Last week I posted a blog titled, “Stop Working Out to Lose Weight.” As expected, it got a lot of questions, comments and criticism. I thought I’d take a couple of moments to clarify and add some insights – including why most everything you know about weight loss is wrong.
I’ve found the best solution for me (and people like me) to be in amazing shape.
What’s “The Best?”
It depends. The best is going to be different for everyone and is going to depend on the available time you have, how you eat and any medical conditions you have.
The best for me is simply getting the most from doing the least. I’m very busy. Besides working in the already hectic advertising world, I’m working with a couple of start-ups, writing this blog, working on a TV show, volunteering with my church and trying to be a good boyfriend. I simply don’t have time to spend an hour in the gym every day.
Want to look like my friends Scott or Jacob? Get your butt in the gym. Want to run a marathon? There are tons of books and websites devoted to this. Do you want to get to five percent bodyweight? Look somewhere else. Want to look great and feel great for the long-term? Keep reading.
Popular knowledge about nutrition and weight loss is wrong.
A calorie is not a calorie.
A famous study had three groups of people eat 1,000 calorie diets (already what would be considered a deficit) that were high in fat, protein or carbohydrates. Here are the results:
- 90% fat, 1,000 calories: weight loss of 0.9 pounds per day
- 90% protein, 1,000 calories: weight loss of 0.6 pounds per day
- 90% carbohydrates, 1,000 calories: weight GAIN of 0.24 pounds per day
Even while eating a deficit, people gain weight while eating mostly carbohydrates, but lost a lot more while eating fat. Most everyone thinks that fat is bad for you. Wrong.
All calories are not created equal.
Still think a calorie is a calorie and want to “burn it off?” Let’s keep going.
Did you just eat half an Oreo? No problem – just go up 27 flights of stairs to burn that many calories. Even more depressing? A pound of fat has just over 4,000 calories. If you run a full marathon, you’ll burn about 2,600 calories – not enough to burn a pound of fat (you will probably lose more than that from water weight if you run a marathon, but you won’t be burning fat). The Four Hour Body has a lot of great information about why this is incorrect.
If you work out an hour a day and eat 1,500 calories, will you lose weight? Absolutely. Will you be able to keep it up for more than a couple of months? No way.
It’s my goal to help people live a maintainable, healthy lifestyle where they look and feel great. Small tweaks can make a huge difference.
What do I do?
It’s actually pretty simple:
– I practice intermittent fasting (basically, not eating breakfast – I’m working on a full post).
– I eat a lot of fat and protein – very little carbs.
– I have a cheat day once a week where I eat anything and everything I want (including lots of sugar and carbs).
– Currently, I don’t work out. I’ll be adding that back into my mix in the next couple of weeks. I struggled with eating the right amount for my workout program – I’d eat way too much.
A couple other questions from the website and my friends:
Is a high-fat or high-carb diet bad for you? Won’t you get heart disease or high cholesterol or something worse?
When you don’t eat carbohydrates (sugar included), your body turns to the fat in your body as the energy source. This is called ketosis. One person on Facebook mentioned this was bad. In fact, it is just the opposite. Ketosis is good – it makes you lose body fat. There has been some discussion about whether it not causes bone loss, every recent study shows that eating a high protein or high fat diet actually increases bone density.
Oddly enough, the carbohydrates you eat CAN turn into fat – but the fat can’t turn into a carb. Even worse, new studies show that carbs can turn into cholesterol. We already know that a diet high in sugar can lead to diabetes.
A diet high in saturated fat does not increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Also, saturated fat raises HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol), lowers triglycerides, and decreases the oxidation of cholesterol.
Do you have a question? Put it in the comments below or shoot me an email (chiphanna at gmail dot com).