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Principles and Methods

By March 28, 2019No Comments

An important one today.

If you have ever dieted – you can probably rattle off a dozen different ones. Let's take 15 seconds to drop a few:
– Low Carb, Low Fat, Atkins/Keto, Paleo, Vegan, Vegetarian, Pescetarian, Carnivore, Intermittent Fasting.

That was more like 7 seconds. Point is there are a fucking lot of different diets out there.

Each one promising that it is the answer to weight loss. Some are backed by medical professionals (some are somewhat questionable) and some are backed religiously by celebrities and social media 'influencers' a.k.a douche bags.

Unfortunately all of this 'this diet is better than this diet' really makes it quite complicated for the average Joe to figure out how to get started.

But what if I told you that each and every one of the diets above has one thing in common.

Any diet you can think of or have heard of that has generated weight loss or weight gain results is due to one fundamental principle – Calories In, Calories Out – also referred to as 'CICO'.

CICO is a simplistic way of explaining energy balance. You see the body is comprised of many different processes; from respiration, digestion, flexing muscle and most importantly just staying alive.

Everything requires energy.

We get energy through food.

We store excess energy as body fat.

We measure energy within the body using the Calorie or Kilo-joule.

Now moving on, our bodies require a certain amount of energy/calories to maintain our various processes. The body is quite good at regulating how much energy we need, based on things such as our age, how much muscle we have and our overall activity level. If you're quite active on a daily basis – you generally require more energy. If you're a desk jock and don't move much – you probably won't require much.

So for example let's say you're a healthy 80kg male who exercises 4 times per week, we'll give you 2700 calories – we'll also call you Jim.

To maintain Jim's body weight – he simply needs to consume 2700 calories via his diet.
What happens if Jim fails to reach 2700 calories? For this example lets say Jim consumed only 2400 calories.

This is a caloric deficit of 300 calories.

Jim's body will tap into his fat stores to fill quota of 2700 calories.

What is a Calorie Deficit? Check out @jamessmithpt for more no b.s nutrition advice (but don't leave me as your PT please hahaha)

Now, a single day of a deficit like this might not result in much weight loss but repeating this process he will lose weight. There is no doubt about it – continuing to maintain a caloric deficit, Jim is going to get leaaaaan.

This fundamental principle of CICO is why any diet will generate results.

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Great post by @bdccarpenter and let’s examine it. Intermittent fasting is all the rage right now. Fasting in general is en Vogue. I want to be clear, for some people time restricted eating is easier for them, they feel less hungry (subjectively), and spontaneously consume less food. That’s awesome and means it’s a viable tool for them and we discuss it as a tool in our ebook Fat Loss Forever. . However, it only works because it creates a caloric deficit. When compared to an equal weekly caloric deficit, there are no differences in fat loss and comparable improvements in metabolic markers of health. Sadly, fasting zealots will attempt to convince you that fasting is not only best for fat loss, health, but also superior for building muscle (this in particular is ludicrous). Additionally, the notion of fasting increasing autophagy is hot right now and it does increase autophagy… but so does normal caloric restriction 🤷🏼‍♂️. . One of my favorite fasting zealot statements came from my YouTube “If I fast for a few days I will lost more than if I just dieted for a few days.” Yea… NO SHIT! 🤦🏼‍♂️. You ate less calories. 🤦🏼‍♂️🤦🏼‍♂️🤦🏼‍♂️. These sorts of misunderstandings of the literature and utility of different strategies is exactly what we tried to help clear up in Fat Loss Forever. . In summary, if you like fasting and it enables you to diet and it feels ‘easier’ then by all means do it. But let’s stop ascribing magical properties to it. Maybe new studies will show unique benefits to it, I know everyone is freaking out about the new rodent study but one study a theory does not prove. If you want to do it, do it. But you can certainly get most if not all the benefits through normal caloric restriction as well.

A post shared by Layne Norton, PhD (@biolayne) on

Intermittent Fasting is a popular diet 'method'. But when compared to a traditional caloric deficit – similar results.

There is no one 'best' diet to follow.

There is no 'perfect' diet.

If you understand the principle of weight loss (CICO) then you can essentially pick whatever dietary approach you want.

The 'best' diet? Is the one you can stick with.

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In case there was any confusion. #calories

A post shared by Aadam ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ (@physiqonomics) on

TL;DR – all diets require a caloric deficit for fat loss. So any diet will get you results, you have to fucking stick to it though (and that is usually the hard part).


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