THREE ESSENTIAL PRINCIPLES OF WEIGHT (FAT) LOSS – PART 2
Ben Dearman, KDR Fitness
This is a follow up post to Part 1 where we covered the first principle – click here to read it.
The second principle is –
You must be in a caloric deficit – “Don’t be a dumb ass.” – principle of don’t be a dumb ass
This is probably the fuzziest one, because we can’t use simple math, or “if, then” argument (other than if you eat too much then you won’t lose weight). If you’re trying to lose weight, and you think you can eat more then you burn, and the weight will fall off of you…then we need to go back to Weight Loss: 101.
You need to eat fewer calories than you burn.
Class dismissed. I’ll see you all for Weight Loss: 202 next semester.
Inevitably this point leads to the “How much should I be consuming” question.
Well, I got two answers for you:
- I don’t know.
- About 10% of what you need to maintain your weight.
Anyone that tells you to eat X amount of calories is taking a best guess. I can throw a number out there for a caloric intake for weight loss – generally I like 10-12 calories times body weight if working out hard 3-4 days week.
There are a lot of things that go into figuring out caloric intake as far as weight loss goes. Not to mention that there is at least a 15% deviation in calorie burn from day to day and individual to individual.
So, let’s focus on point number two – 10% less. Generally, the common mistake we see with most stalled weight loss attempts is that someone is in too much of a caloric deficit and we can’t figure that out because they are doing too much (that’s point number three above – rest and respond.”) We need them to increase their calories or drop their activity back.
How does burning less lead to increased fat loss?
I am not going to get into that too deeply. The body is a complex organism and will do what IT thinks needs to be done to ensure its optimal survival. Often times, that’s against what you want it to do, i.e. weight loss or building muscle. You might want a smaller ass and bigger guns, but if the body thinks that’s counterproductive to optimal survival – good luck. You can be in TOO MUCH of a caloric deficit and at that point – weight loss is not optimal because your body thinks you’re starving.
Starving will most assuredly NOT lead to adaptations to ensure optimal survival.
How do you fix it?
Stop all activity for one to four weeks. The longer you have been unsuccessful at losing weight, the longer you need to stop everything for.
Why? Don’t worry about it. It’s not important to you, it’s great that you’re seeking to understand…but I don’t write these articles to exercise my fingers and consequently I am not going to get too much into the science of things.
Generally, if you have been unsuccessful (meaning NO CHANGE in lean body mass or fat mass) for three to four months AND you are doing step one above take off one to two weeks.
Every month to two months after that (meaning I have been trying to lose weight for 6 months and I have had no change in lean body mass or fat mass) add in roughly 5-7 days. It’s not rocket science. What we are trying to do is get a base line of – no activity and no weight change, and that requires you to stop working out.
The key here is NO WEIGHT CHANGE. We need you holding your weight for at least 7-14 days consistently. Then it’s easy! Count your calories for 3-5 days (the more you count the more accurate you will be in figuring out base caloric intake or “basal metabolic rate”) and average them out. Then subtract 10% from that OR add in one day of exercise.
That’s it. One day or subtract 10% calories. Do this for two weeks. Did you lose weight? If yes – stay the course. If no, adjust the other thing, i.e. if you drop 10% calories for two weeks and no change, now add in one day of activity for two weeks.
Track and repeat, alternating what you do, decrease calories for two weeks, increase activity for two weeks. Never do both – then you don’t know what caused what. Eventually you will hit the sweet spot of appropriate calories with appropriate activity.
Why so small?! Why can’t I add in activity AND drop calories?!
Well you can. But we are trying to make this as scientific as possible and calories + science = does not compute. We may be able to put someone on Mars in the next few years, but we still don’t understand exactly (from a science stand point of 1 + 1 = 2) how weight loss or weight gain occurs.
So when you decide to run 2 miles every day, plus weight train 4 days per week and eat 1,200 calories you might see results (maybe), but you have no idea what to continue in order to keep the weight off.
Plus, that sounds miserable. I like to eat. I would rather weight train 2 days per week and eat 1,800 calories. Especially because we don’t specifically know which will cause better results!
With weight loss – slow is generally better.
Sum it up – figure out how many calories you need to consume to maintain your weight with no activity, then subtract 10% and/or add in one day of exercise.
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