What is Volume Eating?

What is Volume Eating?

Body Composition
Volume eating helps with the most critical factor to success when it comes to losing weight and keeping it off… the calorie balance equation. In other words, to lose weight you need to burn more calories than you consume. Volume eating is one way that you can reduce the number of calories you eat whilst eating a lot of food. It is not a strict diet plan; it is a technique that you can apply to your current diet in order to reduce the calorie density (also referred to as energy density) of what you consume. When following this approach, the focus is eating a lot of foods that have a lower calorie density. Why is this way of eating useful? By focusing on mostly foods with a lower calorie…
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Pros and Cons of Reverse Dieting

Pros and Cons of Reverse Dieting

Body Composition
Reverse dieting gained massive traction some time almost a decade ago. It looked like this almost too good to be true strategy that could be useful for speeding up your metabolism and allowing you to eat more food without gaining weight. It could help to build better relationships with food, allow you to eat more food and manage your appetite better, while also allowing you more calories to use as fuel for your training. It is NOT a weight loss tool. Increasing the number of calories, you maintain your weight on could set you up for future weight loss. But reverse dieting itself is not designed for weight loss. The definition I use for reverse dieting is that it involves slowly and systematically increasing calories at the end of a…
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Fat Burning VS Fat Loss

Fat Burning VS Fat Loss

Body Composition
Fasted cardio and very low carb diets have both been consistently touted as the special ingredient for fat loss due to their ability to increase fat burning. You don’t have to be a veteran of Bodybuilding.com to have heard that skipping breakfast before some morning cardio or eating chicken and broccoli, hold the rice, is the secret to getting ripped.  Both fasted cardio and very low carb diets have gained popularity based on the assumption that if your body does not have carbs to burn for energy, it will burn fat instead. From a superficial level, it would make sense to assume that burning fat for energy would equal fat loss. But does this claim really check out? What is fat burning? ‘Fat burning’ or fat oxidation refers to the…
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Nutrition for Fat Loss

Nutrition for Fat Loss

Body Composition
Fat loss is some that from a nutritional perspective is somehow both simple and incredibly complex. Understanding nutritional priorities when it comes to fat loss can make the process seem simple. It can also make it easy to avoid focusing on things that do not really matter. But it can be ridiculously complex when you factor in all the details that can be relevant. This post is going to cover the fundamentals of nutrition for fat loss, while also touching on a lot of practical points. As a dietitian writing about nutrition for fat loss, the training/exercise aspect will not be discussed in this post. But if your goal is fat loss, it makes sense to also be training or exercising in an effective manner that also lines up with…
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Supplements for Bodybuilders and Powerlifters

Supplements for Bodybuilders and Powerlifters

Body Composition, Sports
When it comes to bodybuilding and powerlifting, we all know that training, rest and nutrition, in general, should be prioritised above supplementation. If you are looking to optimise your body composition and performance though, it makes sense to take advantage of any benefit you can. And while supplements might not be necessary to see great results, there are certain situations where they can help improve your results. This post is going to list common supplements used in the bodybuilding and powerlifting community and how they may or may not be beneficial. Creatine Creatine is one of the most well-studied supplements that consistently provides benefits. It is a naturally occurring non-protein amino acid that is found in foods such as red meat and seafood. But typically, people do not consume the…
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Nutrition For Strength Athletes

Nutrition For Strength Athletes

Body Composition, Sports
Strength and power athletes are typically looking to enhance power relative to body weight. This means some sort of resistance training is going to be a big part of their training. As with any type of training, proper nutrition has a significant impact on how well your body responds to and recovers from training. In strength training, nutritional objectives include: meeting caloric needs providing the optimal ratio of macronutrients (protein, carbohydrate, and fat) incorporating specific timing of meals/nutrition   providing optimal micronutrients (vitamins, minerals) ensuring sufficient hydration Energy, nutrient needs, and nutrient timing can differ vastly from person to person or in the context of different sports and training modalities. Just a few of the factors that come into consideration are age, gender, height, weight, level and intensity of training or…
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Are Refeeds or Cheat Meals Beneficial for Fat Loss?

Are Refeeds or Cheat Meals Beneficial for Fat Loss?

Body Composition
Refeeds or cheat meals/days typically involve either a day or meal that is significantly higher calorie than what is regularly being consumed. Generally, they are undertaken during a dieting phase where you are consistently in a calorie deficit. And from what I see, they are most often performed once per week, often on a weekend. A cheat meal is typically just a high-calorie meal that is generally high in carbs and/or fat. A cheat day or refeed day is a day that is usually either a day at maintenance calories (instead of a calorie deficit) or a calorie surplus. Refeeds and cheat meals/days are pretty much interchangeable phrases, although I prefer the term refeed since that implies that it is being utilised for purposes beyond just a break from the…
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How Large Should a Calorie Surplus Be for Muscle Gain?

How Large Should a Calorie Surplus Be for Muscle Gain?

Body Composition
One of the biggest questions in the fitness space is how to gain muscle as quickly and efficiently as possible. And while a calorie surplus is not always necessary for gaining muscle, no matter how you look at it, a calorie surplus is going to be a necessary step for doing it in the most efficient way possible. If the goal were just to gain muscle as quickly as possible, it would make sense to utilise a large calorie surplus. But this is where efficiency comes in. A large calorie surplus is likely going to lead to a lot more fat gain and an unfavourable ratio of fat to muscle gain. This then either leads to more time having to be spent dropping body fat down the line or just…
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Pros and Cons of Protein Powder

Pros and Cons of Protein Powder

Body Composition
Protein powder is one of the most commonly utilised sports supplements. While it has a wide range of potential applications, it’s typically used by people aiming to improve their body composition through increasing muscle mass and/or decreasing body fat. It isn’t necessary, but it can have some utility if used well. Pros Convenience In some cases, it can be difficult to obtain the optimal amount of protein through food. Protein powder can be a tool to help reach this target. It also can be useful for times when you want to consume protein, but it would be inconvenient due to schedule or appetite. For example, if you are on the go, a protein shake is going to be more convenient than a meal. Or if you have just finished a…
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What Is Metabolic Adaptation and Why Does It Occur?

What Is Metabolic Adaptation and Why Does It Occur?

Body Composition
For a long time, people have been aware that total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) changes during phases of dieting. Personally, my first insight into this phenomenon was when I saw the phrase “metabolic damage” a bit over 5 years ago. This was at some stage in my nutrition degree at university. My understanding of the concept was that if somebody was aiming for weight-loss and was in a calorie deficit for an extended period, their “metabolism” (which I didn’t fully understand at the time) would slow down. My take on the main difference between metabolic damage and metabolic adaptation is that ”damage” indicates that there is an issue, whereas adaptation indicates that the body is making an adjustment. Damage could indicate that the metabolism is broken and needs to be…
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