And then go a little further. Ask any person who has BECOME lean. I’m specifically NOT referencing people who are relatively lean all the time or have been since youth. I’m talking people who’ve put in the sweat equity to dramatically change their comp. You’re going to find out that the hollowed-out insides and nausea-level hunger IS the moment you’re getting leaner.
I’m not saying that people who’ve generally been lean their whole lives have no valuable insight. They know a few things. But what they don’t know is the biochemical pain you get from BECOMING leaner.
Debates rage over fasted cardio and keto nutrition. I think those debates are convenient for people who’ve never lost 70lbs of fat or 100+lbs of body mass. For those of us who have, we know well what it actually takes.
It takes feeling sick, at least once, but unfortunately maybe repeatedly. Your body has no interest in getting leaner. So it is going to try to hurt you to prevent a decrease in body mass. I say “good.” Bring it on.
Among peers of mine or even clients, when we definitively and predictably KNOW they are getting leaner, there’s a fairly replicable situation which occurs during a 16-48 hour fast or in fasted cardio: a wave of malcontent. Can people get incredibly leaner without ever hitting and breaking through this threshold? Maybe. But I doubt it.
Part of the underlying reason is that most people are severe pathological sugar addicts. Get ready for withdrawal. Get ready for pain. When you begin to get immediately-accessible energy low enough to obligate fat loss, you’re going to feel an internal battle. You may feel nausea. You may feel repulsed. Your intuition will tell you to eat, fuel up, rest, stop exercising. Nope. It’s time to go a little further.
In the same way that an illicit drug addict has to feel worse FIRST in order to break through to the other side of addiction, thus is the journey for the average American to obtain healthy body mass.
For me personally, when I’m embarking on the journey to get as lean as possible, I mark the beginning of the journey by the severity of discomfort. That is, I don’t even believe I’m beginning to get leaner until I’ve experience at least one bout of morning fasted cardio where I achieve a punch-to-the-gut level episode of nausea.
Though difficult, the beauty of this inflection point is that you may only have to pass it once when you continue compliance with fat burning efforts. For people who’ve never lost a substantial amount of weight, they’re generally oscillating up to and away from this threshold. They never quite cross it. They avoid acute pain only to be in constant long term frustration.
I’m not saying it’s easy. It isn’t. But it’s productive. Acclimating the body to healthy cell waste clearance, autophagy, beneficial catabolism, is tough. It is. But frankly, it carries a heft of seriousness which will never happen with common fitness practices defined by waffling about. Go until you hit withdrawal. Then keep going.