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Losing Weight Part 2

Updated: Jan 22, 2022

Last month's blog post on weight loss generated a lot of questions and some good discussions. I thought maybe this month we would flush out some of those questions and give you a better vision of why there are so many stories about weight loss that don't seem to follow my declaration in the last blog post. If you missed it, you can read that post here LINK but in it I stated that all weight loss occurs when you burn more calories than you consume. But the question is why do all these other diet tricks seem to work for some people and is there any truth to them. Let's talk about that.

So last month I shared how I lost 40 pounds in about 4 months, I used a few tools and some basic rules to keep myself on track. First I said, eat anything you want just log the calories I use the free version of an app called Lose it (click the link on your mobile phone to get this free app). This app not only helps you track how many calories you have eaten it helps you know how many calories you need to eat to lose weight. Second, I take a few supplements everyday and the most consistent and important one is Ashwagandha which helps me sleep, gives me energy and helps me deal with stress. There have been several studies like this one LINK that show Ashwagandha as a helpful tool in losing and maintaining weight. Then I talked about the far inferred sauna. The research on this is solid and it helps with a lot of other conditions an issues as well. Far inferred waves make us sweat without the workout and they can improve your mood and reduce your pain.

But a lot of people are still out there telling you to fast at varying intervals, or eat high protein, or to eat low fat. The more restrictive the diet the better the results and the harder it is to stay with them. But at the end of the day they are all helping you burn more calories than you consume. I know you want to think that hey are magic but they are just systems to help you eat less calories than you burn.

Okay, but there are some nuances that I can share that will put things in perspective. First, your body burns and average of 2000 calories just by being alive. That is a pretty general statement and it can be misleading. Let's look at the average and see what it really means. If you are a woman in your twenties you will likely burn 2000 calories a day but that can drop to 1800 calories a day after age 30. This can be do to several things but two things to keep in mind are Metabolism and BMI. Let's look at BMI to start with.

BMI stands for Body Mass Index and is a measure of body fat based on height and weight that applies to adults. The higher your BMI the more of your body is fat tissue, and fat tissue is stored calories, it will not burn calories - let's say that again. Fat tissue does not burn calories, it is stored calories (it does burn a little but not much). So the higher your BMI the less of your body's mass is actively burning calories from movement. BMI is not your weight it is how much of your weight comes from fat cells verses Muscle cells (and all the other cells in the body). The more of your weight that comes from fat tissue the slower weight loss will come, because less of your body is actively burning calories.

So muscle tissue weighs almost twice what fat tissue does, meaning one pound of fat takes up about the same amount of room in your pants as 2 pounds of muscle. Also they burn calories at a different rate. Your body burns 6 calories per hour per pound of muscle and 2 calories per hour per pound of fat. On average, one pound of muscle will burn (within 24 hours) an extra 96 extra calories in comparison to fat tissue. This is a lot to understand and it kind of highlights why people who are lean can eat more without gaining weight as compared to folks that are carrying extra fat for the simple fact that more of their body is burning calories at a higher rate.

Let's talk example ... lets say we have two people both are 5' 6" and both are 150 pounds, one is super lean with a BMI of 18% and the other is chubby with a BMI of 30%. This means that the chubby person has nearly double the amount of fat tissue as the lean person. So the lean person can consume double the calories and still maintain their weight as compared to the chubby person. So - the more muscle you have the faster you burn calories. Once you reach you get leaner it is easier to maintain your leanness because you are burning more calories faster than when you were at a higher BMI.

Now let's quickly talk about Metabolism and it's effect on weight for you. Metabolism is the process by which a body converts what is eaten and drank into energy. Even when you're at rest, your body needs energy for functions, such as breathing, pumping blood, adjusting your hormone levels, and growing or repairing cells. The amount of calories your body uses for these basic functions is known as your basal metabolic rate or metabolism.

Several factors determine your individual basal metabolism, including, body size and composition (the BMI we talked about). People who are taller or have more muscle, burn more calories, even at rest. Your gender; men usually have less body fat (breast tissue and the additional fat tissue to protect the womb are unique to women) and more muscle than women of the same age and weight, which means that men burn more calories in general. Your age; as you get older, the amount of muscle you have tends to decrease and fat accounts for more of your weight, which slows down the burning of calories.

In addition to your basal metabolic rate, two other factors determine how many calories your body burns each day: Food processing which is called thermogenesis also burns calories, this includes digesting, absorbing, transporting and storing the food you consume. In fact about 10 percent of the calories from the carbohydrates and protein you eat are used during the digestion and absorption of the food and nutrients.

As a caveat to this section there are a few foods that burn more calories during thermogenesis than they contain, I've listed a few below but these foods are promoted as negative-calorie and are typically fruits and vegetables with a very high water content.


Celery - 14 calories per cup, 95% water

Carrots - 52 calories per cup, 88% water

Lettuce - 5 calories per cup, 95% water

Broccoli - 31 calories per cup, 89% water

Grapefruit - 69 calories per cup, 92% water

Tomatoes - 32 calories per cup, 94% water

Cucumbers - 8 calories per cup, 95% water

Watermelon - 46 calories per cup, 91% water

Apples - 53 calories per cup, 86% water

Lemons - 59 calories per cup, 86% water

Cabbage - 17 calories per cup, 92% water

Konjac Noodles - 20 calories per cup, 97% water

So you see, at the end of the day it is still 'burn more calories than you eat' to lose weight, but from this you can see that your BMI, your gender, your age and the foods you eat all have a little to do with how fast and easy it will be for you to lose the weight. I still think that if you log your calories on the app called Lose it, take Ashwagandha and consider using a far inferred sauna you will be able to lose weight. Below is an excerpt from last month's blog on general rules while you are in the losing phase.

"Here are a few rules I follow to help keep me on the wagon as it were; While I'm trying to lose I stay away from white rice and white potatoes. These two starches are quickly converted to sugar in the body and can make you crave more. Instead go for brown or wild rice, riced cauliflower or sweet potatoes. Also, stay away from soda or pop depending on what state you grew up in, bread and candy, again all the sugar goes quickly into the blood stream and can make you really crave more food.

In general if I have vegetables for a meal I don’t log them unless they have bacon or cream sauce and the like. That way I treat vegetables as free food, so on a salad I just count the dressing and in stir-fries I just count the sauce etc. But with veggies like corn and avocado you need to count them because they have a higher calorie count. These tips will help simplify things and improve your results.

Always have one cheat day a week, still count but go above your target calories and don't worry about it.

Here are my rules as a list for while you are in the losing phase;

Avoid these Except on Cheat Day Replace with these

White Rice Wild rice, brown rice or cauliflower rice

Bread Baked Mushroom caps

White Potatoes Sweet Potatoes or Pumpkin

Pastries or chips 15 Corn chips or 1 Cookie

Candy Berries

Soda pop Water and unsweet tea

Noodles konjac noodles

Don't worry about logging these: salad and vegetables (except Corn, avocado and peas)."

Finally - don't forget if you move more you will burn more calories so walk, shovel snow, do yoga, jog or anything more than you are today and use the LoseIt app to log that exercise. See you soon!

Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases. However, this does not impact our reviews and comparisons. We try our best to keep things fair and balanced, in order to help you make the best choice for you.

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