I am a subscriber to Brad Pilon’s newsletter. He is the author of one of my favorite diet books, Eat Stop Eat. He just sent out a great article in the newsletter that I’d love to expand upon.
The article is titled: Are You the Victim and the Villain? It is about how people are quick to criticize an aggressive low calorie diet.
[I was overdue for a picture of a fit woman in a swimsuit. I know it is borderline tacky, but it just makes the article more fun to read!]
Eating Less Is the Simplest Route to Losing Weight
As Brad puts it, the politically correct answer to give when someone asks about losing weight is by “eating healthy”…but “eating less” is the scientifically correct answer.
You can eat a lot of healthy foods, but if you eat more than you burn…you are NOT going to lose weight.
A Proper Diet is the Foundation to Weight Loss
You can’t “out exercise” a bad diet. What you eat is a huge indicator of how lean you will become. I didn’t really believe this until this past summer.
Due to a full-time job, girlfriend, running a couple of sites, etc…I didn’t have much time for exercising. In fact, I have averaged 2 times per week the past 3 months. I figured I wouldn’t look as lean only getting to the gym 2 times per week. What was the answer?
Luckily, I Knew About Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent Fasting is a way to put your body in a ‘fasted state’ for a while alternated with a period of eating. In the past I tried a version of this called the Warrior Diet. The Warrior Diet was good, but slightly unrealistic. It is based upon eating once per day.
Eat Stop Eat is a scientific version of Intermittent Fasting that I like best. Brad based this book upon his graduate paper “The Metabolic Effects of Short Periods of Fasting in Humans and its Potential Application in Weight Loss”.
So I Now Go Low Calorie a Couple of Times A Week
A blog post won’t due Brad’s book justice, but basically I fast twice per week in a strategic way. I eat normal food the rest of the time and even eat higher calorie food on certain days.
People who hang out with me on my fasting days are quick to criticize my “weird” way of eating. The funny thing is that it is backed up with strong scientific research and works amazingly well.
Won’t the Weight Loss Come from Muscle?
A common misconception about fasting is that you will waste away and lose hard earned muscle mass. Brad points out a scientific study in his book that indicates that you will retain all your hard earned muscle by just strength training twice per week!
This means if you want the weight loss to come from fat, you only need to hit the gym twice per week. I think you will look your best if you can go around 4-5 times per week, but that really isn’t necessary if you just want to lose body fat.
People Are Quick to Call a Low Calorie Diet an Eating Disorder
True…there are people with eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia, but for every one of those people…there are over 100 people who eat too much!
If you are overweight it is simply because you eat more than you need to. It is politically incorrect to tell people that they are eating too much, but everyone joins in when they see someone skipping a few meals.
Fasting Makes Your Digestive System Feel Better
The two biggest things I notice on low calorie days is an energy surge and how good my digestive system feels. When you give your body a break from food and just drink a lot of water it really cleans out your system. It is amazing how much better food digests once you get back to eating.
I really believe that our bodies weren’t meant to digest food around the clock.
To Lose Weight, Find a Simple Way to Reduce the Amount of Calories You Eat
You certainly don’t need to do Intermittent Fasting to lose weight, it just leaves you with a larger margin of error (plus you can get away with eating high calorie stuff every now and then).
You could be strict on a daily basis and reduce your portions and eat lower calorie foods.
The bottom line is that you do need to eat lower calories than you are now. Find some way that works for you and you will see results.