This goes against the grain!

I have decided to give up with my present gym membership doing the tread mill, rowing, cycling etc and go in favour with my personal trainer's sessions of HIIT (High Interval Impact Training) in addition to my hourly sessions with her.

The thing is, I have to cease calorie counting and that is so very difficult to do. The knowledge is that you fuel your body so that you burn fat and build lean muscle which means the more lean muscle you have the more efficient your metabolism will be i.e it shifts unwanted fat. You have to eat more protein in order to feed the muscles as they work harder. I'm just finding it really difficult and it goes against the grain to know that I will need to eat butter, cream and quit the low fat stuff!

I guess I am going to gain weight initially, so please bear with me if my weight loss is on hold until my system starts responding to this new way of thinking (for me) and eating.

Does anyone else do this routine and if so, how are you finding it?

Many thanks for listening to my plight.

9 Replies

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  • Hi

    I eat like this , I never count calories , I've lost 4 stone since March :-)

  • Oh wow that's amazing. I've been reading up with Joe Wicks. It makes sense but having been a calorie counter and being different to what I know, I just thought I would field it here. So pleased to hear it really works. Thank you for that and great going by the way.

  • My Hubbie is our main cook and loves the joe wicks books

  • Again, that's encouraging. Thank you.

  • Yes and no. I eat the full-fat whole-foods, but don't go overboard with the protein because I don't want to rev up my metabolism too much or I'll speed up ageing.

  • Is that what happens???

  • I’d suggest that your PT has mis-interpreted the science behind the effectiveness of HIIT exercise, so you’re right to question her methods, particularly in advising you to abandon the counting of calories.

    Firstly, if you wish to lose weight, you need to introduce a calorie deficit from your recommended maximum, albeit not as severely, if HIIT is included as part of your exercise routine.

    Granted, HIIT can dramatically improve weight loss, due to the fact it exercises the body’s anaerobic energy pathway, leading to far a greater depletion of glycogen in the muscles and an increased uptake of fat when oxygen isn’t as readily available during the hard intervals.

    Equally, the expenditure of calories continues for up to 24 hours afterwards, as the body works to re-balance its oxygen levels, while also working to remove lactic acid (known as the after-burn or EPOC effect).

    As such, by seeking to abandon the counting of calories, how do you know that what you’re consuming daily is sufficient to ensure that the body receives the nourishment it requires, taking into account the level of calories expended as a result of EPOC?

    In the absence counting, you could be consuming too many or too few calories over the course of the week, both of which will hinder the ability to lose weight.

    Nonetheless, your PT is correct in suggesting that increased consumption of protein will assist in improving lean muscle mass and rate of metabolism, since muscle requires calories even when resting.

    However, in order to allow the muscles to replenish depleted energy (so that HIIT can continue to be performed), is she aware of the role that carbohydrates play in allowing that aim to be achieved?

    Don’t confuse the distinction between the two, since each plays a different role when it comes to the development and endurance of muscle mass.

    Protein helps to repair and maintain muscle fibre, while carbohydrate ensures that the muscles have sufficient energy to ensure that ATP production (adenosine tri-phosphate) continues to occur within the cells, particularly during HIIT exercise.

    Equally, due to the numerous physiological adaptations that occur as a result of HIIT, ATP density of muscle cells (power) does increase, allowing the hard intervals to be performed for longer before failure is reached, but the muscles must still be replenished with carbohydrate afterwards, to ensure improved athletic performance continues.

    In case you’d not guessed by now, HIIT exercise features as part of my weekly exercise regime, with its frequency differing, depending upon whether I wish to cut or maintain.

    Nonetheless, I still ensure that calories continue to be counted to support my respective aims.

    If I wish to cut, I’ll introduce a small deficit from my TDEE (perhaps 200Kcal), allowing the calories burned through HIIT to take care of the rest, performing HIIT on three occasions each week.

    Decreasing calorie intake too severely impacts upon my performance and prominence of muscle mass.

    Alternatively, if I wish to maintain current weight, I’ll consume sufficient calories to meet TDEE while performing HIIT twice a week, largely to ensure that weight isn’t gained while continuing to ensure strength and performance.

  • I had to make the post quite short, but what she meant was to quit looking for the low calorie stuff but use a bit of butter, regular yogurt etc so that the body can utilise it's properties to burn fat. She recommended the Joe Wicks Lean in 15 and his theory on getting the body into shape. I think I will always be aware of calories regardless!

    Thank you.

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