Blog / Common Conversations I have

0

The following are common conversations I have had with people about reaching their fitness goals.
 
 

The guy who can’t gain any weight.

(assuming they’re already weight training and trying to gain muscle)
 
Guy: I just can’t gain any weight.
 
Azad: No problem, I’m sure I can help, how does your current diet look?
 
Guy: I eat A LOT, I just can’t figure it out.
 
Azad: Tell me what you eat from the moment you wake up until you sleep.
 
Guy: Well I have to get to work early so I have a cup of tea with a slice of toast for breakfast. Then once at work I have a protein shake and an apple. For lunch I’ll take a walk and maybe get a wrap on the way from Tesco, anything vegetarian. 
 
Azad: Okay, the walk sounds good. What about after lunch?
 
Guy: After lunch, I’ll have a banana before I leave work as my pre-workout. After gym I’ll take my protein shake and go home and eat roti. Usually 3 rotiya with sabji. On some days it might be English dinner instead. That’s all.
 
Azad: I’m going to be honest.
 
Guy: Please do.
 
Azad: There’s just not enough food there. It sounds like a cutting plan. I’m really struggling to count more than 1600 calories here. I’m glad you’re eating some fruit though, that’s good. The other good thing is you have time for various meals over the day, so let’s aim to increase the calories throughout your day by increasing portion sizes in those individual meals. Based on your stats and your lifestyle, you need around 2200 calories just to maintain. So let’s shoot for 2500 (a decent surplus) so we can see some gains. 
 
You should consider liquid calories for when you don’t have much time, like mornings and nuts and seeds too which are loaded with calories and minerals useful for muscle-building.
 
The other thing we’ll do is track weight weekly. If it doesn’t increase, you increase the calories by another 100 and carry on this process. The biggest sign we’re looking for will be strength increases within the gym. 
 
This conversation will typically happen with someone who classifies themselves as a hard-gainer and upon reviewing their daily intake, they seem to realise the issue. Another one is on the other end of the spectrum. 
 
 

The guy who can’t lose any weight.

(assuming they’re already weight training and trying to lose fat)
 
Guy: I can’t lose any weight. I’ve been trying to lose fat for months.
 
Azad: No problem, I’m sure I can help, how does your current diet look?
 
Guy: I ‘ve tried low carb, fasting, removing dairy… I just can’t figure it out.
 
Azad: Tell me what you eat from the moment you wake up until you sleep.
 
Guy: Well for breakfast I’ve always had a smoothie. It’s a scoop of whey protein in milk (less than a pint), I add a banana, 2 spoons peanut butter and oats too. It usually comes out to 2 big glasses full. Lunch will typically be a jacket potato at work, then after lunch…
 
Azad: Before you go ahead, what’s alongside the jacket potato?
 
Guy: Nothing much just standard beans and I’ll usually get double cheese and some butter is already in it.
 
Azad: Let’s complete the day.
 
Guy: After lunch around 4pm, I’ll have a juice, some mixed nuts and a packet of crisps, sometimes a TREK bar too for protein. This energises me well for the gym. I will have a coffee before leaving work too. I go straight to the gym and have my post workout shake with me too which is 50g whey and 50g oats.
 
Azad: Good job with the carbs + protein post workout, and dinner?
 
Guy: It’s usually roti with daal or sabji and I’ll have 200g cottage cheese on the side always.
 
Azad: How many rotiya?
 
Guy: 2 or 3 typically, unless there’s paneer then maybe one extra.
 
Azad: That’s cool. Do you have anything else before sleeping?
 
Guy: I will have a mango shake that is made at home with protein in there sometimes on workout days. Otherwise nothing.
 
Azad: I’m going to be honest…
 
Guy: Please do.
 
Azad: It seems like too much food for someone who isn’t very active outside of the gym 4 times a week. It seems like the intention is to gain mass. You’re over-consuming. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was over 3000 calories there.
 
Guy: Oh wow, that’s just always been the way I eat. The last time I tracked I was around 2200 calories daily.
 
Azad: This is definitely more, and does explain the reason you’re struggling to reach your goals. It’s why I ask about what you eat, it tells me a lot. The good news is you’re eating plenty of protein which will help you a lot in your journey to get leaner. We just need to reduce calories overall throughout the day. One area we can do that is in the morning smoothie. Smoothies are great for those who need to get calories in quickly, for yourself it may be wiser to eat a solid meal as it will have more of a satisfying effect. We can do the same things and put it into an oatmeal, minus the peanut butter and banana and add some strawberries perhaps.
 
I’m happy with the structure of the day however you need to control calories. A daily step count of 10,000 is necessary too, not just for fat loss but for general health.
 
This conversation will typically happen with someone who has been working out for a while but has real difficult losing body fat. Upon reviewing their daily intake, they seem to realise the issue which is over-consumption through big portions.
 

What to takeaway

1) Sometimes we’re in denial with our own efforts (even I’m guilty of this). We think we’re doing everything in our power to progress, when this is rarely the case.
 
2) We’re generally quite bad at guessing our calorie intake especially in relation to our goals. Those looking to gain are typically eating less than they think and those who are trying to get leaner are eating far more than they believe.
 
3) CALORIES MATTER (saving the most important for last). So ensure you’re in a surplus for gaining and a deficit if getting leaner is the goal.
 
 

Leave a Reply