What if I told you that blaming your metabolism for your weight gain and difficulty in losing weight is just a bunch of hogwash?
Did that get your attention? If so, that was precisely my intent. Yes, your metabolism plays a role in your weight, but it is not the reason you have difficulties with your weight loss. Your troubles with weight loss are because you are consuming more calories than your body burns, no matter your metabolic rate.
Does a high metabolism allow others to eat more than you and not gain weight?
Yes, it does. But when it comes to taking off those unwanted pounds, it still requires the same reductions in calories for one with a higher metabolism as it does for one with a slower metabolism. If one person requires 3000 calories per day to maintain homeostasis and another requires 2000 calories per day, it still requires a reduction of 500 calories per day for both individuals to lose one pound per week, and the struggle to reduce that 500 calories is the same for both individuals. Your body wants to maintain itself at a certain body fat percentage, even if that percentage is not healthy for you. But, you can not use this as an excuse for not being able to lose weight. You can do little to change your metabolism, but what you do have direct control over is the foods you fuel your body with. As long as you continue to feed your body junk fuels, you will struggle to lose weight. The reason most diets fail you, even the expensive plans you can join, are because they allow you to continue to fuel your body with poor food choices as long as you “track” them. This sets people up for failure every time.
What role exactly does metabolism play in weight gain or weight loss?
Let’s first begin with defining metabolism. Metabolism or metabolic rate is defined as the series of chemical reactions in a living organism that create and break down energy necessary for life. More simply, it’s the rate at which your body expends energy or burns calories.
Our bodies burn calories in several ways:
Through the energy required to keep the body functioning at rest; this is known as your basal metabolic rate (BMR). Your BMR is partly determined by the genes you inherit.
Through everyday activities, including how much or how little you fidget.
Your metabolism is not your fault since it is largely based on your genetics. Some people are blessed with a faster metabolism, others are not so blessed. This is the reason why some people can eat more than others without gaining weight. You may not feel this is fair, but that does not change the fact you still have the control over the content and quantity of the foods you consume each day. It is not even debatable that a person with a slow metabolism will burn fewer calories at rest and during activity and therefore has to eat less to avoid becoming overweight. But the mechanism to lose weight is identical for both individuals and can be just as difficult for each. The struggle to lose body fat is the same for those who want to drop weight no matter whether they are beginning at 40% body fat or 20% body fat. The difference in the ability to lose weight is the discipline it takes to control your food intake which should be high nutrition, low calorie foods and to then not exceed the total amount of calories required to meet your goal.
You have to be an active participant in your weight loss goals, and not by taking bogus supplements that promise to raise your metabolism, or through fad diets. These will fail you every time.
The rising tide of obesity in this country cannot be blamed on an inherited tendency to have a slow metabolism. Genes do not change that quickly in any species. The causes can be tied to an abundance of poor food choices coupled with sedentary lifestyles. Consider this, how many times have you ever sat down in front of the television with a plate or bowl full of less than healthy food and then proceeded to continue eating past the point of feeling full? If we are being intellectually honest, every single one of us who have ever had a weight problem have done this. Regardless of whether your metabolism is fast or slow, our bodies are designed to store excess energy in fat cells. When you eat and drink more calories than your body expends you will gain weight. Conversely, if you eat and drink fewer calories than are burned through everyday activities (including exercise, rest and sleep), you’ll lose weight. While you don’t have much control over the speed of your basal metabolism, you can control how many calories you burn through your level of physical activity. The more active you are, the more calories you burn. In fact, some people who are said to have a fast metabolism are usually just more active and fidgety than others. There’s no easy way to lose weight.
The foundation for weight loss will always be based on physical activity and diet. Take in fewer calories than you burn, and you will lose weight.
When you are losing weight through diet and exercise, do you know what is actually happening within your body?
Do you know what becomes of all these fat cells as your body leans out?
At David’s Way, we believe for one to be successful at weight loss and management, it is imperative that you know and understand what is happening within your body. Knowledge is the key simply because just going through actions is truly not enough. If you do not understand the physiology of your body, you are more likely to put your undesired weight back on after losing it.
Of course, most all people understand that when we consume more calories than our body can burn, fat cells increase in both size and number. But what becomes of these cells when we diet and exercise?
When you lose fat, your fat cells actually shrink in size, while their number remains roughly the same. The primary reason for changes in body shape is a reduced size of your fat cells, not the number of them. When you lose weight, these fat cells remain and if you do not remain vigilant and steadfast in managing your weight, these fat cells are going to enlarge themselves once again. This is one of many reasons why maintaining weight loss is so difficult for most people. This is exactly why healthy nutrition and physical fitness need to become a part of your lifestyle rather than something you just want to get through in order to be ready for the beach in the summer.
How fat loss works.
When we over eat, or consume the wrong foods, the excess calories from fats or carbs is stored in fat cells in the form of triglycerides. This is how your body preserves energy for future needs. Over time, this excess energy results in a fat surplus that can affect your body shape and health. This is why calories consumed versus calories burned is important to weight management even if all we eat is healthy foods. Excess calories are excess calories no matter who you are. You have to be in a caloric deficit in order to lose fat. If you are on a diet and the fat is not coming off, you can be guaranteed that you are still eating more calories than you are burning.
When we maintain a consistent calorie deficit, fats are released from fat cells and transported to the energy-producing machinery of the cells in your body called mitochondria. Here, the fat is broken down through a series of processes to produce energy. This is a process that is occurring within your body 24 hours per day, but for some, the process is hampered when it is still having ten pounds of junk being shoved into a five pound bag. Excess calories overwhelm this process! You must maintain a calorie deficit in order for fat stores in your body to continue to be used as energy, which is the only way to reduce your body fat.
Carbon dioxide and water are the byproducts of fat loss.
When we consume fewer calories than our body burns, our body composition begins to change. Carbon dioxide and water are released when your body fat is broken down for energy through complex processes within your cells. The carbon dioxide is exhaled during breathing, and the water is disposed of through either urine, sweat, or exhaled air. Disposal of these byproducts is greatly elevated during exercise due to increased breathing and sweating.
The Bottom Line
Of course genetics and medical reasons can make it difficult to lose weight, but they do not make it impossible. Fat loss is a complex process influenced by a number of factors, with diet and physical activity being two of the major ones. With a sufficient calorie deficit and proper exercise regimen, fat cells shrink over time as their contents are used for energy, leading to improved body composition and health.
Many times we work so hard to improve our lives only to undo all of our work with habits that seem harmless. Small tweaks in our routine can make all of the difference!
1-Boost your self esteem with activity, with your doctor’s permission of course. Exercise is one of the very best anti-depressants. When we feel good about our accomplishments we are more likely to behave in a manner that will reinforce the lifestyle that created our newfound happiness.
2-Develop a supportive social network and avoid negative people with negative input into your life. There are some people whom you believe have your best interest at heart who do not. They will try to influence you to be like them and forget about your new lifestyle. Don’t allow this to happen.
3- Get yourself a new wardrobe and dispose of all clothing in larger sizes. If we don’t have bigger clothes, we’re more likely to try to stay in the new smaller sizes that we worked so hard to wear.
4-After reaching your weight loss goal, continue eating the same way. Add just enough calories to stop your loss and make this way of eating your lifestyle. Let it become your normal.
5-Minimize clutter to help control stress. A cluttered environment leads to a cluttered mind which leads to anxiety. Anxiety produces a strong desire for comfort foods, alcohol or drugs. Stop anxiety in it’s tracks at all possible venues.
6-Guard your overall health and energy. Get a physical with blood labs. There are some physical conditions that can cause depression and lethargy. If left unchecked, they may cause the desire to overeat to become overwhelming.
7-Avoid alcohol. Alcohol contains excess empty calories. It lowers your inhibitions which can lead to uncontrolled binge eating. It also interferes with leptin production which lets you know when you are full.
8-Avoid sugar. It’s high in empty calories and causes spikes in blood sugar and insulin which drive cravings for more of the same, and an endless cycle of cravings and weight gain will ensue.
9-Remember that you are choosing to be healthy. It has not been imposed on you. This is something that you chose for yourself. There is no struggle for power or competition.
10- Set an achievable long term goal with many short term goals along the way. This will keep you focused on making progress.
Now, celebrate the difference in the way that you feel with less weight to carry. Enjoy your newfound energy and the physical abilities that come with it and carry on. Remember, it’s a lifestyle that will see you into old age and beyond with strength and energy. Don’t grow old gracefully. Grow old with style.
One of the things we see as a huge problem in the weight loss industry is the focus is almost always placed exclusively on weight loss alone. You can join one of the largest weight loss groups in the country, pay your monthly fees and still not find true success in achieving a healthy body, specifically because they only concentrate on helping you in getting to a goal weight instead of a goal body fat percentage. At David’s Way to Health and Fitness, we want you to concentrate on achieving a healthy body fat level over reaching a random weight. You might reach your goal weight when following any of the popular programs, yet still have an entirely too high percentage of body fat. What you weigh is meaningless when you are what we refer to as being “skinny fat”. Being skinny fat is when by outward appearances you are at an ideal body weight, yet you are still soft and pudgy from still carrying too much fat. In fact, being skinny fat is worse than just being obese simply because most skinny fat people do not recognize they have a problem. After all, if you are over the age of thirty and weigh what you did as a senior in high school, all is well, right?
Here in lies a humongous problem, nutrition is similar to religion in that it is visceral. People can get too caught up in what feels good over using intelligence and common sense. It feels good to lose weight, and many take it as a matter of faith that a pound lost is a pound lost, while not caring where the pound lost came from. They do not care, or do not understand, there is a huge difference in a pound of water being lost over a pound of actual fat being lost. All they want to see is the number on their scale dropping which makes them feel good. These people will always find themselves let down when that pound of water weight is replaced as soon as they begin consuming and retaining fluids. Water weight loss is meaningless when it comes to what is important. What is important is losing your body fat to a healthy level for your body.
To get at a healthy level of body fat and remain there, we need to first understand something. Obesity is not just a matter of simple weight gain.
Obesity is an accumulation of excess body fat!
If you want your weight loss to mean anything, then you must understand that your priority must be focused on achieving a healthy level of body fat over a random weight number that just “seems” to be right. Some of the major weight loss groups will help you to get to a weight that places you in a healthy range within the Body Mass Index scale, yet you might still be “skinny fat” and unhealthy. To be healthy, you have to concentrate on losing body fat, not just weight.
Through interactions with our own followers at David’s Way to Health and Fitness, and through the study of several weight loss programs, it is astounding that there are so many people who have little grasp of what makes up their weight and what to do about it. Your body weight is comprised of more than one factor; water content, fat content, muscle content and your structural components such as bones, tendons and ligaments. If you want to simplify this, look at your body as two parts, pure body fat and lean body mass for the rest.
If you are trying to figure out your ideal weight, quit looking for a mystical number you believe is going to make you look and feel good about yourself. Concentrate on getting to and maintaining a healthy body fat percentage. You can refer to our Pictorial Body Fat Estimator here to see where you need to be. Fifteen percent is a good goal for men, while twenty two percent is a good percentage for women.
In today’s America, the average man has 23% or higher levels of body fat, while the average woman’s body fat is 32% or higher. This means the average male is 53% fatter than he should be while the average woman is 50% fatter than what is healthy. Somewhere along the way, we Americans have become some of the fattest people on the face of the earth. And why would this be?
This is simply because too many people, including so-called experts, have no true understanding of the relationship between diet and fat loss!
Be sure to check out and join our new Facebook Support Group, David’s Way to Health and Fitness, Sugar Free Living
I used to hate the taste of yogurt. My mind was made up that there was no way there would ever be any type or flavor I could find that I might enjoy. I could not see myself getting past that yucky tang that comes with the taste of yogurt, that taste of sour milk repulsed me. I foolishly believed all yogurts were made equal, equally yucky that is…
But, I was totally wrong in my belief!
Today, plain, full fat Greek Yogurt is something I eat each and every day.
About five or six years ago, my youngest daughter Molly told me how much better Greek yogurt tasted than regular yogurt. She talked me into trying Oiko’s brand Key Lime flavored Greek yogurt and I became hooked that day. Except there was one problem…
All key lime flavored Greek yogurts I could ever find were low fat versions, and after a while, I began tasting that tangy sour milk taste coming through. I tried other flavors of Greek yogurts but could not find any that had a flavor I could enjoy, and I was really burnt out on the key lime after about a year of eating it. This was all when I was eating an excessive amount of calories to fuel my power lifting regimen and did not care about sugar content which all the Greek yogurts in my local stores have as an ingredient.
Once I cut sugar entirely out of my diet, there seemed to be nothing I could eat in the way of Greek yogurts anymore. That is until my wonderful co-author Brenda Sue suggested I give plain, full fat Greek yogurt a try. I got to say, at first this sounded horrible to me. I could not see myself eating any plain Greek yogurt, but then she turned me on to several different ways to flavor it my own way, and best of all, do it without any added sugar at all.
Let me tell you, plain, full fat Greek yogurt is a creamy and versatile treat. I use sugar free Crystal Light to flavor it anyway I want. I also use powdered peanut butter, Saigon cinnamon, nuts and seeds to add further dimensions of texture and flavor to it as well. I love this stuff, and eat it every day now.
And best of all, this treat is about as healthy and good for cutting body fat as they come.
Greek yogurt makers add an extra step to their process so that excess water, lactose, and minerals drain out. What’s left is a creamy, rich yogurt. Plain Greek yogurt is a nutrient-packed snack that has many health benefits. A cup of it can help you meet the recommended dietary guideline of three daily servings of dairy products. People who have lactose intolerance may also find Greek yogurt easier to digest because of the bacterial breakdown of the milk’s sugars. An average serving, depending on the brand, can have 12 to 17.3 grams of protein!
Yogurt has a much higher amount of protein than milk.
Your body uses protein to build:
Protein is also one of the three nutrients that provide energy. It also transfers substances, such as oxygen, across cell membranes. Getting the right amount of protein for yourself is important for your immune system, nerves, and fluid balance.
You’ll need more protein to maintain muscle mass as you age. For the average adult , 65 years old or older, the amount of protein needed increases to between 1 and 1.2 grams per kilogram a day, according to the Mayo Clinic. For those who are active in sports or weight training, you will need up to 1 to 1.2 grams per pound of body weight.
Greek yogurt is a great source of protein, especially if you need to avoid meat. If you enjoy chia seeds, add 2 tablespoons of them for a protein and fiber boost. Probiotics keep you regular and happy
Greek yogurt is packed with probiotics.
Many people find that dairy is positively correlated with inflammatory responses or processes, however, that’s not the case not when it comes to Greek yogurt. Research has actually been shown to prove that Greek yogurt that contains probiotic strains of Lactobacillus actually promotes the formation of a desirable anti-inflammatory environment in the blood system. The effects of probiotics may be a consequence of the body working against potentially pathogenic/pro-inflammatory endogenous microbiota in the digestive system. A healthy tummy means a healthy body in a lot more ways than one.
Probiotics are healthy bacteria that help boost your immune system and decreases stomach issues, such as diarrhea and pain.
These healthy bacteria normally live in your intestines, having good microorganisms in your intestines helps keep you healthy. Without a healthy balance of good bacteria from probiotics, too much bad bacteria can build up and cause damage to our immune systems.
And just as stress and emotions can trigger stomach issues, your gut can send signals the other way around, too. One study found that probiotics could also affect the brain, and that probiotic supplements can reduce an individuals tendency for distress and thoughts about sadness, including thoughts about hurting others or themselves.
Calcium is key to keeping healthy
Another benefit of Greek yogurt is that it’s high in calcium. Calcium is key to building strong muscles and helping your vital organs function. Your body also doesn’t produce calcium on its own. Without enough calcium, children may not grow as tall as possible and adults can be at risk for osteoporosis.
A serving of Greek yogurt has 18.7 percent of your daily value for calcium.
Greek yogurt is an excellent option for older adults who want to maintain their bone health. It’s also ideal because it’s convenient and easy to eat, especially for those who have trouble chewing.
Greek yogurt is a great source of vitamin B-12
Your body needs vitamin B-12 for red blood cells to form, brain functions, and DNA synthesis. Many might choose to supplement vitamin B-12 into their diet, but Greek yogurt offers a powerful, natural alternative. One serving of Greek yogurt can have up to 21.3 percent of your daily value. People who are vegetarian usually lack vitamin B-12 because the vitamin is naturally found in animal products, such as fish, meat, and eggs. Greek yogurt is an excellent, meat-free way to add more to your diet.
Potassium balances out sodium
One serving of Greek yogurt can have up to 6.8 percent of your daily potassium intake value.
Potassium helps lower blood pressure and balance out the sodium levels in your body. If you have high sodium levels or a diet high in sodium, you may want to eat foods high in potassium so that your body can pass the excess sodium when you go to the bathroom.
Keeping your waist in check
Greek yogurt is also an excellent source of iodine. Your body doesn’t naturally make iodine, so it’s important to get enough through the foods you eat. Iodine is important for proper thyroid function, and the thyroid is essential for healthy metabolism.
People today tend to be iodine deficient, which can cause serious problems, including rapid fluctuations in weight. For people with weight problems, increasing iodine levels in their diet increases the thyroid’s activity and, in turn, increases their metabolism promoting weight loss.
Another major benefit of Greek yogurt is the fact that it’s easy to prepare and relatively portable. It’s one of the fastest ways to add more protein to your diet without having to spend hours preparing and cooking protein dishes. Adding a few servings of Greek yogurt to your smoothies instantly gives them a huge protein boost. There are probably thousands of smoothie recipes that utilize Greek yogurt and most of them take just minutes to prepare, making Greek yogurt one of the best weight loss foods in terms of convenience. That makes a major difference because a lot of packaged foods and processed foods become popular because they are simply convenient. If you can come up with several recipes that are easy to make and don’t take a lot of time to prepare then you’ll be less likely to want to snack on junk foods between meals.
If you are one who plays the lottery, odds are pretty good that you do not come from wealth. The lottery is actually a voluntary tax on the poor as the allure of instant riches is terribly powerful for those who have never had long term financial comfort. It is ever so easy to think about having the same problems as rich people. Problems such as deciding which 5 star restaurant to eat at tonight, where to vacation, what luxury car to buy next, and what kind of bling are you going to impress your family and friends with tomorrow. But the problem for most lottery winners is 70 percent of lottery winners end up bankrupt in just a few years after receiving a large financial windfall. Runaway spending, toxic investments and poor accounting can burn through a lucrative windfall in next to no time. From rags to riches then back to rags again.
This problem of rags to riches, and then back to rags is largely because when poor people are presented with large windfalls of cash, they do not live their lives in the same manner as rich people who have always had financial security. The bottom line is, if you want to live like the rich, you have to live with the same mind set that rich people live with.
And this is the truth for those who think they want a fit and trim body too!
You cannot achieve a fit and trim body with the same mindset as you have as one with a weight problem!
Your thinking has to change.
Your way of life has to change.
You have to commit to a change of lifestyle!
With anything less, you are doomed to failure every time you attempt to lose weight.
If we are going to be honest, we have to admit that those who have been obese for several years have the same type of problem as those who have been poor for most of their lives. It is easy to dream about being the opposite of what you may be, but dreaming is not going to bring you a lifetime of success without careful planning and commitment for change. You have to prepare yourself for a change to your social norms. You have to learn to say “NO” to your family and friends. You have to have the courage to accept that others are not going to be quite as accepting of the new you as they were of the old you. Misery loves company and you find family and friends to be like the proverbial crabs who only try to pull you back down into the bucket with them.
You have to give yourself time to adapt to the new you!
We know from personal experience and interaction with our readers and clients that rapid weight loss makes it tough to even get your mind wrapped around your new appearance. At David’s Way to Health and Fitness, we encourage our readers and clients to not attempt to lose more than one to two pounds maximum per week. Your goal should be to think about your plan as a lifestyle, not a diet. A diet is usually temporary in nature, something you go on and then go off of. There is no start and end date to living a healthy, fit and trim life. If you lose weight very quickly, there can be psychological consequences. When you do not give yourself time to settle into your new body shape and weight, it can lead to things like body dysmorphia, anorexia, or bulimia.
Many folks start a diet with an ‘if X, then Y’ mentality. As in, ‘if I lose weight, then I’ll be happy. Or then I’ll find love.”
So, after weight loss, when those things haven’t materialized, it can exaggerate preexisting mental health conditions or further promote body image issues.
There should be a lot of thought and consideration that goes into your weight loss approach. It’s more than just picking up and jumping into the latest fad. You’ll be kinder to yourself if you choose a slower, more progressive route for weight loss.
Never compare yourself to others!
Comparison is the thief of joy.
A person should try and focus on themselves (internally) without comparing themselves to others. For an obese person, dramatic weight loss is primarily about getting to a healthy physical state, and should not lean towards a superficial outcome (which often leads to a perpetual state of disappointment).
A problem for men, is we often see super lean and muscular guys and want to look like these hulks too. The problem is, what we see is often not real. For example, when an actor gets super cut for a movie role, there is more at play than just diet and exercise. Often times, they are also on the performance enhancing drug Trenbolone in order to get super lean and muscular. Trenbolone builds muscle staggeringly fast—even faster than testosterone. It also increases fat burning and strength even more than regular testosterone which is why Hollywood actors like to use it in order to quickly get ready for movie roles. Guys, we cannot get like this naturally, therefore it is foolish to hold this body style up as the standard which you might want to achieve.
Pictured above is a popular Instagram model who has openly advocated for rib removal in order to create a more slender and feminine body.
Yes, you read that right.
She advocates rib removal surgery!
Anterior rib removal is to reduce subcostal protrusions and vertically lengthen the torso.
This is often desired in male to female transgender patients. It is frequently combined with posterior rib removal for waistline narrowing.
The point is not to belittle a transgender individual, the point is you often might not actually know who or what you are wanting to emulate when you are beginning a new lifestyle for health and fitness. That sexy woman you see in the Instagram pictures might actually be a creation of surgical procedures that you will never be capable of becoming. We teach that the best approach for all to take is one where you just be the absolute best that you can be and not hold yourself up to the standards of people you see in various media outlets.
Be realistic in what you want to become!
If you set yourself up with unrealistic expectations, then you are going to fail miserably. First and foremost, your goals and objectives have to be realistic and achievable. With losing weight and creating a healthy body, you have to get your mind wrapped around not only your new looks, but what is going to come with it during your journey to get there.
For example, you might think you want rapid weight loss, but are you prepared for all the loose skin that can come with it?
No matter your personal motivation for weight loss, the benefits of being at a healthy weight are indisputable. But some unexpected changes and challenges rear their ugly heads when you are losing, or have already lost, a significant amount of weight.For many, the psychological adjustments of dramatic weight loss are an intensely emotional experience, and a very personal one at that. Many find themselves thinking;
I wish someone had told me that about losing so much weight.
Realising that losing weight doesn’t necessarily equal happiness: A person may not feel as happy or content as they may have expected. This can come as a shock following dramatic weight loss if a person is not yet mentally prepared for it
Losing weight can make a person feel vulnerable: For an obese person, a larger frame may have provided a degree of emotional protection and a sense that they could ‘hide’ their true selves. Psychologically, it enables a person to feel as though others cannot truly see who they really are. Losing this ‘fleshy protective barrier’ can leave a person feeling somewhat ‘exposed’.
Losing weight casts a spotlight on a person: Adding to feelings of vulnerability, dramatic weight loss can bring about a certain amount of attention from others which may not be all that welcome. Although comments received about the change in physical appearance may be glowing and show approval of the accomplishment, it can make a person feel all the more exposed and vulnerable. Losing such a lot of weight is quite an adjustment, on multiple levels, for the person concerned. Coping with the attention of others in a way that isn’t as familiar at the same time can be challenging, and can sometimes feel a little ‘too personal’ for others to be acknowledging. It can also become emotionally problematic for some people when all of the attention dies down and passing comments no longer happen.
Losing a lot of weight can lead to feelings of anger: When others notice such a dramatic physical change, it can spark a little annoyance or anger. Not all positive remarks will necessarily be flattering. It may be difficult for a person to want to acknowledge the approval of others who never gave them the time of day before, and who are now expressing positive comments or asking how the weight loss was achieved. In learning to cope emotionally with physical changes (outside appearance), it can make a person feel that others are shallow and superficial if they’re only now treating a person positively after they have lost weight. Some people have also experienced negative remarks, commenting that they no longer look ‘healthy’. Counselling can also help a person to understand that others may have trouble getting used to a physically ‘new person’ or assist in dealing with jealousy.
Dramatic weight loss can affect relationships: For those already in relationships, tension can occur if a person’s partner is also overweight or obese. A person going through such a dramatic change may wish the same for their partner which can create obstacles and challenges within the relationship. On the opposite end of things, a partner may experience problems with self-esteem, feel threatened, or worry that temptation to be with another may force the relationship apart. A change in lifestyle habits can also create tension between a couple who used to share certain things together, such as meals or time spent not being active.
Losing a lot of weight can cause intense fear and anxiety: Along with or instead of a sense of accomplishment, a person may become fearful about putting any amount of weight back on once the ultimate goal has been reached. This fear may lead to anxiety and stress over every morsel that is eaten, or cause a person to deprive themselves of food that would give them satisfaction or enjoyment. The pressure to maintain weight loss can become overwhelming if not dealt with appropriately. In extreme cases, constant obsession and restriction can lead to eating disorders if a person is not careful. With the right support on hand a person can learn self-control without feeling that one food related indulgence will place them right back to where they started. (1)
Losing weight and living a healthy life after one of poor health and obesity is a process. You are more than a number on a scale, and you have to understand this, otherwise, you will be seeing yourself in a shattered mirror.
We might hear this term every day of our lives, yet how many of you ever stop and think about what exactly a calorie might be?
We know that our food and drink contains calories.
We know too many will cause us to get fat.
We know that some will insist we need to count our calories while others believe this minor task bears no importance.
Yet, how many of us actually know what a calorie is and why they are important to us?
A calorie is a unit of energy. Historically, scientists have defined “calorie” to mean a unit of energy or heat that could come from a variety of sources, such as coal or gas. In a nutritional sense, all types of food — whether they are fats, proteins, carbohydrates or sugars — are important sources of calories, which people need to live and function.
“Our brains, our muscles, to include every cell in our bodies, require energy to function in an optimal state. For good health and well being, we must nourish our bodies and brain with good nutrition. If we don’t get enough proper nutrients that calories provide, there are negative consequences. These negative consequences include losing lean muscle mass, not being able to concentrate or even having the energy we need on a day-to-day basis to get us through life.
The physics of a calorie.
According to an article in the Journal of Nutrition, titled “History of the Calorie in Nutrition,” in 1863, a calorie was defined as the amount of heat needed to raise the temperature of 1 kilogram of water from 0 to 1 degree Celsius. In 1925, calories became scientifically defined in terms of joules, which are units typically used by physicists to describe the amount of work needed to force one newton through one meter. This is why you sometimes see calories being called kilojoules, especially in Europe and Australia. One calorie equals 4.18 joules; 1 joule equals 0.000239006 of a calorie.
The amount of heat needed to make a calorie differs at different temperatures, so scientists decided to create different types of calories according to their water temperature. Different temperatures yield different types of calories, such as the small calorie, also called the gram calorie or the 15-degree calorie. This calorie refers to the amount of heat needed to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water from 14.5 to 15.5 degrees Celsius.
A calorie in nutrition is actually 1,000 of these small calories. Some researchers use the term kilocalories to refer to the nutritional unit of 1,000 small calories. These units of 1,000 small calories are also sometimes called large calories, dietary calories, nutritional calories, food calories and Calories with a capital C.
Therefore, what Americans see on food labels are actually kilocalories, or kilojoules. When the U.S. Department of Agriculture says that one medium-size apple contains 95 calories, it actually contains 95 kilocalories.
Different types of macro-nutrients have standard amounts of calories. One gram of protein has 4 calories. One gram of carbohydrates has 4 calories. One gram of fat has 9 calories, according to the McKinley Health Center. (1)
Do we really need to track our caloric intake?
If you care about your weight, you damn sure better be tracking your caloric intake in some manner, even if in your head.
That being said, I would only advise a mental tracking to one who is not overweight or obese.
But my weight loss group I joined does not require me to track calories, and neither does my Keto plan!
There are a couple of issues to address here:
If you are paying to belong to a weight loss group who tells you that you do not need to track calories, you might want to consider what their true agenda might be. Do they care about me losing weight, or can I be manipulated into being a perpetual income stream for them?
Tracking and measuring is a form of accountability.
You need to be accountable to yourself for your weight and health.
Odds are pretty high that if you are over weight, or obese, you have never been truly accountable for any length of time when it comes to your nutritional habits. I’m sorry if that hurt, but I have been there too and know this from personal experience.
How do I lose weight on Keto and some of the other popular diets or eating plans?
Whether or not some people want to accept this as a universal truth, the “calories in versus calories out” model is based on the reality that for you to maintain a stable weight, the number of calories you eat needs to match the number you expend.
“Calories in” refers to the calories you get from the foods you eat, while “calories out” is the number of calories you burn.
There are three main bodily processes that burn calories:
Basic metabolism. Your body uses most of the calories you get from food to sustain basic functions, such as your heartbeat. This is commonly referred to as your basal metabolic rate (BMR).
Digestion. Around 10–15% of the calories you eat is used to power digestion. This is known as the thermic effect of food (TEF) and varies based on the foods you eat.
Physical activity. The leftover calories you get from your diet are meant to fuel your physical activity, including workouts and everyday tasks like walking, reading, and washing dishes. (2)
When the number of calories you take in from food matches the number of calories you burn to sustain your metabolism, digestion, and physical activity, your weight will remain stable.
Thus, the “calories in versus calories out” model is strictly true. I do not care what your weight loss group has told you as you hand over your monthly dues money, your body requires a caloric deficit in order to lose weight. It is a simple fact of life that from a biological perspective, you must consume fewer calories than you burn to lose weight. There’s no way around it, you are not a special snowflake this fact does not apply to. When I was still a young boy in school it was taught to us that once your body’s energy needs are met, extra calories are stored for future use in your muscles as glycogen, but most as fat. Thus, eating more calories than you burn will cause you to gain weight, whereas eating fewer than you need will cause weight loss.
But, but I read a study that said…
Yes, there are some studies you might find that make it appear as if what you eat matters more than how much you eat, implying that the calorie content of your diet is irrelevant for weight loss. However, these studies are based on a few incorrect assumptions. You have to be careful of what you read as some these studies only report the total amount of weight lost, without mentioning whether the weight loss came from muscle, fat, or water losses. Additionally, some of these different studies and diets affect muscle and water losses differently, which can make it seem as if they are more effective for fat loss when this isn’t truly the case.
Have you ever considered why Keto appears to work good for people?
A ketogenic diet is high in fat, moderate in protein and extremely low in carbs. As carbs are reduced and fat is increased, the body enters a metabolic state called ketosis. Then the body starts turning fats into ketones, which are molecules that can supply energy for the brain. It is a scientific truth that after a few days or weeks on Keto, the body and brain become very efficient at burning fat and ketones for fuel instead of carbs. The ketogenic diet also lowers insulin levels. This, along with the increased ketones, are two of the main reasons this diet has so many health benefits. But, what is often left out of Keto discussions is the fact you have become full, your body is satiated from the foods you have consumed before you have reached the caloric needs to maintain or gain weight. It works because you are at a caloric deficit.
When trying to lose weight, it’s critical to create a calorie deficit no matter your plan or method.
If you switch to a ketogenic diet and just randomly eat anything Keto friendly you desire while not watching your calorie intake, you are quite unlikely to drop pounds. Because many Keto-friendly foods, including avocados, olive oil, full-fat dairy and nuts, are high in calories, it’s important not to overdo it. Most people feel more satisfied after eating ketogenic meals and snacks due to the filling effects of fat and protein. However, it’s still entirely possible to consume too many calories on a ketogenic diet by eating portions that are too large or by snacking on high-calorie foods throughout the day. Paying attention to portion size, increasing physical activity and snacking in moderation between meals can help create the calorie deficit needed to lose weight.
Ever wonder why you occasionally see fat Vegans?
Vegan Overeating is Still Overeating
Simply put, weight loss success is achieved only when your choices reflect an overall decrease in calories going in and a corresponding increase in calories out. Factors that contribute to weight loss on a Vegan diet are significantly associated with weight loss included decreased dessert, sugar-sweetened drink, and fried food consumption and less eating out at restaurants. Or simply put, a caloric deficit.
Candy corn is just as vegan as an apple but from a nutrient standpoint they are far from equal. The same goes for vegan baked goods, potato chips, deep-fried foods, etc. Vegan foods high in fat, sugar and calories are just as unhealthy as their animal counterparts so don’t be fooled into thinking “it’s vegetarian so I can eat as much as I want”.
No matter who you are, or what you might believe, weight loss always results from a caloric deficit. This is true regardless of whether your calories come from carbs, fat, or protein. Of course there are factors such as hormonal imbalances which can interfere with you being able to maintain a body at a healthy weight, however, these problems can most often be prevented from occurring in the first place through proper nutrition.
I know what it is to let year after year pass with all good intentions of finally, once and for all, learning to control my weight. I know what it’s like to never have anything to wear that I actually want to wear. I know what it’s like to dread swimsuit season, yet again, and live in jeans all summer, sweltering away because I felt self-conscious in summer clothes. Your life does not have to be this way. The power to change is in your hands.
The first thing that you have to decide is what do you truly want? This has to be a definitive decision. Because most of us live in a place where food is abundant and we can get it, this decision will be your rudder in the storms of life. Once you have made this decision, navigation is easier. You will ask yourself the question, “Does this comply with my goals?” whenever you encounter a nutritional/fitness challenge. I am frequently bombarded with nutrition bombs at work by well-meaning people who “gift” us with food, all kinds of food. I don’t have to consider whether or not I will eat 99% of that food because at least 99% simply does not meet the nutritional standards that I have set for myself. This decision will be your pivot point. Make it realistic and stick to your guns. Never allow people who are unhealthy and have unhealthy habits to sway you once this decision is made.
One problem that I always encountered before learning to eat David’s Way, is that I would “go on a diet” and be full of hope, promise and a giddy euphoria. I mean, after all, this was IT. I was going to get skinny! There! I decided…then, mealtime came. For some reason, we think that if we just say it, it will happen. You know, a sort of “build it and they will come” mentality. I once worked for a major weight loss company and I saw this every, single meeting and event. People would come in and buy a membership, buy the cookbooks, buy a kitchen gadget or two and God knows what else they would buy, sometimes spending a massive amount of money…and be pleased as punch that FINALLY, they were going to lose weight! The next week, and sometimes the next…, they would come to my table angry or sad, unable to understand why the scale was not cooperating. They would say, “But, I bought all this stuff!” as if buying the stuff would somehow make weight loss easy. It’s not easy. If you are addicted to sugar and refined carbs, you may experience terrible feelings of loss and depression when you give them up. I did. It was hard. I cried. I lay awake at night. Human beings are creatures of habit and when we have been medicating ourselves with excessive carbohydrates that increase serotonin, we miss those damnable molecules when we walk away. Just expect a measure of hardship going in. Get your big girl/boy panties on and grin and bear it. You can’t sport a 6-pack while guzzling a 6-pack and a pizza. That only happens in beer commercials. If you want a trim, toned body, you have to put in some work.
I have mentioned the conversation that David and I had when I first began weight training and eating correctly. I asked the same dumb question that I always ask whenever I began a weight loss program, “How long will it take?” I wanted to get ripped FAST! While I knew that I could not build the muscle that I wanted overnight nor lose the extra body fat that was left over from my employer’s program, I still wanted a quick fix. David’s wise advice, “The rest of your life.” was exactly what I needed to hear. It made me focus on the task at hand and quickly dismiss all of those whims that we can have about just tolerating a program for a while to achieve our goals. I instantly realized that the goals that I had in mind were far-reaching and hugely demanding. I realized that the sensation of “holding my breath til I get there” that is so common in most weight loss programs, was not going to get it anymore. If our goal is to truly be the best that we can be, then shouldn’t it take the rest of our lives? We can’t be our best unless we perform at our optimum day in and day out. There will be blips on the radar. There will be tragedies and sickness and stress and all of the ups and downs that are a part of life. There will be birthday parties and vacations and Holidays. Your rudder will allow you to navigate these normal parts of daily life with finesse. Your goal is to make it to a safe harbor, a place where good nutrition and good fitness habits have designed and honed the body that you want to live in for the rest of your life. There is no rush. The harbor is not going anywhere. Just head that way. Repeat. Know that giving up is not an option and that knowledge will help you stay on course. You will get there if you never give up.
Always search for more information to help you along your way. We have over 800 articles, recipes and product reviews here at David’s Way. We have the Calorie Counter Pro to help you determine your caloric needs. We highly recommend attempting to lose no more than one pound per week and always only with your doctor’s permission. We have the Body Fat Pictorial Estimator that can help you determine about how much body fat you may be carrying. Everything on this website is free, take advantage. Our goal is to help educate the world about the dangers of obesity and self-neglect/abuse. We hope to play a part in making people more responsible for their well-being. That is our mission.
Plan to Succeed
1-The long range effectiveness of strategic planning is usually related to the practicality of the plan. (1) Keep it simple. Decide on you number of calories, track them, eat them. Don’t over-complicate your nutrition. It’s fine to try some new recipes, we have a lot of great ones, but don’t throw out all the ordinary, healthy food in your house and go buy all “diet food”. That’s too complicated. Incorporate a few workable, healthy changes at a time.
2-Look ahead. Know that as you accomplish specific goals, your goals will change. Have an idea of where you are going and as you meet each new milestone, check it off and move ahead. When I first began lifting, I went to Dick’s Sporting Goods and bought a kettlebell. I worked hard and soon I asked David if he thought that I could use a barbell. He said yes. I bought a Beginner’s Set. I used that standard barbell until I needed more weight and then got an Olympic bar and a power rack for safety. I met small goals and moved up. If I had made the investment of the equipment that I have now at the beginning, I wouldn’t have known what to do with it. I couldn’t have used the Olympic bar. It would have been easy to get discouraged at that rate. Since then I have added a few other pieces of equipment that have made my workouts more effective but I had to grow into these changes. Plan your path and work hard.
3-Be clear about your goals. Clarify your goals with yourself, your family, your physician and your nutritionist or trainer. If people don’t know what you’re trying to accomplish, they can’t help you. If you don’t know then you won’t accomplish anything. Attaining a good body fat ratio is admirable and recommended but if you work like that is your only goal then that is all you will ever get. I want a bit more and I create my entire life to accomplish those goals.
4-Remember that being healthy is not usually complicated for most people. Eat right, get some exercise and rest. See your doctor for specific recommendations. Don’t make this harder than it has to be. This is the main reason that we tell you to avoid added sugars and simple carbs. It’s a very simple thing that has a profound potential to make positive changes in your health. Refined, added sugars are a source of empty calories that provide you with no benefits so why waste your calories on poor nutrition. Don’t overthink healthy. Our bodies want to be healthy. Quit overloading them with garbage and seek out nutritionally dense foods that build and nurture your body for a lifetime of good health.
Almost every person that launches a program to lose body fat and get fit has the same initial question, “How long will this take?” This in itself sets us up for failure because the unspoken truth here is simply that we want to get this work over with so that we can go back to that to which we are accustomed and that’s what caused our problem.
Everything in our environment is geared to instant gratification, drive-thru food, grocery delivery, cell phones that make us constantly available and always in touch and instant credit compete for space in our brain to teach us over and over that we don’t have to wait for anything. Guess again. Our bodies are complex organisms of over 37 trillion cells. Any change that is going to affect our overall body size and shape has got a lot of material to manipulate. To effect a sudden change in an organism this size requires something more traumatic than most of us want to experience. That’s why so many people either quit before they reach a satisfactory goal or even worse, resort to drugs and surgery to attain their desired results.
A hormone called leptin inhibits hunger. Rapid weight loss disturbs the leptin balance and leaves us with insufficient levels to quell hunger. This causes us to eat more and makes weight loss almost impossible. To keep the hormones that regulate hunger and metabolism in balance simply go to the Calorie Counter Pro on the Menu here at David’s Way and input your information, which is always private, we can see nothing except whatever name you enter, and receive your free instructions concerning the desirable number of calories to lose 1 pound per week. Stick to one pound for the best results. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your ultimate body be built quickly. Great architecture takes time.
All “Weight” Is Not Equal
When we lose weight too quickly we will lose lean muscle. It happens because our bodies are desperate for energy and muscle is a quick and easy resource to mine for fuel. It’s important to eat enough to support our basal metabolism and also to fuel our workouts. Nothing is less attractive than a muscle depleted, “skinny-fat” body that has been formed through years of binge eating alternating with fad dieting. You know the look, a thick waistline and skinny arms and legs, it’s not attractive.
There’s a trend to abandon carbohydrates almost entirely to promote rapid weight loss. Without adequate carbohydrate intake, our brains cannot function properly and we can’t learn new things. We also have trouble using the information that we already have. Carbohydrates are the brain’s main fuel source. I never decrease my carbs below 100 grams. I need focus to fuel my workouts and that means carbs. Balance is the key to safe weight loss. Without focus we can’t get the full benefit from our exercise program because our form will falter and without proper form we are wasting our time.
Read David’s Way and get involved here on the blog. You can start a topic of discussion on the “Forum”, contact us through the “Contact” button for support, get your personalized program through the Calorie Counter Pro and experiment with hundreds of healthy, sugar free, diabetic friendly recipes. It’s all FREE. There is no charge. There is no rush. David’s Way is a lifestyle, not a diet. Simplify your life by “making your world small” (David) and focus on getting healthy. We’ll be here.
Before I decided to get real about health and fitness, I asked this question many times. Having worked for a major weight loss company, I have also been asked this question many times. The answer is always the same. We are not being entirely accountable. When we get serious about our health we will stop trying to cheat the system because we simply want results. Until we get honest about our habits we will not see them.
The most common error that we make is not tracking every bite that goes in our mouths. We advocate counting calories because too many calories will cause weight gain and make you unable to lose. Other factors that create other methods of accountability are irrelevant if your calorie count is too high. Count them and be truthful. There is a Calorie Counter Pro here on the blog that will tell you how many calories that you need to eat. It’s a free tool. Look in the Menu and you will find it.
If I eat too many carbohydrates my weight loss slows. Protein stokes the metabolic furnace and if we spend too many calories on carbs, we don’t have enough left for adequate protein. Read David’s recent article on Protein Supplements to understand more about how important protein is in your journey to health and fitness.
Eating added sugar will sabotage your weight loss efforts by causing cravings of all sorts. Have you ever eaten something sweet and the next thing you know, you want pizza? Or maybe a beer? Maybe both? Because sugar is a simple carbohydrate it triggers the release of serotonin. Serotonin is made from protein but a carbohydrate is required to get it into the brain. That’s why sugar is addictive. Serotonin is a feel good neurotransmitter and anything that gives us a shot of that has potential for addiction. When we eat sugar we crave more and more which translates to more calories. Since there is sugar in all simple carbs, like pizza crust, and there is sugar in alcohol, all of a sudden we have massive uncontrolled cravings. Just don’t eat the stuff. It will sabotage you every time. Besides causing cravings, it replaces nutritious food and soon your entire health initiative falls apart.
Sometimes we eat too many healthy foods. I love coconut oil. The problem is, if I eat three Tablespoons a day, which I have been known to do, too many of my calories are spent on fat. Then I don’t have enough for that all important protein. I am a weight trainer. I want all the muscle that I can get and skimping on protein is not the way to get it. I have had to reduce my coconut oil to 1 Tablespoon a day and increase my protein because I have goals, and I will achieve them.
Other healthy foods that people overeat are granola, other cereals, avocados and nuts. I have to buy individual packages of nuts or portion them out into small bags as soon as they come into my home.
A lot of people don’t think about the calories that they drink. I live in the South and sometimes I can’t believe the amount of sugar sweetened tea that people here drink. If you are going around all day with a sugar sweetened drink, you are never going to be as fit or healthy as you could be. You may lose some weight for a while and work out but you will never be your best. Drink water or try something like Crstal Light in your water. It’s tastes great. If you don’t like the aspartame in it, then find something similar with a sweetener that you like. There are many products like this available. You might make your own lemonade with Swerve, a natural 0 calorie sweetener, and lemon juice. It’s all natural, tasty and it won’t give you cravings.
While some people believe that they can out exercise a bad diet, that is not true. If you are trying to eat too much and then work it off, you will not be able to do that in the long run. While some doctor approved exercise is good to stimulate your metabolism and improve your overall fitness,it won’t make you lose weight if you are eating too much.
Be accountable and truthful about your caloric intake, be active and repeat. As David says, “Trust the process and be patient. Results will come.”