severe calorie restriction

3 Things That People Do Every Day That Sabatoge Their Health and Fitness

My biggest struggle when working with helping people improve their fitness and health is their staunch, white-knuckle grip on severe calorie cutting. Every person thinks that in order to lose weight, they must severely cut their calories. This has been debunked by research and they have to stop doing this! Here is the science in a nutshell that explains why this technique of severe calorie cutting is more damaging to your health and weight goals than helpful.

When we severely calorie cut our bodies react in a way to best preserve energy. This means, the metabolism slows down, less fat is burned and energy is diverted away from non-essential areas. Your baseline "minimum calories to operate" is set to the "new norm". It takes the body up to 2-4 weeks to make this adjustment, that is why you will initially see some weight loss up front, but it will peter out. Then, you are faced with the inevitable question. Should I cut calories again? Most do. Then the same process starts again. This time more systems are shut down, the metabolic rates slows even more, etc. What will happen is that eventually, the person cutting their calories will be so miserable, sick and lethargic (and not to mention hungry all the time) that they will eventually adjust their calories back up. Then guess what? Your "new normal" calorie baseline is still set to that low level. So guess what happens to all those calories coming back in above that new normal. You guessed it, stored as fat. Your body adjusted to operating at that low-calorie level. So anything above that is considered the energy that can be used later and stored as fat. You just shot yourself in the foot. 

My next pet peeve that people do is what I like to call "social hour" as their workout. I get it. You like your trainer a lot. You like meeting your bestie at the gym. Or you like making phone calls while walking. Problem is, you spend more time working out only one part of your body, your gibber jabbering mouth, that you are not actually getting much of a workout! When I used to work as a trainer in a traditional gym, I would just shake my head watching trainers stand and talk to their clients while the client just literally sat on a piece of equipment and did about 10 reps. Then they would spend the next 10 minutes talking. Then go and sit on another piece of equipment, so 10 reps and talk for another 10 minutes. This drives me batty! Time is the most valuable thing we own. If you are taking the time to "go workout" then...WORK OUT! You can socialize and workout at the same time, it's possible. I have had great conversations with clients while they are huffing and puffing and doing burpees. The point is, if you are not winded enough where it's difficult to talk without taking deep breaths, then you are not actually "working out". We recommend the Fire Team Whiskey fitness protocols which require no commute to a gym, no special equipment and only 30 minutes a day! 

Last one and I will get off my soapbox, is alcohol. That is the #1 question I get when working with clients. "Can I still drink on your Program?" The answer is, yes, but probably not in the way you drink. My Facebook newsfeed is filled with people who in one post show the plethora of umbrella-laden sugary drinks (and usually the subsequent carb filled food to go with it) and about 10 posts later complaining about how much weight they have put on. Talk about ZERO self-awareness. Bottom line is, alcohol is processed in the same exact way in your liver as the worst sugar: fructose. So alcohol has all the downsides in the body as eating or drinking straight sugar. When your blood sugar is high, your body releases insulin. Insulin carries that sugar into the cells as energy if there is an overabundance of sugar (which in most cases when consuming carbs and sugar that is the case), it carries those extra molecules and stores them as fat.  I consider alcohol the same choice as having a cupcake. Sure, its fine every once in a while as a special treat. But having 2-4 glasses of wine a night with dinner is not a treat. You might as well eat an entire cake. Its the same effect on the body. 

Stop sabotaging yourself! Make some gains! 

Copy Right 2018. Fire Team Whiskey, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Weight Loss Tricks That Don't Work

It's almost summer and the dreaded bathing suit season is upon us. Many of us are looking for a quick way to shed those few pounds we were able to cover up in warm layers over the winter. Before you start, read on about the weight loss tricks that people use that don't work. 

#1: Crash diets:  Most people turn to extreme measures to quickly shed a few pounds. Usually, it is some sort of crash or fad diet. The cabbage diet, the juice cleanses, the only eating celery and mustard diet, etc. These fad diets all have one thing in common: they are not sustainable. No matter who you are (unless you are totally deranged), you will get very sick of eating so restrictively very quickly. You may lose a few pounds in the few days you manage to choke down that bland food, but you will throw up your hands and scream "I quit!" the minute you encounter a cheeseburger. 

#2 Severe calorie restriction:  This approach is the most damaging to your ability to lose weight long term. Our brains and bodies are very adaptive. We would not have survived as a species without inherent biological systems in place that regulates our metabolism. Bottom line is that our bodies are designed to conserve energy. This comes in the form of storing body fat and reducing the bodies metabolic rate when calorie/energy threshold requirements are not being met. Sure, if you severely restrict your calories, you will lose weight, for a couple of weeks. Your body will spot the trend and start adjusting your metabolic rate down. What does that mean, it basically is telling your body that this is the new norm and tells your body not to burn so many calories for energy. Some systems get slowed down, things get adjusted, and boom, what you used to be able to eat calorie wise without gaining a pound now is considered excess calories by your body and is stored as fat. This is why you see so many people gain all the weight back plus some, after losing weight in a short amount of time (think about all those ex-biggest loser contestants). 

#3:  Relying on exercise to lose weight: This is the most common mistake people make when trying to lose weight. Contrary to the "Move More" motto of the government, research has long debunked the myth that working out = weight loss.  This just isn't scientific fact. Research shows that the most active people on the planet (aboriginal tribesman who walk up to 10 miles a day hunting and gathering) only burn on average about 250 more calories a day than an American couch potato that at most walks from the fridge to the TV each day. That's it. Yes, you can throw away that smartwatch now that has been lying to you about burning 800 calories in one workout. Yes, working out helps your body composition, increase muscle tone and increase your metabolic rate slightly, but for weight loss, it's not the magic solution. 

The common theme with all of the above is having a mindset of a temporary solution and not focusing on a daily lifestyle change for long-term health. If a majority of your choices are the healthiest ones for you over a period of a year, you will see a gradual change in your weight and health. With our society being the one of instant gratification that it is, most people are not willing to put in the long-term work to make sure that any efforts are gradual and permanent (as opposed to temporary and short-term). If you start working on this lifestyle shift, this time next year when bathing suit season is upon us, you will see some major changes and feel a lot more hopeful about what you will see in the dressing room mirror when you try on that new bathing suit for years to come. 

Copyright Fire Team Whiskey 2018. All rights reserved.