One of the most exciting things about fitness is getting to explore the latest in exercise science and physiology.
We know so much more today, than even a couple of years ago. Things are evolving so quickly, and distinctions are being learned almost daily. More and more clarity comes with a relentless pursuit of knowledge, and that inspires me!
Today we'll begin to contrast the LONG HELD approach to weight loss (calories in versus calories out) and Hormonal Fat Loss.
Caloric Weight Loss:
Calorie focused weight loss has been what we (fitness and nutritional experts) have preached for decades. And although based on science, this approach does have flaws.
Yes, we absolutely WILL lose weight if we eat like a bird and run for miles and miles. But that approach doesn't change the SHAPE of a body, it just makes for a smaller version of that shape. So if someone is a pear shape, they will simply become a smaller pear shape. And very often, a softer version too (loss of muscle means loss of tone).
The weight loss and calories burned may or may not be fat. We touched on this Wednesday in talking about the Harvard study.
Following the "eat less, exercise more model" also has a side effect: weight gain rebound. There is a reason the term "yo-yo diet" is so well known.
We now know that losing muscle during standard dieting (calorie deficit, regardless how we get to the deficit) makes it far more likely we will not only regain the weight lost, but we end up putting on more body fat than when the diet was started. This fact, combined with the insatiable hunger, relentless cravings, and inconsistent energy produced by this approach, almost guarantees a return to a larger size.
Research tells us the long term success rate of this approach is less than 5%. Research also tells us that 66% of individuals who take this approach end up putting on MORE body fat than when they started, within 2 years after their diet.
Here's a critical distinction the weight loss world seems to miss: a plan that works well in the short term but is impossible to maintain in the long-run, is not a plan that works.
The caloric weight loss game, by itself, is not a smart, sustainable lifestyle approach to a permanent body change.
Hormonal Fat Loss:
The fat loss way is a hormone centered approach. It is not ONLY about calories, it also pays particular attention to hormones. I know not everyone is a biochemist, and that the idea of "hormonal fat loss" versus "caloric weight loss" is a novel concept right now. You'll be hearing more about this approach as the media begins to catch wind of it. So, my goal is to make it make sense for you over the coming week.
Forget all the complex science. You don't need it to tell you if your hormones are balanced for body fat reduction. All you need is to know your HEC (pronounced heck). When you're in a fat burning state, your HEC will be in check!
What do I mean by HEC? HEC stands for hunger, energy and cravings, and when your hormonal metabolism is balanced these three biofeedback tools will also be balanced. When the metabolism is functioning optimally, hunger will be reduced, energy will be balanced, and cravings will be nearly absent.
By putting an emphasis on the hormonal impacts of diet, exercise, and lifestyle, you have the ability to regulate calories naturally without as much effort. Research now shows that you can't just indiscriminately eat less and move more. This sends your HEC out of balance and will eventually result in compensatory eating, low motivation for exercise, cravings, and yo-yo weight regain.
The right approach for fat loss is to exercise smarter (like you did today) and eat intelligently in a way that maintains muscle and focuses on fat loss exclusively. This approach takes great care to balance hormones so that hunger is lessened, energy is raised, cravings are reduced, and fat is lost.
With the fat loss approach, you keep your lean muscle, your metabolic rate stays elevated, AND you don't have to fight a constant battle against willpower because HEC is balanced. When HEC is balanced and you are losing fat, you know you have found a lifestyle you can live forever.
Up next, we'll explore the types of foods, and review the specific protocols of exercise that will keep your HEC balanced, and in check! The best part is, you can ENJOY life while developing the health, fitness and body that you love – and that's really to key to sustainability!
Thank you for all the fantastic work this week! Have a FUN & RELAXING weekend, Brian.
Your friend in fitness,
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