Reducing intake of calories for Fat Loss is….WRONG!

DISCLAIMER: This is a blog. It is my personal and professional opinion on the topic at hand. If you follow any of my guidelines you do so under your own choice of action. The information contained in this post has been derived from a combination of my university education, practical experience training the public, and from my own research of information published by highly professional coaches and trainers in their respective fields of expertise. Please always ask questions, do your own research and be medically cleared before attempting any physical movements recommend in this post.

Reducing intake of calories for Fat Loss is….WRONG!

Some of you may be looking at the title saying, “What is he talking about? If we want to lose fat, we have to make a reduction in our calories to obtain an energy deficit, right?”. Let me explain….

It seems that the first thing people do when trying to lose fat is to stop eating food….WRONG! Unless you are a chronic over-eater than YES, you must reduce your calorie intake. But in my many years as a trainer, I believe 90% (my own statistic!) of people simply attempt to reduce calories and then do long distance running to lose weight. And almost all of them fail to obtain their desired goal. Why? Let me explain…

When you restrict carbohydrates and overall calories for any significant length of time your thyroid levels will down regulate causing an overall reduction in your metabolism. This means you will stop burning fat and may even begin to store it because your body senses that you are in some kind of starvation mode and wants to be prepared for the worst. Not only that but you will go into a catabolic state which means you will be losing muscle. How long does it take for this dreaded scenario to kick in? JUST THREE TO FOUR DAYS! That’s right, after only three to four days of low carbohydrate dieting your body can start storing body-fat and eating away muscle tissue.

In addition to the severe reduction in calories nearly all of these people try to smash themselves with training, mostly running because it’s free and requires no exercise intelligence, but still get nowhere.

What happens when you achieve your goal weight? You start eating normal again and most cases you put fat on. The reason is because your body is still thinking you’re in starvation mode so it ‘stores’ energy for an emergency. There is a better method, which may not be as fast, to achieving it. So read on and I will explain what to do to improve your life and stay lean indefinitely.

So what do you do?

1. Eat more substantial foods (such as high quality protein, salad, green vegetables, oats, brown rice, etc) to increase your metabolism.

Food has a Thermic Effect which means that everything you eat requires energy from your body to process. The more substantial the food selection, the higher the thermic effect. An example is that we can get 280 calories from a Mars Bar which would take very little energy to process being a high sugar food or we could get 280 calories from a bowl of porridge with yoghurt, chopped almonds and berries. Which do you think will benefit your body most?

2. Eat GOOD fats. Fats I like to use are olive oil (never heated) for salads, etc. Coconut oil for cooking. Nuts eaten as a condiment. Avocado. Fish oil as a supplement (if you don’t eat plenty of fish).

Fat is GOOD for you. Don’t believe the hype behind ‘fat-reduced’ this and that. It’s just taking the food through a more processed state which is less healthy for you. Eat full fat foods but don’t over indulge. About 30% of your calories should come from fats. Be aware that fat (1g fat = 9 cals) has twice the calories as carbohydrates and proteins (both are 1g = 4cals).

3. Improve your daily energy expenditure. Exercise will increase your calories burned allowing you to eat more and maintain a higher thermic effect keeping your metabolism ticking over. The more energy you burn the more you can eat which speeds up your metabolism = FAT BURNING MACHINE!

4. Weight train. Lifting weights (heavy ones!) builds muscle. It also burns a lot of calories


whilst doing it plus you will also create a higher level of EPOC over the next 24 hours after training. EPOC is ‘Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption’ is a measurable rate at which the body replenishes itself (muscle recovery; oxygen & nutrient/mineral replenishment; and restores the energy system). Muscle also requires energy to exist and replenish itself everyday. This need for energy is another way to increase your metabolism. Muscle also uses FAT FOR ENERGY, so the more muscle you have, the more of a FAT BURNING MACHINE you become!

And just for the ladies, if you think muscle makes you look ‘blokey’, I ask you to check out every female athlete in any sport you can think of and then state your case again. An added benefit of muscle is that it comes with increased strength which is never a disadvantage in any aspect of life – carrying kids, shopping, working in the yard, playing sport, etc. Lift heavy, and get STRONG!

5. Avoid Long Distance Running as your sole option to lose fat. Running puts severe stress on your joints (ankles, knees, hips, back) and if you are running to lose weight (ie, you are overweight), then you are doing your body a disservice. Why? Each foot strike during a run produces a force of about 3 to 4 times your bodyweight. Can you imagine what stress that is putting on your joints. And if you aren’t a conditioned runner, it can very much lead to severe injury. For exercise regimens of comparable/similar duration and intensity, aerobic exercise (cycling, swimming, slow distance running) burns more calories during the exercise itself, but the difference is partly offset by the higher increase in caloric expenditure that occurs during the EPOC phase after anaerobic exercise (HIIT, weight training, sprinting, cycle sprints, swimming sprints). As a fat loss intention, there are better activity options to lose fat, which leads to the following points.

6. Sprint uphill. Find a hill (plenty in Yamba) or stairs and run up it as fast as you can. Sprinting is an anaerobic exercise which is excellent for subcutaneous fat loss. The hill reduces the impact that running on a flat produces so there is a reduced stress on the body. Don’t dawdle tho. If you aren’t fit and need to shorten the run to maintain intensity, then do so, even if it’s 10 metres!

In a 1992 Purdue study, results showed that high intensity, anaerobic type exercise (HIIT, heavy weight training, sprinting) resulted in a significantly greater level of EPOC than aerobic exercise of equal work output.

7. Train with me at The Gym Yamba. Why? We run 3 options for training here at The Gym Yamba and they are all geared to building strength, improving your fitness & speed and results in significant fat loss (as long as your diet is clean). 1. HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is the basis on which I write my group training program. 2. Personal Training – I write a program tailored for your specific goals. I develop your mobility/stability, increase strength/fitness/speed and teach you how to improve your diet. 3. If you have some training experience, use the gym at your own leisure. I am always available to provide training advice and I also can provide you with a number of high quality training programs.


The result is up to you, but a saying that I love to live by (even if the grammar is a little wayward) is this: “If you always do what you’ve always done, then you’ll always get what you’ve always got!”

Make the change!

Please visit our website or call Matt on 0408 758 937.


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