Today I want to talk about something that I know is on a lot of your minds:
It’s the single most sought after goal of any fitness program. It’s on the television, magazines, and every single digital media outlet we encounter. I’d bet you’d find a weight-related status update on your facebook feed right this second.
For most people, weight-loss is the figurative “carrot at the end of the stick” that most people endlessly pursue, sometimes getting there only to have it gained back. And it’s like that again and again.
In fact, weight-loss isn’t even hard. Its actually pretty easy to achieve but it’s crazy hard to maintain.
Part of the reason why, is because the concept of Weight-loss is so misunderstood. Most people know they want it but aren’t quite sure how to get (and stay) there. There’s a dizzying number of products, programs and guru’s who claim to know the best way but when it really comes down to it, lots of things work.
However, we become an easy target for a lot of the B.S when we don’t understand what we really mean when we say, I want to lose weight.
First of all, you don’t really want to lose weight. You want to lose body fat.
You want to improve body composition which is the ratio of Body Fat to Lean Mass. Nobody comes to me and says, I want to look like a sack of skin on a coat hanger.
You say, I want to get ripped or get toned. These are just varying ways of saying I want better body composition. Less fat.
I recently read an article on a new craze call the K-E diet. It featured a woman who wanted to lose a few pounds before her wedding so she enrolled in a weight-loss program that consisted of a pure liquid solution for 10 days.
Okay, that’s extreme but I’ve heard worse.
Here’s the kicker, she had a feeding tube inserted so she couldn’t consume anything but the 800 calorie cocktail solution that dripped into her nasal cavity everyday via a solution that she toted in her purse. WOW! (Oh, by the way, she wasn’t even overweight).
This was administered by a doctor too. Yes, a doctor whose supposed to promote your health above all, okay’ed a perfectly healthy woman who had zero chronic weight problems to not eat for 10 days and perpetuate her wildly unhealthy body issues.
Here’s a great article about the Feeding Tube Diet and a great excerpt:
Another issue is that because weight loss happens so quickly in the K-E diet, it’s a virtual guarantee that it will come back on later. It’s a Band-Aid solution to the larger problem. Weight loss works over the long term only when one actually changes the behavior and lifestyle choices that led to overweight in the first place. “In terms of quick weight loss,” adds Katz, “it is a guarantee of quick rebound, since it involves no useful behavior change whatsoever. It has nothing at all to do with health, and basically endorses the notion that weight loss by any means is acceptable. If that is so, I recommend a 10-day cocaine binge. It will work as well, and probably be more fun, than a nasogastric tube.”
[my emphasis added]
So here’s why that diet and others like it will actually make you fatter:
Severe calorie restriction puts your body into survival mode. It doesn’t know where fuel is coming from so it decides to feed off of reserves.
Yes, that results in fat-loss but not only fat-loss. Your body is very resilient and can turn muscle mass and even your organs into fuel. This is called a Catabolic State, when your muscles, your most valuable ally in your quest to stay lean, are used up for fuel.
Strict calorie diets can cause you to lose a ton of water weight and 40-50% of the weight can be muscle tissue.
Which is why someone who goes on something like an all-shake or diet-pill or detox diet loses so much weight in a few weeks. It’s severe calorie restriction via meal replacement, meal-skipping, appetite suppressing or all three. It’s a short term fix.
You lose of bunch of water, muscle, and some fat. And the rebound weight gain is staggering.
But muscle is a metabolic furnace that burns fuel all day long, and when done correctly, burns fat all day long and in your sleep. It is the most valuable tool you have to burn fat and improve body composition.
Tom Venuto, author of Bun the fat feed the muscle, says,
“The critical factor to turning your body into a fat-burning machine is to build and maintain as much lean muscle mass as possible. It is fat-burning’s secret weapon.”
You ever see a guy with considerable muscle but a big gut decide he wants to get in shape? The fat falls off his body. Why? Because once he decides to eat right the muscle burns through the fat stores on demand.
Conversely, guys and girls with little or no muscle mass find it more difficult to drop weight because they do not have the same advantage. Ironically many go on severe calorie restriction and further decrease their muscle mass and perpetuate their plight.
A weight training regimen with sound eating would do the trick.
(Side note: People think muscle turns to fat. Not True. One cannot become the other and You never actually lose body fat, you can only drastically shrink the size of the fat cells that are already there.)
Lets look at a highly typical scenario very similar to the one Venuto lays out in his book:
Jane weighs 200 pounds
20% fat (40lbs)
160lbs lean body mass
Jane reads people magazine and decides to take Snooki’s diet advice and decides to eat less with diet pills.
She lose 20 pounds in 30 days and is ecstactic. She is now:
15.5% Body fat (28lbs)
152lbs lean body mass
12lb fat lost
8lb lean body mass lost
The diet from an untrained eye looks very successful. However, Jane lost 8lbs of lean body mass so now her basal metabolic rate (google this for a definition) is lower which means she burns even less calories than before.
So if Jane falls off the wagon, which we all do from time to time, she will more easily pack on fat because she has less lean mass to feed. Even if she eats well she has to eat less to maintain because she has less lean body mass so it becomes quite easy to gain all the weight back and more. Still with me?
If you read my post in San Pedro Today this month you’ll hear me talk about the myth of Massive Action and solely relying on willpower.
So many people take massive action. They cut down calories and kick up the cardio. It’s incredibly effective short-term and enormously ineffective and detrimental long-term.
This is not what you want. You want to choose your goal and determine the quickest path to get and stay there. It’s about forming habits that make your fitness hard-wired into your life.
Being active, Eating mostly great and indulging from time to time.
Thats all for now.
Stay tuned there’s going to be much more content on this stuff.
This Month we are kicking off the next Heyday Challenge.
It will be a fat-loss challenge designed to help any of you struggling to achieve staggering results quickly. Yes time to get ripped and toned.
As always, it won’t be hype or quick fixes. It’ll be lifestyle changes that you *could* stick to for the long haul. But it will be more intense because it is designed to accelerate fat-loss.
Many solutions are a blanket square-peg-round-hole solution but this will be designed to work based on your unique body type.
You will have an option to do 21 Days or the longer 40 days. It all depends on how aggressively and how ambitious you are.
It is not a competition but rather a serous program to help serious people get on track and showcase their results. I hope you’re looking as forward to it as I am!
More details to come.
Questions? email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 310-692-4439