High Performance Vegan Letters

Why You Should Start Eating More, 2 Timeless Truths For Permanent Weight Loss, and One Exercise To Avoid

Published about 2 months ago • 5 min read

Why You Should Start Eating More, 2 Timeless Truths For Permanent Weight Loss, and One Exercise To Avoid

Date: January 12th, 2024

Read time: 5 minutes

It's almost the middle of January.

And watching the seasons change can teach us about our nature.

There are seasons for activity.

And seasons for reflection.

There are also seasons mixed with both.

However, I'm not sure if we allow ourselves the freedom to explore and reflect enough...

(otherwise, most people wouldn't be working in jobs they dislike, staying in relationships that don't serve them, or continuing to neglect their health).

The following three months or so before spring is a great opportunity to slow down as everyone else is 'speeding up.'

One of my favorite quotes on progress is:

"Slow first, then smooth, finally fast."

Taking the time to examine and explore our motivations coming into the new year (if you haven't already) can make 2024 your best year on this planet.

Or it can just be more of the same.

Thinking or reflecting is one of the highest activities that a human being can engage in.

Our mind truly does create our reality.

Whether it's unconscious or conscious, we are writing the next chapter of our life right now.

Take the pen and write out what you want.

Get clear on your motivations and why you want each goal.

And take consistent action.

It's estimated that only 5% of Americans set goals.

Is there a correlation between the 95% of people who struggle each year and don't set goals?


Take a power pause before rushing into the chaos of this year and reflect on what you want.

Then, go out there and get it.

Lesson: Less is more when you're doing the right things.

Here is your 5 Minute Friday:

Why You Should Start Eating More

More food.

More movement.

More muscles.

One of the themes from last year that I noticed with a few of our new students coming into VFR was the high percentage of undereating people.

Men and women alike.

However, specifically with our female clients, this was even more prominent.

Kim Constable, a leading vegan bodybuilder, shares the reminder above.

More food. More movement. More muscles.

What she's emphasizing here is the importance of fueling your muscles with energy (food).

If you're trying to drop weight or fat tissue (which we'll cover more in the second topic below), undereating will be a clear obstacle to life-long success.

The reason why?

Your body will adapt to eating at lower calories.

This will create a new maintenance caloric phase for yourself, which, in laywoman's terms, means the less you eat, the slower your metabolism.

The fancy word for this is metabolic adaptation.

It's the secret behind why every diet eventually fails (given enough time).

Your body doesn't want to change.

It prefers to remain in homeostasis.

Which means stay the same.

It's kinda like trying to build a house, but supplies drop lower and lower.

Eventually, you couldn't build the house due to insufficient supplies.

The house you're trying to build is your lean, toned body.

Your food will be the supplies you need to build lean muscle and drop fat.

Eating more, especially if you've been undereating for months or years, will be the best thing you can do for your body.

Pair this with lifting 3-4 times a week?

You're set up to create a strong, lean body.

2 Timeless Truths For Permanent Weight Loss

#1 First Truth

Weight loss or dropping fat isn't linear.

While dropping fat is clearly defined with specific formulas and mathematical equations, it's not always a straight ride down.


Because your body has a ton of fun things always going on inside.

Stomach content.

Muscle storage.

Water retention (60% of your body is water).

Even poop...

All of these contribute to the rate of weight loss you'll see in your fitness journey.

So why is this important?

Because we're emotional creatures first, not logical.

Understanding the lay of the land before starting a fat-loss cut is necessary to retain results and stay consistent.

95% of people who diet eventually regain the results.

As emotional creatures, coming prepared with the emotional and psychological tools to WIN will help you keep your results.

Your path will have obstacles and pitfalls like the yellow brick road.

Cherish these obstacles.

They will be the fire that burns your mental and emotional resolve.

And gosh darn it - don't give up on yourself.

It's 2024, and it's time you created the body you deserve.

#2 Second Truth

Dropping fat and weight is a law of thermodynamics.

Health concerns and issues aside (which is many of us - to be fair), dropping weight is a simple process.

Eat less than your body needs, and your body will tap into existing fat storage and will for energy.

Aka, if you don't have enough energy coming in, your body will start using existing energy (fat storage) for fuel.

Your backup fuel tank is your current fat storage.

Yet, two mistakes happen when people start dropping weight.

  • They underestimate how much they're eating
  • They overestimate how much they move

Dropping ~500 k/cal per day x 7 days = ~3,500 k/cal per week.

3,500 k/cal = 1 pound of fat tissue.

Once you know your maintenance calories (which varies per person), dropping the calories is straightforward.

Focus on eating less and moving more.

And keep in mind the first truth about how we're emotional creatures.

This will play a role in how fast you see results.

One Exercise To Avoid

In 1969, Bruce Lee injured his back.

The famous dragon had to lay off from training for an extensive period and had back pain for the rest of his life.

The cause?

Barbell good mornings.

While it's unfair to say that barbell good mornings should never be used, there's reasonable evidence to avoid it.

First off - 80% of Americans ALREADY have lower back pain.

Adding to this wouldn't make sense.

Secondly - the risk vs reward with using good mornings leans more towards risk for the average lifter.

While there are powerlifters and competition lifters that could benefit from using barbells good mornings, the truth is most of us have dysfunctional movement patterns.

Using a highly technical exercise like the barbell good morning would only make things worse.

As a side note, barbell squats, deadlifts, and even bench presses are also yellow flags if you don't have your technique down pat.

I've winced every time I see someone doing a squat or deadlift and crushing their spine.

Back to good mornings, the conclusion?

Consider using alternative exercises like glute ham raises, trap bar deadlifts, or even the Zercher good morning.

These will give you the same benefit with a significant risk reduction.

Training should enhance your life, not injure it.

One Quote To Finish Your Week Strong

"If you always put limit on everything you do, physical or anything else. It will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them."
Bruce Lee

2024 is the Year of the Dragon.

Is that an accident?

I don't think so...

I wonder what else this year will bring forth.

- Gabriel

Whenever you're ready, there are three ways I can help you:

#1 Join our free high-performance fitness FB group to get access to dozens of live trainings recorded along with a tight-knit group of leaders who want to get healthy, lean, and strong.

#2 Are you a high achiever who wants to be lean, strong, and lead by example? Click here to read our complete archive of free high-performance articles at your leisure.

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Let's be friends:

(feel free to DM me anytime - I love connecting with new friends worldwide).

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High Performance Vegan Letters

by Gabriel Zhanay

Join the top 1% of plant-based founders, leaders, and creators. Every week, you'll receive practical advice on how to build muscle, get lean, and build a high-performance body that fuels your busy plant-based lifestyle.

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