How about a nice controversial Newsletter to start the day? Got just the thing for ya. This should generate some blowback – unless you read it carefully. The story of what Professor Mark Haub did makes it worthwhile in any event.
Let’s speed through some basics then get to the story. You already know these concepts but it will be good for us all to start from the same place, yeah? Read on.
Calories, Fat, and BMR
Calories. A small-c calorie is “a unit for measuring heat equal to the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one gram of water one degree Celsius.” A large-C Calorie is “a unit of heat used to indicate the amount of energy foods produce in the human body that is equal to 1,000 calories.” So when we talk body-fat Calories, we’re talking large-C calories but everybody uses small-c and that’s fine.
Fat. You already know calories, so let’s talk fat. When you eat more calories than you burn, you generally store the excess as fat. The common thought is that there are 3,500 calories in a pound of fat.
Also, a pound of your body fat (I know you have some!) is about the size of a pint of water. Yuk. If you put on two pounds over the weekend you’ve just happily added about a quart of fat, enjoy it.
Basal Metabolism Rate. “BMR” is the amount of calories that your body burns when at rest in order just to stay alive. This is for powering things like the muscles you use when you breathe and for pumping your heart and other systems – including thinking (gosh wow, thinking takes energy?).
What gets metabolized? Righto, fat.
The In’s and Out’s of Calories
OK, now that we’re all on the same page, let’s use all this info.
Some body fat is necessary, at least if you want to keep on breathing and thinking and you haven’t eaten lately.
But most people have excess fat – so, thinking about your tummy, you’re probably wondering: What’s the deal? Why won’t the weight come off? You are doing everything you can think of to make it happen.
If this is you, there’s one simple thing standing between you and a slimmed down, amazingly fit body. One. Simple. Thing.
And here it is: You eat too many calories. Behold the formula:
Calories in exceeds calories out = build fat
Calories out exceeds calories in = burn fat
That’s it. Just what you don’t want to hear, let alone face, yeah? Yet solve this problem and your dream body will quickly and easily become reality.
“Can’t I do it with exercise?” you ask. Well, you may remember from a prior newsletter that for a 150 pound person to burn off one Snickers candy bar requires about 150 pushups. Not gonna happen.
And hey, don’t give me the excuse that, “I only eat healthy calories.” That’s great, but even healthy calories add up to extra pounds when we let them go unchecked. 4,500 calories of carrots is still 4,500 calories, and besides I suggest we stick to the Snickers Bar. I’m gonna.
Enter the Good Professor Haub
You’re aware, no doubt, about all the past and current “diet” gadgets – Atkins, No Carb, Paleo, Grapefruit and so on. You’re also aware of carb-cycling, cortisol effects, hormonal imbalances, intermittent fasting, and all the rest of the things that people talk about when it comes to weight management.
Wonderful though this knowledge is, your fat loss will still come down to calories in vs calories out. This, finally, brings us to our controversial story.
You may have heard about the professor from Kansas State University, Mark Haub, who performed a famous junk food diet. Professor Haub proved a powerful lesson for anyone who still has weight to lose, so let’s listen up (ooh, that sounds fierce).
In a demonstrative experiment for his nutrition class, Professor Haub ate a diet of pure junk food for 2 months. I’m talking candy bars and packaged snacks – the kinds of things you find in a snack machine. I’m also wondering where he was when I was in college, I could have done the experiment for him.
Now, you’d expect him to gain weight, right? Well, there was one catch. He was only allowed to eat 1800 calories each day. Yes, those calories were pure junk, but the limit was firmly put at 1800 calories.
Before the experiment, Professor Haub’s typical calorie intake was closer to 2600 calories. So his junk food diet put him at an 800 calorie per day deficit.
And wowsie, did that calorie deficit pay off. Within 2 months he had dropped 30 pounds, bringing his BMI (not BMR) from overweight down to normal.
No, I’m NOT recommending a junk food diet as your answer for fat loss although maybe I’ll volunteer to try. What I am pointing out is how powerful a reduction in calories is when it comes to lowering your body weight.
This was a fascinating study to read. I’m not giving all the details here, do a search and you’ll find lots about him.
Back to Basics: Why Calorie Counting Works
So. Do you know how many calories you eat each day?
If you’re not sure, don’t worry. You’re about to learn the one fat loss tool that will change everything for you. First we need to get to the bottom of how many calories you’re eating each day.
Yes, even those healthy calories.
Before you start whining, let me explain. Food journaling doesn’t involved lugging around a journal, writing down each food item throughout the day then looking everything up at the end of the day to manually tally calories like it used to.
These days food journaling has gone digital, and tracking your calories only takes seconds of your time.
Here’s what you’ll want to do:
#1: Download a food journal application to your smart phone. At the touch of your fingers you’ll be able to look up food items and instantly see your running calorie tally.
#2: Find your BMR. Meet with your doctor to find a daily calorie count that will allow for safe weight loss and then diligently maintain that number. Or, if you want to bypass the good doctor, do a search for a Basal Metabolism Rate calculator and input a few numbers you should get a reasonably good BMR estimate.
#3. Eat healthy, fresh foods and when you decide to indulge, make sure to do so within your target calorie range. Watch your BMR number like a hawk, assuming hawks do so.
The Application Thereof –
Remember from above that there are approximately 3500 calories in a pound of fat. If you wanted to lose a pound a week, make sure your calorie intake per day is 500 calories below your daily BMR. That way at the end of the week you’ll be one pound lighter – and your spirits will be as well!
Couple that with a great workout program and you’ll love the new you!
These three, simple steps will give you structure and clarity that you need when it comes to making food choices and will quickly result in pounds lost and goals achieved.
Once your goal weight is met, your target calorie range will be adjusted for maintenance. Sounds good, right?
I’d love to hear from you. Call or email today to let me know how you are doing with this!