Archive for the tag - calorie deficit

I’m Obese And Want to Lose Weight. Where Do I Start?

In the last 7 years, I’ve gained 160lbs. Though I was athletic my entire life, I recently hit 320lbs and I’ve decided that it’s time to do something. Right now, the only exercise that I get is walking from the couch to the refrigerator during commercial breaks. My diet is also pretty fatty.

I don’t even know where to start. Do I exercise? Do I eat better? Both?


0601_MGMT_obese_630x420Hey Jordan,

The first step is always the hardest - and you’re well on you way to taking it. Congratulations on your resolve. By creating a healthier lifestyle, you’ll improve the quality of your own life and have so much more to give the people around you.

So which comes first? Exercise? Or diet? The truth is, both. By combining a healthier diet with exercise, you’ll decrease the calories going into your body and increase the calories going out. This creates a calorie deficit; the result is weight loss.

Can you get results from just diet? Sure. Can you get results from just exercise? Of course. But creating a healthy life - and getting the best results possible - comes from a combination of moving more and eating smarter.

As I’d advise anyone in your situation, start gradually. We are creatures of habit and stubbornly resistant to change - especially big changes. As such, lean into the improvements. Start with a walk here. And a salad there. Maybe join a gym and start with two or three days per week - and only exercise 30 minutes. Grill up some fresh vegetables. Replace your a soda with water.

You didn’t gain 160 pounds overnight, and you won’t lose it overnight either. And that’s okay. As you slowly introduce new and healthy changes into your life, your body and mind will have time to adapt. That’s a good thing.

So why wait? Start right now. Get off the f*cking internet and take a walk. Everything will still be here with you return.


P.S. For help losing weight with a focus on nutrition, exercise and self-love, try Davey Wavey’s Weight Loss Program.

How to Lose Fat From Thighs.

Hey Davey,

I have a question and would like your advice: I’m a slim guy with a fast metabolism but I have gained a lot of fat on my thighs. Now my jeans are getting tight and I don’t like it. What’s the best way for getting rid of extra weight on your thighs?



Thick is in.

Hey Eddie,

I have good news and bad news.

First, the bad news.

The desire to spot-reduce weight is something that I get asked about often. Unfortunately, that’s not how weight loss works; it’s not possible to reduce fat in just one particular area of your body.

When you lose fat through proper diet and exercise, that excess weight comes off the entire body and according to its own agenda. You may lose fat in some areas quicker than others. There’s no guarantee.

Having said that, excess fat is lost through a combination of diet and exercise. By moving more and eating smarter, you create the calorie deficit that is required for weight loss. You’ll take in fewer calories than you burn (a safe calorie deficit is a few hundred calories per day) and the excess weight will come off slowly but surely. And by combining diet with exercise, you’ll ensure that the lost weight is primarily fat and not muscle mass.

Now, the good news.

Some people have naturally thicker thighs, and that’s perfectly okay. Part of what makes this world so interesting is that we all come in different shapes and different sizes. Moreover, thick thighs can be sexy, strong and beautiful.

If you exercise and eat smart… and still have thick thighs, then learn to love and embrace them!


Does Sweating More Burn More Calories?

Young athletic man taking a break during a challenging jogging outdoorLet’s talk about sweat. Steamy, hot, dripping sweat.

In fact, even as I write this blog post, I’m still sweating from my morning workout - so the topic seems more than appropriate.

Sweating is a glorious thing and it’s my secret to a clear complexion. But there’s a popular myth that sweating more means more calories burned. It’s simply untrue.

In reality, the intensity of your workout (and not the amount you sweat) determines calories burned. Sure, you may sweat more at higher levels of intensity, but sweating is largely influenced by other factors including clothing, outside temperature, body weight, genetics, diet, medications and even hormone levels.

Simply put, sweat is really just your body’s way of getting rid of heat. It isn’t necessarily an indication of workout intensity and the amount of calories or fat that you’re burning.

Some people exercise while wearing plastic “weight loss” suits during hot weather to increase sweat output. And while these suits do increase perspiration and thus result in immediate weight loss, it’s all water weight - and not the result of fat being burned. Moreover, it’s an unhealthy practice that can result in heat exhaustion.

There are few things as satisfying as a workout that leaves you dripping in sweat. But if you really want to lose weight through exercise, focus on the intensity of your workout and a calorie deficit rather than the amount of sweat that you’re producing.

Adjusting Caloric Intake for Exercise.

Hi Davey,

I’m trying to lose weight and get into better shape and was wondering about calorie consumption.

If I burn 220 calories after a cardio workout, do I have to eat an extra 220 calories to make-up for the workout?

Thank you,
Jen 🙂

Hey Jen,

Thanks for the question.

Since your goal is to lose weight, you need to create a calorie deficit. In other words, your body needs to use and burn more calories than you are consuming. While some of this deficit can be created through better nutrition and decreased portions, the best way to create a calorie deficit is through exercise.

You might be aiming for a 400 or 500 calorie deficit, and the 220 calories burned during your workout can be part of that deficit. In other words, you wouldn’t need to increase your calorie intake to make up for it.

If, on the other hand, you’re burning 800 or 900 calories at the gym - which far exceeds your targeted calorie deficit of 400 or 500 calories, then you do need to increase your caloric intake.

Keep in mind that you’ll want to aim for weight loss of 1/2 to 1 pound per week. If you’re losing weight faster than that, adjust your calorie deficit according (i.e., eat more or exercise a bit less).

If, instead of losing weight, you were trying to maintain or build mass - then, yes, you’d need to increase your caloric intake to make up for the calories burned during your workout.

I hope that clears things up!


Please Don’t Try to Lose 5 lbs By Tuesday.

Starvation usuallys has the opposite effect than what is intended: Long-term weight gain.

Last Sunday, I was talking with a young man who insisted that he wanted to drop 5 pounds by Tuesday.

My first reaction was, “What happens on Tuesday?” I figured that there must be an impending tropical vacation, or perhaps a gratuitous photo shot or something of the sort. “Oh, nothing,” he replied. “I just want to lose a few pounds fast, so I’m not going to eat.”

I suggested that it might be wiser to drop the weight over a period of 4 weeks rather than 3 days, and to use a more effective technique than starvation. But there was no persuading him, and it wasn’t my battle to fight.

I fear that his mindset is fairly widespread - that most people don’t know why dropping weight quickly is so detrimental… and that the detrimental effects are amplified by starvation. While it may produce temporary results, starvation does a huge amount of damage to one’s metabolism - and almost always results in a weight gain that is equivalent to (or larger than) the amount of weight originally lost.

When you starve yourself (generally 1,000 calories or less for most people), the body responds. Through eon’s of evolution, the body has built a starvation response that aids in survival. The metabolism of the starving person slows to a crawl to conserve calories. This will ensure the body’s survival as long as possible. So even though the number of calories in has decreased, so too has the number of calories out.

Starving yourself, obviously, is not sustainable. Eventually the fasting individual will resume their original diet - but the slowed metabolism will lag. Calories are packed on as fat, and the result is a weight gain that often exceeds the original weight loss.

Moreover, starvation can result in the loss of muscle mass, hair loss, decreased energy and increased tiredness. There are also psychological implications of starvation, including irritability and depression.

To achieve real results, realize that the changes must be long-term. If you want to lose some weight, it can be achieved over time by boosting one’s metabolism (though, among other things, an exercise program that combines strength training and cardio) and making healthy food choices.

The bottom line: Starvation doesn’t work - whether it’s done for a few days or a few weeks.

How Many Calories Should I Be Eating? [Harris Benedict Calculator]

If you’ve looked at a nutrition label in the United States, you’ll notice that it says “based on a 2,000 calorie diet.” Does that mean that everyone should be eating 2,000 calories - from Michael Phelps to your grandmother in her nursing home? Of course not.

The Harris Benedict Equation is a formula that will give you a better idea of your ideal caloric intake. It requires four steps.

  1. Calculate your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) using one of the equations below:
    Men (Imperial Units/United States): BMR = 66 + ( 6.23 x weight in pounds ) + (12.7 x height in inches ) - ( 6.76 x age in years ) = ________
    Men (Metric Units): BMR = 66 + ( 13.7 x weight in kg ) + ( 5 x height in cm ) - ( 6.76 x age in years ) = ________
    Women (Imperial Units/United States): BMR = 655 + ( 4.35 x weight in pounds ) + ( 4.7 x height in inches ) - ( 4.7 x age in years ) = ________
    Women (Metric Units): BMR = 655 + ( 9.6 x weight in kg ) + ( 1.8 x height in cm ) - ( 4.7 x age in years ) = ________
  2. Determine your current fitness level:
    Sedentary: little or no exercise
    Lightly Active: light exercise/sports 1-3 days/week
    Moderately Active: moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/week
    Very Active: hard exercise/sports 6-7 days a week
    Extra Active: very hard exercise/sports & physical job or 2x training
  3. Calculate the number of calories that you require in a day based on BMR and fitness level:
    Sedentary:  Daily calories needed= BMR x 1.2    = __________
    Lightly Active: Daily calories needed= BMR x 1.375  = __________
    Moderately Active:  Daily calories needed= BMR x 1.55  = __________
    Very Active: Daily calories needed= BMR x 1.725    = __________
    Extra Active:  Daily calories needed= BMR x 1.9  = __________
  4. Compare. Use a journal to track your caloric intake against your actual weight - this is really the only way to know for sure!

It’s not as complicated as it sounds. For example, at 155lbs, 5’9” and leading a very active lifestyle, I should be consuming 2,840 calories a day according to the equation. Or, just less than a full 14″ cheese pizza from Pizza Hut. 😛

Why does it matter? Weight loss can only be achieved through a calorie deficit - that is, taking in less calories than are used. Using this equation, you can get a rough idea for how many calories that should be.

And if you’re not trying to lose weight, it’s still a good idea to get a general sense of how many calories you should be eating in order to avoid weight gain.

So, whip out your calculate and crunch the numbers. How many calories should you be eating? Let me know in the comments below!