Simple Fact on How to Lose Weight

by Tanner M. on

Calories In Versus Calories Out


Of course almost no personal development blog could not contain a “lose weight” topic. However, I am truly passionate about health and nutrition and will be talking about it a good bit here at Life Destiny. I believe health and nutrition is one of the main foundations to leading a lifestyle design that is balanced both mentally and physically. The number of obese Americans is now greater than the numbers who are merely overweight, according to government figures that were released early 2009. Almost everyone who is overweight has a desire to shed some of their pounds.  This is because slimming down has many advantages over being overweight and out of shape.  Some of them are more energy not only mentally but physically, better sleep, and looking better in which I will delve into more detail in a later post.  This post is going to focus on breaking the myth that many people believe in eating smaller and more frequent meals will lead to a more efficient metabolism.  It will also graze upon a recent style of eating I have stumbled upon called Intermittent Fasting.  First off, lets talk about eating more frequent, smaller meals.

Breaking the myth that eating 6 times a day leads to a faster metabolism

Go to any fitness message board, the local gym, even your health professionals and you’ll hear them repeat over and over again that you need to eat more frequent and smaller meals to increase your metabolism for fat burning.  I’ve believed it and have lived by that standard for about 6 years until recently when a few new styles of eating have risen to the surface.  These new styles, which we will talk about later, have risen because of recent studies done that show that by eating more frequent and smaller meals a day does not burn lead to greater weight loss than eating larger and less frequent meals.

The age old fact and easiest way to lose weight is calories in versus calories out

That is, if you burn more calories throughout the day, through various ways such as your basal metabolic rate (how many calories you burn if you did nothing), your lifestyle, and exercise than you take in through eating and drinking, and then you will lose weight.  It is that simple.

Here is some evidence of this claim:

From Pubmed.gov

“Increased meal frequency does not promote greater weight loss in subjects who were prescribed an 8-week equi-energetic energy-restricted diet.

Cameron JD, Cyr MJ, Doucet E.

Behavioural and Metabolic Research Unit, School of Human Kinetics, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada K1N 6N5.

There have been reports of an inverse relationship between meal frequency (MF) and adiposity. It has been postulated that this may be explained by favourable effects of increased MF on appetite control and possibly on gut peptides as well. The main goal of the present study was to investigate whether using a high MF could lead to a greater weight loss than that obtained with a low MF under conditions of similar energy restriction. Subjects were randomised into two treatment arms (high MF = 3 meals+3 snacks/d or low MF = 3 meals/d) and subjected to the same dietary energy restriction of – 2931 kJ/d for 8 weeks. Sixteen obese adults (n 8 women and 8 men; age 34.6 (sd 9.5); BMI 37.1 (sd 4.5) kg/m2) completed the study. Overall, there was a 4.7 % decrease in body weight (P < 0.01); similarly, significant decreases were noted in fat mass ( – 3.1 (sd 2.9) kg; P < 0.01), lean body mass ( – 2.0 (sd 3.1) kg; P < 0.05) and BMI ( – 1.7 (sd 0.8) kg/m2; P < 0.01). However, there were NS differences between the low- and high-MF groups for adiposity indices, appetite measurements or gut peptides (peptide YY and ghrelin) either before or after the intervention. We conclude that increasing MF does not promote greater body weight loss under the conditions described in the present study.”

One of the first laws of thermodynamics is:

The amount of energy stored in your body = your energy intake – your energy expenditure

As humans, certain mechanisms keep this difference very close to zero.   However, these small differences add up over a large period of time based on the cumulative effect.  Those between the age of 25-55 of Americans, on average, eat only 0.3% more energy intake (calories) than energy expenditure (burning calories).  The important thing to note here is that this leads to a weight gain of, on average, 20 pounds over that time period.

The most important thing to remember if you want to lose weight is calories in versus calories out.  Of course this can be hard if you are gorging down processed sugars and other non filling foods.

Disclosure on the more frequent, smaller meals style of eating

I also want to mention that although at the end of the day that the amount of calories you take versus calories you burn out is important…Eating more frequent and smaller meals does have its benefits such as those with hypoglycemia.

Final Thoughts

My next post on nutrition will look at how our bodies can adjust to the many different styles of eating.  We will look at how I lost around 12 pounds of bodyfat while increasing my lean body mass in a little over 1 and ½ month with my current style of eating based on The Warrior Diet, Intermittent Fasting, and the Paleo Diet.  These diets are based on how our ancestors thousands of years ago ate.  Don’t miss it, it is quite interesting.

I will also cover how to estimate how many calories you burn in a day and an easy program to make sure you are not taking in more calories than you are burning.
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  • http://lifestyledesignforyou.com Gordie

    Hey Tanner,
    Great info here. I like your details.

    One thing I’d mention is that there seems to be some truth to the idea of controlling insulin spikes in the blood by not eating too much sugar.

    Keep up the great work, brother!

  • http://www.lifedestiny.net Tanner M.

    I agree it helps control insulin spikes which I slightly mentioned when I said “Eating more frequent and smaller meals does have its benefits such as those with hypoglycemia.” However there has also been some studies to show that Intermittent Fasting can be help insulin spikes:

    From “Intermittent fasting dissociates beneficial effects of dietary restriction on glucose metabolism and neuronal resistance to injury from calorie intake” by Anson et al.

    “…Nevertheless, intermittent fasting resulted in beneficial effects that met or exceeded those of caloric restriction including reduced serum glucose and insulin levels and increased resistance of neurons in the brain to excitotoxic stress. Intermittent fasting therefore has beneficial effects on glucose regulation and neuronal resistance to injury in these mice that are independent of caloric intake. ”

    Of course its an animal study though and there needs to be more human studies done to show this effect.

    It comes to finding the sweet spot for those that are insulin sensitive. I failed to mention that I am a hypoglycemic and at first switching to IF scared me because I thought oh know I am going to be so fatiqued and depressed. However our bodies have an incredible way to adjust and we have thousands of years dating back to our paleolithic friends who had to hunt and scavenge for their food (I will be covering the Paleo Diet soon). My body adjusted after a 1 to 2 day period and my life has shown for the better. Increased energy, mental clarity, more sensitive to stimulants (good thing for me), easy to keep the weight loss, and it fits into my lifestyle instead of constantly always eating or preparing food….Plus I can eat bigger meals and actually feel full. But I will be getting into more detail on IIntermittent Fasting and the Paleo Diet here soon.

  • http://lifestyledesignforyou.com Gordie

    Great, looking forward to the paleolithic stuff. Have you heard of MarksDailyApple.com? It’s a paleo diet and exercise site. Worth checking it out if you haven’t.

    • http://www.lifedestiny.net Tanner M.

      Yeah I frequent Mark’s site a good bit. He has a lot of valuable information and its one of the main resources where I learn about the Paleo diet. I never bought nor read his Primal Blueprint book but plan on it eventually.

      Actually Mark’s blog was one of the many blogs that inspired me to start my own.

  • http://rosedesrochers.todays-woman.net Rose

    This might work for the person whose weight increase is self inflicted, but what of the US and Canadian citizens whose weight increase is due to thyroid disease & other ailments?

  • http://www.lifedestiny.net Tanner M.

    Hey Rose,
    True, hypothyroidism is becoming a major problem in the United States with an estimation of around 60 million Americans with an under active thyroid. Many of them undiagnosed.
    I am not going to give medical advice on what those with thyroid problems should do since I am not a doctor. If anyone feels they have a thyroid problem, which range in symptoms from low fatique and depression to heart palpitations, and unusally low blood pressure, they should see their doctor for some thyroid tests on their levels of T3 and Leptin (active thyroid hormones). It is a serious condition.
    I do stand by the fact that even with a thyroid disease it is still calories in vs. calories out, albeit harder. Those with an underactive thyroid will have a slower metabolism hence will burn less calories throughout the day in both their lifestyle and their basal metabolic rate. And since they are usually very low energy, they tend to not exercise. As you build up more fat, the thyroid hormones that stimulate your thyroid become less active, making it harder to lose weight with each pound.
    If you go here: http://thyroid.about.com/u/ua/loseweightsuccessfully/thyroid-diet-secrets.htm which is what people with thyroid diseases did to lose weight, the main fact is they either ate less, or ate less and exercised more. You can also go here: http://thyroid.about.com/od/loseweightsuccessfully/Lose_Weight_Successfully_Despite_Thyroid_Disease.htm to find more on hypothyroidism and learn about the medical ways of counteracting hypothyroidism.
    See your Dr. if any of you think you have hypothyroidism.

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