The #1 reason you can’t lose weight

Currently our society lives in an epidemic of diets and instant gratification. We want our results and we want them yesterday. Everyone wants the answer and so here it is…

In a world where everyone wants to be as lean as this…

fit girl with abs

The secret to losing weight is….There is no secret.

No diet, no shake, no pill, no cardio. None of these pan out in the real world.

Fat loss = hard work, consistency, and commitment (over the long term).

There is 1 reason however why you are not losing weight. Read this post below in its entirety as it is important for everyone to know this.

The number 1 reason you can’t lose weight:

  • Your metabolism is low and sluggish.
  • And it is my goal throughout this article to embed in your head that you will not be able to lose any weight until you fix your metabolism.
  • I repeat, YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO LOSE ANY WEIGHT UNTIL YOU FIX YOUR METABOLISM! So if you are struggling with losing weight. You need to read, re-read, and memorize this entire post. I’m serious and absolutely right on this matter so please listen and take action!

What is metabolism?
Your metabolism is how many calories you burn in a typical day. Every activity in your body requires some form of energy. From eating food, to lying on the couch, to sleeping. Now you could go and work out all day, or you can realize that your resting metabolism makes up 60-70% of your metabolism. Your resting metabolism is the amount of calories required to maintain your body and the basic functions you need to be alive like breathing while at complete rest. If you have a low metabolism, you are not burning many calories when you are at rest. If you have a high metabolism you burn a lot of calories when you are at rest (and most of our day is spent at relative rest).

Here’s a picture to illustrate this:

daily caloric expenditure

So if your metabolism is sluggish and low, then all the low carb diet or running on a treadmill will not help you because 60% of your entire daily caloric burn comes from your resting metabolism.

The solution is we need to raise your metabolism!

Here’s how:
Metabolism is affected and controlled by your thyroid, and is largely a factor of your muscle mass. Every pound of muscle you put on your body requires additional calories per day to be burned just to maintain that muscle. So the more muscle you have on your body, the higher your resting metabolic rate, and the leaner you can get.

Before we go any further, please do not worry about getting big or your legs getting bigger. Unless you are under 10%(guys) or 15%(girls) bodyfat, you still have a fair amount of fat loss to go, which is what makes you look big.

So priority #1 – put on lean muscle. If you are a part of The Bootcamp Effect, you will have plenty of full body resistance exercises to take care of you and the trainers to ensure you lift heavy enough in a safe and progressive manner.

What else do you need to do/know?

The thermic effect of food:
This accounts for approximately 10-20% of your metabolism or 10-20% of daily caloric burn.The thermic effect of food is the metabolic demand that happens when we process food for storage and use. Simply put, it is how many calories your body burns when eating food. And it just so happens that protein has a thermic effect of 30% of consumed calories, which means if you eat 100g of protein in a day, (which equals 400 calories) you will get an additional metabolism burn of 120 calories per day. So protein, helps in building muscle and it makes our body work harder to process. So get to know your protein.

Here is a list of quality protein for your reference:

  • eggs (cage free is best)
  • cartons of egg whites
  • lean ground turkey
  • chicken
  • lean pork
  • lean ground beef
  • lean ground bison
  • steak (grass fed is best)
  • other wild game like vennison
  • wild caught salmon
  • fish like tilapia and cod
  • plant protein – vega is my favorite
  • shrimp, prawns, and scallops
  • tuna
  • crab
  • hemp seed
  • greek yogurt*
  • whey protein*
  • cottage cheese*
  • mozzarella string cheese*
  • ricotta cheese*
  • milk*

*Pay attention to how you feel when you eat dairy. It can be an excellent protein source, but many people have an intolerance to it. (For instance, I have stomach pains after eating greek yogurt and whey protein). If you feel bloated, lethargic, heavy, gassy, or have a stuffy or runny nose after you eat it you should consider eliminating dairy from your diet.

Every meal, snack, breakfast, lunch, and dinner should have protein in it. 

Individual protein sources for women should be 4oz and for men should be 6-8oz.

This is how your daily food intake should look:
Breakfast – protein and carb
Snack – protein and fat
Lunch – protein and carb
Snack – protein and fat
Dinner – protein and carb
Snack (if necessary) – protein and fat

Carbs, well those are vegetables, lots of them!!!! You can have the odd whole grain toast or steel cut oats with protein powder in the morning if that’s your thing. The odd piece of fruit and a yam after a workout, and only after a workout! Rice and quinoa are your best sources for complex carbs. Check out the post on chicken, rice, and broccoli for how lunch and dinner should look.
Fats – omega 3 pills (you want around 5g per day!), nuts, eggs, extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, grass fed butter (NOT MARGARINE). Be careful how many fats you add in your diet, in some cases your portions just might be too big, as fats are very high in calories! And if you feel full from lunch or dinner, don’t force feed yourself a snack or just have a protein shake.

What else factors in?

The remaining 20-30% of your metabolism comes from exercise, activity level, and bootcamp.

So you can see if we looked at how many calories we could burn in a single workout by itself, people would be all about cardio because it burns more calories…(That’s how the fitness industry used to think!)
This would be shortsighted because slow steady state cardio will actually eat away at muscle and lower your metabolism so you can see how this will backfire. You want to power that cycle of all 3 of these factors that complement each other:

We get more muscle for resistance training, we eat more protein to build muscle and burn more calories at rest, we do total body resistance training to build muscle and we stay in a state conducive for muscle growth by just doing short burst cardio intervals.

So, your daily energy expenditure consists of:

  • 60-70% resting metabolic rate (doing nothing)
  • 20-30% activity through exercise…Bootcamp! More specifically The Bootcamp Effect?!
  • 10% dietary induced through the thermic effect of food aka our body burns more calories to process protein

What will stop this fat burning machine in its tracks? And is the number 1 mistake you may be making?

When we consume too few calories to support the above, our body basically slows down everything as it doesn’t have enough energy to function efficiently.
Extreme low calorie dieting may work for short term (as it burns muscle in the short term, not fat…) But will kill your efforts long term.

I want to repeat that again…Low calorie diets will make you lose more muscle than fat because it is easier for the body. The bottom line is this line of thinking will plummet your metabolism. If you burn 1500 calories at rest and then do a low cal diet and lose 2lbs (of muscle), you may now burn 1400 calories at rest. So you can see how this will hurt you if you repeatedly have done this.

Why did I write this article?

I have found at The Bootcamp Effect (now BEFIT) that the majority of members, especially female, have a history of dieting, and have lost muscle, as described above, over and over again by doing low calorie diets. Eventually the body gets to a point where your muscle and metabolism is so low that the low calorie diets that have worked in the past no longer works and that’s maybe why you hire a professional… And I am sorry for not hammering home this point sooner!

If you are not eating very much and are not losing weight at a pace of 1-2lbs per week and you have some weight to lose, you need to eat more.
If you are not eating very much and are not losing weight at a pace of 1-2lbs per week and you have some weight to lose, you need to eat more.

Dieting is just depriving the body of energy. This will work to an extent in the short term, but ramping up your body’s demands for energy – via good food like protein and resistance training is the key!

This will not only increase calories burned, but force your body to have a concern for muscle – meaning that during a caloric deficit – it won’t burn up muscle, it will burn fat stores.

If you are struggling with losing weight and you don’t consume sugar, chips, alcohol, and limit your dairy and grains and are not losing weight, you need to eat more! And the majority of that should be from the list of proteins above.

Your to do list:

  1. Forget the short term. You will get deterred if you have a short term mindset because your body has to figure out what to do with the extra calories you are putting into your system. If you don’t follow these guidelines above, I can guarantee you will never lose weight with a slow metabolism by any conventional means. I have seen this work out for every individual who has listened and followed through.
  2. Adopt the idea that you are going to gain as much muscle as you can as this will burn more calories at rest through your resting metabolic rate. Building muscle is very hard and it is impossible for a woman to become more muscular than a slightly muscular man without the use of steroids and an insane addiction to eating food and hormone manipulation.
  3. Eat good wholesome food consisting of protein, nuts, vegetables, fruit, with a little dairy, and whole grains if you need it.
  4. Burn more calories through the thermic effect of food by eating frequently and eating protein at every meal with a minimum amount of 100g for women and 150g for men per day. (The thermic effect of protein is 2x higher than carbs or fat).
  5. Burn calories through metabolic resistance and high intensity interval training which will burn a lot of calories while building/maintaining muscle.

If you can, please leave a comment below about what you will improve so that I know you have read this I would appreciate it. (And it makes it easier for me to follow up with you 🙂 )

Committed to your results,
Josh Saunders, BSc, CSCS, Pn-1
The Bootcamp Effect

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