EAT LESS AND EXERCISE MORE! This is what we have been told for some time now. But is this true? Does this work? Where is the science to support this? If there were some, we would not still be debating the best approach to weight loss and management today.
I have had multiple clients that have lost body fat while eating more calories and with zero exercise. How is this so? This does not make sense in the ‘eat less and exercise more’ scenario. These clients were eating more calories, but they were different calories compared to what they were eating before.
Karen (my wife) was working with a trainer a few years back and was consuming 3,000+ calories per day. She did not gain any fat at all; she actually gained some lean muscle. Sure she was working out, but not any more exercise than when she was eating 1,800 calories. How is this so?
We all exercise way more today then we use to. I do not recall ever hearing Ward Cleaver telling June that he was going to stop at 24 hour fitness on the way home from the office. With all this exercise going on, why are we fatter now more than ever? How is this so?
Exercise won’t make you skinny because the first law of thermodynamics, ‘calories in vs. calories out’, is a little bit too simplified for weight loss management.
One problem is that our body does not metabolize all calories the same way. Some types of foods we consume stimulate fat storage, while others do not. So the types of foods you consume, or do not consume, are what determine your success at fat loss.
Think about this: If you consumed 120 calories from a coke and 120 calories from spinach, do you think your body metabolizes those calories in the same way?
The human body is an incredibly complex machine that is regulated by hormones. I have 2 teenage girls at home (and I was a teenage boy at one time) so I know ALL about the power of hormones. Think about this, growth hormones are responsible for the growth of everything in our body, why would we think they are not responsible for the growth of our fat?
When we grow from a child to teenager and then to an adult, we do not have to sit down and calculate how many extra calories per day we will need to consume in order to grow properly. Our body automatically takes care of that. When you have a baby, you don’t sit down purposefully and calculate how many extra calories you need to consume each day to in order grow and support your baby. Our body takes care of that. All of this happens without us noticing or understanding how; it all happens naturally.
For the past 30 plus years, everyone one has said we are fat because we eat too much and do not exercise enough. Here is another way to think about that. If we are fat, then our body (just like it does when we are pregnant or when we are growing from a child into young adult) will take care of all that (the “all that” being making sure that we are fat).
In other words, we do not get fat because we eat too much and do not exercise enough, but rather, we eat too much and do not exercise enough because we are fat. THAT is a totally different way of looking at the ‘calories in vs. calories out’ rule.
But why does our body want us to be fat? It doesn’t. Our biochemistry is out of whack due to our environment (specifically our nutrition). Imagine if you were pregnant and you did not want to gain the extra weight. Or if you were a young child and you did not want to grow any taller. Do you really think working out is going to stop your hormones from doing their job? Your body is way too smart for that. It is a losing battle.
It is the same with fat loss. If you have some extra pounds that you struggle to lose and keep off (keeping it off is the key), then you need to reboot your biochemistry and get it in sync again. This is done through your food. Once you get your biochemistry in sync, you have no cravings and your body uses your fuel instead of storing it, which is the goal.
Don’t get me wrong here, I am a huge proponent of exercise. In fact, I exercise 4x a week religiously. But I do not do it to burn calories, I do it to stay healthy and to be fit.
So pay attention to what you eat and get the most from your workouts! Stop obsessing with ‘calories in vs. calories out’ and instead start paying attention to the signals from your body. Is your body trying to hang onto fat? If so, why?
If you need help ‘re-booting’ your biochemistry, that’s what I’m here for. Give me a call and let me help get you back in sync.