Archive for the tag - fat loss

How To Lose Weight Fast: Don’t.

men-male-diet-tummy-tuck-weight-lossIt seems like everyone is concerned with losing weight fast.

I get it. Immediate gratification is tempting. But this is your health. Rather than quick weight loss, let’s pursue a sustainable and lasting transformation. Let’s pursue a strategy that doesn’t involve losing 10 pounds in 10 days, and then gaining 15 pounds next month. Let’s be in it for the long haul.

F*ck fast. Let’s talk about effective.

As it turns out, fast and effective don’t go hand in hand; quick fixes and yo-yo diets don’t produce lasting results. In fact, through excessive calorie deprivation, they almost always slow down your metabolism and hinder further fat loss down the road. It creates a vicious cycle that does nothing to prioritize your health or fitness goals.

So what does work?

If you want a sustainable plan for losing fat and feeling great, there are three parts.

The first is rebuilding and repairing the relationship with your body. Again, this isn’t something that happens fast. It’s an ongoing process that sometimes requires the help of a trained professional. A lot of us have strained and abusive relationships with our bodies, so it takes time and energy (and sometimes guidance) to learn to love ourselves again.

The second is moving more. Increasing calories burned is a big part of losing weight. Beyond walking, running or other cardiovascular exercise, it also means using our muscles to strength train. By strength training, we maximize fat loss and minimize weight loss.

The third part is about nutrition. If you want to drop excess fat, it means consuming fewer calories than you burn. But this isn’t a death sentence. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. As you make wiser food choices, you’ll be delighted by the way your body feels. For most people, cutting just a few hundred calories per day can create lasting results. To make wiser food choices and to consume fewer calories, eat whole fruits instead of sugary snacks or beverages. Opt for complex carbs. Eat lots of vegetables; they’re delicious and filling. Eat real food, and not crap that comes frozen in bags. Eat only when you’re actually hungry. Minimize alcohol. And be patient.

Losing excess fat isn’t about extreme dieting or quick fixes. In fact, I don’t think about it as a diet at all. It’s more about changing your lifestyle. It’s about making adjustments so that your actions are in alignment with your goals. And it’s about making decisions that honor your body and your life.

Or you can lose five pounds in five days and gain it all back (and then some) next week. The choice is yours.

P.S. If you’re looking for a step-by-step guide, I recommend Davey Wavey’s Weight Loss Program. Because it’s effective and sustainable, it’s the last weight loss program you’ll ever need.

Does Skipping Meals Help Lose Weight?

tumblr_n05ae7mBOU1qmbokso1_1280There are many tricks and strategies that can help you achieve your fat loss goals, but is skipping meals one of them?

At face value, it seems to make sense. After all, we know that a calorie deficit is required for weight loss. That means consuming fewer calories than your body burns. For healthy and sustainable weight loss, most experts recommend consuming 250 - 500 fewer calories than your body burns. By skipping a meal, we can easily create that calorie deficit. Right?

It’s not that simple. Skipping a meal has other consequences.

For one, researchers have found that meal skippers tend to overeat on their next meal due to their extreme hunger. In total, they still tend to eat the same amount of calories. According to researchers, this cycle of starvation and then overindulgence can result in some potentially risky metabolic changes that, over time, could even result in diabetes.

Beyond the metabolic impact and intense hunger pangs, skipping meals and is also absolutely miserable. If you’ve ever spent time fasting, you’ve likely experienced difficulty focusing, moodiness, drops in productivity, sluggishness and so on. And if you’re lacking energy and focus, it becomes much harder to power through a workout; thus, it can put your results at risk.

Rather than skipping meals, cut calories by making your existing meals smarter and healthier. Trim down your portions and opt for more vegetables, lean meats and healthy cooking methods.

P.S. To look and feel great through the foods you eat, download Davey Wavey’s Insanely Easy Guide to Eating Smarter.

Weight Loss Vs. Fat Loss.

Dear Davey,

I’ve been reading your fitness blog for a few years now, and I’ve noticed that you don’t use the terms “weight loss” and “fat loss” interchangeably. Why not? What’s the difference?


Hey Austin,

Todd-McCullough-Bro-Yoga-Shirtless-Red-Bathing-Suit-05132014-01Thanks for being a loyal reader - and for such a great question.

Weight loss and fat loss mean very different things. Weight loss is a reduction in body weight. It’s the result of decreased energy intake and/or increased energy expenditure. That is, fewer calories come in than go out. But it’s worth noting that the weight can be pretty much anything. If you lose body fat, you’ve lost weight. But if you lose muscle or body fluids, you’ve also lost weight. Every time you pee, you lose weight. Someone could chop off your arm and you’d lose weight.

While weight loss is very general, fat loss is very specific. And when people typically talk about weight loss, they really mean fat loss. Fat loss, by definition, is a reduction in body fat. This is a much wiser and worthwhile goal than just losing weight; after all, who wants to give up their hard-earned muscle mass?

When you create a calorie deficit by decreasing calories going into your body and increasing the calories going out of your body, you’ll definitely lose weight. It’s science. But to ensure that you’re losing primarily body fat and not muscle, it’s important to continue with a challenging strength training program. By engaging in a strength training program (lifting weights, doing push-ups, etc.), you signal to your body that it still needs muscle. As a result, less muscle and more fat will be lost.

Not only will that extra muscle keep you strong and look good, but it also helps keep your metabolism up. Muscle takes a lot of energy to maintain; by keeping muscle mass on your body, you’ll actually be helping your fat loss goals.


P.S. If you’re looking to shed excess fat, download Davey Wavey’s Weight Loss Program and get started today!

Whey Protein BEFORE Working Out Burns Fat?

Dear Davey,

A friend of mine mentioned that eating protein before you workout is a smart idea because it burns more fat. Is there really any truth to this?


Bryce Thompson by Rick Day 16Hey Sean,

Your friend is likely referring to an often-cited Michigan State University study that was published in 2009.

When we talk about protein, it’s often about the role it plays in muscle growth - and the emphasis is often on post-workout protein consumption. For example, we know that consuming whey protein after a heavy strength training workout can help improve results.

But for the aforementioned study, researchers examined the role of pre-workout protein consumption on something called resting energy expenditure (REE). REE is the amount of energy, usually expressed in food calories, required for a 24-hour period by the body during resting conditions. For many of us, this measure is especially important because it can account for 60% - 75% of your total energy expenditure. If you increase REE, you burn more total calories - and, in theory, store fewer calories as fat.

In Michigan State’s study, experienced lifters were given either a whey protein supplement or carbohydrate supplement 20 minutes before working out. After 24 and 48 hours, REE was measured and compared to the baseline. While both supplements increased REE 24 and 48 hours after the strength training session, the whey protein supplement resulted in a much higher REE at the 24-hour mark compared to either the carbohydrate supplement or the baseline.

Keep in mind, increasing REE isn’t the same as burning fat. To make a very long story short, weight loss is achieved when you consume fewer calories than you burn. REE increases calories out, but that’s only one side of the equation. And weight loss isn’t the same as fat loss. What we call weight loss is really a combination of fat and muscle loss; to minimize muscle loss, continue with a challenging strength training program.

In other words, it’s a bit more complicated than your friend implied. But there is truth to his statement. If you want to incorporate the findings of this study, consume whey protein before working out. Keep in mind, post-workout whey protein and carbohydrates are also recommended for maximized results.


P.S. For everything you need to know about losing weight, download The Davey Wavey Weight Loss Program and get started today!

Which Foods Burn the Most Calories?

Foods rich in protein - like the fish pictured here - tend to burn more calories than carbohydrates.

Foods rich in protein - like the fish pictured here - tend to burn more calories than foods rich in carbohydrates or fats.

I get a lot of questions asking which foods burn the most calories. What these questions are really asking about is the thermic effect of food and how it can be manipulated to help achieve fat loss goals.

The thermic effect of food refers to the amount of energy (i.e. calories) that the body expends to process, use and store the foods we eat. In general, it’s estimated that most people will burn about 10% of their daily caloric intake through this process. In other words, a person eating 2,000 calories per day will probably burn off about 200 of them through the thermic effect of food.

But, as it turns out, this number can be manipulated simply by shifting the composition of the foods we eat.

For fats and carbohydrates, somewhere between 5% and 15% of the calories are burned off due to the thermic effect of food. For proteins, that number is somewhere between 20% and 35%. Using this math, you might expect to burn 25 - 75 calories from a hypothetical 500 calorie meal of pure fat or carbs. But for a pure protein meal of 500 calories, the number could be as high as 175.

Simply by shifting to foods richer in protein, dieters can expect to benefit from an increased calorie burn due to the thermic effect of food. Of course, the benefit is still relatively small - but every calorie counts!

In general, I’d encourage dieters to spend more time and energy on creating a calorie deficit (more calories out than in) through a smarter diet (more plants, less fatty meats, appropriate portions, whole grains, etc.) and increased physical activity… and not getting too caught up in consuming foods that burn more calories.

7 Powerful Fat-Loss Tips Based on Science!

Looking at this picture long enough may also increase your heart rate and burn a few extra calories. 🙂

I spent my morning digging through a shit-ton (it’s my blog - I can swear if I want to) of research on fat loss. There have been a whole bunch of recent studies, and they’ve provided new insights into the science of shedding fat.

Here are 7 of the key takeaways:

  1. Meal frequency is not related to weight loss. You’ve probably heard the theory that it’s best to eat many small meals throughout the day. In fact, it was something that I was taught during my personal training certification. It seemed to make sense. The theory was that increased meal frequency prevents the body from going into starvation mode (i.e., slowing down metabolism), increases the caloric cost of digestion, suppresses hunger, etc. But when researchers at the University of Ottawa put the meal frequency theory to the test, they found that it actually doesn’t make a difference. People that ate 3 times a day vs. 5 times a day lost the same amount of weight.
  2. Green tea is a weight loss miracle. Research from Maastricht University in Holland is making me a green tea believer. Green tea promotes weight loss, weight maintenance, improved blood sugar regulation and even decreases abdominal fat! Of course, green tea doesn’t do it alone - you need to combine it with a comprehensive exercise and nutrition program.
  3. Olive oil reduces risk of obesity. There’s been a lot of recent research on the power of the Mediterranean diet, which contains lots of vegetables and unsaturated fatty acids. Olive oil, as it turns out, is a key part of that. Spanish researchers found that participants who consumed the least amount of olive oil were 2.3 times more likely to be obese. Olive oil has also been linked to reduced risk of heart disease, type II diabetes and stroke.
  4. Go nutty for nuts. Nuts are high in calories and fat - so it might seem strange that they’re a great weight loss food. But they are. Researchers from Purdue University found that nuts are high in nutrients and antioxidants, that they help prevent degenerative diseases and that they are linked to reduced body fat. Nuts prevent hunger (consume a handful before going out to eat!), and they take a long time - and lots of energy - to digest. This research is providing new support for the caveman diet - which holds that we should eat nuts, berries, vegetables, lean meats, etc. - just like our ancestors.
  5. Drink whey protein 20 minutes before a meal. Looking to reduce your calorie intake? Try drinking some whey protein 20 minutes before eating a meal. The Minnesota Applied Research Center in Minneapolis found that the protein consumption caused a much greater loss in body fat than the placebo. The whey protein maintains blood sugar levels, which decreases appetite. And, the protein provides the building blocks your body needs to recover from your exercise program.
  6. Eat foods that are low on the gylcemic index. The glycemic index measures how fast certain foods increase blood sugars. Foods like white bread are very high on the index, and foods like whole grains are ranked much lower. Those foods that are high on the index seem to trigger fat storage - though researchers aren’t quite sure why. Here’s a list of how some of the most common foods rank.
  7. Poor sleep = increased abdominal fat. Researchers from Wake Forest embarked on a multi-year study and found that too little - or too much - sleep led to increased risk of obesity and abdominal fat. 6 - 7 hours a night was found to be ideal.

So there you have it: 7 scientifically proven fat loss tips to put into practice! What do you think? Are you surprised by any of the findings? Will you be making any changes based on the research?