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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Why You Get Fat – Calories In Calories Out – Eat Less Exercise More - Part I

Frustrated with Fat Loss?

This is the first in an extended series of posts, which will attempt to dispel myths that you likely have about fat loss.  These myths persist primarily because of the constant barrage of unproven fat loss information, that has been and still is promulgated by the mainstream media and so-called “health authorities”. 

Before you continue with this post and those that follow, I ask that you set aside your current beliefs about fat loss, and read with an open mind.  This is not going to be the same old Men’s/Women’s Health (insert any popular health/fitness magazine) fat loss info that has been rehashed a million times. 

Instead, these posts will be based on scientific fat loss evidence from the past hundred or more years.  Additionally, due to the fact that my blog is not advertiser supported, I do not have to sensor information as advertiser supported magazines do (OnFitness magazine is not an advertiser supported fitness magazine, if you want reliable fitness info you should subscribe).  You may be thinking, yeah but you’re a fitness trainer and so you’ll certainly recommend working out a lot for lose fat…actually no I will not.  This will become quite apparent in later posts, when I discuss exercise and its actual effect on fat loss. 

Keep in mind, much of the information presented will likely be quite shocking, particularly if you are used to getting your fat loss info from the mainstream media.  However, as you read these posts in light of your own life experience, you likely will have more than a few aha moments about your previous fat loss endeavors.  Then, as things become clearer, hopefully you’ll begin to look at fat loss in a new way

At this point, while I could dive right in and start spitting out facts, I feel it will be much more effective to take a different approach.  An approach that will help you begin to think differently about your long held fat loss beliefs, simply by relating them to another situation that is very familiar to you.

Information Overload Leaving You Hanging?
But, before I get to that, I’d like to set the stage by bringing up something that you probably already realize, but haven’t given much thought.  In today’s high-speed world, information overload is the norm.  Consider, for example, that each year every individual in the US produces a digital footprint (emails, texts, phone calls, internet searches etc.) that would fill nearly 40 Libraries of Congress (this comes from a recent tv interview of a privacy expert)!  Because people aren’t designed to process this volume of information, many things end up getting so over-simplified that much of the important detail is lost.  While at times this simplification is useful, it often gets overused and leads to ideas such as calories in, calories out and eat less exercise more being hailed as the keys to fat loss.  While superficially these concepts seem to hold merit, in reality they just don’t work.  With this in mind, let me illustrate using an analogy that involves automobile traffic.

If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area or any metropolitan area in the US you are quite familiar with automobile traffic issues.   In fact, you’re likely just as familiar with traffic issues as you are with fat loss issues.  However, the oversimplifications you accept with regard to fat loss, you would never accept when it comes to traffic.  Think about it, if someone said to you it’s all about balancing the cars on and cars off the roadways you would likely look at them and say; well that’s obvious.  Nobody would say the solution to traffic issues is to balance a simple cars in cars out equation, yet most people will look at the weight loss issue and say it’s nothing more than balancing a calories in calories out equation.  Or, stated another way, if we want to use the eat less, exercise more philosophy to solve the fat loss dilemma then why not use a drive less, walk more philosophy to solve traffic problems.  While these oversimplifications sound great in theory, in reality, as you well know, they just don’t work. 

It's less walk more...clearly the solution
Why doesn't oversimplifying work?

Lets start with traffic; cars in cars out and drive less, walk more.  If you want to solve the traffic issue you need to first ask the question, “Why is there traffic?”  There are many possible explanations, each of which are dependent on the particular traffic situation you are discussing.  These explanations could involve inadequate public transportation; work schedules, accidents, weather, varying driving habits, inadequate roads…and the list goes on.  As you’re likely well aware, these and countless other variables influence the complex issue of traffic.  Because of this understanding, you realize something as simple as announcing that people should drive less and walk more would do little or nothing to alleviate traffic.  Not only is this idea too simplistic, it’s impractical for the vast majority of people in urban areas where public transit is inadequate, people live relatively far from their work and time is precious.  At this point, if it wasn’t already obvious, it should be quite apparent that a mantra as simplistic as drive less and walk more is of little or no value in alleviating traffic issues.  However, when it comes to fat loss, you likely give little thought to applying equally simplistic ideas - largely due to the constant promotion of these ideas by so-called “health authorities”.

It's not this simple

Take for example, calories in calories out.  Most people pay little or no attention to what they eat, yet are able to maintain a relatively consistent weight over many years, while others constantly struggle.  In fact, it’s typically the people tracking calories who are the ones struggling with weight, though one would think just the opposite to be true.  Even this simple reality shows there is a lot more involved than just balancing a simple calorie in calories out equation.  As you can begin to see, while it fits into a nice little box, the whole overly simplistic view of fat loss being reduced to a simple calories in calories out equation makes little or no sense in the real world.  

And the same goes for eat less exercise more, last time I checked the more activity you do the bigger your appetite…everyone know the old adage “you need to work up an appetite”.  Furthermore, it certainly doesn’t take much life experience to realize that the more active you are the more food and nutrients your body needs.  

Exercise More and Eat Like This...Yeah Right!
Do you really believe you will have the discipline to be more active, yet eat less?  I can say from working with many people, not even the most ardent type A individuals can keep this up forever (unless they use appetite suppressants and other drugs)…it goes against nature.  With this in mind, it’s hardly surprising that most people fail with diet and exercise.  This despite the enormous amounts of money spent on dieting, health food, health clubs, exercise equipment, personal training and more.

So what is the real solution? 

Well, in the series of posts that follow I’m going to provide you with factual evidence that calories in calories out and eat less exercise more are oversimplifications that have never been proven and in fact have been disproven for over a century.  Next, I’m going to share with you what really works and how you can take control of your weight and your health by pretty much ignoring the mainstream media and so-called “health authorities” and instead following what scientific research and experience has clearly shown works much better. 

None of this is a secret …it’s information that’s been widely known but suppressed or hidden from the public view thanks in large part to the big money that’s being made off of the “obesity crisis”.  As you’ll likely be surprised to learn, very little of the obesity issue has to do with modern technology, being sedentary or simply eating too much.  These are all straw men that don’t hold up to any real scrutiny.  Remember, correlation does not mean causation.

Read This Book!
For those of you who are fat loss geeks, and want every last detail, all of this can be read about in a book called Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It.  However, I know most of you won’t have the time nor desire to read it…so I am going to share with you the key points, throughout this series of posts.  These posts will be required reading for all of my clients (note to clients: if you don’t read and apply this information, though much of it re-emphasizes what I’ve been telling you already, then I will refuse to listen to any and all whining about why you can’t lose fat…).

Stay tuned for my next post, which will begin to explore why what you’ve been told about fat loss by so-called “health authorities” and the media is ineffective…these so-called authorities even admit this if you examine things closely.

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