Why 95% Of All Conventional Diets Fail - And The 8 Most Powerful
Strategies to Permanently Lose Fat Without Diets or Deprivation
-Dr. Lawrence Lamb, Author of "The Weighting Game: The truth about weight control.”
"Cutting calories backfires. The more you cut, the more your body fights to hold onto
its fat stores as reducing calories signals the “starvation response” where the body tries
to “survive” and hold onto its calorie reservoir known as fat.”
- Chris Aceto, author of “Everything you need to know about fat loss.”
Diets Never Work
Let’s begin by defining the word “diet.” A “diet” is any severe
restriction of food
or calories that’s temporary
. Most conventional diet programs call for extremely low
calories: 800-1200 or less for women and 1500-1800 or less for men. Any time you
restrict calories drastically like this, you will lose weight. So if your only criteria for
success is weight
loss, and you don’t care where the weight comes from, or how long it
stays off, then you could say that “all diets work.”
There are two major problems with this approach: First, the weight loss from very
low calorie dieting almost never lasts; 95% of the people who lose weight on
conventional diet programs can’t keep it off. The second problem is that most of the
weight you lose from low calorie dieting is muscle, not fat. If permanent fat
losing muscle is your goal (it should be), then it would be closer to the truth to say “diets
Statistics prove that diets never work in the long term. If they did work, then how
do you explain the huge obesity problem today? And why is it getting worse? According
to the National Institute of Health, there are over 190 million overweight people in the
United States. That’s almost 67% of the adult population! Over 67% of U.S. people are
clinically obese or overweight, which means they are at risk for one or more of over 30 health problems that are associated with excess body fat.
Despite the fact that there are more diet programs and weight loss products
available than ever before, obesity has continued to rise. The Center for Disease Control
recently announced that the number of people in the United States who are clinically
obese (at least 30% over their ideal body weight) increased from one in eight in 1991 to
nearly one in five now.
According to the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Americans spend an estimated of over $60 billion a year on all types of diet programs and products!!
There’s a valid scientific reason why most diets fail dismally. Most people make
the classic mistake of trying to “starve” the fat with strict diets. However, because the
human body has a complex and infallible series of defense mechanisms to protect you
from starvation, it’s physiologically impossible to permanently lose fat with very low
calorie diets. As soon as your body senses a food shortage, these defense mechanisms
start to kick in. The human body is simply too “smart” for the restrictive very low calorie
diet approach to ever work.
Why Eating Less Doesn’t Always Work
If you eat more calories than you burn, you will store the excess as body fat. If
you eat fewer calories than you burn, you will lose fat. Simple mathematics, right? Well,
If fat loss were as black and white as calories in vs. calories out, then how do you
explain why some overweight people eat less than lean people, yet they still can’t lose an
ounce? And how is it possible for someone with a 2200-calorie maintenance level to eat
only 800 to 1000 calories a day without losing any weight?
Using the strictly mathematical model, if you cut out 1000 calories per day from
your maintenance level, that will add up to a 7000-calorie deficit in one week. There are
3500 calories in a pound of stored body fat, so cutting out 1000 calories a day should – in
theory – produce a weight loss of two pounds per week. Actual real world fat loss rarely
works out with such mathematical precision.
Rob Faigin, writing in the book “Natural Hormonal Enhancement,” makes a
humorous, but true observation about calorie balance and weight loss. Faigin says, “If
there existed an airtight mathematical relationship between caloric intake and weight loss,
cutting caloric intake from 3000 to 1000 would result in a 60,000 calorie per year deficit
– and would result in a 200 pound weight loss after a year. What if the person began the
diet weighing 200 pounds, would he disappear?”
When a calorie deficit is first introduced, weight loss generally occurs rapidly, just
as the numbers would dictate, but it never takes long before weight loss slows, and then
eventually stops completely. Why does this happen? Why is it that you don’t lose 50
pounds in 25 weeks or 100 pounds in 50 weeks with a 1000-calorie deficit?
The explanation is quite simple: Over thousands of years, humans have
developed a weight-regulating mechanism that recognizes when there’s a food shortage
and decreases energy expenditure to “protect you.” This survival mechanism is known as
the “starvation response.”
The Starvation Response
You can survive for months without food. You’ve probably heard stories about
people getting lost in the mountains or wilderness for months with no food at all (only
water), or being confined in a prisoner of war camp for years with only tiny amounts of
food. What makes surviving under these conditions possible is your body’s remarkable
ability to slow down its rate of calorie burning.
When your body senses calorie deprivation it says to itself, “It looks like this is all
the food we’re going to be getting for a while, so we’d better stop burning so many
calories and start saving our energy. This way we’ll be able to survive longer on the little
amount of food we have.”
The starvation response developed largely from exposure to adverse
environmental conditions like droughts, natural disasters and food shortages.
Furthermore, there were no supermarkets ten thousand years ago - if people wanted to eat,
they had to either grow their food or kill it. It’s likely that at times, ancient man didn’t
know when the next meal was coming and may have only eaten once or twice a week.
The starvation response evolved in humans to ensure the survival of the species.
Your body can’t tell the difference between dieting and starvation
This wonderful feature of human evolution is a blessing if you’re stranded out in
the wilderness with no food. During periods of starvation, the body slowly begins to feed
off itself, burning fat stores, muscle and even internal organs for energy. If you continued
to burn calories at your normal rate, your limited reserves of stored energy would be
exhausted quickly and you would die very soon after you food supply was cut off. The
starvation response keeps you alive longer.
Unfortunately, this same life-preserving mechanism can work against you when
you’re trying to lose weight because your body can’t tell the difference between dieting
Severe calorie cutting always sends your body into “starvation mode.” There’s
nothing you can do to stop this from happening other than to avoid severe calorie
7 Reasons why you should stay away from very low calorie diets.
The consequences of low calorie dieting are automatic and unavoidable. The
responses are metabolic, hormonal, and psychological in nature, and include: Decreased
metabolism, loss of muscle, increased activity of fat-storing enzymes and hormones,
decreased activity of fat-burning enzymes and hormones, decreased thyroid output,
increased appetite, increased chance of regaining weight, and decreased energy and work
capacity. Let’s take a quick look at each.
1. Very low calorie diets slow down your metabolic rate
The first thing that occurs during a severe calorie shortage is a decrease in your
metabolic rate. The lower your calories, the slower your metabolism becomes. Simply
put; when you eat less, your body burns less. When you eat more, your body burns more.
In the book, “Everything you need to know about fat loss,” Bodybuilding
nutritionist Chris Aceto uses a great analogy to describe the way this mechanism works:
He wrote, “If you’re earning $4000 a month, but your boss suddenly cuts your pay to
$2500 a month, you will try to live the same lifestyle on $2500 a month as you did on
$4000 a month. After a while, you have to adjust and save money, and change your
lifestyle. The same is true with a calorie intake that is simply too low. When calories are
cut below basal metabolic needs, the body will accommodate and slow its metabolism, so
it becomes difficult to lose fat even on low calories.”
This metabolic slowdown is well documented. When calories are restricted, your
metabolism decreases by at least 20-30%. With severe calorie restriction, some studies
have shown that resting metabolism can become depressed by as much as 45%! That’s
the equivalent of having your daily energy expenditure drop from 3000 calories per day to
only 1650 calories per day! This is why, after prolonged low calorie dieting, you can eat
very little food and still not lose weight. This also explains why it is so difficult to lose
those last 10 or 20 pounds.
2. Very low calorie diets make you lose muscle
The most devastating effect of the low calorie diet is the loss of muscle tissue.
Once the starvation alarm is triggered, your body begins looking for ways to conserve
energy. Muscle is metabolically active tissue. Getting rid of it is the body’s way of
decreasing energy expenditure. It’s easy for your body to use muscle for energy. This
process is known Gluconeogenesis – converting muscle into glucose. This includes
skeletal muscles, and internal organs, even your heart muscle!
Study after study has shown that very low calorie diets without exercise will
always cause 40 - 50% of the weight loss to come from lean tissue. Many diets, especially
those that are low in carbohydrates, cause large losses in water weight. Between the loss
of water, glycogen and muscle, fully 75% of the weight you lose on such plans is not fat!
The initial weight loss on most diets is very deceiving, giving you only the illusion of
success. Even with exercise, if a diet is too restrictive, much of the weight loss will still
be lean tissue.
3. Very low calorie diets increase activity of fat-storing enzymes and decrease the
activity of fat burning enzymes
The chief fat storing enzyme is called Lipoprotein Lipase (LPL). When you drop
your calories too low, your body will produce more LPL and less fat burning
other words, when you don’t eat enough, your body changes its chemistry to make it
easier to store fat in the future.
4. Very low calorie diets decrease output of thyroid hormone.
The Thyroid gland is largely responsible for the regulation of your basal metabolic
rate (the rate at which you burn calories at rest). When your body senses a severe
reduction in calories, there is a corresponding reduction in the output of active thyroid
hormone (T3). The result is a decrease in your metabolic rate and fewer calories burned.
5. Very Low calorie dieting increases the chance of rebound weight gain
Almost everyone loses weight initially on a very low calorie diet, but it never
takes long before the body catches on and starts conserving energy. That’s when you hit a
plateau. Once you hit the plateau, it becomes much harder to keep losing weight even if
your calories are extremely low.
This lack of continued results, combined with gnawing hunger pangs and
insatiable craving, usually causes people to give up out of sheer frustration. They go off
their diet, the weight creeps back on and their body fat ends up back where they started -
only now they have less muscle and a slower metabolism.
With a slower metabolism, what used to be a maintenance level now becomes a
surplus, and the weight comes right back on. Most people gain back all the weight they
lost– and some gain back even more, leaving them fatter than when they started. This up
and down pattern of weight loss and weight re-gain is commonly known as the “yo-yo
cycle”, and it often continues for years or even for an entire lifetime.
With each repeated bout of dieting, your metabolism becomes less and less
efficient and you can actually become progressively fatter while eating less food.
6. Very low calorie diets increase appetite and cravings.
When your body goes into starvation mode, this triggers increased appetite and
cravings in an attempt to get you to eat more food. The hunger and cravings can be so
strong that you become ravenous. It’s virtually impossible stay on a diet when you are
voraciously hungry and all you can think about is food. Few people have that much
7. Very low calorie diets decrease your energy and work capacity
Low calorie diets leave you tired, lethargic and unable to sustain high levels of
activity or intense workouts. Dr. Lawrence Lamb, author of “The Weighting Game: The
truth about weight control” points out that “
The first sign of under nutrition is the loss of
energy and the inability to sustain prolonged physical work. There is a direct relationship
between calories consumed and the physical work a person can do.”
If you have no energy to work out, you’re going to feel lousy and seriously
compromise your results. The ability to train hard aerobically and with weights is critical
for your long-term success at fat loss.
Why dieting can actually make you fatter.
Let’s take a look at how these physiological and psychological responses to low
calories affect the real world results of a typical dieter.
Suppose our “typical” dieter is a male who weights 200 pounds and has 18%
body fat. His goal is to lose 20-25 lbs.
Before the diet
18% body fat
36 lbs. fat
164 lbs. lean body mass
Like most people, our hapless dieter assumes that the best way to lose the body fat
is to starve, so he goes on a 1500 calorie per day diet. In the 1st week he loses 5 lbs. and is
very happy with himself. The second week he loses 4 lbs. Weeks three through six he
loses three pounds per week for a grand total of twenty-one pounds lost.
Our dieter now weighs 179 lbs. and he continued to lose weight steadily without
hitting a plateau (although the weight loss did slow down). Judging by the scale alone, he
has succeeded in his goal. On closer examination, however, we find that he has not been
so successful after all.
After the diet
14.8% body fat
26.5 lbs. fat
Lean body mass 152.5 lbs.
Weight loss: 21 lbs.
Fat lost 9.5 lbs.
Lean body mass lost: 11.5
By judging his success in terms of body composition instead of scale weight, it
becomes clear that he has failed. Fifty five percent of his weight loss came from lean
body mass. The drop in lean body mass has decreased his basal metabolic rate so he is
now burning fewer calories each day than when he started. This has set him up for a
Now that the (temporary) diet is “over, “ he goes off his diet. Few people have the
desire or willpower to stay on low calories for long. On a strict calorie and or foodrestricted
diet, almost everyone “falls of the wagon” sooner or later. After a long period
of low calories, his body “tricks him” into binge eating by triggering severe cravings and
Even if he doesn’t binge and he simply goes back to “normal” eating again, his
body isn’t burning calories as efficiently as before. Therefore, the number of calories that
used to maintain his weight now causes him to gain weight. As the weeks pass, the
weight gradually creeps back on until he finally gains back all the fat he lost (plus a little
extra for interest)
6 weeks after the diet ends:
20.5% body fat
41.1 lbs. fat
Lean body mass 158.9 lbs.
Now he is right back at 200 pounds where he started, with only one difference: He
has less muscle, more fat, and a slower metabolism than when he began. He has damaged
his metabolism and it will now be harder than ever to lose weight.
8 Powerful Strategies to Stay Out of The Starvation Mode and Lose Fat
Permanently Without Dieting or Deprivation.
You must give up the entire concept of dieting on very low calories to lose
weight. You’ll never lose weight permanently with low calorie diets – it’s physiologically
impossible. Temporary dieting can only produce temporary results. You must use other
methods. Let’s look at the eight strategies you can use to lose fat permanently while
staying out of the starvation mode.
1. Adopt the “habit” mindset instead of the “diet” mindset
The first step towards losing fat permanently has more to do with your mindset
than it does with nutrition or exercise. You have to change your entire attitude about
nutrition and exercise. Instead of adopting the mindset of short-term “diets,” you must
adopt the mindset of lifelong “habits.” A habit is a behavior that you perform
automatically without much conscious thought or effort. Once a habit is firmly
established – good or bad - it takes enormous strength to break it. It’s like trying to swim
upstream against the current.
The entire concept of “dieting” for fat loss is flawed. When you say you’re “going
on a diet” the underlying implication is that it’s a temporary change and at some point
you’re going to have to “go off” the diet. With this type of attitude, you’re setting yourself
up for failure right from the start.
Permanent fat loss can’t be achieved by going on and off diets. It can only be
achieved by adopting new exercise and nutrition habits that you can maintain for the rest
of your life. Depending on your goal, you may need to make your diet more or less
restrictive at certain times, but you always must maintain a baseline of healthy eating
habits that never change. Usually you’ll eat the same foods all year round. When you
want to lose body fat, all you need to do is simply eat a little bit less of those same foods
and exercise a lot more.
Nature abhors a vacuum. The best way to get rid of undesirable habits such as
poor nutrition or inactivity is by replacing them with new ones, not attempting to
overcome them with sheer willpower. Achievement expert Brian Tracy likens this to
covering up a bad paint job by layering over with a new paint that is thick enough so the
old paint disappears. The new habit then takes over as the old one is filed away in the
Good nutrition habits are not easy to form, but once you’ve formed them, they’re
just as hard to break as the bad ones. Orison Swett Marden put it this way: "The
beginning of a habit is like an invisible thread, but every time we repeat the act we
strengthen the strand, add to it another filament, until it becomes a great cable and binds
Initially, there will be a period where starting the new habit feels uncomfortable.
Be patient – everything is difficult in the beginning. For a new behavior to become
permanently entrenched into your nervous system, it could take months. However, the
roots of nutrition and exercise habits can be formed in just 21 days. That’s why it’s so
important to give 100% total effort and commitment for the first 21 days. Once those 21
days have gone by, you'll already be leaner and you'll be on your way to making your new
habits as effortless and natural as brushing your teeth or taking a shower.
2. Keep your muscle at all costs
The critical factor in turning your body into a “fat-burning machine” is to build
and maintain as much lean body mass as possible. Muscle is the bodybuilder’s fatburning
secret weapon! Muscle is your metabolic furnace. The more muscle you have,
the more calories you burn, even at rest. With more muscle, you burn more calories even
while you sleep.
With a higher lean body mass, you’ll also burn more calories during exercise. If
you put two people side by side jogging on a treadmill, one of them with 180 pounds of
lean body mass and the other with 150 pounds of lean body mass, the person with 180
pounds of lean body mass will burn more calories from the exact same workout.
The most efficient way to burn more calories and lose more body fat is to gain
more muscle. That’s why weight training is an important part of the fat loss equation.
3. Use a small calorie deficit.
To lose body fat, you must be in negative calorie balance (a calorie deficit). You
can create a calorie deficit by increasing activity, by decreasing calories or with a
combination of both. The most efficient approach to fat loss is to decrease your calories a
little and increase your activity a lot.
The most commonly recommended guideline is to reduce your calories by 500 to
1000 less than your maintenance level. For example, if you are female and your calorie
maintenance level is 2100 calories per day, then a 500 calorie deficit would put you at
1600 calories per day. If you’re a male with a calorie maintenance level of 2900 calories
per day, then a 500 calorie deficit would put you at 2400 calories per day.
A 500 calorie deficit over seven days is 3500 calories in one week. There are
3500 calories in a pound of fat, so (in theory), a 500 calorie per day deficit will result in a
loss of one pound of body fat per week. It follows that a 750 calorie deficit would
produce a loss of one and a half pounds per week and a 1000 calorie deficit would
produce a two pound per week reduction.
Because of the way the weight regulating mechanism works, fat loss seldom
follows these calculations precisely, so don’t get caught up in them. An emphasis on
exercise with a small reduction in calories is the best approach. 500 to 750 calorie deficit
below your maintenance level is usually plenty. Add weight training and cardio into the
mix and this will produce as close to 100% fat loss as possible.
An alternate (and preferred) method is to set your calorie deficit as a percentage of
your maintenance level. 15-20% is the recommended starting calorie reduction for fat
loss. This is considered a small calorie deficit and a small calorie deficit is the key to
losing fat while maintaining muscle.
With a 2100 calorie maintenance level, 20% would be a 420 calorie deficit, which
would put you at 1680 calories per day. With a 2900 calorie maintenance level, a 20%
deficit would be 580 calories. That would put you at 2380 calories per day.
The reason the percentage method is better is because using an absolute number
like 500, 750 or 1000 calories as a deficit instead of a percentage deficit might drop your
calories into the danger zone. For example, if you are a male with a 3500 calorie
maintenance level, a 750 calorie deficit to 2750 calories per day is only a 21% drop (a
small, safe and acceptable deficit.) However, if you are a female with an 1800 calorie per
day maintenance level and you cut your calories by 750 per day to 1050 calories, that is a
41% cut. Using the percentage method is more individualized.
At times, an aggressive calorie deficit greater than 20% may be called for, but
calorie cuts greater than 20% are much more likely to cause muscle loss and metabolic
slowdown. If you do use a calorie deficit greater than 20%, then it’s wise to raise calories
at regular intervals using the “zig-zag method” you’ll learn about in chapter six. This will
“trick your body” and prevent your metabolism from slowing down when you have a
large calorie deficit.
Always start with a small deficit. In other words, cut calories out slowly. It’s
better to start with a small deficit and then progressively increase towards your maximal
deficit than to make a sudden drop in calories all at once. The body cannot be forced to
lose fat – you must coax it.
Based on what you now know about the body’s weight-regulating mechanism, the
optimal amount to decrease your caloric intake for fat loss is as little as possible – as long
as you’re still losing body fat.
4. Use exercise to burn the fat rather than diets to starve the fat
To lose body fat, there must be a calorie deficit. Such are the laws of
thermodynamics and energy balance. However, there’s more than one way to create a
calorie deficit. One way is to decrease your calorie intake from food. The other is to
increase the amount of calories you burn though exercise.
Of the two ways to create a calorie deficit, burning
the calories is the superior
method. This is because large calorie deficits cause muscle loss and trigger the starvation
response. Ironically, most people do the opposite: They slash their calories to starvation
levels and exercise too little or not at all. This causes a decrease in lean body mass and
invokes the starvation mechanism.
Paradoxical as it seems, the most effective approach to fat loss is to eat more
(keep the calorie reduction small) and let the exercise burn the fat. You don’t have to
Copyright 2003, Fitness Renaissance, LLC http://www.fitren.com 34
starve yourself – you just have to choose the right foods and make exercise a part of your
Why would anyone resort to starvation diets when they can burn fat more
efficiently through exercise? Perhaps they believe that eating more food and working out
at the same time will “cancel each other out. Maybe they shy away from the hard work
involved in exercise. There’s also a trend these days towards avoiding too much aerobic
exercise because of the false belief that it will make you lose muscle. Quite to the
contrary, cardio exercise –combined with weight training - is the only method of fat loss
that allows you to create a calorie deficit and burn fat without slowing down the
Here are the reasons why exercise - not dieting - is the superior method of losing body fat:
1. Exercise – cardio and weight training - raises your metabolic rate.
2. Exercise creates a caloric deficit without triggering the starvation response.
3. Exercise is good for your health. Dieting is harmful to your health.
4. Exercise, especially weight training, signals your body to keep your muscle and
not burn it for energy. Dieting without exercise can result in up to 50% of the
weight loss to come from lean body mass.
5. Exercise increases fat-burning enzymes and hormones.
6. Exercise increases the cells sensitivity to insulin so that carbohydrates are burned
for energy and stored as glycogen rather then being stored as fat.
5. Determine your minimal calorie requirements and never drop below them – ever!
One way to ensure that you never go into starvation mode is to determine the
minimum amount of calories you can eat without slowing your metabolism. Then, use
that as your rock bottom calorie number.
Because nutrition must be individualized, it’s difficult to set an absolute single
figure for everyone as a minimal calorie requirement, but the American College of Sports
Medicine (ACSM) has suggested some guidelines. In their position stand on healthy and
unhealthy weight loss programs, the ACSM recommends 1200 calories as the minimal
daily calorie level for women and 1800 as the minimum for men. They also suggest a
maximum deficit of 1000 calories below maintenance.
The 1000 calorie maximum deficit is good advice, but it’s just a guideline.
Sometimes a 1000 calorie per day deficit can be too much. People with low bodyweights
and/or low activity levels will have relatively low daily calorie needs, so 1000 below
maintenance could be too low.
For example, it’s not uncommon for a female to require only 1900 calories per
day to maintain her weight. If she were to drop 1000 calories off this already low
maintenance level, this would bring her to a dangerously low 900 calories per day. 1200
should be her rock bottom number, and a small 20% deficit of only 380 calories would be
even better (1520 calories per day).
6. Eat more frequently and never skip meals
Grazing is better for you than gorging. For now, let it suffice to say that the body
interprets missed meals as starvation
. Let’s suppose you eat lunch at 12:00 noon and
dinner at 7:00 pm. If you skip breakfast the next day, that’s 17 hours without food. This
sends an unmistakable signal to your body that you are starving, even if your lunch and
dinner are large meals. Which will lead to starvation response(save fat, slow metabolism, burn muscle) and lead to you Overeating at your next meal. Which leads to fat gain.
Your goal should be to eat approximately every 2.5 to three hours. Establish scheduled
meal times and stick to them. Regularity in your eating habits is critical.
By eating smaller portions more frequently, you’ll be able to eat more food than
you’ve ever eaten before without being deprived or starving yourself. Most people say
they eat more on our program than they’ve ever eaten yet they get leaner than they’ve
ever been before.
7. Don’t stay in a negative calorie balance long
The chances are good that you know at least one person who always seems to be
on a diet. The odds are also good that although these habitual dieters may achieve some
small weight losses, they are among the 95% that always gain it back. Then, discouraged
with the failure of their last diet, they quickly embark on the latest “diet of the month”
and repeat the cycle.
When fat loss stops or begins to slow down after being in a substantial calorie
deficit, most people panic and cut their calories even further. Sometimes this works and
it breaks the plateau. More often than not, it digs you into an even deeper metabolic rut.
The best thing you can do is to raise your calories for a few days or sometimes even for a
Your body’s weight regulating mechanism works both ways: It can decrease your
rate of energy expenditure when there is a calorie deficit, or it can also increase its rate of
energy expenditure when there is a calorie surplus. When you eat more, your body burns
more. A temporary increase in calories when you have hit a plateau will “spike” your
metabolic rate. It sends a signal to your body that you are not starving and that it’s ok to
keep burning calories. This is also why we have REFEED meals weekly, to spike your metabolism so your body doesn’t adapt.
This practice of raising your caloric intake up and down is known as “cycling”
your calories (also known as the “zig-zag” method). In general, the lower you go with
your calories, the more important it is to take periodic high calorie days.
8. Make your goal to lose weight slowly at a rate of 1-2 lbs. per week. Be patient.
The best way to lose fat permanently without muscle loss is to lose weight slowly
with a focus on exercise rather than severe calorie cutting. Let’s take a
closer look at the logic behind that recommendation.
In the ACSM’s position statement on “Healthy and unhealthy weight loss
programs,” The ACSM recommends losing weight at a maximum rate of two pounds per
week. This two pound figure has become almost universally accepted as the standard
guideline for safe weight loss.
Why? Because you can lose more than two pounds of weight
per week, but
you’re highly unlikely to lose more than two pounds of fat
per week. Even at two pounds
per week, it’s difficult to lose 100% body fat with no loss of lean body mass.
Over the years that I’ve been doing personal coaching programs, I’ve kept
progress charts for every client that meticulously document skinfolds, body fat, body
weight, lbs. of fat and lbs. of lean mass. I have literally hundreds of these charts in my
files. Analyzing these real-life case studies has proven to me without a shadow of a doubt
that when you lose more than two pounds per week, you almost always lose muscle along
with the fat. I’ve seen fat loss greater than two pounds per week on numerous occasions,
but this is the exception rather than the rule. Usually this only happens when someone has
a large amount of weight to lose.
The more slowly you lose weight, the easier it is to maintain your lean muscle
mass and keep the fat off. It’s better to lose only one pound of pure fat per week than it is
to lose two pounds per week with one pound from muscle and one pound from fat.
Bodybuilders usually set their goal to lose weight at a rate one to one and a half
pounds per week. Losing only a single pound a week may seem like an excruciatingly
slow process, however, this is one of the best-kept secrets of bodybuilders and fitness
models and one of the most important keys to permanent fat loss. Why would you want to
lose weight faster if you know you’re going to lose muscle and there’s a 95% chance that
you’re going to put the fat back on?
What should you do if you lose more than two pounds per week? It depends;
everything is relative to the individual. If you have a large amount of fat to lose, then
losing three pounds a week is safe and acceptable during the early stages (as long as
you’re measuring your body composition and the weight you’re losing is fat and not
muscle). However, as you get closer to your long-term goal, expect the weight loss to
slow to one or two pounds per week.
For most people, losing more than two pounds per week means that you should
actually eat more! This may be difficult for you to accept, but if you lose more than the
recommended amount, you’re not just losing fat – you’re losing muscle. Don’t let the
temporary ego boost from a large drop in scale weight sabotage your efforts in the long
run. Be patient. Don’t ever confuse weight loss with fat loss.
Remember this is a marathon, not a sprint. To get Lean/Toned and KEEP it you must do it correctly. Eating Clean, working out is a LIFESTYLE that you must do daily,weekly, monthly, yearly to get and maintain a Fit physique. It needs to be just as normal as waking and brushing your teeth, only your workouts need to be consistently challenging.
So Feed often, eat enough, and burn like crazy in your workouts.
If you want to read the best Fitness/Fat Loss book ever written download Tom Venuto's "Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle" Thats where some of this information, analogies I got for this blog came from.
Committed to your Success