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Weight loss truth: I lost 13 stone – now I know the truth about obesity | Obesity


I lost 13 stone – now I know the truth about obesity | Obesity

As far back as I can remember, I was overweight. My parents were morbidly obese, just like three of my grandparents (my maternal grandmother was “only” obese – in other words, just fat). In my teenage years, I tried every diet going, and would sometimes lose weight, only to put it all on again. Eventually I concluded that so-called “normal” weight just wasn’t realistic for me. It would mean a life of permanent hunger.

I also decided such a life wasn’t necessary: excess weight was demonised without reason. I might be fat, but I didn’t smoke, drink, consume fast food or red meat. And I was physically fit. I decided to set other priorities in my life; I trained as a psychotherapist, got married and started renovating an old house.

At the age of 30, I tipped the scales at 150kg (23st 8lb). If asked, I told people I was comfortable with my weight and that my only wish, if anything, was to be a bit fitter. But at that same time, I was secretly visiting an obesity clinic as an outpatient and thinking about a stomach-stapling operation. I eventually decided not to have the operation, and buried myself even deeper in studies that showed that being overweight was not really harmful.

My doctor never mentioned my weight. Every time I went, my blood pressure was enormously high, but I dismissed it as “white coat hypertension”. I managed to ignore the fact that I was suffering frequent back pain and that I was having trouble sleeping, in part because of my heavy snoring.

This went on until, one day, I slipped while doing housework and injured my knee. I know now that I tore my cruciate ligament; but at the time my doctor said it was probably nothing to worry about and prescribed me ibuprofen. Then I had another accident while renovating our house. I walked with a limp for months, until it happened again.

After more than a year of pain and restricted mobility, I had a breakdown. I realised that, over the previous few years, my health had decreased while my weight had increased. And I knew that if I kept going this way, within a few years I would be unable to walk – while still in my early 30s. Something had to change.

For the first time, I consciously started thinking about my eating behaviour and began reading up on genetics, metabolism, diets and obesity. Although I had read around the topic for a while, I had done so selectively. Now, I began to explore the 95% of the research to which I had turned a blind eye. I came across the term “fatlogic” on Reddit and it immediately resonated with me. The term doesn’t mean “fat people’s logic”, but refers to the complex grab bag of supposedly medical facts, well-meaning advice, homegrown ideas and fantasies that make losing weight not only difficult, but impossible.

I don’t consider myself stupid or naive. I have always been the kind of person who questions things; I have a doctorate, and an interest in science. But still I believed in so much fat logic, probably because I was always surrounded by it. I was told from an early age that our family had “fat genes” and that my metabolism was “broken” – which appeared to be corroborated by my own experiences.

Tearing down the fallacies I had believed for my whole life was a long and sometimes painful process. But in the following year, I began to put it to practical use. I restricted my calorie intake. I moved more. Within a year, I was in the normal weight range for my 175cm (5ft 9in) height; and a few months later I weighed 63kg (9st 13lb) – the least I had weighed since the age of 12 or 13.

Fat logic is not just a problem for fat people; I have never met a person who was completely free of it. Here are a handful of the most persistent myths, debunked.

Myth 1: ‘I eat only 1,000 kcal a day, but I don’t lose weight’

There’s one thing we can all agree on: everybody needs energy. A widespread fallacy is that there is a huge range of difference in people’s metabolic rates. The amount of energy we need is influenced by various factors, but the main ones are body mass, and what that mass is made up of. A person’s energy consumption can actually be calculated relatively precisely using certain formulae. The only information you need is height, weight, sex and approximate daily activity levels. You can find plenty of online calculators; just search “basal metabolic rate calculator” (this is the number of calories you would require if you were resting all day).

There’s a high probability that your BMR will lie somewhere between 1,400 and 2,000 kcal a day – unless you happen to fall into one of the two extremes of very high or very low body mass. The bottom line is that most people use far more than 1,500 kcal a day, but even people with extremely low consumption still need significantly more energy than 1,000 kcal. Which means it’s practically impossible not to lose weight on a daily calorie intake of 1,000 kcal.

So the question is, are you eating as little as you think you are?

Overweight people have a strong tendency to underestimate the calorie content of their food

Despite the common cliche of the fast food-guzzling, fat person, my favourite meal used to be a large mixed salad with salmon. I ate it regularly, and in my mental calorie journal I would estimate it contained about 500 kcal. When, after many years, I finally weighed out all the ingredients and calculated the actual number of calories they contained, I discovered that the dressing alone, with three tablespoons of olive oil, contained about 300 kcal.

The number of calories in the salad itself – tomato, cucumber, red pepper and lettuce – was within reason. Mozzarella, though, added considerably more to the total, and the fact that the salmon was fried meant the final tally for this meal was 1,500 kcal – three times the amount I had estimated, and equivalent to the entire daily energy requirements for a small, slim woman.

People can hugely misjudge their calorie intake, and overweight people have a strong tendency to underestimate the calorie content of their food. A study carried out in 1992 investigated people described as “diet-resistant”. These people claimed not to be able to lose weight, despite restricting their calorie intake to fewer than 1,200 kcal a day. But it turned out that, in their nutrition journals, they underestimated their average calorie intake by 47% and overestimated their physical activity by 51%.

The hard truth is that anyone who believes they “don’t actually eat that much” and then still inexplicably puts on weight doesn’t have a problem with their metabolism, but with their perception of their own eating habits.

Myth 2: ‘Being overweight isn’t that bad for you’

This is the fat logic argument I encounter most often, and which I believed myself for many years. It is also the one I kick myself about the most, in retrospect. I always claimed to have made a rational decision about my weight, but I was labouring under two misapprehensions: that it is extremely difficult to achieve and maintain normal weight; and that it doesn’t have all that many advantages anyway. Now, I argue the opposite whenever I can.

I respect anyone’s decision to set other priorities and happily accept being overweight or obese. Just because you can change a situation, it doesn’t mean you must. That said, it’s important for that decision to be an informed one.

This is not about whether your bum looks better as a size 36 or a size 42. Rather, it’s about what goes on inside our bodies, and about how being overweight directly affects our quality of life. Obesity is a bit like smoking: the tumours don’t start growing right after the first cigarette. For someone who is naturally prone to lung problems, it might take five years. Another person’s lungs might be able to take 50 years of constant damage. But just because the damage isn’t visible, it doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

Analysis from 2013 investigated the long-term consequences of obesity with the specific aim of examining so-called “healthily obese” people. A comparison between healthy people of normal weight and healthy but obese subjects showed the latter group had a significantly higher risk of dying or developing cardiovascular disease. The scientists who carried out the study therefore came to the conclusion that the belief you can be “fat but fit” is just a myth.

A 2015 study confirmed those results. It followed supposedly healthily obese subjects over 20 years and found that more than half became unhealthily obese during that time. Their risk of becoming ill was eight times higher than that of the healthy group with normal weight. The risks include, but are not limited to: diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, sleep apnoea, arthritis/joint problems, fertility problems, asthma, back pain, incontinence, gout and stroke.

Myth 3: ‘Being overweight doesn’t impede me’

For a long time, I convinced myself that being overweight didn’t impact particularly negatively on my life. I’d suppress the panting as I climbed the stairs, so I could tell myself I had no problem walking up three floors. Once at the top, I would sometimes pretend to cough or laugh to hide the fact that I was out of breath.

Our society makes it very easy for us to delude ourselves. People who exercise regularly are seen as “fitness freaks”, “sports fanatics” or similar, while “normal” people are the ones who lead physically inactive lives. Now that I can compare the abilities of my well-trained body (and I’m absolutely not athletic or super-fit) with my abilities before, I’ve come to realise how far below optimum my fitness level really was. I’m not saying there aren’t any overweight people who do a lot of exercise. But I can imagine lots of people fall prey to a similar kind of distorted thinking as I did: I used to consider even relatively normal things to be great sporting achievements.

The same applies to the achievement a US leader of the fat-acceptance movement, Ragen Chastain, claims makes her an “elite athlete” – with a morbidly obese BMI. In 2013, she ran a marathon and published an article about it with the title My Big Fat Finished Marathon. She wrote about how, after five months of training, she covered just over 40km in 12 hours and 20 minutes.

In the first few months, I was proud of reaching various milestones, such as walking for half an hour without stopping

It is an achievement for a severely obese person to walk the entire length of a marathon in one go. But Chastain’s average speed of less than 3.5km (2.2 miles) an hour is much slower than normal walking speed. The marathon had officially ended hours before she crossed the finishing line – the stands removed, the organisers gone. The last participant to complete the race, several hours before Chastain, was a woman in her 70s.

Of course, everyone has to start from their own fitness level. When I weighed 150kg and was more or less unable to move for six months, average sporting achievements were as likely for me as breaking Olympic records. In the first few months, I was proud of reaching various milestones, such as walking for half an hour without stopping, or spending 20 minutes on a bike for the first time in years.

It’s good to be proud of your own development and individual progress, even when it might not objectively seem that impressive. But declaring your own, below-average performance to be an objective record, and therefore to claim that any improvement is unnecessary, will only stop you – and others – from tackling the problem of excess weight.

Myth 4: ‘My family and friends don’t think I need to lose weight’

This statement is fat-logical only when referring to people who are not underweight or for whom losing weight would mean they would become underweight. Let me start with my own experience. When I weighed 150kg, there was no one who seriously claimed that losing weight would not be a good idea for me. But apart from my mother, as far as I can remember, in all those years nobody ever asked me about my weight. My weight was the elephant in the room, which no one mentioned – until I brought it up myself.

I lost my first 40kg (6st) in secret, without anyone noticing. When I reached about 105kg (16st 7lb), everyone around me suddenly noticed I’d lost weight. At over 100kg, I was still very much within the obese range, but others saw it quite differently. From all sides, I was asked, surely I didn’t want to lose any more weight? I must be done with my diet now, right? Yeah, that’s terrific losing so much weight, but you don’t need to lose any more – surely?

A neighbour who saw me gardening worriedly asked my husband how much I now weighed and asked him please to make sure I ate more. When I ran into a colleague on the street, she half-jokingly asked when I was going to be diagnosed with anorexia; another admitted he deliberately hadn’t reacted too enthusiastically to my new size for fear I might go to “the other extreme”.

It was ironic: when I was sick and almost bedridden at 150kg, no one ever expressed concern or commented on my weight in any way. And then, when I lost 40kg, was able to walk again and feeling better than I had for years, people started to get worried about my health. It was as if my body had suddenly become a public forum, after years of having been a taboo subject.

Why is it so socially acceptable to criticise someone for losing weight? Because most people don’t know what overweight looks like. In one British study, obese people were asked to assess themselves, and only 11% of women and 7% of men with a BMI of over 30 were aware they were obese. In a 2015 study, parents were asked about the weight of their children: 80% of parents of overweight children rated them as being of normal weight.

Myth 5: ‘Obesity is largely due to your genes’

Genes create a basic situation, but they don’t oblige anyone to be fat. Things that can genuinely be explained by genetics are appetite, preferences for certain flavours (such as sweet or fatty) and the natural urge to be physically active.

Several studies have shown that carriers of so-called obesity genes consume on average 125-280 kcal a day more and have no differences in their metabolic rates. To say that some children have a genetic propensity towards obesity means only that they have an inherently larger appetite than naturally slim children, who feel hungry less often.

But the deciding factor in whether children have a tendency towards being fat is the set of conditions created by their parents and the rest of their environment (such as school meals), which can serve either to encourage or discourage obesity. Living in a household where high-calorie food is constantly available won’t necessarily make children fat if their genetics mean they have a naturally small appetite. Children with naturally large appetites, by contrast, will pounce on the proffered fare.

However, studies have shown that food preferences are not an inescapable fate. In one experiment, the brains of obese and normal weight subjects were scanned to record their reactions to food. The reward centres in the obese subjects’ brains showed a strong reaction to high-fat foods (fast food, sweets). The test was repeated after the subjects had followed a dietary plan containing healthy, low-calorie foods for several months. The reward centres in the obese subjects’ brains reacted more strongly to these foods in the second test.

In the end, our genes just set out the path we will follow if we don’t actively strive to change its direction (which can take great effort). However, those efforts are only temporary: once we have become habituated to new behaviours, we no longer have to struggle to maintain them.

So how is my life now that I’m maintaining my target weight? The actual weight loss hasn’t changed much, but the impact on my life has been great. The fact I now take pleasure in exercise has opened up an entire spectrum of new interests to me that would once have been out of the question. My husband and I went on a cycling holiday. I’ve discovered climbing as a new hobby – and pilates, too. My gym buddy and I now meet once a week for coffee and weight training. I’ve gained so much – and have come to see that being thin doesn’t have to mean a life of constant deprivation.

This is an edited extract from Conquering Fat Logic by Nadja Hermann, published by Scribe on 10 January at £14.99. To order a copy for £11.99, go to guardianbookshop.com.

Commenting on this piece? If you would like your comment to be considered for inclusion on Weekend magazine’s letters page in print, please email [email protected], including your name and address (not for publication).

The Truth About How To Lose Weight

My patient, Mrs. Withers (not her real name), was forty-five and morbidly obese. “I swear I’ve cut my calories down to almost nothing,” she told me, “but I haven’t lost a pound! I eat the exact same thing every day: a banana for breakfast, a turkey sandwich on wheat bread for lunch, and a piece of fish or steak for dinner. And no snacks in between! I used to eat twice as much, easily. I just don’t know what I’m doing wrong!”

She was literally on the verge of tears. I fully understood her frustration, as well as why her attempts at dieting hadn’t worked. Most of my patients who try to lose weight long-term ultimately fail, though not for lack of trying. Both physiologic and psychological mechanisms are in place that make sustained weight loss incredibly difficult. But, as I told Mrs. Withers, if you understand some of the mechanisms you’re up against in trying to lose weight, you’ll be able to leverage that understanding into weight loss strategies that work.


Body Mass Index (BMI) is now the standard measurement used to assess body fat composition, calculated by dividing your weight in kilograms by your height in meters squared (calculate yours here). The National Institute of Health now defines anyone with a BMI>25 as overweight and anyone with a BMI>30 as obese (although it’s worth noting BMI fails as a good measure of obesity for people who are extremely muscular). Unfortunately, more than 50% of Americans have BMI’s over 25. Overweight and obesity have clearly reached epidemic proportions.

Having a BMI>30 is statistically associated with numerous diseases such as diabetes and hypertension and, even more importantly, with an increased risk of death. Unfortunately, studies also show that 90-95% of overweight and obese people who successfully lose weight subsequently regain it within 5 years. Given the great value placed on thinness in American society and the health risks of obesity, it’s not surprising that so many people continually turn to fad diets popularized in the mainstream press in efforts to lose weight.


The first law of thermodynamics, which states that the amount of energy stored in your body = your energy intake – your energy expenditure, applies to all biologic systems. In humans, mechanisms keep this difference very close to zero, but small differences over a long period of time can have a large cumulative effect. On average, between the ages of 25 and 55, Americans eat only 0.3% in excess of what they burn but this results in a weight gain of 20 lbs. over that time!

Body fat content is highly regulated. In recent years, evidence has accumulated supporting the set point theory of body weight. Mechanisms have been identified that enable the body to “defend” its usual weight, whether that weight is excessive or not. Small decreases in body weight cause your body to lower its energy expenditure even if you cut your calories, which explains how people like Mrs. Withers can cut down their food intake and literally not lose a pound. Further, studies have shown that if you were once overweight, in order to maintain your new lighter weight you have to eat fewer calories than a person who weighs what you do now but who was never obese! Clearly, some people seem to have an increased propensity to store fat and to maintain a lower resting metabolic rate, making weight loss more difficult.

When I explained all this to Mrs. Withers, she heaved out a heavy sigh and asked, “What about the Atkins diet? Doesn’t that work?”


The low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet was first devised by an English surgeon, William Harvey, over a century ago, and has been “rediscovered” several times throughout the last hundred years by different authors: in 1953 by Pennington, in 1961 by Taller, in 1967 by Stillman, and most recently (and for the second time) in 1992 by Atkins. Essentially, the low-carbohydrate diet is a protein-sparing modified fast (PSMF) in which calories from carbohydrates are replaced by calories from fat and/or protein. In Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution, Atkins advances the following claims:

  1. On the ketogenic diet, you can eat an unlimited number of calories and still lose weight.
  2. Ketosis reduces hunger.
  3. High insulin levels cause obesity. If plasma levels of insulin are reduced by eating a ketogenic diet, this will lead to weight loss.

None of these claims, however, is true. Let’s review them one at a time.

On the ketogenic diet, you can eat an unlimited number of calories and still lose weight. This would seem to violate the first law of thermodynamics. There is evidence that when people set out to eat a low-carbohydrate diet, they lose weight because in fact they end up eating fewer calories. It’s been shown that the accelerated short-term weight loss seen in the low-carbohydrate diet over the first 10 days is due to loss of water.

Ketosis reduces hunger. Of the few well-controlled studies that are available, none show a reduction of hunger as a direct result of ketosis. However, there is evidence that when about 500 kcal/day are consumed on a low-carbohydrate diet (an extremely low number of calories to eat per day!), hunger is indeed reduced. Possible causes might include the high protein content of low-carbohydrate diets, some particular characteristic of the protein-sparing modified fast as of yet unidentified, or the monotony of such a low-calorie diet. The last possibility is supported by evidence that hunger is greater when people consume a preferred food than when they consume a less preferred food, and that people consume more food at meals with several food choices than at meals with only one choice.

High insulin levels cause obesity. There is in fact far more evidence to the converse, that obesity causes high insulin levels.


Substituting fat for carbohydrate in the low-carbohydrate diet would seem to put people at risk for developing high cholesterol. However, multiple studies have shown that on low calorie diets, if weight loss ensues, cholesterol profiles improve—or at least do not worsen—regardless of what kind of food you eat. This suggests that the beneficial effect of weight loss on cholesterol is more important than the detrimental effect of eating a relatively increased percentage of calories from fat.


While ketogenesis itself has been shown not to affect weight loss, there is evidence that the higher intake of protein that typically occurs with the low-carbohydrate diet might. Studies have shown a consistent, spontaneous reduction of total calories consumed by people eating protein-laden diets compared to people eating carbohydrate-laden diets—by approximately 470 calories/day. There seems to be two mechanisms at work in the protein-laden diet to cause greater weight loss than in carbohydrate-laden diets:

  1. Eating foods rich in protein seems to cause people to feel more full and to suppress even the following day’s calorie intake more than eating the same amount of food rich in carbohydrates.
  2. A low calorie, protein-laden diet reduces your resting metabolic rate to a lesser degree than a low calorie, carbohydrate-laden diet. In other words, when you cut your calories down you’ll have a higher resting metabolic rate if the calories you do eat come predominantly from protein instead of carbohydrate. And having a higher resting metabolic rate means you burn more calories just sitting around.

I told Mrs. Withers that some of my patients do, in fact, find their hunger reduced when they eat a low-carbohydrate diet—while others do not. “How can you tell which you’ll be?” she asked me.

“You just have to try it and see,” I replied. But even those who do lose weight on a low-carbohydrate diet most often find the diet too boring, I warned her, and eventually go off it and regain the weight they’d lost.

She became despondent again. “So what can I do?”


  1. First, recognize there’s no way to lose weight and keep it off that’s easy. Completely discontinuing an addictive behavior is far easier than moderating one—and obviously you can’t ever stop eating. People whose brains seem to want them to be obese must accept that, in order to achieve and maintain a healthy weight (which need not be perfectly thin), they will likely have to work at it for the rest of their lives. As science and technology advance, this may eventually not be the case, but for today it is simply the truth.
  2. It’s extremely difficult to lose weight without regular exercise. Not impossible. Just much more difficult. Exactly what exercise routine is best, however, remains debatable. Evidence exists that if you exercise past a certain level of intensity (“intensity” being variably defined in the medical literature) you’ll actually induce an increase in your resting metabolic rate that lasts up to 11-14 hours after you’ve finished exercising. Some think this shift may counteract the tendency of brains with higher weight set points to lower resting metabolic rates when weight loss begins. Interestingly, anaerobic exercise (like weight lifting) may actually be more effective than aerobic exercise (like jogging or aerobics) in producing this effect. On the other hand, studies of people who walked on treadmills (a low intensity exercise) while actually at their desk jobs (instead of sitting at their computers they walked at their computers!) also lost significant amounts of weight over the long-term. Unfortunately, while many people attempt to lose weight with low intensity exercise, most don’t do nearly enough of it to be effective. Finally, the key to maintaining a good exercise program is to think creatively about how to fit it into your busy daily schedule. The glass is always half-full: any amount of exercise you manage to do is worth it. Even just 15 minutes a day.
  3. Get adequate sleep. Through complex mechanisms only partly understood, inadequate sleep is now known to make it more difficult to lose weight. In addition, it’s hard to exercise regularly or intensely if you’re chronically tired.
  4. To cut calories reducing carbohydrates may be better than reducing fat, and is certainly better than reducing protein. Though I’m not endorsing any one particular diet over another, one thing from the medical literature seems clear: when you reduce your calories, don’t do it by reducing protein.
  5. Make all lifestyle changes gradually. Don’t expect to be able to run a marathon on your first day of exercise. Don’t expect to cut your calorie intake in half the first week. Pick an exercise you like (or at least don’t hate), begin it slowly, and build up intensity gradually. Consult your physician if you have health problems that may make exercising dangerous. Alter your diet gradually and make choices you can tolerate and maintain in the long-term.
  6. Keeping a food diary may help. Studies have shown most people tend to underestimate the amount of calories they eat (Mrs. Withers turned out to be a case in point). Studies have also shown keeping a food diary itself tends to cause people to reduce their calories spontaneously. How long that effect lasts, however, may be limited.
  7. Figure out if you’re overeating for secondary gain. In other words, does eating fulfill some other purpose for you besides satisfying hunger? Many people overeat to deal with unpleasant feelings such as anxiety or depression. This actually works because pleasure of any kind is extremely distracting. If you find yourself eating for comfort, think creatively about substituting another pleasurable activity besides eating that can distract you from whatever unpleasant feelings you’re trying to avoid. And take steps to challenge those unpleasant feelings directly.
  8. In general, avoid diet pills. I advise this for three reasons. First, the diet pills that work (and many do) typically only yield an additional 10% weight loss (despite this modest benefit, some of my patients still want them—to date, however, no one to whom I’ve given them has chosen to stick with them). Secondly, once you stop the pills, that 10% of weight you lost will come back. Thirdly, some diet pills aren’t safe (does anyone remember fen-phen?). Millions of dollars are being spent every year on research to find effective, safe diet pills so I suspect eventually we’ll have some good ones—but I see none now. As a side note, beware exaggerated claims made by manufacturers of over-the-counter diet pills. None of them that have actually been studied have lived up to their claims.
  9. Gastric bypass may be a good option. You have to meet strict criteria to qualify as a possible candidate (BMI>40 or BMI>35 associated with a serious weight-related health problem) and all surgery carries risk. However, with a BMI>30 you’re also at risk for a premature death. Also, this surgery cures diabetes and hypertension in 90% of patients who also have those diseases! No medication we have can do anything like that. If this path seems like it might be right for you, ask your doctor for a referral to a beriatric surgeon.

As I told Mrs. Withers the last time I saw her, losing weight and keeping it off is incredibly hard, but hard is easy compared to impossible. And though she hasn’t yet managed to lose a significant amount of weight, she yet may. As may you.


If you enjoyed this post, please feel free to explore Dr. Lickerman’s home page, Happiness in this World.

The honest truth about weight loss, from a Nutritionist

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“I want to rock a bikini”. “I want to look good naked”. “I want to wear a size 12”. “I want to have abs”. “I want to be healthy”. “I want to feel good about myself”. “I want to be happy”.

There are all legitimate wants that many of us have. I have some thoughts about the societal norms and pressures that drive us to want these things, but at the end of the day there is nothing wrong with wanting to feel good in a bikini, be confident in the nude, wear smaller clothes, love the skin you’re in, experience good health and be happier.

The problem is, most people feel that in order to achieve these wants, that they need to lose weight.

I actually believe that you can do many of the things above without losing weight, however, if weight loss is a goal for you this year, then you are not a bad person for wanting it.

And, I can help you do it. I know exactly what you need to do. Plus, I can help you do it while you eat carbs, enjoy your favourite foods and socialise. Bonus!

Before you crack out the sourdough, however, there are some caveats. The truth is, you can’t have everything you want. Stay with me.

If you want to lose weight AND eat carbs AND enjoy your favourite foods AND socialise and not ride the latest fad diet train, then there are five important things that you need to know.

You need to keep LIVING! Don’t put your life on hold just because you’re losing weight

I fundamentally believe that weight loss won’t make you happy. Relationships, connection, giving, loving. These things make you happy.

I also believe that you can rock a bikini no matter what your body looks like and I believe that you can be healthy without losing weight (another article).

This doesn’t mean that wanting to lose weight is wrong, it just means that I want you to put it into perspective. It’s not the be all and end all. Don’t put 95% of your life on hold to weigh 5% less.

Lose weight if you want to—but keep living! Achieve your career goals. Buy your dream home. Start that business. Pursue that hobby. Tell that person you love them. Just because you’re losing weight doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy all the other parts of your life as well.

But if you do want to lose weight, you need to make a meal plan that suits your life AND contains weight loss principles

Weight loss will come down to your ability to consistently create an energy deficit and stick to it over weeks and months on end.

This means that you will need to think about food regularly and make a plan to help your diet do three key things at the same time. They are:

  • Contain the right amount of energy for you to be in a calorie deficit, but not so strict that you’re starving, undereating and prone to binging.
  • Contain sufficient nutrition (vitamins, minerals, fibre) to keep your immune system functioning (especially given the current pandemic and flu season around the corner), your gut thriving and your body running at its best.
  • Contain your favourite foods so that you’re still enjoying what you’re eating.

Like I said above, the plan needs to ensure that ALL three of the conditions above are satisfied to set you up for success.

Getting help from a qualified professional is a good way to do this.

You need to have good food awareness so that you can keep track of how consistently you’re sticking to the above plan

One of the problems I see regularly is that people’s intentions don’t align with their reality. They intend to make healthy choices, eat in a deficit and make a food plan to help them do that, but of course sometimes things don’t go to plan. Life gets stressful. Stuff pops up that’s out of their control and their food choices are affected.

What happens without awareness is that you can think you’re making good choices, because you intend to, but in reality you’re buying lunches, skipping meals, drinking four coffees a day and recovering with copious glasses of wine. Totally normal and you’re not a terrible person—you’re just not losing weight as a result.

Awareness comes from planning and tracking, so ensure that you can prioritise this throughout the day and stay accountable with your food choices. No need for food judgement and self-loathing. Food awareness works best with kindness and curiosity. Let it show you where you need to focus your efforts more so you can be consistent.

You need to endeavour to find the balance that works for YOU

Balance is that annoying word that health professionals use. Basically, it’s how you can have your cake and eat it too, but with boundaries. Let me frame it this way:

You’ve come to me for weight loss help. You tell me that you want to wear a bikini this Christmas and achieve your goal weight. You also tell me that you like cake and don’t want to stop eating it. “Kate, can you help me lose weight by Christmas AND eat cake?”

Me: “I can, however, there needs to be some boundaries set and some balance struck so that the cake eating doesn’t make the weight loss impossible.”

There is only a certain amount of cake eating compatible with weight loss and weight maintenance, so balance is finding the amount of cake (and any food) that works for you and it takes into account your physiological and psychological needs.

You need to have realistic expectations of weight loss and how fast or slow it should be

Weight loss—or I should say fat loss—is slow. It takes time. This means that you have to be patient and that you need to do it in a way that feels realistic and sustainable. Strict diets and programs are hard to stick to long term because they aren’t compatible to real life.

Also, because you know it’s slow, it means you shouldn’t give up after one or two weeks because you can’t see results. Body weight fluctuates 1-2 kg per day which will mask up to 2-3kg of fat loss on the scales.

If you stacked up 2-3kg of fat (think blocks of butter), it is A LOT. If you give up and eat ‘all the things’, then you’re definitely not getting results.

So be patient, commit to the process. If you got steps one and two right, it will work if you stick to it.

If you’re keen for support, myself and my team of dietitians can help put the five steps above for you in motion!

Why Can’t I Lose Weight? (What No One Else Will Tell You)

“Why can’t I lose weight, Steve?”

This question breaks my heart every time I hear it. And I hear it multiple times per day from frustrated people like yourself.

Some of those people are our 1-on-1 coaching clients, who we work closely with to uncover the truth.

And that’s what we’re after: the truth on why weight loss is so tough to achieve.

Why “eat less and move more” sounds nice in theory, but is insulting to those who KNOW this, try their best, and still can’t lose weight.

We’ll tackle today’s topic with statistics, science, and plenty of Harry Potter analogies. This is Nerd Fitness after all.

We’ll go over:

Let’s jump in, Scuba Steve style, so you can start seeing results!

If you’re somebody that wants a Yoda in your corner to coach you through the ups and downs of your fitness journey, we’re here for you with our Online Coaching Program!

No shame or judgments – just a supportive person who works hard to help you succeed 🙂


I took this picture walking around Manhattan last week:

There is some SERIOUS psychological warfare going on here, and it hurts my soul.

For starters, they advertise as “THE” flat belly tea.

This means there are many other companies selling similar products, which would ALSO lead me to believe this is a lucrative product to sell!

They list every fitness buzzword and term every marketer uses when it comes to selling health and fitness: gluten-free, “removes waste,” organic, “burn fat.”

Including some real head-scratchers.

“Strengthen your colon?”

How the hell do you strengthen your colon?!

This reminds me of the brilliant Saturday Night Live skit about “Colon Blow” cereal:

But I digest digress…

People are buying this stuff, even if they know it probably won’t work.

Like buying a lottery ticket even when we know the odds of winning are 0% –  what we’re really buying is “hope”:

  • Hope that this will actually work – unlike the last 10 attempts.
  • Hope we can overcome 20 years of bad choices with a beverage.
  • Hope that this product will give us the confidence and self-love we deserve.

Don’t get me wrong.

“Hope is a good thing, and no good thing ever dies.”

I just HATE when hope gets weaponized to sell you expensive snake oil and pretty-packaged fluff.

This is what we are rebelling against here in the NF Rebellion: marketers and companies who are crappy enough to prey on our hopes and fears and sell snake-oil in a bottle.

We’re also rebelling against that voice in our head that talks down to us, calls us failures for not getting in shape yet, and berates us every time we break down and eat a cookie.

I say no more.

Let’s fight fire with fire science.

How much exercise do I need to do to lose weight?

There are a few generally accepted truths when it comes to weight loss.

All of these come with baggage attached, and your results will vary depending on your

Setting all of that aside, I’m going to try and keep things simple just to prove my point.

Let’s go with an (understandably) oversimplified look at weight loss: a pound of fat equals around 3,500 calories.[1]

This would mean you’ll need to either eat 3,500 fewer calories, or burn an extra 3,500 calories to lose 1 pound of fat.

So…how long does it take to burn 3,500 additional calories per week?

Let me answer a question with another question:

…How many hours do you have?

Studies show you’ll burn an extra 100 calories (approximately) when walking or running a mile.[2]

So, you would need to be running/walking an additional 5 miles per day, 7 days a week, to lose one pound of fat per week.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t have time to run an extra 5 miles a day.

Nor do I want to!

Not only that, but as you’ll see below – this idea of just burning an extra 500 calories per day to lose a pound a week only works early on.

You’ll quickly run into speed bumps and roadblocks – figurative ones, try to avoid the real ones on your run –  that slow down your progress significantly.

Simply put, exercising your way thin has been proven time and time again not to work.

Here are three such reports:

#1) Many people develop increased appetites as a result of exercise, which leads to no weight loss.[3] Time Magazine got in trouble for pointing this out  – even though they were right!

#2) A 2011 systematic review and meta-analysis came to the conclusion:[4]

“In overweight and obese populations… our results show that isolated aerobic exercise is not an effective weight loss therapy.”

#3) Another study compared people who dieted vs people who only exercised:[5]

Body weight decreased by 10% in the diet group and by 9% in the diet–exercise group, but did not decrease in the exercise group or the control group.

What I’m trying to say, and a lesson we try to deeply understand at Nerd Fitness: “you can’t outrun your fork”

…and the bad news isn’t done.

How our metabolism responds to a caloric deficit (our bodies ruin everything!)

When you start to lose weight, your resting metabolism slows down.[6]

You might think this is some sort of evil sorcery worthy of “He Who Must Not Be Named,” but unfortunately – it’s just 2nd-grade math.

When you start to lose weight, there is less of you that needs fuel.

In other words: your metabolism doesn’t have to work as hard to fuel all of your bodily functions, has less weight to carry, and thus it will burn significantly fewer calories compared to when you were much bigger.

Here is the estimated daily resting calorie burn (“sit on your ass all day”) of a 35-year old male nerd at 3 very different weights – as determined by our free Calorie Calculator:

  • 300 lbs: 2,600 calories.
  • 250 lbs: 2,300 calories.
  • 200 lbs: 2,000 calories.  

WHAT THIS MEANS: Unless you adjust your calorie intake as you lose weight, your calorie intake will become less and less effective for weight loss, until you hit equilibrium.

Put a different way: this person could eat 2,300 calories per day and over time, lose 50 pounds (from 300 pounds to 250 pounds), but that’s where he’ll hit equilibrium: calories burned equals calories consumed.

In order for him to lose the next 50 pounds, he’ll need to decrease his caloric intake even more, and then STAY at that calorie consumption to keep the weight off.

And then it gets even worse!

There is a solid body of evidence on a bodily feature called “adaptive thermogenesis.”[7]

Which has nothing to do with the band Genesis – though feel free to listen to “Invisible Touch” right now.

It might soften the blow while you learn about “adaptive thermogenesis.”

“Adaptive thermogenesis” refers to the process in which our bodies will adjust based on how many calories we burn – and do whatever it can to preserve the body fat we have.[8]

Our bodies WANT to maintain the extra body fat we have (“I don’t know when I’ll need this, better save”), and are actively working in unison to preserve it – so even after a few pounds are lost from running, it’s going to be a persistent challenge to keep the weight off.

As pointed out in this article above:

“In long-term studies of weight-reduced children and adults, 80%-90% return to their previous weight percentiles, while studies of those successful at sustained weight loss indicate that the maintenance of a reduced degree of body fatness will probably require a lifetime of meticulous attention to energy intake and expenditure.”

This is why so many people can LOSE weight, but can’t seem to keep the weight off.[9]

This doesn’t even factor in all of the other challenges surrounding weight loss: an “obesogenic” environment (you can smell Cinnabon minutes before seeing it), psychological challenges like depression and anxiety, menopause, medications, and hormones.

These factors cause us to crave high-calorie foods, increase our odds of fat gain, and make it tough to keep our calorie intake in-check, because chocolate cake.

To Recap:

  • You can’t exercise your way to weight loss.
  • Your metabolism slows down when you lose weight.
  • Your environment makes it difficult not to overeat.
  • Your body will try to keep its fat stores.
  • Even when you lose weight, your body wants to keep the fat it has.
  • If you lose weight, you’ll have to stay diligent or you’ll put the weight back on.

This is all terrible, horrible, no good, very bad news.

And the toughest truth of all: Due to those factors above, it might not be your fault that you’re overweight…but it IS your responsibility to navigate!

I know, I know.

However, there is HOPE!

And here at Nerd Fitness – and in the Star Wars universe – rebellions are built on hope.

We have thousands of success stories from people who thought they couldn’t lose weight…until they did.

People HAVE lost weight, and kept it off.

People who are older, bigger, have more children, less money, more illnesses, and bigger hardships than you.

It’s a constant battle, but one that’s absolutely worth fighting.

And this means that you are not broken. You don’t have metabolic damage. You are not doomed.

Sure, you’re flawed.

But so are your heroes.

You might be playing life on “Legendary” difficulty, but people like you have succeeded.

It starts by using all of the tools at our disposal, because the forces working against us are doing the same.

Let’s get nerdy.

Want to lose weight and get strong like Leslie? Learn more about our Online Coaching Program!

The Science of Fat Loss

YES, it would be awesome if you could drink tea or wrap yourself in plastic to magically lose fat.

YES, it would be amazing if a 30-minute bootcamp class allowed you to eat junk food all day, every day, and not gain an ounce.

YES, it would be amazing if you could take a magic pill that gave you the body you had 10 years ago.

It would also be cool if superheroes were real and I could fly.

Well, not like that.

Come on, Aquaman. People can see you.

We live in a world of science, physics, and thermodynamics.

This means we should ALWAYS look at life through the following lenses:

  1. Occam’s Razor: The simplest explanation is PROBABLY the correct one.
  2. Law of energy: Energy can’t be created or destroyed, only transformed.
  3. Reality: If it sounds TOO good to be true, it probably is.

Let’s apply this to our waistlines:

If we are overweight…

It’s not because we have “toxins” in our bodies that need to be flushed out.

It’s not because we didn’t spend enough time in the “fat-burning” zone during our “muscle confusion” bootcamp.

It’s not because we need fat-burning tea.

These are all pseudoscience buzz terms to sell products, and have no truth to their claims.

Occam’s Razor dictates the simplest solution is PROBABLY the right one.

So what’s the simple explanation to why we’re overweight?

Every day, we consume food that gets transformed into energy.

This food has three options once it enters our body:

  1. Fuel our bodily functions: fuel our organs, regulate our body temperature, etc.
  2. Pass through as waste: pee and poop.
  3. Get stored (usually as fat): saved for a rainy day.

If we are overweight, we are consuming more ‘energy’ than our bodies need every day. Because our body doesn’t need all of it, too much is being stored as fat.

This brings us to the main point of our nutritional focus:

If weight loss is our goal, we must consume FEWER calories than we burn on a consistent basis.

By doing so, our body has no choice but to dip into that “rainy day” fund of fat stores to still get all of its bodily tasks done each day.

Do this consistently, and that’s how we end up with a lower number on the scale and a smaller pants size.

“Steve I know I should eat less. It’s doing it consistently that’s the tough part. Have you tried CAKE?!”

Great point.

And yes, cake is awesome.

But we have to start somewhere!

And it starts here: we need to eat fewer calories, but it ALSO has to be sustainable and enjoyable, otherwise we’ll never stick with it.

And temporary changes produce temporary results. We want permanent weight loss!

Just saying “eat less” doesn’t factor the crazy biological, physiological, and/or emotional challenges we face every day:

We might eat when we’re stressed, depressed, or bored.

We might be on medication that is causing us to overeat without us realizing it.

We can’t eat just one potato chip without eating an entire bag.

We absentmindedly grab a handful of Peanut M&M’s when visiting Kevin in Accounting.

Not only that, but even when we pay attention to what we eat, studies show that we often underestimate our calorie consumption by 15+%.[10]

Crap. This just keeps getting worse!

What’s a smart nerd like you supposed to do in this scenario!?

If we KNOW we overeat without realizing it, and we KNOW restricting calories is tough to stick with long term, then the only path forward is to attack the problem differently.

Not with fit tea.

Nor with body wraps.

Not with “muscle confusion.”

But with science, math, and psychology.

What to Eat For Weight Loss

If weight loss is the goal, we need to shift our food choices to foods that give us more “bang for our buck” – healthy, filling, nutritious foods that fill us up and makes us less likely to overeat calorie-bomb foods.

These foods allow us to feel full, but still keep us under our calorie goal for the day:

  • Protein like meat, fish, eggs, and so on.  
  • Fruit like apples, bananas, and berries.
  • Vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and kale.
  • Carbohydrate sources like quinoa, legumes, oats, rice, and potatoes.

These are foods that take up a lot of space in our stomach and make us feel full.

If we do this consistently, without feeling miserable, we have a really good chance of not only losing weight, but keeping the weight off.

In contrast, here are some foods that are loaded with calories which DON’T fill us up – thus making it easy for us to overeat:

  • High-calorie, easy to overeat foods like breads, french fries, pasta, and pizza.
  • Soda, juices, and sugary coffee beverages.
  • Candy, cookies, crackers, etc.

To really HAMMER this point home…

As we point out in “Can You Burn Fat and Build Muscle at the Same Time?” here’s what 200 calories look like, thanks to WiseGEEK.

Which ones do you think will make you feel full, and which ones will make you eat more than you realize?










Can you get yourself to stop after 2/3rds of a bagel or a small handful of pasta?

Of course not!

One more example – here’s 200 calories of broccoli:

“Steve, that is an absurd amount of broccoli.”

Yup. It’s also the SAME number of calories as 2/3rds of a bagel (which doesn’t even include the calories from the cream cheese or butter).

Now, it’s insulting to say “You should eat more broccoli and less bagels. There’s yer problem.”

I’m merely pointing this out to emphasize the difference between energy (calories) and volume.

(Hate broccoli and vegetables? Read how to make vegetables taste good!)

Depending on what you eat, you could feel “OH SO FULL” after your meal or “Why am I already hungry again? NOM NOM NOM.”

Which means…

If you can start to make even SMALL changes, focusing on nutrient-dense, calorically-light foods like protein, fruit, and veggies, to replace some junk food – even occasionally, it’s going to shift the energy balance back in the right direction.

You’ll become more likely than not to eat fewer calories than you burn, moving you beneath your daily equilibrium.

Do that consistently, and you start to pull from those fat stores.

And we find ourselves at the holy grail:

Sustainable, non-miserable weight loss.

This is actually the secret sauce for ALL popular diets these days.

As we point out in our “What is the Perfect Diet” article, all the popular diets get you to eat more REAL food and less junk food.

They just all have their own unique marketing spin to sell cookbooks and courses and subscriptions. 

Let’s look at each of these diets in a nutshell:

  • Paleo: cut out grains and dairy. Consume only meat, veggies, fruits, and nuts.
  • Keto: cut out ALL carbs. Consume only meat, veggies, nuts, and fatty sauces.
  • Intermittent Fasting: cut out an entire MEAL every day.
  • Mediterranean Diet: focus on REAL foods, with whole grains. Cut out processed foods.
  • Carnivore Diet: Only eat meat. Remove everything else.
  • Military Diet: Nevermind. Please don’t do this diet.

ANY of the diets above will result in temporary weight loss if you strictly follow the rules, but not for the reason you’d think.

It’s not because we’re designed to eat like cave people (though we are), or that our bodies function differently on a Ketogenic Diet (it does), or even that fasting has plenty of health benefits (it does!).

Those things are like 2% of the reason why they work for weight loss. [2% is a statistic I made up to emphasize the smaller importance of any ancillary benefit compared to the bigger picture]

The other 98%: they make us more likely than not to consume fewer calories on average than we usually eat, which will lead to weight loss in the long term… if you can stick with it.

And each diet has rules and guidelines that speak to the specifics of individual people.

If you’re freaking out about how to eat and which diet to pick and you’re worried if you’ll even be able to stick with it, you’re not alone.

It’s why we created our 1-on-1 Coaching Program!

To help people like you change their habits around food to start seeing permanent weight loss results without being miserable!

No more confusion or frustration! Just a supportive coach to answer your questions and a plan to follow. Learn more:


Nearly EVERY diet will work in the short term, because they all lead to temporary calorie restriction. Every diet above will fail you too in the long term, because you need to do the diet permanently to get the results permanently!

So in my opinion, you should only follow a strict diet like those above IF you can see yourself sticking with it consistently for the next 10 years.

“Steve, that’s melodramatic. Come on.”

That’s what I was going for.

If a diet sounds too restrictive to stick with permanently, then it’s too restrictive for you to devote weeks or months of your life to!

After all, temporary changes equal temporary results.

You’re better off picking a diet that you confidently feel like you can stick with permanently. You should be thinking in terms of “days and years,” not “weeks and months!”

Here’s the end goal we’re working towards:

Sustainable weight loss, weight maintenance, and actually enjoying life.

Looking in the mirror and being happy with what you see, knowing that the weight will stay off.

And most importantly, habits that allow us to enjoy life, have great meals with friends and family, while still reaching our goals

Not temporary changes, but rather permanent small adjustments that adjust over time as we start to see results and build momentum.

Sound good?

Let’s get back to basics and start learning about the food we’re putting into our bodies.

Cool? Cool.


Conservatively speaking, strength training is the greatest thing ever invented in the history of the galaxy.

Okay, so maybe it’s third after electricity and Nintendo.

But I say this to make a point.

There’s a huge difference between “exercise” and strength training when it comes to body composition.

Coach Matt explains exactly why in this video on gaining muscle while losing fat:

We also cover this in a very in-depth manner in our “Can I Lose Weight and Build Muscle?” guide – which is one giant Harry Potter allegory that you’ll love – but I’ll share the basics right here.

If your goal is consistent, permanent, healthy weight loss and weight management, 80-90% of the battle will be nutrition,

When it comes to exercise, you really only have TWO things to focus on:

  1. What exercise do you love? Good. Do that.
  2. Strength train as often as you have time for.

I’ll touch on the first one quickly.

When you do exercise you love, you’re giving your heart and body a good workout. You’re reminding yourself “I am living healthy” and THUS you should be more likely than not to stick with your healthy eating strategy.

Notice I said “exercise you love.”

If you hate running, never run a mile again.

Hate going to the gym? Never set foot in one.

Hate bootcamps? Me too. Don’t do them.

Instead, go rock climbing, or hiking, or do yoga, or swing dancing, or LARPing.

Really, anything that gets you off your ass and moving. Cool? Cool.

Never do exercise you hate again. Let us build a fun workout program for you! Learn more:

How Strength Training Assists Weight Loss

Your body functions differently when you strength train, in all of the right ways.

We have a whole Strength Training 101 sequence that can you get you started, but I’ll whet your appetite with the nerdiest metaphor ever below.

You can find study[11] after study[12] after study[13] that shows you the benefits of strength training for weight management.

Let me explain it here quickly, borrowing from Harry Potter:

(You know, the wizard.)

At the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, when each student arrives they put on the “Sorting Hat,” an actual hat that determines which House (group) that child will join for his time at Hogwarts.

The hat acts almost like a traffic director:

“Harry, you will go to Gryffindor! Draco, you will go to Slytherin!”

Your body operates in a VERY similar fashion: every day, it receives new calories (when you eat), and it needs to decide what to do with them!

For example:

You eat a large Hawaiian pizza and 20 ounces of Mountain Dew. Your body has to do SOMETHING with all those calories.

To keep things simple, let’s look at the 3 most common results.

It’ll sort those calories into one of three Houses:

A: Burn for Fuel.
B: Rebuild Muscle.
C: Store as Fat.

Your body sorts most of those calories into “Burn for Fuel.” There’s a number of calories your body burns each day just existing: to keep your liver functioning, your heart pumping, your brain operating, and so on – it burns a good chunk of calories just keeping the lights on.

Here are two quick examples (from our TDEE calculator!):

  • A 6’, 34-year old male weighing 250 pounds burns 2,300 calories a day just by existing.
  • A 5’5”, 40-year old female weighing 140 pounds burns 1,350 calories a day just by existing.

Now, if you don’t do any exercise, and you consume MORE calories than the rate you burn each day, the “Sorting Hat” in your body needs to put those calories somewhere!

Where do you think it’ll sort them?

“C: Store as Fat.”

However, your body’s sorting behavior changes when you strength train.
Specifically, when you train in a way that really challenges your muscles. This is completely relative to where you are at in your life right now:

  • HEAVY weight training might be a 500 lb deadlift or a 5 pound dumbbell curl.
  • INTENSE bodyweight training might be a handstand push-up or a knee push-up.

When you strength train – by picking up something heavy – your muscles are “broken down” during the exercise itself, and then they rebuild themselves stronger over the next 24-48 hours.

Guess what happens during those 24-48 hours?

Your body will divert as many calories as possible to “Rebuild Muscle!”

It also diverts additional calories to “Burn as Fuel” to handle this increased “muscle rebuilding” activity.[14]

This means two amazing things:

  • Your metabolism is revved up for this time period, burning more calories than normal.
  • Rebuilding muscle is a calorie taxing activity!

There are significantly fewer calories available for “Store as Fat.”


When you consume fewer calories than your body burns each day, continuing to strength train will cause your body to get even more clever.

Let’s imagine a scenario where you’re eating fewer calories than you burn every day:

  • You strength train regularly, and your muscles break down and need to be rebuilt.
  • You don’t consume enough calories compared to how many calories your body needs to both rebuild muscle and fuel itself…
  • So does your body just shut down?


Your body has been preparing for this, by storing any excess calories over the years in the “Store as Fat” house.

This is the moment your body has been saving up for.

This means your body can pull from “Store as Fat” to make sure all the work still gets done, including your daily functions as a human, and rebuilding the muscle.

This is the Tri-wizard cup[1] of physical transformation victory:

  • You get stronger and keep the muscle you have.
  • You burn through the fat you’re trying to get rid of.
  • You’re decreasing your body fat percent and keeping your muscle = look good naked.

This would be a “win-win-win” according to Michael Scott, Regional Manager, Dunder Mifflin Scranton.

Want help learning how to strength train? You can absolutely build your own workout, or you can work with one of our coaches who can create a custom program that’s specific to your goals and lifestyle.

We’ll even make sure you’re doing the movements correctly via video, because we’re nice like that 🙂

Learn how to get strong with our Online Coaching Program! Learn more:

BACK TO BASICS: How To Guarantee Successful Weight Loss

If you’re still reading, then there is hope for you yet.

You can do this – but you have to be smart and diligent about it! Stop trying to exercise your way thin, and stop trying to find ‘get fit quick’ solutions.

Instead, take this one day at a time. We’re here for you!

We talk about proper nutrition in our big “Healthy Eaters” guide, and we go more in-depth into the specific foods that we recommend, but it starts here:

  • You have to eat fewer calories than you eat now to lose weight, and do so permanently.
  • The best way to do that is to substitute more protein and veggies onto your plate.
  • Strength training will supercharge your results, building muscle while making it easier to burn extra fat.

Understand you’re overeating, and forgive yourself for doing so – most foods have been designed for you to overeat!


#1) Pledge to stop buying snake oil. If you’re not sure, ask yourself “Does this sound too good to be true?” and “What would Steve do?”

In addition: stop doing exercises you hate just to lose weight. Pick exercises you enjoy, and put all of your focus on slowly adjusting your nutrition instead!

Shun the Dark Side and come back to the Light!

#2) Be deliberate in your decisions. Every calorie counts. Every decision counts. So make ONE different decision as a result of you being more aware of what you put in your body.

Drinking water instead of soda or juice.

Swapping out a salad for fries once per week. It all counts, but make your decision deliberate.

You’re a smart person. You know what foods should be daily staples, and what foods should be occasional treats. It all counts. So make ONE decision differently to prove to yourself that you can change.

#3) Educate yourself on the serving size of ONE food that you eat regularly. Google it. Find out if what you THINK is a serving and what’s actually in a serving is anywhere close to accurate.

You might be surprised to find out:

  • A serving of pasta is HALF the size of what you normally eat with your meal.
  • How much peanut butter is considered a serving (hint: it ain’t much).
  • There are 2.5 servings in that one bottle of Green Machine Naked Juice.

I don’t want you to change the food or the portions yet. I just want you to educate yourself on what you’re eating, and compare it to how much you thought you were eating.


If you are looking for more hands-on guidance, we have three options for ya!

1) 1-on-1 Online Coaching Program! If that sounds like you, and you’re looking for nutritional guidance, custom strength training routines just for your situation, and expert accountability, we’d love to hear your story!

No more dieting. No more shame. Just results and a supportive coach! Learn more:

2) If you want a roadmap for sustainable weight loss, check out NF Journey. Our fun habit-building app helps you exercise more frequently, eat healthier, and level up your life (literally).

Try your free trial right here:

3) Join the Rebellion! Join our free email list and community – I send out two fun emails a week – and I’ll send you our free 10-level Nutrition Guide along with a bunch of other free bonuses. Get them when you sign up in the box below:

Download our free weight loss guide

THE NERD FITNESS DIET: 10 Levels to Change Your Life

  • Follow our 10-level nutrition system at your own pace
  • What you need to know about weight loss and healthy eating
  • 3 Simple rules we follow every day to stay on target

#4) Do a strength training routine! We have so many awesome free options for you here on Nerd Fitness. Pick the ones that jump out at you!

“What is the biggest question you have around nutrition, strength training, and weight loss?”

Oh and please, go eat a vegetable 🙂


PS: I know this HOPEFULLY goes without saying, but this is the internet: I totally get that this issue is very complicated to begin with. If you have a hormonal imbalance, PCOS, are on medication for any number of reasons, it could also be affecting your weight.

PLEASE speak with your doctor about your weight and any changes you are looking to make!


Photo source: A good Sunday to you, Can I have your bicycle, Speed!, Swimming pool, Pizza lab, Dinner is set, Happy monday!, Speed.

Do You Know the Enlightening Truth About Weight Loss?

Brush up on the truth about weight loss whether you’re stuck in a plateau or just starting your weight loss journey.

James hopped off the scale and high-fived himself in the bathroom mirror, thrilled with how fast his low-carb diet was working. With just 2-months before his annual physical exam, he was super motivated to get his weight down. Just like he did every year.

Yep, James, a professional in his 40s, was a part-time low-carb dieter. He gave up all his favorite foods every year for 2 months before his doctor’s appointment.

And he spent the next 10 months gaining the weight (and more) back while enjoying pounds of pizza, cases of candy and oodles of noodles. Every year. Every year until a few years ago, that is.

Here’s 1 truth about weight loss: spaghetti is okay, but it shouldn’t fill up the entire plate. Photo credit: Carolina Cossío

After being diagnosed with premature heart disease, James discovered the truth about weight loss.

Weight control takes effort daily. Not just effort for 2 months out of the year.

While getting to know James, I learned that he – like a gazillion other clients – held a fear-based view of food.

  • Don’t eat this.
  • Don’t eat that.
  • Suffering is good.

Here’s what he eventually learned:

Healthy eating is about eating and enjoying nourishing foods even more than it is about depriving yourself of whatever food today you believe is bad.


The truth about weight loss is that it’s hard work, involves long-term behavior change, requires the focus to be on habits, and a good mindset will get you to goal.

He had an epiphany

James turned his mindset around faster than most of my clients. Instead of holding on to his long-held view of weight loss (temporary suffering), he embraced a new way of looking at health – a way of life. He became excited about the process of getting and being healthy.

  • He cut out midnight snacks by relaxing upstairs rather than close to the kitchen.
  • He made healthier choices in restaurants by deciding what he’d order in advance.
  • He made a game out of getting more variety of fruits and vegetables.
  • And he reminded himself why he was in it for the long haul: be healthy, be happy and provide for his family for a long, long time.

This Farro Waldorf Salad is loaded with fruits, vegetables, whole grains and taste! Try to make things fun when you change your diet.

6 truths about weight loss & dieting

You too can experience the mindset shift you need to manage your weight (and health) – even if you’ve lost weight and gained it back a dozen or more times.

By the way, most people have many “failed” attempts before they finally lose weight for good.

#1: Obesity is not about your appearance

My colleague Ted Kyle, RPh, MBA, principal and founder of Consciencehealth explains. “Obesity is the abnormal or excessive accumulation of fat that impairs health.” In other words, some people with a “normal” weight may indeed have obesity because obesity is about body composition and not about the number on the scale or about your pants size. Likewise, “a larger body is not by definition unhealthy,” Ted says. And of course, I agree.

Because obesity impairs health, we call it a disease.

How excess body fat harms

The most unhealthful fat is visceral fat, which accumulates deep in the abdominal cavity, close to your liver, pancreas, kidneys and other internal organs. If you carry a lot of visceral fat – especially in your liver –  you’ll likely eventually have health problems related to your heart, liver, blood sugar and even some types of cancer.

I asked my friend and colleague Karen Collins, MS, RDN, CDN, who’s an expert in cardiovascular health and cancer prevention to weigh in. Karen explains that excess body fat can cause inflammation, hormonal changes, and metabolic disruptions that promote at least 12 types of cancer and affect many risk factors for heart disease, including blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

So, obesity is about your health, not about your appearance. Ted says, we have a problem when busybodies tell people how healthy or unhealthy they are just by looking at them. That’s wrong, offensive, and very common.

Karen has some great info about inflammation, what it is, how to measure it and how to reduce it. Check it out.

#2: A small weight loss is huge

I hated when clients asked me how much weight they should lose. The question is based on the assumption that there’s one right weight for someone and that somehow I could know what it is. I have no such power. But this much I do know:

Your weight is personal. You get to decide. And you get to change your mind as often as you’d like.

That’s 1 more truth about weight loss.

I also know you don’t need to lose gobs of weight to see improvements in your health. In a fascinating study among people at high risk for type 2 diabetes, dieters who lost 5% of their starting weight – that’s 10 pounds for someone weighing 200 pounds – improved insulin sensitivity in muscle, fat and liver cells. They lost fat in the liver and improved function in the beta-cells of the pancreas (the part that makes insulin).

Dropping from 200 to 190 pounds may not seem like a lot, and it may not mean that the jeans pushed to the back of your closet suddenly fit, but big things are happening under the surface.

Losing 5 – 10% of your starting weight is rocking it
  • Less risk for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes
  • Improved cholesterol and triglyceride levels
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Reduced systemic inflammation, which is linked to type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers
  • Less urinary incontinence
  • Reduced knee and back pain
  • And that’s not all. Think energy, sleep and on and on.

Karen explains that “finding an eating pattern and lifestyle habits that help you reach and maintain a weight that is healthy for you is now considered one of the most powerful steps you can take to reduce your risk of getting cancer.” Here’s more about obesity and cancer.

The Obesity Action Community also talks about the benefits of dropping a few pounds.

#3: Your brain is in charge of your eating

But not in the way you might think. The medical director of obesity for Novo Nordisk Gabriel Smolarz, MD, MS, FACE, Diplomate of the American Board of Obesity Medicine, explains it clearly. If you’re stuck in a weight loss plateau or if you keep asking yourself, “why can’t I lose weight,” your problem may be in the gray matter within your head.

The brain regulates all of our eating in 3 distinct ways, Dr. Smolarz says.

A truth about weight loss is that your brain regulates ALL of your eating. The primitive pathways that keep us from starving to death are amazingly powerful. Photo credit: Rob Schreckhise

  1. Thanks to our ancestors, we have primitive pathways in our brains that drive our hunger and fullness. This is a stay-alive mechanism.
  2. We like the way food tastes because the reward centers in the brain make eating enjoyable.
  3. And using the brain’s executive function – the decision-making part of the brain – we consciously try to decide what, when and how much to eat.

As often happens with the disease of obesity, there’s a mix-up of signals in the brain. The hunger and fullness cues go awry. The brain screams “eat more” even though the energy supply (aka fat stores) in the body is sufficient.

The result: calorie counting, portion control strategies and other cognitive skills based in executive function can’t compete. Weight gain occurs because, with an imbalance in the hunger and fullness centers, the primitive brain is so much more fierce than simple decision making and willpower.

#4: Weight loss is a tug-o-war

Like James, you may have lost weight following a strict plan only to discover the pounds come back even quicker than you can bake a cake.

After you lose weight through calorie restriction, your body not-so-secretly tries to return to its previous size. Apparently, the body thinks storing more calories is the best survival mechanism. While that was once true, excess calorie storage in today’s land of plenty – where high-calorie food surrounds us – is a fast track to health problems.

Dr. Smolarz explains what happens:

Your new smaller body becomes more efficient and burns fewer calories. Your hormones become unbalanced. The hunger hormone, ghrelin, increases, urging you on to eat more. And fullness hormones decrease, making you less satisfied.

Simply, your brain doesn’t get the message it’s time to stop eating.

Weight loss truths numbers 3 and 4 help explain just how hard weight management is and often how it’s out of our control. The causes of obesity are so much greater than I can discuss here and more than scientists have so far discovered, I’m sure. Some other contributors: medications, working the nightshift, being born by C-section, your gut microbes and more.

{Not sure if you should weigh yourself. Here are 5 things to consider before stepping on the scale.}

#5: Dieters do keep the weight off

Lots of them do. Myself included.

For me, it took getting educated about diet and nutrition, unlearning bad habits, learning good habits and enormously changing my attitude about food and diet. My weight gain story started in elementary school. I think I went on my first diet when I was 8. My successful weight management story started in college.

And it’s led to a career that’s changed and rewarded my life.

Funny, but I now consider my younger, overweight body a blessing in disguise. I’ve got a great career, plus my health, energy level and self-image are much improved!

But it’s not just me. I know lots of former weight strugglers who’ve maintained lighter, healthier bodies for years.

How the weight stays away

You’ll find lots of success stories at the National Weight Control Registry (NWCR), a registry of more than 10,000 people who have lost weight and kept it off. On average, they’ve lost 66 pounds and kept it off for more than 5 years. Check out the strategies they use to keep the weight off.

To talk about keeping lost weight lost, I reached out to James O. Hill, PhD, director of the Nutrition Obesity Research Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Dr. Hill is also a founding researcher of the NWCR.

He says, “exercise is the best predictor of maintaining weight loss.” He goes on to explain that having a flexible metabolism is key to weight management and that exercise is key to having a flexible metabolism.

Just what is a flexible metabolism? I asked him.

Having a flexible metabolism means that your body is very good at switching between using carbohydrates and fat for fuel. After you’ve eaten, you have carbs ready to be used, but after an overnight fast, body fat is more available. You can think about it like a thermostat on your wall. If your system is sensitive, the temperature of your home changes quickly when you adjust the thermostat. But if your system is not so sensitive, it takes longer to change the air temperature around you.

Dr. Hill explains that this sensitivity or flexibility is likely important in weight management.

Even before talking to Dr. Hill or reviewing some of the research, I was confident exercise was critical to keeping my weight off for more than 3 decades. Now I can put a name to it: metabolic flexibility.

It’s smart to look for fun ways to be active. And Benny is the answer! Funny how being active produces even more energy.

And if you’re wondering about metabolism boosters, here’s the scoop.

#6: Body positivity & weight loss goals can be friends

Lots of people with large bodies are heavy with shame.

Let’s all work together to stop shaming others and ourselves. We can feel positive about our bodies no matter what size body we walk around in. Your weight does not define you or your worth anyway.

In reading this post, you’ve seen just a touch of how body weight is not entirely in our control. If you’re not convinced, scroll back up and reread weight loss truth numbers 3 and 4, and take a look at this cool infographic.

In recent years, I’ve heard more chatter about body positivity, and I think this is good. What I don’t think is good is health professionals and others claiming that body weight and fatness are unimportant or that it’s bad to try to lose excess body fat. Excess body fat, especially excess visceral fat, leads to health problems. That’s exactly why the American Medical Association and other organizations classify obesity as a disease.

I agree with Karen when she says, “We need to be able to talk about weight removed from a culture of body-shaming. People can take positive actions to reach and maintain a weight that’s healthy for them without restrictive diets that promote a cycle of weight loss and regain.” So true! Find a healthful way to lose a few pounds that doesn’t consume your mental energy and hurt your body.

It’s not about numbers on the scale. It’s about health.

Take your mind OFF the weight goal

Yes, I mean that. Take your mind off the weight goal.

I find people do so much better with weight loss when they focus on the process instead of the pounds.

What do I mean by that?

Instead of looking toward a specific number on the scale – after all, you can lose weight by getting the stomach flu, getting lost in a cave without food, or swallowing a tapeworm – look at your habits, mindset and behaviors. Instead of shaming yourself for not losing weight, high-five yourself for packing your lunch all week. Instead of relying on willpower to get to the gym, think about what will make working out more fun and convenient. And instead of shunning all your favorite foods until the scale reads the “right” number, learn the process of eating well most of the time. And not feeling guilty when you don’t.

Celebrate your small wins. Small wins lead to bigger wins. I promise! © Can Stock Photo / barsik

You’re not stuck at this weight

and that’s the truth!

Personal experiences, professional experiences, and research convinced me that weight loss is possible – even if you tried and failed before. A few ideas:

  • If what to eat is your question, work with a registered dietitian nutritionist to develop an individualized plan.
  • If you know what to eat, but you just don’t stick to your plan, check out my video course Stick With It: Build Motivation & Willpower for Healthy Habits & Get the Results You Want.
  • If diet and exercise changes don’t help you drop weight, make an appointment with a medical provider for diagnostic testing, evaluation and advice about weight loss medications, devices and surgeries.

Like James developed a new mindset, you can too. No more oscillating between deprivation diets and pounds of pasta.

The truth about weight loss is that it is hard work, involves long-term behavior change, the focus must be on habits, and a good mindset will get you to your goal.

If you’re tired of not meeting your goals, learn more about motivation, willpower and strategies for success. Enroll in

Stick With It

8 Surprising Truths About Weight Loss – HealthyWay

1. You Can Weigh Less And Look Bigger

Believe it or not, you can weigh less than someone your same height and build and still look bigger than he or she does. If you don’t exercise and your friend does, he will look smaller and fitter than you even though you have the same build. It’s not the end of the world, just a surprising truth about losing weight. One way to combat this is to include both strength and cardio training in your weight loss plan.

2. Weight Loss Can Be Fun

Some people say weight loss is drudgery. I can totally relate to that. But once you get in the swing of it, losing weight can be fun. It’s fun to see old clothes fit once again, feel in control of your food choices, and be happy with yourself when you look in the mirror.

3. How Easy It Is For Weight To Come Back On

A truth that few people talk about is how easy it is for the weight you lost to reappear. It takes considerable effort and dedication to keep those pounds off. While one slip-up at the breakfast buffet won’t pack on 10 pounds, a few slip-ups a week for a month will get you started down the road to weight regain.

4. Bones May Reappear

When you lose weight, you may notice that your collarbones, wrist bones, and even knee bones become more prominent. This was one of those non-scale victories I most enjoyed. Here’s a funny story. A friend of mine went to the doctor after he lost weight, convinced he had a mass on his chest wall. The doctor felt it and said, “Congratulations Jim. You’ve found your sternum!”

5. The Closer You Get To Your Goal, The Less Food You Need

If you start out losing weight by eating 1,800 calories, as you lose weight, you will need to reduce the number of calories you eat or increase the number of calories you burn. To combat this phenomenon, try eating the number of calories you will need to maintain your goal weight. Then you don’t really have to reduce the number of calories you need as you go along.

6. Working Out Is Rewarding

I was an avid hater of exercise until I began to exercise regularly. After about six weeks of regular exercise, I discovered I liked the way it made me feel, enjoyed the improvement in my fitness level, and loved feeling stronger. If you think you hate exercise, give it a six-week trial. You may find, as I did, you like it more than you thought you would.

7. New Habits Are Hard To Keep

Part of the weight loss process is developing new habits. Although easy to keep in the beginning, some habits are hard to keep up. For me, the habit of occasionally writing down what I ate was fun in the beginning but got tiresome after a while. I kept at it, though, because I knew that it would help me in the long run. If a habit is one you want to keep up, commit to it no matter how hard it is. Eventually, it will become a permanent rather than temporary habit.

8. The Types Of Foods You Eat Matter

Some people successfully lose weight by just eating at a certain calorie level and ignoring the healthfulness of the foods they eat. I suppose you could lose weight eating at McDonald’s every day, but what does that teach you for the long haul? Not much. Instead, focus on calories and nutritional content of your food. Not only is it better for you, it helps you develop the habit of making good food choices.

The Hidden Truth on Losing Weight Exposed

People tend to imagine that quick, healthy weight loss solutions are magical regimens that will bring results without any need for time and effort on their part, which is a sure fire way of getting disappointed and frustrated. Remember that inexpensive and quick, healthy weight loss diets need a lot of effort and willpower on your part and you shouldn’t be lazy about it. In fact, it was laziness and lack of effort that actually gave you this problem in the first place.

It is also worth nothing that the word “quick” does not necessarily mean “instant”. You didn’t gain all of those pounds in one day so don’t expect that you will lose all of it that fast either. There are some strategies that can make you shed a lot of fat in mere days, but these can be extremely risky and rapid weight loss can be fatal.

Quick healthy weight loss is not about starving yourself to lose weight. The human body has a natural defense against starvation, which kicks in and forces your metabolism to work slower and store more reserve fat instead of energy. If you starve your body, all you are doing is making yourself more susceptible to weight gain since every bit of food you eat will now be converted into fat and the body will run on a reduced state, which makes it use up less energy and fat. In the worst-case scenario, starvation can affect your neurological system and promote long-term brain damage.

The first step in losing weight in a safe, fast, and efficient manner is to remind yourself of why you want to lose weight. Make sure that you are doing it because it is good for your body instead of doing it to look good in front of other people. Losing weight for the purpose of being beautiful can be negative as it might lead to the development of low self-esteem and unreachable goals. People who had such poor self-image as to consider rapid weight loss would not be content with the results, however thin they get. On the other hand, a person who does it for health benefits will immediately feel results and will be pleased with developments that are felt instead of seen.

Be consistent. As mentioned before, in order for a diet regimen to work as fast as it should, an individual should not deviate from the plan. Being inconsistent with your diet and activities will greatly lessen the effect of any exercise or weight loss regimen, and may even confuse your body’s metabolism.

Always be active both in mind and body. Don’t settle for quick fixes. If you’re not pressed for time, take the stairs instead of the elevator. Ride a bike instead of driving or commuting (this also helps the environment, not to mention your wallet with gas prices as they are). If you are only going to go to a place that is very near, it is better to simply walk. Sometimes, simply going outside and spending more active time with your loved ones will do wonders for your physical, mental, and emotional health.

90,000 Weight loss for no apparent reason

Weight loss for no apparent reason or unexplained weight loss may be a sign of a serious illness, especially if there is a sudden decrease in body weight in a short time or the decrease in body weight continues progressively for a long time.

If you have lost more than 5% of your weight in 6-12 months for no apparent reason, this could be a sign of a serious illness. In this case, you need specialist advice.Unexplained weight loss is especially dangerous in older people. For example, if your normal weight is 72 kg, then 5% of it is 3.6 kg. If your normal weight is 90 kg, then 5% of it is 4.5 kg.

A person’s weight depends on many circumstances, the most important of which are the calorie content of the diet (volume, nature and composition of food consumed during the day), the level of physical activity, general health, age, the ability to assimilate and process nutrients, as well as some economic and social reasons.

Unexplained weight loss can be caused by a variety of health and non-health causes. Often, weight loss and general deterioration in well-being can be caused by several reasons.

Causes of unexplained weight loss

The first reason that must be excluded in a person who has significantly lost weight for no apparent reason is a malignant (cancerous) tumor, including colon cancer. In addition to weight loss, these patients often have other tumor-related symptoms or abnormal laboratory tests.

Other causes of weight loss may include:

  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Peptic stomach ulcer
  • Celiac disease
  • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
  • Cholecystitis
  • Addison’s disease (adrenal insufficiency)
  • Depression (major depressive disorder)
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Heart failure
  • HIV / AIDS
  • Hypercalcemia
  • Hyperthyroidism (hyperthyroidism)
  • Hypothyroidism (hypofunction of the thyroid gland)
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Substance abuse (alcohol, cocaine, others)
  • Tuberculosis

5 Myths About Weight Loss • INMYROOM FOOD

Proper nutrition has been at its peak for several years now.During this time, so much information has appeared about the process of losing weight that it is sometimes very difficult to figure it out on your own.

Secret methods and techniques that helped to lose weight TV presenter or girlfriend of your girlfriend, wander from mouth to mouth. At the same time, many forget that, firstly, the information should be thoroughly checked, and secondly, the body of each person is special and requires an individual approach.

We’ve compiled a selection of five common weight loss myths that should never be believed if you’re looking to lose those extra pounds.

Detox is the secret of success

Some modern supporters of proper nutrition and healthy lifestyles pray for detox. It seems to them that this type of nutrition will effectively rid the body of toxins, toxins and other harmful substances. At the same time, the skin will be smoothed, and the excess weight will instantly evaporate. In practice, there is no research to support the invaluable benefits of supermarket detox products.

Yes, sometimes it is useful for the body to arrange a rest from heavy food, but you should not raise such food back to normal.Calorie deficiency can play a cruel joke with you: the body will slow down the metabolism and will keep the weight for a “rainy day”. As a result, the weight will return when you start eating normally.

If you want to gently cleanse the body, then monitor the health of the liver and kidneys. It is these two organs that help the body get rid of toxins and toxins. Drink plenty of water and eat green vegetables and other antioxidant-rich foods.

Keeping track of calories effectively

When it comes to diet, the notorious calorie counting is used.This is not the surest way to get rid of those extra pounds. The point is that calories are a relative value. Some foods contain empty calories, which do not benefit the body, but only provoke insulin spikes and a growing appetite. Other calories, on the other hand, saturate the body with energy and vigor for a long time. It’s not about the numbers, but about the nutritional value of the product.

Thus, a handful of almonds and 18 potato chips contain 160 calories. At the same time, chips do not provide saturation, while nuts, on the contrary, give a charge of vivacity and supply vitamins and minerals to the body.

The secret to successful weight loss lies in a well-formulated diet. It must be balanced. This means that your diet should contain proteins, carbohydrates, fiber, fats. This approach will positively affect metabolism and the body’s ability to lose excess weight.

Simple food reduces weight

Losing weight thinks that the simpler the food, the better. As a result, they lean on boiled chicken breast, white rice without salt, leaf salads without other vegetables.Such nutrition depletes the body. He does not receive all the substances necessary for normal functioning: vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fiber, sugar. As a result, the digestive system is disrupted and the metabolism slows down, which negatively affects weight loss.

Do not drive yourself into a rigid framework. It just doesn’t always mean better. There is nothing like eating a burger with a whole grain bun, avocado pulp instead of high-calorie sauce, and grilled chicken instead of a fat cutlet.This kind of food fits in with proper nutrition and gives you not only a feeling of fullness, but also joy, which is important for a successful diet.

Carbohydrates are the enemy of a slim waist

Of course, it is much easier to lose weight on a low-carb diet. The only problem is that you can hardly last long on such a diet. When you start eating normally again, the excess weight will return pretty quickly.

If you want to lose weight and maintain the result for a long time, then you should not rush.Don’t exclude carbohydrates from your diet. Avoid simple carbohydrates in favor of complex ones, as they energize the body and promote the production of serotonin. Connect physical activity. Then you will be able to effectively get rid of extra pounds, while not drastically rebuilding the nutrition system and not giving up carbohydrates.

Gluten hurts everyone

Gluten rejection is another modern trend, which is followed by supporters of a healthy diet.The problem is that they don’t understand that completely cutting out gluten is only advisable if medically indicated. Some people do have gluten intolerances, which can cause digestive problems of varying severity. They really should give up gluten.

Others may not be so categorical. Avoiding gluten without a medical condition can lead to deficiencies in vitamins D and B12, as well as calcium.This is due to the fact that gluten is found in some healthy grains: wheat, rye, barley.

Photo source for teaser: Pinterest

Overweight or extra fat? What is the “plateau effect”

Truly it was an extraordinary sight: a large, fat, full-blooded man climbed his head downward, trying with all his might to descend from the ceiling to the floor.
The medicine … – he said – worked too hard.

How so?

Weight loss – almost complete!

And then, of course, I understood everything.

By God, Pycraft! I exclaimed. You wanted to be treated for obesity.But you’ve always called it “weight loss”!

The Truth About Pycraft.

H.G. Wells. 1903

Today we will talk about one misunderstanding that has existed, as can be seen from the epigraph, for at least a century. This is not just one of the little things, this is a fundamental moment for all people who care about their health, and it is this misunderstanding that underlies numerous myths, misconceptions, speculation and even deliberate deception.

This delusion, as the great classic of the genre correctly formulated, is that fat people prefer to talk not about excess fat, but about excess weight. In part, this misconception is justified by the fact that weight can be measured much easier, cheaper and faster than fat, and, for example, in the time of Wells, there were no adequate ways to measure excess fat at all. And until now, when it comes to mass research, medicine continues to use weight measurement as a criterion for determining obesity, using the simplicity of the method for all its disadvantages.Weight does not always allow us to draw correct conclusions about excess fat in a person. In particular, in a recent large-scale study, it was shown that about 8% of people with obesity will be recognized, on the basis of weight (BMI), as having a normal weight, and, conversely, about 16% of people who do not have much excess fat will be recognized as as overweight or obese.

But this is not the main problem, the main problem is different. A person’s weight is made up of many components, of which the most unstable component is water, continuously coming in and out in different ways.And focusing only on weight, you can draw completely wrong conclusions not only about excess fat in a person, but in general about whether he is losing weight or getting fat. Here and further in the text, the words “losing weight” and “getting fat” will mean a change in fat in a person. A person can lose weight for a while, gaining weight, or get fat, losing weight. There is no contradiction, just at these moments the change in the amount of water in the body will outweigh the change in the amount of fat.

What is the rate of weight loss?

Most popular diets and weight loss techniques compete in how many kilograms per week, or even per day, you can “lose”.But how much weight in the body can you quickly “lose”? The fastest way the body can get rid of water. Water leaves mainly through three channels: through sweating, through the kidneys (urination), through the intestines. Accordingly, all three areas of “weight loss” are widely known and actively used. Through sweat, they lose weight with a sauna and wraps, diuretics work through the kidneys (urine) (any, caffeine is also quite good, there are many “natural” herbs with a diuretic effect), short-term fasting with a laxative empties the intestines.Fasting also causes a loss of glycogen-related water, which is very significant in the early days of a fast (or severely restricted diet). In total, you can withdraw 2-5 kilograms of water in such ways per day, although if you try, a physically trained man is capable of more, due to the large amount of muscle glycogen and water associated with it. Here is a photo of an athlete-researcher who lost more than 11 kg in a day. Sauna, diuretics, elimination of carbohydrates and other means of removing water have done their job:

True, it should be added that within a few hours after the end of the experiment, almost all of the indicated weight was recruited.The researcher himself explains that out of 25 pounds shed there was not a drop of fat, that such dehydration is very harmful, and that the experiment was conducted only to demonstrate to people that they do not have to be “slaves of the scales.”

What gives us this weight loss? If we are not talking about the athlete getting into the weight category, or getting a photo on the news pages, then it does not give anything. Fat does not disappear anywhere during this time, and weight returns very quickly – a healthy body maintains water-salt balance.Which, of course, saddens people who hoped to lose weight with the help of a bath, coffee, laxatives or wraps. And usually people are so sure that the main thing is kilograms that they seriously explain:

“The wrap / sauna / fasting day helped me so well – I lost 2.5 kilograms, but my body is somehow incorrectly arranged, because after that I ate like a mouse for two days, and still got two kilograms fat”

Therefore, it is better to recall physics, chemistry and biology a little.Biology tells us that there are no means of removing (unchanged) fat from the body, fat can only be spent, “burned” as fuel. Of course, in order for more fat to be “burned” than stored, the total calorie balance must be negative. School knowledge is enough to understand from the calorie table that in order for the body to receive 900 kilocalories of energy, you need to burn 100 grams of fat. In fact, adipose tissue consists not only of fat, and not only adipose tissue decreases with weight loss, and experiments show that the approximate figure is about 700 kcal per 100 g of weight change, but this figure cannot always be used directly, especially when weight gain.

It turns out that you can’t lose 5 kg in a week?

Well, let’s try to calculate. Even if we take a daily energy deficit of 1000 kcal, which is significantly more than medicine recommends, as safe for the average untrained woman, then this corresponds to “only” a decrease of 140 g of adipose tissue per day, which is equal to one kilogram per week. The words “only” are written in quotation marks because 1kg per week is 50kg per year, which is too much for most people and can have unpleasant side effects.

Even if a woman refuses to eat at all, fat loss will be 1.5-2 kg per week. Everything else (3-5 kg) – this will leave water, which, of course, will come back after the end of fasting, and the woman will be surprised that

“I have a very slow metabolism, I get fat from three apples and a plate of broccoli a day”

Now, of course, you already understand that in fact, after the end of fasting, she will continue to lose weight (the energy balance on three apples and broccoli is negative), but losing weight, she will gain weight, restoring previously lost water.A similar situation occurs after a low-carb diet. What will be the reaction of a person who is focused not on fat, but on weight, you probably already guessed:

“Calorie counting does not work. I checked it on myself. For a week now I have been eating 800 kcal, and I gained one and a half kilograms! ”

Worse, on the day when a person increases calorie content, the weight may not rise, or even fall (there will be a couple of words about this just below). What will be the result? A person will be completely convinced that diets do not work, calorie counting is a deception, or he has a unique “economical” organism that can live on 800 kcal per day.Many people begin to believe that they have “ruined their metabolism”, although they are only watching the balance of water, not calories.

But what are the sellers of diets and weight loss techniques to do?

Even if the authors of diets and methods for losing weight and understand that fat and weight are different things, then they exist in the real world, where mass consciousness measures thinness, obesity, beauty and health in kilograms. And you have to adjust. Because more than a kilogram per week, as we calculated above, an untrained woman of average weight cannot lose weight, and a diet that advertises weight loss of 700 g per week (the maximum recommended by nutritionists for an average woman) will simply be laughed at and no one will buy it.

Therefore, almost all weight loss products dealing with the market, to one degree or another, try to use the loss of water as one of the positive factors, and whether the client will gain weight afterwards is left on his conscience. Moreover, there is a positive side for the seller: the consumer will be sure that with a diet he loses weight by 3-5 kg ​​per week, and without it he only gains weight. Accordingly, he will continue to add to these diets, which will act weaker and weaker (water can be withdrawn only up to certain limits), and in the intervals between diets to show the miracles of “mass gain”.Therefore, just know about the main factors in diets that are designed to lose weight, not fat:

  • Diuretics (diuretics). Extremely popular supplements. From time to time, some regular “tea for weight loss” is prohibited precisely because of the harm of the diuretic component (the people generally think that if the substance is natural, then it is safe)
  • Low calorie nutrition programs. The bulk of the weight is lost in the first days due to the consumption of glycogen, in parallel with the waste of which large reserves of water always come out.Fat is a minor contributor to weight change, and after unloading is complete, most of the weight is quickly recovered
  • Low salt diets. The body, within a fairly wide range, can adapt to the intake and consumption of salt, but it does not do this immediately (for example, the adaptation of the amount of sodium in sweat during a climate change is about two weeks). Accordingly, abruptly switching to salt-free foods, at first the body will lose part of the water due to the small amount of salt.But, unlike the first two points, a low-salt diet is not harmful (unless you are going to work in Africa for a week as a loader), and for many diseases typical of fat people – hypertension, edema – it can even be useful. It is not necessary to simply be fooled by the discharge in the first days of the diet, one kilogram per day.
  • Low carb diets. The percentage of carbohydrates in the diet has practically no effect on long-term weight loss, but due to the rapid consumption of glycogen and with it water, in the first days or weeks, their weight change is greater than that of equal-calorie diets with a more even proportion of macronutrients.Of course, at the end of the diet, water comes in, and this effect of the difference is leveled.
  • Laxative. This rarely happens in official products and methods, but among the people the ideas of “weight loss” of this kind are very popular and really compete with other diets, because through the contents of the intestines, you can also quickly lose more than one kilogram.
  • Sauna, hot wraps and other means for perspiration.

Of course, many of the above factors are often combined.

What is important to know when losing weight?

The most important thing is to understand the difference between fat and weight. Weight, primarily due to water, can jump quite strongly (± 0.5 … 2 kg per day, sometimes more), and fat, if you are not an athlete, cannot go more than 100 … 150 g per day , and usually its change is less than 100 g, i.e. less accuracy of the balance. It is also imperative to know that with a sharp decrease in calorie content, the body always spends glycogen, and at the same time a lot of water (3-5 times more than the mass of glycogen) goes away.Therefore, in many honest methods of losing weight, when mentioning the rate of weight loss, a clause is made “except for the first week.” And weighing yourself, for the same reason, is recommended once a week, so that daily fluctuations do not affect the adoption of the wrong decision. On the net you can easily find “revelations of losing weight” of this kind:

“I measured it for sure: after 150g of cottage cheese for the night, I gain 300g in the morning, and after two cookies I lose weight by 200. Therefore, for the night now there are only cookies and no cottage cheese!”

Of course, the fact that a large amount of protein or salt in some people retains water for half a day or a day or two does not affect weight loss in any way, however, many find it difficult to resist the desire to weigh themselves every day or even several times a day.They should at least take note and write down the weight value in a diary no more than once a week. Or, more accurately, take the average for the week (even better, the median). But it’s easier to just forget about the scales – the scales are not a tool for controlling weight loss at intervals of less than a week, and sometimes even a month. No matter how your weight changes, just know: if every day you spend 700 kcal more than you eat, then every day your fat decreases by 100 g (and in a week, respectively, 700 g). The mnemonic rule is as follows

calorie deficit per day = loss of grams per week

Of course, do not rely on greater accuracy: the error of both a typical food diary and a typical determination of energy consumption using formulas and tables is rarely better than 10%.And what happens with accuracy when subtracting two close values ​​(recall: energy deficit is energy consumption minus food), we learned at school: accuracy in such cases is lost catastrophically. We will tell you about the main factors affecting accuracy in future articles, but in any case, do not confuse daily weight fluctuations with weight loss. Now, if in 3 months you have become lighter by 9 kg, you can confidently say that you have lost weight, and mainly fat is gone, because water more than 1-2 kg rarely fluctuates.And if your weight has hardly changed in a month, it means that your energy expenditures are really close to the calorie content of food.

But what if a week (two, three) is worth the weight?

The most common problem on the losing weight forums is expressed something like this:

“I am doing everything correctly, there is an energy deficit, and the weight is already the fifth (tenth) day. It looks like the system is not working. What to do next? ”

In this case, if a person did not change the regime, and even a week ago lost weight normally, then, most likely, he continues to lose weight in the same way, but weight loss is not visible due to a temporary increase in the amount of water.Water can be retained for various reasons, or it can simply recover from any previous losses – when the water came out, this weight loss was attributed to the diet. We will give an approximate hypothetical graph of the change in the amount of fat and water in a person starting to lose weight with an energy deficit of -700 kcal / day, and below we will show their sum, with typical beginner reactions:

Although the schedule is fictitious, it is, with minor modifications, familiar to anyone who has gone on a severely restricted calorie diet or heavily restricted carbohydrate diet.In the first days, glycogen is consumed, and water leaves the body with it. Gradually, the water begins to recover, and the daily decrease in fat is compensated by the daily intake of water lost in the first days.

An experienced person knows that weight loss depends on calories and weight on water. He keeps the top green graph “in mind”, knows that fat continues to go away, and calmly continues to adhere to the regime, realizing that the weight, sooner or later, will continue to fall.

But those who begin to count calories for the first time, and do not understand what is the difference between weight and fat, in those moments when the water leaves, burns with enthusiasm, and when water comes in, completely loses both faith in the result and the meaning of adherence to the diet.Even worse – falling into a panic, he often breaks the regime, and then it is almost impossible to understand what really happened. During this week, while the weight is standing, he manages to interview all acquaintances and strangers, and get 100,500 pieces of advice, many of which are opposite. At the same time, if he did not give up the diet at all, then when the water still stops coming and the weight decreases, he will consider that he lost weight not because he had kept the calorie content two weeks before, but because the day before he raised calorie content / reduced calorie content / went to the bathhouse / ate green coffee / brewed goji berries / said “ku” three times at dawn… The internet is full of stories like:

“I was on a diet, I had a plateau, and nothing helped, except ….”

As you can imagine, most of these stories are not connected with objective reality, but reflect an accidental coincidence that the narrator noticed. However, some non-random things can still be noticed. Stress is often the cause of water retention, particularly through the hormonal effects of cortisol.There can be any causes of stress, including the obvious one – a calorie deficit. If a person somehow relaxes and relieves stress (goes to the bathhouse, gets enough sleep, or even increases (!) The calorie content for 1 day), then this can lead to the fact that water will immediately come out in a significant amount, so there are stories that after increasing the calorie content the weight has decreased, quite a lot.

But we repeat once again: there is no point in specifically removing water from the body, this does not affect weight loss in any way, if the body holds it, then for some reason it needs it.Do not waste time and energy on a pointless struggle with kilograms, spend them on something more useful for yourself, on getting rid of excess fat, for example :). Sooner or later, the weight will definitely go where the fat goes (however, there is very much sense in reducing stress …).

True Plateau

It is also worth mentioning that the “plateau effect on weight loss” is also spoken of in another case. If a person is prescribed a diet with a fixed calorie content and loads, then after a while he loses weight and adapts to stress, and as a result, he has a “real plateau” – the calorie content of food is compared with the cost, and the person stops losing weight.Indeed, one can get out of such a “plateau” only by lowering the calorie content or increasing the load. But this usually happens after six months or a year of careful adherence to the regimen and significant weight loss.

So the next time you step on the scale, remember that this is not a body fat measurement tool, but just a weight measurement tool. And the fat that we burn is not always displayed on the scales. Even if the weight is worth it, continue to believe in yourself, honestly counting calories, remembering to control all the essential nutrients in the MHR, and you will make sure that the state of your body is in control of you.And the weight is subservient, if you do not try to measure and change it every day.

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90,000 10 ways to accelerate weight loss without a rigid diet

Many of us want to lose weight or keep our weight within the normal range. Exercise and, of course, diet help in this. I just don’t want to go on a rigid diet, right? And there is no need for it! Learn these simple tricks, put them into practice and you will not have to torment yourself with harsh diets!

1.Calorie counting

Although it would be more accurate to say – calorie counting (1 kilocalorie = 1000 calories). For the normal functioning of the body, we need to get a certain minimum of kilocalories per day. It is believed that for women, this norm is 2000-2500 kilocalories, but everything is individual. If you are short, sit a lot, move a little, then you should reconsider your norm.

Buy scales: floor and kitchen. Weigh yourself on an empty stomach and record your current weight each day.Use a kitchen scale to weigh food and drinks, noting the number of calories consumed. Set the optimal amount of kilocalories per day for yourself. Eat what you want, just do not exceed your calorie requirement.

2. Fractional meals

As a rule, most of us have three meals a day: breakfast, lunch and dinner. However, many nutritionists agree that it is better to eat more often, but in small portions. So the body will receive the nutrition it needs, while there will not be a strong feeling of hunger, which forces us to overeat.

Fractional nutrition is aimed at reducing the consumed amount of kilocalories. If you eat often (but not enough!), Then it will be easier not to fill your stomach. Set an alarm clock and eat every two hours, we will reduce the portions we are used to.

3. Coffee

Coffee speeds up the metabolism. It would seem that many of us drink coffee all day, but why doesn’t weight drop? The fact is that in the optimal variant, you should drink black coffee (ground) without sugar, cream and milk. No delicious lattes, moccachino and other delights.At the same time, doctors warn against frequent coffee breaks. If you are healthy, you can drink no more than 3 cups of coffee. In case of diseases, it is better to consult a doctor.

4. Food separately from others

It is very difficult to monitor your diet when there is a whole bunch of relatives in the house, and in the refrigerator there are always mountains of tasty but unhealthy food. If your family members eat non-dietary and high-calorie foods, try eating at different times with them.

Family meals are believed to help unite.But is it really so? A close-knit family will not collapse if its members eat at different times. Here’s a really proven fact: socializing over food often makes you feel hungry. Everyone around is so contagiously chomping, they smell goodies from their plates … Temptations alone. Eat quietly alone.

5. Green tea

Surely you have repeatedly heard that green tea is used for weight loss. Of course, you can’t eat tea alone, but it’s worth adding it to your menu.It will not create an incredible miracle, it will not help you lose 10 kilos per day. Nevertheless, green tea speeds up the metabolism, and also perfectly tones and energizes, no worse than coffee. This is a great drink, because diets often make us weaker.

6. Vegetables and fruits

Remember that vegetables and fruits are low in calories, but high in fiber and useful vitamins. Their only drawback is that after them the feeling of hunger quickly returns. Remember the advice on split meals and eat vegetables and fruits every two hours.It should be mentioned that in some diseases it is forbidden to eat raw vegetables and fruits. The best option is steam cooking.

7. Small stocks of food

When there is a lot of food in the house, it is difficult for us to resist the temptation to arrange a belly party for ourselves. If you do not have an urgent need to make large supplies, then it is better to buy food in small portions. Buy less bread, take sugar in small packages (this way it is consumed less). Vegetables and fruits are also not worth buying in trunks, because they quickly deteriorate.

8. Refusal to eat before bedtime

For me this is the most difficult point, because food is the best sleeping pill for me. But what can you do if it is harmful? Doctors advise to go to bed no earlier than 3-4 hours after the last meal. Otherwise, the food eaten will not be consumed and will go into body fat. In addition, digestion is worse in sleep.

Make a daily routine and make sure not to eat before bed. If you really feel unbearable, drink a glass of kefir, yogurt or fermented baked milk at night.They are low in calories, but such drinks will help muffle the feeling of hunger.

9. Leisurely meal

Chew thoroughly, slowly, because it improves digestion and helps to feel full faster. If you have lost your temper and decided to indulge yourself with junk food, try to savor it. Don’t eat an entire packet of chips in a minute, but savor each bite, immersing yourself in its flavor. This is a very effective way to reduce the amount of junk food while enjoying it.

There is no need to drive yourself crazy by refusing to eat delicious food. You just need to realize that the thirst for gustatory pleasures is one of the reasons for overeating. Control the amount of delicious treats by enjoying them in small portions.

10. Protein

Protein (or protein) is a building material for our body. Among other things, protein helps us feel full faster. Add high protein ingredients to your meals. Among them: chicken breast, cottage cheese, eggs, red fish.These foods will not make you obese, but will help you lose weight. The main thing is to cook them correctly. Do not add mayonnaise to them, replace butter with olive or avocado slices.

To avoid annoying appetite, add foods to your diet that muffle the feeling of hunger. Eat consistently, cook food correctly, avoid the temptations of gluttonous relatives with full plates of junk food. Eat small meals often, especially if you crave high-calorie foods.Try to reduce the consumption of sugar and starchy foods, and if you still break loose, just drive off the extra calories with pleasant actions: dancing, walking or a night of love. 😉

Observe the habits of slim people, and you will never have to torment yourself with too strict diets. Health and beauty to you!

Anxiety: why and how it can make you lose weight or gain weight | Sex and relationships

Anxiety is not a pleasant feeling. It not only causes nervous sensations, but can also cause physiological changes.For example, gaining or losing weight.


How can anxiety affect weight loss?

There are several reasons.

The first is the acceleration of metabolism. Studies in mice have shown that anxiety can cause you to spend more energy. Scientists isolated a specific gene from areas of the brain and developed symptoms that resemble anxiety. As a result, this led to a decrease in the body weight of the experimental (due to increased activity in the neural circuits).Other research suggests that the vagus nerve may affect weight loss. It is activated by inflammation (i.e. stress) and affects how the gut processes food. A third reason may be a rush of adrenaline: during stress, the sympathetic nervous system triggers the process of its release from the adrenal glands. And this activates the body’s response, which prepares a person to flee or to fight an impending threat. Adrenaline makes your heart beat faster and your breathing quickens.Which leads to faster calorie burning.

Weight loss can be a side effect of anxiety medications. For example, if you take bupropion for an extended period. Therefore, it is always necessary to discuss this point with the treating specialist. And another reason for losing weight can be a banal loss of appetite. Have you ever worried about a project or meeting so much that you forgot to eat? Sometimes stress hormones (corticorelin) make you want to eat less. And eating less food while your metabolism is increasing will lead to faster and more visible weight loss.

How is it related to weight gain?


Anxiety can disrupt sleep. When a person does not get enough sleep, he is more drawn to unhealthy food, and the motivation (and strength) to engage in physical activity, on the contrary, decreases. In addition, scientists have found that sleep deprivation affects the production of ghrelin, a hormone that causes hunger. This may make you hungry more often.

In a state of anxiety, it is more difficult to control yourself and make the right decisions.Therefore, you may prefer a slice of pizza or any other fast food to preparing a salad. And the strength to spend these calories may not be gained. There is also emotional overeating, when a person “seizes” negative feelings in the hope that this will somehow improve the situation. And weight gain (as well as weight loss) can be influenced by medications. For example, antidepressant use is often associated with an increased risk of obesity.

How to manage your anxiety and establish nutritional processes?

Here are a few life hacks from psychologists:

– Create and always keep a “alarm diary” at hand.Like a sex diary, it can help you deal with difficulties and situations that arise. To do this, it is enough to write down your thoughts every time you are faced with feelings of anxiety or stress. This will help organize thoughts, identify the cause of the problem, speak out (only on paper) and calm your nerves.

– Try meditation. Sometimes it seems that she is able to cure everything, and to some extent this is really true. Meditation practices (especially those focused on mindfulness) reduce the symptoms of anxiety and reduce the body’s responses to stress (inflammatory and hormonal) by helping you focus on the “moment” – your breath and your sensations.

– Go in for sports, or at least walk more. Because exercise reduces the physical and mental symptoms of anxiety, improves mood (thanks to secreted joy hormones), and normalizes sleep.

– And it is very important not to be afraid to seek help if you understand that you cannot cope with anxiety and its consequences on your own. Stress and anxiety can overtake everyone at times. You are not alone in this struggle. On the contrary, there are many people who can and want to help you!

Anxiety: why and how it can make you lose weight or gain weight was last modified: March 19th, 2021 by Daria Rudakova

Can you lose weight by solving complex intellectual problems?

The 1984 World Chess Championship was disrupted due to concerns about the health of Anatoly Karpov, who lost 10 kilograms over the past five months of chess matches.Although this is the most extreme example in the history of the game, losing weight during a chess tournament is a well-known fact: you can lose up to 6,000 calories in a day of intense play. Knowing this, it seems strange that no diet for intellectuals has yet been invented. “Shop” retells a text published recently on Live Science about how much energy we usually spend on tricky tasks, and whether it is really possible to lose weight through intense mental stress.

Where does the energy go?

When the body is at rest, 20 to 25% of the energy is spent on keeping the brain active. This equates to approximately 350-450 calories per day. In childhood, our developing brain absorbs up to 60% of energy, says Doug Boyer, professor of evolutionary anthropology at Duke University. Although the need for glucose makes the brain the most “insatiable” organ in the human body, in fact, it weighs only 2% of the total body weight.

Most of the energy is spent by the brain for the exchange of information between neurons. This is an almost continuous process: during sleep, the transfer of signals between brain cells continues. In addition, there are special cells that “assist” neurons, and their vital functions also require fuel.

How about a diet?

So can you really lose weight by loading yourself with complex tasks? In theory, this is real, but the mental load in this case should be truly impressive.It is clear that for each individual, the complexity of the cognitive load is an individual indicator. Claude Messier, professor of psychology and neuroscience at the University of Ottawa, explains: challenging tasks are when “… the brain encounters information that does not fit into previously recorded associations and patterns, or tasks in which the inputs are constantly changing.” Such activities can be, for example, playing a musical instrument or coming up with new moves during a chess game.

When you learn something new, your brain redirects more energy to the area where the acquired information is written. The more often we repeat similar actions, the more training, the less energy is required to complete the task.

At first, you may feel that your body requires a dose of sweets. A can of cola and snickers will help you replenish your energy reserve, just do not think that you will instantly get rid of absorbed calories.According to Messier, much of the brain’s activity occurs in unconscious processes. Only a small part of the “fuel” is spent on thinking about an intellectual conundrum. In general, the brain maintains an approximately constant expenditure of energy, even in those moments when we are busy over some serious task and a substantial part of the calories is spent on maintaining the activity of one area of ​​the cerebral cortex.

What happened to Karpov?

If the above is true, then what is the real reason for Karpov’s weight loss during the championship? The scientific consensus is that stress and irregular eating habits are to blame.

During chess competitions, the player is subject to strong excitement, his heart rate increases, the level of sweating increases, the person breathes faster. Combined, all of these factors contribute to weight loss. In addition, it happens that a chess tournament lasts up to eight hours without a break – that is, the usual diet does not fit into such a scheme. High levels of stress are, of course, typical for representatives of other professions, for example, musicians.

It turns out that losing weight, thanks to one mental load, is unlikely to succeed. But you should not be afraid of an extra piece of chocolate during the exam.

Fairytale or Truth: Can Weight Loss Really Slow Your Metabolism? | Nutrition & Dieting articles | Well Being center

Yes, significant and rapid weight loss alters your metabolism to the point where it may struggle to regain that weight. Find out why, and perhaps what you can do to avoid this effect.

“I tracked my daily calories and made sure I was in a 500 calorie deficit every day,” a friend told me. “At first I lost a little weight, but then, without changing anything, I not only stopped losing, but began to gain weight again until I weighed more than before I went on the diet. the calorie completely ruined my metabolism. “

We’ve all heard the same story, one way or another – but does (significant) weight loss actually slow your metabolism, and if so, what does that mean?

What is metabolism and what factors affect yours?

Metabolism – which quite interestingly comes from the Greek word for “change” – is a shortcut we use for a chemical that bodies make to survive, things like converting food into energy and other things we need, and getting rid of waste.

Your Rest or Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), an important concept for anyone actively trying to lose weight, refers to the calories your body needs to simply carry out all these important functions, such as breathing, keeping your heart rate, and keeping your cells in good working order. Basically, these are the calories you burn even when you’re not doing anything. You may be surprised to learn that 40 to 70 percent of your daily calorie intake is spent on these basic bodily functions.

Everything from your age to your biological sex and from your genetic makeup to your weight and height affects your BMR, along with certain medical conditions. But other factors, including what we eat, also affect our metabolism. The Thermal Effect of Food (TEF) refers to the calories we burn, for example, by digesting what we just ate.

Does losing weight change your metabolism?

Yes, it is. When your BMI drops, your body automatically needs fewer calories to maintain itself, which means that a slower basal metabolic rate is actually a perfectly normal and expected characteristic of weight loss.However, research has also shown that your basal metabolic rate often changes more than you would expect based on your new weight alone.

This look makes sense too – historically, humans did not have access to the calories that many of us do today, and losing weight was bad news and a sign of food insecurity. Thus, this change in metabolism, called adaptive thermogenesis, is thought to serve to prevent further weight loss and your body’s recovery.

All of this goes a long way towards demonstrating why gradual weight loss through a minor calorie deficit is a more sustainable choice, right? With this approach, you are not putting your body on fasting mode, which will force it to struggle with all its might to regain weight.

If anyone tried to lose weight – a lot – it was the biggest crew of losers. They started at an average of 328 pounds. By the end of 30 weaknesses in blood, sweat, tears, and diet, that average had dropped to 200 pounds.Their reduction in body fat was just as impressive. However, the now famous 2016 determined that all but one were gaining weight again six years later, and many were very close to their starting weight.

The answer lies in the resting metabolic rate, which has undergone a long-term decline. The resting metabolic rate of the participants with the greatest setbacks was such that they burned anywhere from a little over 100 to over 1000 fewer calories without doing anything, meaning their bodies spent less energy to perform their basic functions.The people who lost the most significant amount of weight, you guessed it, had the most significant reductions in BMR.

However, this is not all bad news – more than half of the participants “supported at least 10 percent weight loss,” the study says, and more than five overweight people who are losing significant amounts of weight. Healthy lifestyle changes are also more likely to persist.

What can you take away from this?

The only way to prevent adaptive thermogenesis from affecting you is to gradually lose weight through a healthy diet that meets your nutritional needs – so that your body doesn’t think it is starving (or more specifically, your body isn’t starving).This is why bizarre and failed diets are a bad idea, and why people often gain weight again and then more. (Your mind does things like a terrible hunger for food to “wake you up” to help this process too.)

Once you reach your desired weight — which should be in the healthy weight range, not anywhere below — you move on to weight maintenance and stop losing weight.