Updated: Mar 19, 2021
Here is a tip that is as practical as it gets. Nail this one and you’ll have more abs then you have friends. I have two, nope those are just ribs. Anyhoo, this tip is regarding both creating a calorie deficit and also keeping your weight loss pulsatile (I’ll explain). Dieting in a linear fashion is so 2008, we want to create an environment that works with our physiology not against it. Crash diet and you’ll lose muscle, tank thyroid hormones, increase ghrelin (hunger hormone), decrease leptin (full hormone), and about 20 other net negative events. No worries, I’m here to teach you the right way.
The first thing we need to know is that in order to lose weight we have to be at a net negative energy balance. Simply put, this just means burn more energy than you consume. Did you know there is 3500 calories in one pound of fat? With this knowledge we can now break it down to be a little easier to understand. If our body takes 2000 calories to maintain your current weight, then we need to do some basic math. If you now eat 1500 calories then you’ll create a calorie deficit of 500 calories (500 cal x 7 consecutive days equals 3500 cal = 1 lb of fat loss) and weight loss should be the result. Now if you eat 1500 calories and then burn 500 more calories through exercise you would now be at a net negative of 1000 calories for the day, and you’ll lose 1 lb in approximately 3.5 days (the body is very complex so things like hydration status and muscle gain/loss can skew what the scale says). Create a calorie deficit any larger for any chronic period of time, and kiss them abs good bye. We need a winning strategy!
“Guys…guys…I’ve got an winning strategy in my basement I’m not using….you want it, Bill Exclaimed”?! Well frick yes we do. Now you’ll just have to imagine me going into Bill’s basement. I scurried past the large well in the floor, clumsily knocking the lotion bucket down the hole. I grab the dusty strategy and get the hell outta there. Worth it!
Let’s go through this step by step. Please reference my scientific looking graph attached to this post and follow along. At the top we have my actual Covid body as an example. The downward trend (weight loss) is starting my calorie deficit and exercise program. Things are going well and at about a 6-8 weeks into it, I’m going to stop my deficit and eat at or just above my maintenance level (for me it’s 3500 calories, I’ve verified on my metabolic tester...is tester a word?) During this period with the extra calories I’ll change my exercise program to reflect muscle hypertrophy (growth) and in doing so avoid subsequent lowering of thyroid function/reduced resting metabolic rate. This upward trend (metabolism and possibly weight) will only last around 2-3 weeks, and then it’s back on the weight loss train. I resume my caloric deficit program and chase the next weight goal. Here I’ll repeat the calorie adjustments to reflect muscle protection and growth (upward trend). I think the rest is pretty obvious since it’s just repeating the same steps.
Here’s an important additional piece of information I also retrieved from the basement. As you lose weight you’ll have a reduction in the number of calories that your body needs in order to survive and thrive. This is very common, however, with you strategic refeeds, and hopefully with the muscle you didn’t sacrifice or even better gained, you can offset how much it is lowered. What I’m trying to say is the calories you’re consuming in the beginning will not be the calories you will need in the middle or near your goal, unless you really pack on the muscle. The calories will be lower.
For now, I’ll try to not over complicate it any further and just let you know that I can answer any questions you may have, as long as it doesn’t include what was seen in the basement. Thank you for reading, now go get after it!