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Energy In Versus Energy Out: A Big Fat Dieting Myth

August 10th, 2012

"calories don't count"

In the traditional (and often still popular) approach to losing body fat, we measure energy in calories (a measurement of heat). Energy in is what we eat, and energy out is the combined total of our activities, as well as the amount of heat it takes to run our body.

According to the energy in vs. energy out theory:

  • If energy in equals energy out, then there is no change in mass (weight/body fat).
  • If energy in is less than energy out, you lose weight (body fat)
  • If energy in is greater than energy out, you gain weight (body fat).

Sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it?

According to this rule, increasing your exercise to burn an additional 3500 kcal per week would result in losing one pound of weight; a bit less than half a kilo.

Unfortunately, it’s really not that simple.

you see, your body runs according to the laws of biochemistry, not math or physics.

And biochemistry tells us that there are many other variables that can and will affect your weight. For example, if you significantly decrease calories, your metabolic rate will drop in order to help keep you alive for longer. This is known as adaptive thermogenesis – your body will always fight for your survival and will outsmart you every time.

I’ve just given you a taster of why a low-cal diet is doomed to fail. But what comes next is going to shock you.

The concept of energy in vs. energy out as regards weight loss is basically the biggest lie in the weight loss industry. It is perpetuated by doctors, nutritionists, personal trainers and many other health practitioners, so no wonder so many people are convinced it’s the way to go. They promote it not because they’re trying to trick you, but because the sad truth is that the health industry as a whole still has a lot of catching up to do.

But where is the proof?

here’s the truth about following a program that requires you to count energy and eat less than what you expend.

  • Excessive exercise tells your body you must be on the run – no doubt either running from a war or an enemy of some kind, or searching for food. Either way, this sort of behavior optimizes fat-storage in order to ensure your survival. The typical example given here is ‘fight or flight’ as in running from a tiger.

"stress and weight gain"

  • It also stimulates your Sympathetic Nervous System, otherwise known as your fight or flight system. This has numerous negative impacts on your health and waistline, including increased physical and emotional stress, aches and pains, poor recovery, moodiness, poor sleep, inhibited digestion, and general exhaustion. In my book Secrets of Lasting Weight Loss Revealed, from which this post is an excerpt, I go into full detail and teach you why all these can affect your ability to lose weight.
  • This alone is bad enough. But when you couple it with a low-energy diet (as many fat loss enthusiasts do), you’re on the road to long-term struggles.
  • As far as your body is concerned, not only is there a famine on, or you can’t access food for whatever reason, but you are also on the run and your life is threatened! Time to go into SUPER fat-storing mode!

still not convinced? Here are some of the outcomes of low-energy dieting coupled with high-energy output:

Short-term Effects of Excess Dieting and Exercise – EEEEEEK!

  • Fatigue
  • Grumpiness
  • Anti-social behavior
  • Bloating or fluid retention
  • Loss of physical strength
  • More prone to injury, aches and pains
  • Metabolism and other functions slow
  • Digestion is inhibited
  • Body will turn carbohydrates (even the healthy ones) into fat
  • You will lose muscle
  • Sleep will be impaired
  • Women will notice an increase in period pain/irregularity
  • Fertility may be at risk
  • Libido will drop or disappear
  • Quality of hair, skin and nails will diminish

I don’t know about you, but I can relate to just about everything on that list when I think back to some of the crazy approaches to fat loss I used to try!

Long-term Effects of Excess Dieting and Exercise (double EEEEK!)

  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Obesity
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Parkinson’s
  • Obesity
  • Depression, other psychological disorders
  • May affect family or children
  • Always sick
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • An early death
  • A life unfulfilled

No, I’m not getting carried away. This is how serious extreme dieting and excessive exercise can be.

want to learn more about how to really ‘once and for all’ get rid of unwanted body fat and live the life you dream of?

Let me just briefly tell you the story behind Secrets of Lasting Weight Loss Revealed, my very first ebook, and still my most comprehensive publication on health and fat loss.

The short version is that I struggled with my weight until my mid-twenties, despite being a Personal Trainer since the age of 19.

Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t lose 150 pounds or end up on A Current Affair, I was just chubbier than I’d have liked to be – despite the fact that I ate really well, or so I thought (muesli, yogurt, lean protein sandwiches or tuna salads, brown rice, meat and veg, fruit for snacks) and exercised regularly. It was pretty frustrating, and it just didn’t make sense based on what I ‘knew’ about health.

These days I enjoy red wine whenever I feel like it. I eat at least 2-3 times as many calories as what I used to. And I eat rich food nearly every day of the week.

I’ve also learned several invaluable strategies for managing stress-related health and weight issues, for creating ideal digestive function, and for normalising energy and emotions. All that and more is in the book. And I’m significantly leaner now than I used to be – to the tune of over 8kg and around 10% less body fat.

That’s my ‘before’ pic just above. And here I am a few weeks ago:

I’m healthier too. It took me a good 4-5 years to really learn all of this and then to gradually streamline my knowledge so that I knew how to make it work for others as well. That’s when I decided to create Secrets Of Lasting Weight Loss Revealed. You won’t find any magic one-trick-wonder but you will find a detailed manual not just for weight loss, but for improved digestion, energy, sleep patterns, stress management, and ultimately for ideal health and happiness.

At just $37 my ‘original’ ebook is really quite a steal – around 15 cents per page in fact! Payment is through Paypal and you’ll receive a link to your download via email within 15 minutes.

Now that’s a great deal :-)

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