Episode Highlights

00:02:28 Eat Less and Exercise More Myth
00:05:00 What leads to slower metabolism
00:06:47 Avoid processed foods
00:12:08 Don’t carbohydrates
00:13:53 Avoiding starvation syndrome


Fitness Guide





Welcome to the Fitter Healthier Dad Podcast, where you can learn how to improve your diet, lose fat and get fitter in a sustainable and fun way without spending hours in the gym. Here’s your host, Darren Kirby.

Darren: Welcome back to the podcast, guys. This is the number one podcast for dads in their 40s who want to improve their health and fitness. This is Episode 95, and on today’s show, it’s a solo episode with yours truly. And I’m going to be talking about the myth that is sold to us in the diet and fitness based around. Eating less and exercising more equals weight loss. And what that might be true to a point. It’s not in its entirety. So I want to kind of dispel the other myths today and talk about it in a little bit more context. But before I go into that, I want to thank today’s sponsors of the show. Athletic Greens. Athletic Greens is a supplement that has 75 different minerals, vitamins, nutrients and probiotics in it. And whilst I am, as you know, a huge advocate of getting all of our nutrients and vitamins from food, there are often times in our busy lives when we don’t have time to prep the food and we don’t have time to understand where the source of our food comes from so that we can ensure that we are getting all of the vitamins and minerals that we need. So that’s why I use athletic greens and I’m super happy that they decided to become a sponsor of the show. I’ve been using athletic greens as a product for a couple of years now, and I use it to kind of supplement my diet because unfortunately, the source of our food and our vegetables come from we are in a situation where stuff is being over-farmed and therefore the nutrient density of our food is not as great as it once was. So I use athletic greens as a kind of insurance policy, if you like, and it’s offering athletic greens, offering listeners of the podcast a 10 percent discount off of their first order. So if you head over to athleticgreens.com/fitterhealthierdad, you can claim your 10 percent off of your first order.

So let’s get into today’s episode. The myth that eating less and exercising more equals weight loss. Now, I want to start by saying that initially this is true. So, for example, when you first have decided that you want to make a change to your nutrition, you want to lose weight, you want to lose fat. I always advise my clients to start with being in a calorie deficit. But the problem comes when you are in a continual calorie deficit. So when you first start out, you want to be in about a 19 percent deficit from where you start from, because the body is designed to keep us alive. The body is designed to make sure that we have enough fuel essentially to keep us going. And the problem with a calorie deficit and where I see too many people go wrong is that they go too far to one extreme.

So, for example, you know, you may have been consuming anywhere between two and a half to three thousand calories a day. And you decide that you’re going to go on a diet. So you go on a radical diet. And the problem with that is if you cut your intake from two and a half thousand to three thousand down to like fifteen hundred, and I have seen some extreme cases where people are going down to a thousand calories a day. The body is going to go into an absolute melt down. And what I mean by that is that it’s going to think that you are starving. It is going to think that you are in a famine state. It’s not going to know when it’s going to get its next meal or the fuel that it needs. And therefore, it can go into what we call starvation mode, where when you do give your food, whatever food you do give it, it will just store all of that because it doesn’t know when it’s going to get the next kind of batch of fuel. So calorie deficit can be very much misunderstood. I think now that the important thing is you do want to be in a calorie deficit, but you also don’t want to be in a yo yo cycle that I see. And the last solo episode of the podcast that I did, I talked about yo yo dieting to go back to, I think episode ninety three and you can listen to my take on.

But we want to avoid that, because the problem with it is, is that when you severely restrict the body of each nutrients, not only is there the stuff that goes on with the body in terms of it thinking that it’s in a famine state, but there’s also the psychological issue, and that is that if we as humans restrict ourselves from huge food groups, we’re cutting out carbohydrates and everything else is a restrictive nature. And we aren’t wired psychologically to sustain a restrictive nature in our thoughts. And so it just doesn’t work. And the problem with that and the problem that I do see with clients is that when you are in this repeated, restrictive or partial starvation mode, what happens is, yes, you will lose weight. But going one layer further down, you will actually lose muscle and you will also lose fat, which is primarily the primary objective. But the problem with that is that when you then are unable to stick to the diet that you’ve put yourself on, when you gain the weight back, which you will eat will be gained back in fat and not muscle. And therefore that leads to a slower metabolism. Fat burns 70 times fewer calories than muscle. So you need a lot less calories to sustain that kind of increase in body fat. So the eating less weight loss model, if it’s too restrictive, actually makes it worse for you.

So what we want to do is we want to make sure that we do it in a sustained way. But equally, the most important thing is about the food types. But what do I mean about food types? What I mean is real how processed foods are. So it’s not enough to just use this mantra, these calories in, calories out, because calories are just a high level measure and there’s lots of things underneath that in terms of micronutrients. So proteins, fats and carbohydrates. So it’s not just as simple as just calories in and calories out. And then we’ve got our resting metabolic rate as well, which is essentially the amount of calories the body burned at rest. So when you’re not doing anything and, you know, if you are, you know, eating foods which exceed the resting metabolic rate to lead to a steady and sustained weight loss, you know, you need, that will get you off of the outgoing merry go round of diets that you know, that people tend to go through. So I always advise my clients that you want to eat more to actually lose weight. But when we’re talking about eating more, we’re talking and talking about it in the proportions of having the right proteins, the right fats and the right carbohydrates for either your exercise level or for your desired outcome. So let me give you an example.

If you are just what I would call a recreational athlete or a recreational exercise, then you perhaps don’t necessarily need as many carbohydrates as you would if you were training for an event. So to give you an example, I’m constantly training for endurance event. So therefore, my. Carbohydrate intake needs to be higher than somebody that was just perhaps doing like a 45 minute hiit workout because they do it in short bursts of high intensity energy. So they’re burning glycogen, the burning carbohydrates for a short period of time, and then it coming back down into a fat burning. Whereas if you’re doing endurance sports, then you will be sitting at a sustained level of output for long periods of time. And yes, you can burn fat during that period, but you will still be burning carbohydrate. So the ratios you need are slightly different. So it’s important that you match your desired outcome with the macronutrients that you need, but making sure that you are always giving yourself enough food so that the body has the ability with protein to repair the muscles, to build the muscles, and you have enough carbohydrates so the muscles can store the glycogen for energy. So that’s glycogen in the muscle is a fast, accessible fuel for the body, whereas fats actually it takes more oxygen in the body to burn fuel as fat. But we have way more fuel as fat. So. So that’s kind of what I want you to think about when you thinking about losing weight is not about eating less.

Exercising more equals weight loss. And, you know, when I first started out, I thought it was a simple practice of, you know, if people aren’t losing weight, they’re either overeating or they’re lazy and they didn’t exercise enough or they ate too much and they didn’t exercise. But that’s just simply not the case. I think if we are completely honest with ourselves and people listen to this, you know, the truth is nobody really wants to be fat. We don’t set out to kind of make ourselves fat. Right. But unfortunately. The Western diet has evolved in so much as it’s not, it’s no longer in line with our movement and activity levels and therefore, you know, we have this constant access to food. No one in the UK, in the US is the worst for that. Europe is not the same. And we feel like we need to continually be eating, which is just simply not the case. We move less. We are at home working from home all day, driving in the car. We don’t move a lot around during the day. And therefore, you know, we don’t necessarily need as many carbohydrates as the Western diet gives us. If you break it down and you look at the Western diet and I prove this about 99 percent of the time of the clients I work with, if you do a food diary, more than 50 percent of their micronutrients are carbohydrates and we just don’t need that much.

Yes, we need carbohydrates. I really don’t subscribe to cutting carbohydrates out and thought I know if any of you listening are familiar with the ketogenic diet that very much advocates cutting carbs. But this is why this gets misunderstood. It’s not cutting carbs out completely because the body needs to know, our bodies are designed to be genetically wired to make us gain weight and keep weight on. You know, we can’t get away from that. But you can do something about your weight when you have the right diet. So the trick really is learning how to tune up your metabolism, use your body’s natural calorie burning capabilities to help you lose weight and get healthy. But believing the common oversimplifications about your weight that our culture promotes, you know, just won’t help us sustain long term weight loss and overall health. So the human body is way more complex than we actually kind of give it credit for, really. So really, it’s about making sure that we are giving our body and our metabolism the nutrients that it needs, really. So to break it down again, when you’re looking at a calorie, there will be three most common machinations of proteins, fats and carbohydrates now from the fat element. This has been demonized over the last 70 years, thanks to our friend Dr. … In the US who did a study and basically said that Fats was linked to coronary heart disease or coronary heart disease.

And it’s just not the case. How do you take in all of the data from the studies that he did? He would have seen that that is not not the case. What that doesn’t mean, though, is that you go out and consume a load of takeaways that are cooked, in fact, because that’s not the fats I’m talking about. I’m talking about fats like omega fats, omega three sixes and nine. And again, that needs to have the right ratio. But we need to have things like oily fish, things like salmon, things like mackerel, sardines in our diet. Avocado is a great source of oil. Nuts and seeds are a great source of oil. So it’s making sure you’re kind of giving the body the facts it needs. So, yeah, we want to avoid this starvation syndrome that has, I think, for me, has evolved when we’re looking at nutrition, it has its place most certainly has its place in terms of having caloric deficit. But it is not, you know, the entire picture. And that’s what today’s episode is about, really. It’s about making sure that, yes, you’re cutting down your calories, but you’re giving yourself the right type of calories, but you’re not going into the starvation mode because it really actually will have the reverse effect of what it is that you are trying to achieve.

So I hope that was a short episode today. I hope that was valuable to you. But really, my message in today’s episode is please avoid this starvation approach of cutting just blindly cutting calories. We need calories. We need the right amount of calories. You know, if I use the analogy of a car, if you don’t give your car enough fuel, it’s not going to run. And it’s the same as the human body. Right. So, yes, we want to cut down the calories. People want to give themselves the right calories in the right ratios and the right balance. But I think more importantly, is eating the real whole. Foods not processed, so I hope I’ve been helpful for you guys today and thanks again to Athletic Greens, sponsor of the show, you go over to Fitter Healthier Dad Podcast, come forward slash. Actually, that’s the wrong url. If you go over to athleticgreens.com/fitterhealthierdad, you can get 10 percent off your first athletic greens order. So I look forward to seeing you in the next episode and enjoy the rest of your day.

Thanks for listening to the Fitter Healthier Dad Podcast. If you enjoyed today’s episode, please hit subscribe and I would really appreciate it if you could leave a review on iTunes. All the things mentioned in the episode will be in the show notes and a full transcription is over at fitterhealthierdad.com