Eat Less + Exercise More = Fat Loss? Unfortunately Not!

You’ve heard it before: To lose weight, simply eat less and exercise more. In theory, that makes sense. Actually, it’s not just in theory, science has proven that burning more calories than you consume will result in weight loss. The trouble is that this only has short-term results. For long-term weight loss, it simply doesn’t work. What happens when you reach the inevitable plateau? You simple cannot continue to eat less and less and exercise more and more. The fact is that an exceedingly small number of people can actually lose a substantial amount of weight and keep it off following this idea.

If you just try to eat less and exercise more you will probably lose that battle! Simply looking at calories is misguided at best and potentially harmful because it disregards how those calories are affecting your hormones and metabolism. However, to disregard calories altogether is no wiser. Generally an average woman needs to eat about 1500 calories to lose weight and for a man around 2000. Anything below this I consider “low calorie”. Long term low calorie diets lead to increased cortisol production, and therefore insulin resistance (inability to metabolise carbs) & weight gain. Going low calorie can also down-regulate your thyroid hormone, making weight loss more difficult.

So here’s my long term strategies for losing lots of body fat that will stay off. If you follow this meticulously you will see some dramatic changes in your body!

  1. Start by focusing on the quality of the food you consume. Just by switching to a whole food diet your body will start to thrive. Your energy goes up, inflammation goes down and so will your weight. Start with one day at a time, and then what starts to happen is you’ll start to accrue good day after good day, just by being consistently simple.
  2. Next lets look at calorie counting: I understand that calorie calculating is not a perfect science, that tracking calories is tedious, and a calorie deficit is a moving target. Yet the fact still remains: You need to consistently maintain a calorie deficit over time to lose fat.
  3. Protein: The root of the word, translated, means “of first importance.” Protein helps stop muscle loss when you’re in a calorie deficit. It also has the highest thermogenic effect and helps make you feel fuller or suppress your appetite more than carbs and fats. How much is enough? That question will be endlessly debated, I recommend 1.5g per kilogram of body weight for women and 2.5g for men.

Permanent weight loss is the ultimate goal when you go on a diet – you want to reach your ideal weight and maintain it. The quality of patience is an important factor in long-term weight loss, without it, you might find yourself making decisions that lead to short-term results but long-term disappointment.