by Kajs Hadžić
of KH Performance Lab
Consuming the right amount of food every day to reach your body recomposition goals is easier said than done, even if you're trying to gain weight. In my previous article, I explained how to determine the ideal caloric intake for building muscle or burning fat. Here, I’ll teach you some tricks to hit your daily caloric targets as easily as possible.
heaven to a bulker is hell to a cutter
Food Volume and Weight Loss
In a state of caloric restriction, your body is in "panic mode,” compelling you to eat as much as possible so you don’t die. Fortunately, you can suppress this response by filling your stomach with a high volume of food. The more space your food takes in your belly, the more it stretches, and the more satiated you’ll feel.1
Weight Loss Tricks
- Drink a glass of water 10 minutes before a meal to fill your stomach and feel more satiated without consuming more calories.2
- Eat your veggies, which not only take up a lot of space in your stomach, but require considerable time to consume. The longer you take to eat, the fewer calories you take in before you feel full.3 Vegetables from the cabbage family (e.g., broccoli, cauliflower) and leafy greens (e.g., spinach, kale) make excellent additions to your plate.
- Don’t overcook your vegetables, as doing so will reduce their water content and limit volume. Your veggies can be raw, blanched, or steamed. As you won't be roasting or using copious amounts of oils, spices will provide much-needed flavor without additional calories.
- Try intermittent fasting, which limits how much you can eat to a feeding window that’s a few hours long as opposed to all the waking hours in a day. For example, if you have a five hour feeding window, then there's a good chance that 30 minutes after your first meal, you won't feel hungry until the fifth hour, when you eat your last meal of the day.
if this won't suppress your appetite, then I don't know what will
Food Volume and Weight Gain
High food volume makes weight loss more tolerable but makes weight gain torturous. While it’s easy to gain weight by eating fast food because it won't take up much space in your stomach, living like a garbage disposal isn’t good for your health. Your weight gain diet should revolve around nutritious foods that are prepared so as to minimize volume.
Weight Gain Tricks
- When preparing meals, incorporate some foods that are calorie dense but low volume (e.g., nuts, milk, butter, fruit, honey).
- Consume fewer vegetables or reduce their water content by cooking them thoroughly to make room in your stomach for higher-calorie foods.
- Prepare meals that are easy to eat quickly (e.g., risotto, meal replacement shakes). By the time your body realizes you’re full, you will have eaten most, if not all, of your meal.
Dieting is hard, which is why so many fake fitness experts can regurgitate diet advice but can't lose weight or build muscle to save their YouTube channels. Even with a sensible and sustainable diet, it helps to have some tricks to make your nutrition goal easier to achieve. The above tactics will help you stick with your diet and improve your chances of a successful body recomposition.
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1 “The stomach and intestines provide post-ingestive information through the physical signals of stretch/distension...providing feedback related to meal quantity." (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4796328/)
2 "Gastric volume rather than nutrient content inhibits food intake" (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8853402).
3 “Stomach stretching is a mechanical satiety signal that takes some time to kick in and reach the central nervous system. It's hard to estimate in exact time due to so many factors being involved but a slower eating rate has shown to increase satiety but not reduce energy intake in participants exhibiting HDR in a laboratory setting (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3253303/)