are gonna have to measure.
Going back to the subject about plateau, a plateau is when you don’t see a change in the body for a minimum of 2-3 weeks.
Only then you start do this steps in this order:
1. Check for 2 weeks your calorie intake
2. Get chill- try to relax, do some meditation, take a day off and eat a little more.
3. Metabolic adaptation- when your body adjust to your new calorie intake you should first start by increasing your activity and if that doesn’t work you can decrease your calorie intake. You can also do a combination of those two. A good amount will be around 100 calories decrease or adding just a 10 minutes of aerobic activity. If you choose to do both, 50 calories decrease+ 5 minutes of increasing aerobic.
The problem with most people is that they get too much frustration so they tend to go too extreme like adding 1 hour more of cardio.
The bottom line is that you have to understand that fat loss is a journey that might take some time, especially when doing it naturally. So you have to work smart, plan it good and have enough time to diet down and really understand that it will not take a month or a two. In some cases it can go beyond 6 month.
You just have to focus on the next 12 weeks because if all you do is focus on how long it is and how much time it takes from you, you would probably just quit.
YOU CAN FIND LYLE MCDONALD ON:
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