How an appealing equation, isn’t it? Well, the best part is that it is true! Want to know more? Well, read on and we will tell you all about it!
If your goal is to get rid of the unwanted fat that has accumulated in your body, what do you do? Do you eat less and try to live only on salad leaves in order to get a lean body? Or do you try to sweat off the extra pounds by spending at least an hour per day on a treadmill?
Don’t do it! I’m telling you, there’s a better way!
Let’s start with the basics. Oversimplifying the process of energy production, it goes something like this: when you eat, you get energy; when you exercise, you spend it. If the intake of energy exceeds the expenditure, it’s called a positive energy balance, which eventually leads into weight gain. On the other hand, if the consumption of energy exceeds the intake, it’s called a negative energy balance, which eventually leads into weight loss.
Sound simple so far? The trick here is that from this you could easily draw a false conclusion that by eating less you lose weight, which is not the whole truth. If your goal is to lose weight and reduce your body fat percentage, you should take into consideration these three points:
- Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR)
- Quality of energy intake
- Quality of exercise
Let’s look at each of these points individually and see how they relate to losing weight and how to accomplish the equation of the subject line: Eat More + Exercise Less = Lose Weight
Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR)
Did you know that physical activity makes only 15-30% of your total energy expenditure? What this means is that even if you exercised each day of the week, the effect that it has on your total calorie consumption is fairly low. Instead as much as 70% of all the energy that you spend are taken by the vital bodily functions such as blood circulation and brain and would be spent even if you were lying still doing nothing. This energy consumption is called the Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR).
What’s the most important thing to notice about RMR, however, is that it adjusts to the energy intake: if you eat less, it will slow down the RMR, which means that your body will require less energy to function. So, trying to lose weight by strictly controlling your portion sizes and counting calories is not the most efficient choice, because eating less results in your body spending overall less energy.
Instead, you need to nourish your body properly to keep the metabolism running on a steady rate.
Quality of Energy Intake
So, reducing the amount that you eat is no good. Instead, when your goal is to lose weight, is the quality of the food that counts. If you have a diet abundant with quick carbohydrates such as pasta or bread, you will quickly fill your body’s energy requirement without getting enough vitamins and minerals that are needed when in pursuit of your optimal weight. These “empty” calories from sugar, white flour or any processed food will only shoot up your blood sugar level for a short while before you feel hungry again. This will only lead you to eating more and more and definitely not seeing the results that you wish for.
Instead, if you include loads of protein and vegetables in your diet, you will get good nutrients to support your health along with boosting the fat loss process. A diet that consists of lean meat, fish, and chicken as well as a variety of vegetables will turn up your metabolism. You will also spend more calories as the energy needed to digest protein and veggies is higher than that of carbohydrates.
So, bearing in mind that reducing your energy intake will only reduce the RMR making weight loss even more difficult, when really paying attention to what you eat you can easily eat almost as much as you like and still lose weight! A diet of protein + veggies also keeps the hunger away much longer than a diet filled with processed or fast food, so you don’t need to starve yourself in order to shed some unwanted fat.
Quality of Exercise
The third point to notice in the quest for a lower body fat percentage is the quality of exercise that will take you towards your goal. Any form of exercise is good for your health, but when comparing the effect of a low intensity, long duration exercise vs. a high intensity, short duration one, the results and benefits seen in the latter are undeniable.
The biggest difference between the two is that whereas in a low intensity training calories are burned during the workout, in a high intensity one energy is burned both during AND after the exercise. This is because your body needs energy for recovery and repair from the hard work it has done.
The effect of high intensity interval training was also noted in a recent Canadian study, where the researchers found that short bursts of high-intensity interval training, not only improved the subjects’ overall fitness level in a much shorter period of time than while doing low intensity workouts, but the high-intensity workouts also had a positive effect on the subjects’ insulin sensitivity and blood sugar regulation leading into decreased risk of type 2 diabetes. Intense exercise also prevents muscle loss and preserves the RMR effectively.
Sounds good, doesn’t it? Basically, you can eat as much as you like and exercise only about 10-30 minutes per day and get the body of your dreams. Getting in a good shape is simple as long as you know what to do!
This is also what our Home Workout Challenge fitness programs are all about. Short, high-intensity interval workouts, instructions for lean eating and the results are guaranteed!