Updated: Jul 20, 2021
The bottom line and ultimate determining factor with regards to whether you are going to lose weight or not is whether you are in a calorie deficit, meaning you are consuming less calories than you are burning!
It doesn’t matter what exercise or nutrition plan you are on (yes that includes keto), if you’re in a regular calorie deficit, you will lose weight! Simple!
So, if you are burning 2000 calories per day with your day-to-day activities, moving, walking, talking and exercising, but you’re consuming 1800 calories per day, you have a 200-calorie deficit which your body will obtain by burning fat and you will lose weight.
Alternatively, you could consume 2000 calories per day but increase your physical activities by exercising more so your body actually burns an extra 200 calories per day. The result is that there is still a 200-calorie deficit which your body will obtain by burning fat and you will again, still lose weight!
So, as you can see, you can either eat less or move more!
But which is better?
Our Power Plans suggest creating most of your calorie deficit from manipulating your diet by eating fewer calories than you’re burning.
Why? Because it might take you an hour or two to burn 200 calories via exercise whereas you could probably create that same 200 calorie deficit simply by eating 2 or 3 slices of bread less or skipping that extra coffee (or switch to a low-calorie coffee creamer and sweetener)!
Which do you think is easier? Skipping that extra latte, which literally just takes a few minutes? Or exercising for an hour or two?!
Think we can all agree that in this example, skipping the latte easier!
Eat and drink 200 calories less every day for 17 to 18 days and you will have burnt about 3500 calories, which is equivalent to burning a pound of fat!
It’s that easy!
That’s why it always amuses me when patients say they’re not losing weight because they haven’t had time to exercise when in reality a simple, small, daily dietary calorie deficit is all you need to lose weight!
Don’t Starve Yourself!!!
As with everything, when you’re trying to lose fat and get into shape, there are limits to what you can do with your diet!
The aim should always be to lose weight slowly! Small changes are what you need to make big, long lasting differences to your body composition.
Lose weight too fast or cut your calories too drastically and a significant proportion of the weight lost will be from losing muscle and not fat!
Lose muscle and your metabolism will be harmed, setting you up for terrible rebound weight gain while also paving the way to being skinny fat or just plain skinny!
When you’re in ‘starvation mode’, your body’s ability to retain and build muscle is compromised.
Now Is The Time To Exercise More!
If you are affected by either of the two variables below, then it’s time to STOP eating less and exercise more:
You are not able to meet your protein intake target of 2g of protein per Kg of ideal body weight (remember, keeping your protein intake high, along with your weight training, will help you to minimize muscle loss as you lose weight)
You are too weak and tired to exercise / lift weights
What’s The Best Exercise To Burn Calories?
The answer is simple, CARDIO!!!
Cardio burns calories and helps you to lose fat whereas lifting weights, in all honesty, burns very few calories.
The reason our Power Plans advocate lifting weights is because this gives your body the necessary signals to hold onto your muscles or put on some and ensure you have that desirable athletic and aesthetic beachwear model physique you want once you’ve burned away your fat!
Don’t lift weights and you run the risk of losing both fat and muscle as you lose weight, leaving not only a crippled metabolism but also a less than desirable physique (skinny fat or just plain skin and bones skinny).
Muscle is metabolically active tissue so putting on even a little bit of muscle may protect and even boost your metabolism, allowing you to burn more calories even when you’re at rest!
Translation – More muscles mean you can eat more without putting on weight!
Weight training should remain your primary exercise modality but if you’ve reached the limit of what you can do by reducing your calorie intake and still have that last bit of stubborn fat to lose, you need to add some cardio to your routines.
So if cardio is so great, why isn’t it recommended off the bat? Because many forms of cardio conflict with weight training and actually tears down muscle tissue!
Tear down muscle tissue and you end up with all the detrimental effects described above like a crippled metabolism and less aesthetic physique!
Thankfully, not all forms of cardio were created equally and some will help you reach your physique goals faster without tearing down your valuable muscle tissue!
So Which Form of Cardio Is Best??
Here’s a little clue..
It’s not HIIT!
Read the next part of this feature where we give you a rundown on all the best forms of cardio to burn fat while NOT losing muscle so you can finally achieve that superhero physique you’ve always wanted!
You’re almost there folks!
See you in the next post!
Dr. Bobby Stryker