If you read anything today, it should be this.
For years, I myself told people, “exercise more, eat less – thats how you lose weight!”
This is true.
Unfortunately, I disagree with this statement completely now. Yes, I can change my views on things too, I am human.
So why is is wrong, and what DO I suggest?
First lets look at the principles behind the statement.
If you increase exercise, or movement in general – you burn more calories.
If you eat less food, you consume fewer calories.
Thus, you create a caloric deficit. Meaning, you are burning more calories than you consume, and by the undeniable laws of thermodynamics – you should be losing weight!
This is all true.
So what is wrong with exercise more, eat less?
“I need to do more cardio” – ” I need to go to more bootcamps” – “I need to workout more”
Three common statements made by people who want to lose weight. All good statements, but all could be neglecting something important – DIET.
You cannot out train a bad diet. You might be able to at the start, but it won’t last. I promise.
You lost weight by running a bunch and not really looking at your diet. Then all of a sudden life happened and you had to stop running 2 hours a day, 7 days a week. Then what happens?
Or you hit a plateau in your weight loss, so you must add more running! Now you are socially exiling yourself from your friends and family, because you need to run 12 hours per week to maintain your weight loss – that sounds fun.
Exercising more is not the answer.
So you want to crash diet to fit into that dress for the winter ball? Ok. Go jump on a standard cookie cutter diet (which definitely doesn’t include cookies) and starve yourself at 1200 calories a day. You will lose weight.
But then what?
You either have to keep eating so little that you burn out, or yup – you have to exercise more to create bigger deficit.
Man or woman, starving yourself brings about some pretty nasty hormonal side effects – I don’t recommend it.
So what the hell do you recommend?
Exercise More, Eat More.
Exercise Less, Eat Less
(but maintain a caloric balance suited for your goals)
What does this mean?
Want to lose weight at a sustainable rate? Then live in a 300-500 calorie caloric deficit for most days of the week, and don’t go crazy on days that you aren’t.
Want to gain muscle at a sustainable rate without gaining tons of fat? Maintain a caloric surplus of 200-300 calories for most days of the week that you train.
So say you want to lose some fat.
Here is what your week might look like:
As exercise increase, this allows you to eat more – which will help maintain muscle mass, and your sanity – and as long as you stay within a deficit, you are golden.
So how do you figure all this out?
That is way beyond a blog post – and unfortunately it isn’t as simple as just plugging in numbers to a formula. For in general, if you live by being aware of 1) Did I exercise today? and 2) Did I eat a little more today? and 3) Am I still losing/gaining weight (dependent on goal) – then you will have your answers.
This is my goal for everyone. Stop this trend of eating less and less and less, and exercising more, and more – and find a sustainable process that works for the long haul, and you can switch it on and off like a faucet – with very little problems.
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Stay healthy my friends,