"The Real Reason That You're Fat" (Blog #155)
It took me a while to find a title for this blog that was, lets say, "softer". Honestly, with the obesity epidemic being the way it is, we don't need softer, we need honesty and we need facts. The facts are hard to swallow for many.
Take a close look at the people surrounding you the next time you go out to eat. More than half of those people are obese, and out of that 50%, half of them are morbidly obese. Hopefully after reading this blog, many of you will have a better understanding of the real reasons that we get fat, and how to change that for good.
Lets take a look at caloric expenditure vs caloric intake. Caloric expenditure is simply how much energy you burn throughout the day. Caloric intake is how much fuel you take in any given day. In its simplest form, if you burn more energy than you bring in, you will lose weight and if you bring in more calories than you burn, you will gain weight. The science behind this is scary accurate, but big corporations and sneaky trainers/nutritionists can't make a lot of money off of you by selling you a secret pill if you're educated on the subject.
Lets say you bring in an extra 150 calories more than you burn in a day, over a single year you will have gained about 15.5 pounds in that year. And 150 calories is shockingly easy to over indulge in, it's a lot easier to do than you think it is. When it comes to maintaining a healthy body weight, the devil is in the details. Take a look at any of those horrendous "weight loss shows". They make sure that the heavy client is eating less (caloric deficit), and moving more (exercising). The acute outcomes are always amazing, but look forward about a year and most of those clients go back to their old habits of eating too much and moving too little. Chronically, these shows fail these people because they didn't educate them well enough on how to lose weight and how to keep it off for good. Let's take a look at clients that get gastric bypass, the lap band or any of these weight loss surgeries. They are all forced to bring less fuel in and this leads to a weight loss. But ask most obese people why their fat and they will come up with a million other reasons other than they just eat too much.
For an overweight person to come to a trainer and say that they have no clue why they're overweight, is complete bullshit. There are rare exceptions that a client may have something bigger going on (maybe a thyroid issues, hormonal issue, etc.), but statistically this isn't the case for 95% of the population. Our daily habits are hard to break, we get into an eating routine and we have trouble breaking out of it. The same can be said for our daily movements, most people just don't get enough exercise. To lose weight and to keep it off, you have to change your lifestyle. I know it sounds cliché and you've probably heard it all before, but what I mean by changing your lifestyle is a little different from what you may think:
You must change:
Your daily routines
Your water intake
Your thought process
Your free time
Your mind set
You must change it all if you want long term success. The reward is a longer, healthier, happier life.
The most important thing to change are the lies. The lies that we tell ourselves: If you're 40% body fat, you eat like dog shit! If you are carrying around an extra 25+ pounds of mass, you don't eat salad and grilled chicken all day! If you can't do a single push up, you're weak as fuck! If you can't jog a single block without struggling, you have the aerobic capacity of a dying elephant! Fat people eat too much, it's science! Stop worrying what people may think of you if you ask for help, or go for a run, or hit the gym. You're bettering yourself. Plain and simple.
These scenarios don't make you a bad person, but they can only be fixed when you become honest with yourself. It's ok to admit your failures or your shortcomings, it's ok to ask for help, it's actually empowering, and admitting it makes it possible to fix...
Finally, we must remember that hundreds of thousands of years of evolution wired our brains to eat when food was available because we didn't know when food would become available again. Today, we have an abundance of food everywhere we look and our brain tells us to eat up. If you don't override this mechanism, you will suffer the same fate as so many Americans - obesity! It's ok to eat a little less, and it's ok to feel a little hungry. You won't die. That's the exact purpose of body fat. It's stored energy that is used when we don't have food available to us, or used when we don't eat. The more you let your fat stores be used, the less body fat you'll have...
I challenge you all to keep strict food journals and to be proud to show them to the world. I challenge you all to be 100% honest with what you eat everyday. If a camera crew followed you around all day and night tracking the intensities of your workouts and every calorie eaten, would you be embarrassed or would you be proud?