I bet you are like me. I used to think that the body is like a calculator and you simply follow calorie numbers and macronutrient ratios and things should work beautifully. Do you still think that way? Let me open your mind to another way and how you can approach metabolism from a different perspective.

(I encourage you to read some material from Metabolic Effect – they are brilliant and taught me so much.)

Instead of looking at fat loss by following calorie ceilings and macronutrient ratios like a calculator, plugging in numbers and then never changing anything, look at your metabolism like a thermostat. Your body will change to the demands placed upon it. Eat in a deficit too long? Metabolism will slow. Eat in moderation and slight surplus for a short amount of time? Metabolism will ramp up.

There are 3 fundamental ways to attack this. And you should be utilizing all three.

The first approach is a minimalist approach. This is when you want to eat as little as you need and exercises as little as you need; also called an eat less, exercise less approach. For you investor-types out there, think minimum investment/maximum return.

Here is a model for you:
Lift weights 2-3 times per week.
Walk everyday or most days (5-10k steps)
Eat 3 meals per day (mostly protein and veggies, little carb and essential fats)

The second approach is a maximizing approach. Here you simply bump up how much you eat and how much you exercise. These are mutually exclusive; i.e. you need to do both or you won’t yield the desired effects.

Here is a model for you to try:
4-6 shorter duration high intensity workouts times per week.
Walk everyday or most days (10-20k steps)
Eat 4 meals per day (2 meals protein/veggie – high volume/low cal / 2 meals include starch)

The last approach is the one that most “dieters” are following: eat less and exercise more. This seems like the right answer for your goals, considering that’s what we’ve been taught.. Eat less and move more. And the short answer is that’s true, it does in fact work. However, the big caveat here is that it works for a short time.

After working with hundreds of clients over a decade, I have noticed many things. One is that the body and metabolism need variety. The body (read: metabolism) adapts to stress placed on it and then it needs a different stimulus. If you eat too little, your metabolism will slow down accordingly. That’s why it’s important to follow this last approach for a short time (no more than 2 weeks at a time, typically).

This model should be followed for short periods of time:
4-6 shorter duration high intensity workouts times per week.
Walk everyday or most days (10-20k steps)
Eat 3 meals per day (1-2 meals include starch)

Now, where are you in all of this? If nothing else, realize that if you’re at a plateau or don’t know what to do, try something different.


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