While most diets focus on severe calorie restriction (eating less) and excessive cardio (doing more) we try to take a bit of a different approach.
We do what’s called “Nutrient Partitioning”.
Which is eating and training in a way that allows you to control and/or influence what your body does with the calories you put into your body.
Instead of just eating less, we want to train our bodies to put the calories we eat to work.
To make sure what we eat doesn’t get stored as fat…and instead, starts burning through the fat stores.
All while promoting the building of muscle to keep your metabolism revving.
The way we do it is by flexible dieting.
Meaning, we don’t look at dieting as a rigid “This food is bad, and this food is good” kind of way.
Instead, we shift your mindset to understand that
Food is a tool.
And when you understood how to use those tools…
Every calorie you eat can start to work for you…
Instead of against you.
You learn that food is not your enemy.
Or something you have to try to “burn off” in the gym.
But rather, gasoline you use to fuel the engine driving you towards your goals.
It’s a pretty fundamental change in most people’s relationship with food.
From something that causes them stress, guilt, and shame.
To something that they control and manipulate to their will and ends.
It’s a shift I made years ago and when I did..
I no longer had to try different diets or fads.
Because I knew how they all worked…
And most fad diets were all doing the exact same thing but trying to call it something “new”.
“Rolling a turd in glitter” as I like to say.
And because I understood how real weight loss worked, at any time I could create a plan for myself that either burned fat, built muscle, or helped me maintain my weight.
And I could do it for others.
And that’s something we want everyone who does a challenge with us to have as well.
So I’ll get into the details of the challenge but before I do, I wanted to teach you a quick but very important lesson in weight loss.
Actually it’s more of an immutable law that if broken, you’ll never lose weight.
And as you read, you might be tempted to think,
“Oh I already know that!”
Well, maybe you do.
But if you’re struggling with your weight, you might have heard it but I doubt you understand it.
So here goes.
The most basic equation to weight loss is known as “CICO” (Calories In / Calories Out).
And this means as long the amount of calories you eat (CALORIES IN) and the amount of calories you burn (CALORIES OUT) are the same, you’ll maintain your weight.
So in order to lose weight, you just shift the balance.
Consume less calories than you burn.
This is called a “Caloric Deficit”.
Voila, you now know how to lose weight.
This is the most basic building block of weight loss.
Mountains of infomercials, celebrity diets, and books are built on this one premise:
To lose weight you must create a caloric deficit.
But while this is the first rule, it’s incomplete.
You see, if losing weight was as simple as “just eat less” then we would wipe out an entire industry because there would be nothing to learn, we’d all just starve ourselves.
But it’s not that simple is it?
See most people approach weight loss by trying to eat less food, or take in less carbs, or they do a ton of cardio, or run a marathon.
And sure, they lose *some* weight.
But it inevitably stalls.
Then they’re stuck again.
And eventually they gain the weight back.
First, they just focused on the calories in/calories out but they had no idea where their calories should have been to begin with.
It’s like asking Siri for directions to New York but not providing your location.
Ya you might get there but you’ll waste a ton of time and energy.
Secondly, while you do want to lose weight, the kind of weight you lose is very important.
So let me ask you a question when you say “lose weight”, would you rather lose 10 pounds by cutting your arm off or would you rather lose jiggly fat from your midsection?
Body fat right?
Well the way most people do diets, while not as extreme as amputation, isn’t that far off.
Severe calorie restriction or excessive cardio has much the same effect.
If you consume too little or burn too much, the weight you lose is NOT the weight you want to lose.
You’ll end up losing muscle not fat.
Have you ever seen someone lose a ton of weight and be left with a ton of extra skin?
A big reason is because the weight loss was not paired with muscle preservation.
So the goal is not to lose any kind of weight. The goal is to lose BODY FAT.
So the question is, how does one lose weight but make sure it’s the *right kind* of weight?
It requires you to have a little deeper understanding of how your metabolism works.
But with two acronyms (BMR and TDEE) I’m going to help you understand it in 2 minutes flat.
The law of Calories In / Calories Out begs two very very (very) important questions…
- How many calories do I, as a unique individual, need to eat to stay at my current weight? (Caloric Balance)
- How much should I eat to get to my goal weight? (Caloric Deficit)
Those two questions are what makes the “just eat less than you burn” a lot more complicated.
Because we all burn calories at different rates.
Age, gender, activity level, genetics, etc.
All those influence the number of calories you burn.
So before you attempt ANY weight loss plan you need to know what YOUR unique daily caloric balance is.
We call this TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure).
This is the average number of calories “you” (as in the person in the mirror) burns each day factoring in age, gender, activity level, genetics, etc.
Once we know this, we know our starting point and we can then decide how many calories we’d need to eat to lose weight.
But here’s the thing, if you burn 2000 calories in a day (that’s your TDEE) what does that mean for a diet?
Should you just go on a treadmill and burn 2000 calories so you can lose weight?
You can’t just keep cutting calories.
If you cut too many you will signal “survival mode” to your body and it will burn up muscle and store fat.
You have to create *just enough* of a deficit to promote weight loss without signaling a “starvation response”.
Ok, so how the heck do you do that?
You have to know what your BMR is.
BMR- (Basal Metabolic Rate)- the number of calories your body needs to accomplish its most basic (basal) life-sustaining functions.
It is the MINIMUM number of calories your body needs.
To do things like…
Maintain lean tissue.
Your body needs a certain amount of fuel even if its not moving to perform all the above.
And if you don’t provide enough calories to do this, you’re going to signal RED FLAGS.
And this will trigger what some might call “metabolic damage”, or “starvation mode” which means…
Your metabolism will be lower. (sometimes permanently)
Fat will be harder to lose.
And you will lose muscle because, since muscle burns calories, your body doesn’t want to keep any “expensive” cargo.
This is a metabolic slowdown that we do NOT want.
So how do we avoid this?
The “trick” to losing weight is,
Create a sustainable caloric deficit that promotes weight loss but does not signal a “metabolic slowdown”.
And you do that by eating less than your TDEE but never below your BMR.
This is the first building block of long-term permanent weight loss.
So with that as your starting point figure out your TDEE by going here: TDEE Calculator
And your BMR by going here: BMR Calculator
Doing so will put you light years ahead of what most people are doing to lose weight.
The beauty of this approach is that while most diets have you eating progressively LESS over time in order to keep losing.
We can do the opposite.
By understanding how food and training can work together we can do what’s called,
Which is the gradual increase in calories while maintaining (and sometimes losing more) body fat.
Meaning you can eat MORE of the foods you love.
And continue to keep the body you worked really hard for.
We call it truly having your cake and eating it too.
And if you’d like to participate in our upcoming challenge that takes all these principles and puts them to work go here: Carb-Cycling Fat-loss Challenge