The Mystery on Why You Can’t Lose Weight Revealed!
I love this topic on why you can’t lose weight! So you’ve tried a lot of different diets, and you may have even ventured into the detoxes and cleanses that are being sold to you as the answer to your problem.
Oh, let’s not forget your metabolic disorder you’ve probably thought about or even been diagnosed with – let’s just go with hypothyroid for now.
And I will certainly not leave out the genetic aspect. I’m sure you’ve probably considered the fact that being overweight runs in your family and that the “big bones” you’ve been blessed with are the reason why you can’t lose weight.
I could go on and on, but you need to know that the answer boils down to an equation that is super simple (not necessarily easy) to grasp. You also need to understand that everyone’s body is different, but this equation (law) still applies.
It’s call the energy balance equation:
When you take in more energy (calories) than you utilize in your daily life, you will gain weight. Your body will store the excess energy you have given it as fat. It is your body’s natural survival mechanism.
It’s Not Your Fault
You’re actually genetically designed to eat everything in sight! Our genetics are essentially the same as our ancestors who were hunter gatherers and experienced episodes of feast and famine. Our bodies are designed to operate without the carbs we put in them so frequently now as they are so readily available. Although not your fault that our environment has evolved faster than our bodies…
It is up to you to take control, and that’s the hard part
Carbs are our main source of energy, but our bodies actually prefer ketones.
Ketones are produced when our body has shifted to using fat as a fuel source in the absence of carbohydrates. Some people have figured this out and now do what’s called ketogenic dieting – this keeps you in ketosis by using fats as fuel, not carbs. Although ketogenic dieting has become a popular way to lose weight, it’s actually a very old approach to simply restoring health. How? It’s basically resetting and returning your body to the way it’s supposed to operate and exist. In a state of slight to moderate ketosis – meaning you now operate without carbs (sugar) as your primary fuel source! It’s hard to develop disease and illness when in this optimum state of ketosis. In fact, the low carb or ketogenic diet is now being used to treat many types of cancers, neurological diseases and other autoimmune disorders.
This makes sense in that you are simply removing the primary substance that feeds tumors and causes inflammation – carbohydrate (foods that convert to sugar). Grains are the number 1 trouble maker in causing weight gain, preventing weight loss, and causing inflammation.
I’ve always said:
There is no such thing as a minimum grain requirement
This includes even whole grains. If you think grains are a healthy part of your diet, then you’ve been duped – and probably by the government! Check out the old food pyramid that said we needed 6-11 servings of GRAIN! This is when obesity rates doubled!
Grains can be consumed on a limited and safe basis for some people, but they’re not needed. Again – YOU DO NOT NEED GRAINS. Now if you’re on the brink of death due to starvation, grains such as crackers, bread, pasta or cereal (or anything for that matter) will save your life. But, to consistently put grains in your body will eventually cause problems related to digestion, blood sugar, insulin or autoimmune/inflammation issues, obesity, glycation, and the list goes on.
You’ve been warned. Why grains are not a good food source is a topic for another day, but just know that just about any food that you have to process in order to be able to eat it is probably not your body’s most preferred fuel source. Grain has to be harvested and ground and worked on a good bit in order to prepare it for consumption. You can’t just go in the field, grab some then eat it or cook it and eat it. For a comprehensive look at how grains affect you, get the book Grain Brain!
I pick on grains a good bit, because it’s the #1 food source that makes it so hard to drop pounds or to get rid of inflammation. We’re addicted! Want proof? Stop eating all grains and carbs right now. By day 2 you will want to kick me in my shins as you start experiencing what some affectionately call the carb flu. It’s basically the same experience you would have if you were to experience drug detox.
Sugar is just as addictive as cocaine, and that becomes evident when we try and remove it from our diet. Grains/carbs convert to sugar.
Now it’s not easy to return to eating like a normal human for a variety of reasons including physical and social. Physically, you can feel really bad when just getting started (carb flu) and socially, you can be teased “oh, c’mon, my mother made these for you! It’s not going to kill you!” And they are right, it’s not going to kill you now – it will debilitate you and break you down slowly over time as you develop all sorts of ailments that you will be given drugs for that will cause additional problems. The road only goes 1 way and that’s not toward health and vitality. Moreover, when you go to the store, the most convenient foods for you and your family are grain-based! It’s tough I know! But it can be done.
Do Calories Count?
I don’t count calories, and I don’t recommend people count calories with the intent of calculating how much exercise they need to do to “burn them off.” That is 1970’s bad math that never – never – never worked! Yet there are those that still preach this method! Our bodies are not simple combustion engines or furnaces where accurate calculations on intake and output can be made and predicted. Why? … Hormones and all the various ways they affect you. Grehlin, leptin, insulin, thyroid hormones (T3 and T4 especially), glucagon and more all interact in a way that varies based on genetics and diet. This is partly why your friend can lose weight eating carbs and you can’t (or vice versa).
Although there is no magical formula, calories do count in that if you take in more calories than you expend for your living requirements, then you will store the left over calories as fat – this is keeping it simple.
It’s good to have a grasp on calories or at least grams of the different food types (called macronutrients or macros): carbohydrate, protein, and fat. Alcohol is also included as a source of energy (7 cal/gram). If you are visual and not very analytical (like me), you need to master portion size so you can determine the basic % of where your calories are coming from (I teach this in my 21 Day Diet)…
Where You Get Your Calories From Makes a Huge Difference
So lets say that you’ve figured out that you can get away with eating about 2500 calories a day and not gain or lose weight. You are eating a pretty basic diet of proteins, carbs, and fats. You also toss in a little alcohol (the 4th macronutrient) here and there. You found that your macros come out to around 40% carbohydrate, 30% protein, and 29% fat and 1% alcohol.
If you were to keep that same calorie count but switch your macros to 70% carbohydrate, 20% protein and 10% fat; I guarantee that you would not only gain weight but start to develop problems associated with excessive carbohydrate intake. This is where type 2 Diabetes comes from along with obesity, hypertension, early ageing, etc.
Now for your keto dieters, where you make your mistake when you are either not losing or you or actually gaining weight – it’s simply too much intake. You’re eating too much. Even though you are “low carb,” your macros, however you have them portioned, are meeting or exceeding your energy needs.
It’s all about the Energy Balance Equation. There is no mystery to your inability to lose weight, it’s simply that your energy intake exceeds your energy output.
Bat wings, saddle bags, flab, inner thigh fat, and all those problem areas that so many people deal with simply go away with proper eating first, then exercise second.
Exercise is not an efficient way to lose weight or fat
Yes, I am a doctor of physical therapy, and I just said that! You can’t out exercise a bad diet. In fact trying to cardio your fat off can drop your metabolism leading to further frustration with your lack of results (or temporary). If you are on a ketogenic diet and not losing weight, your macros are exceeding your output. Simple as that. And there is no such thing as muscle tone. You either have muscle that is exposed or you have it covered up. Now there are strong muscle and there are weak ones, and the stronger your muscles are, the more mitochondria they have, the higher their energy demands – the more of a fat burning metabolism you will have. So, exercise is great as a lifestyle and as a long term health, fitness, and fat management strategy.
I actually have most of my fat loss clients diet their fat off first. When you feel better, you will want to move more and exercise then becomes a great addition to the health equation. Exercise is absolutely essential to improve fitness! In dieting, you need to implement fasting strategies, whether intermittent or extended (multi-day). More on this in the next article. Just know for now that fasting is the most effective fat loss program for permanent fat loss and health restoration. It’s amazing what fasting can achieve for you!
Keeping it Simple
I’ve kept this very basic and simple as I believe we’ve tried to complicate things too much. It’s simply a matter of you figuring out your metabolic demands and eating to fuel your body for what it needs.
If you want to lose weight, you need to create and energy deficit – period!
There is no way around it. Now if you want to do it safely, without misery, and relatively fast, be sure to check out my 21 Day Diet called 21 Days ON 15 Pounds OFF. This puts you in control while resetting your system, getting rid of the bad stuff and putting in a lot of good. You’ll also lose wrinkles, heal your gut, and get your joints feeling good.
To take 30 days and figure out what you can and can’t eat, I recommend the book, Wired to Eat by Robb Wolf. Carbs are the enemy, but you can still eat them safely once you figure out the good vs the bad specifically for you!
Before I conclude, let’s bust a few myths:
Eating Red Meat is bad for you: FALSE. Industrial processed and farmed meats are bad for you! They are inflammatory because of their omega 6:3 ratio – these are not fit, healthy, or happy animals, and you are what you eat right? Choose grass-fed and pastured meats and wild caught fish. Grass-fed beef is one of my secrets to losing belly fat and fast! I get all my meats HERE!
You have to be a vegetarian to be healthy: FALSE. There are a lot of sick, overweight, unhealthy vegetarians out there, but you won’t know that as they are the loudest proponents of what they do! It’s a lifestyle choice not a healthy human choice. We are designed to eat both animals and plants. Nowhere in early human history did our ancestors live as vegetarians on purpose. The vegan group of vegetarians chose not to eat any animal-based foods at all. They really have to work to stay healthy. It’s possible to be a healthy vegetarian or vegan, but it takes a lot of effort.
Fat makes you fat: FALSE! Sugar/carbs make you fat, and overeating makes your fat. Ketogenic dieters will eat up to 90% of their diets as fat and they are healthy, lose weight, and have tons of energy. Most ketogenic dieters keep it around 70% fat, 20% protein and 10% carbs.
Whole grains are good for you: FALSE. Remember, you don’t need grains. However, your body will like whole grains or live grains (Ezekiel bread) better than refined grains as far as the effect on blood sugar. Refined grains spike blood sugar more than plane sugar does! There are those who are truly gluten sensitive and should refrain from all grains. I refer you back to the book, GRAIN BRAIN to get all the details on what grains really do to you.
You can’t get fat eating healthy foods: FALSE. Yes you can! If you exceed your bodies calorie requirements, then you will store the remaining energy as fat. Chances of you getting fat eating healthier food choices are less as you will experience less cravings. I’ve personally gained weight on a ketogenic diet! I was eating too much protein. The most common food in a recent Instagram survey I did sited nuts as the food that threw their macros off and stalled their progress or caused weight gain.
1. You CAN lose as much weight as you need! The laws of physics, nature, biology and the universe do apply to you! You are from earth – I promise. It’s just a matter of dialing in the right nutrition and dialing out what’s holding you back. If you are stuck, you need to do something different like my 21 Day Diet. Don’t keep doing the same thing expecting a different result (the definition of insanity!)
2. Ketosis is a super human state to exist in. It’s simple but not easy (at first.). It’s a great state to put your body in to allow it to correct chronic ailments such as hormone problems, type 2 diabetes, autoimmune issues, chronic inflammation, neurological problems, and yes…obesity. Your body can do amazing things when put in the proper state to do so. A fasted state of ketosis is your body’s superhuman state. Fasting is not starving (more on this later) and ketosis is not ketoacidosis (a life threatening disorder).
3. Energy deficits allow for better weight loss. Without an energy deficit, there will be no weight or fat loss. During feeding times, your food quality should be on the “real food” end of things. Don’t try and trick your body with artificial mess. It doesn’t work. Keep your fat and protein levels high and your carb levels very low. If you eat carbs, do it right after strenuous activity or exercise. Try to simply leave grains forever – they are not needed nor are they really designed for consumption.
4. Continue to educate yourself as there are no formally educated professionals with doctorates in what really works. Our doctorates simply show that we have the ability to learn and practice at the highest levels. It doesn’t speak to our effectiveness and skill set in the world of nutrition and health. It’s up to you. Listen and get advice and consult from only those who are proven experts with results in the area you are looking to improve – weather ketogenic dieting and weight loss or fasting and fixing type 2 diabetes. Your physician most likely still thinks you simply should move more and eat less – that was proven ineffective starting back in the 50’s by the way.
I wish you happiness and health! Please comment below!