I need to drop some pounds, but I really hate exercise. Will a program like your Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle be suitable for me? I’ve been reading a lot of your articles and I admire your honesty, so please tell me the truth.
Truth? In a word, the short answer would be “no”, the Burn The Fat program would not be suitable if you “really hate exercise.” I don’t sugar coat or modify my recommendations to what people want to hear. My mission is to teach people what they need to hear… and what people need to hear is that exercise is the answer, not “diets.”
However, let me qualify that answer and explain why Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle would be a good choice for you anyway, and why exercise is superior to diet for permanent fat loss.
The entire premise behind Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle is that conventional diets don’t work because your body is an adaptive mechanism that simply decreases metabolism and energy expenditure as a response to eating less, and that it’s more physiologically and hormonally correct to eat more and BURN THE FAT than it is to eat less and starve the fat.
There’s only ONE WAY to lose fat – and that is to create a calorie deficit. However, there are two ways to create a calorie deficit – one is to decrease your food intake so you are eating less than you burn, the other is to increase your exercise and activity so you are burning more than you eat.
Of the two ways to create a calorie deficit, burning the fat is far superior to starving it. You see, cutting calories too much causes weight loss at first, but it also causes muscle loss and it eventually leads to a decrease in metabolism, so the fat loss stops.
This is very common on conventional diets, right? You take off pounds in the beginning, but then you hit a plateau that you just can’t break through. Even diets that have been proven effective over 6 months or 12 months, have dismal track records after one year.
Eating more of the right foods (up to a certain point) actually increases your metabolic “heat” like putting wood on a fire. Food is energy; food is fuel, and it produces (metabolic) heat.
Exercise burns calories and creates a calorie deficit, but the real advantage of exercise over diet is that exercise increases your metabolism, dieting slows it down.
So if you eat more (healthy foods) and exercise more, you get a double increase in metabolism. If you eat less and exercise less you get a double decrease in metabolism. Does this make sense?
I have been preaching this concept for years, “Burn The Fat, Don’t Starve the Fat.” Or, stated differently, “eat more, exercise more.”
Some people criticized me and said it was overtraining. Other people said it’s better to just use diet and not bother with the exercise. And of course, the marketing mavens just kept cranking out the same old B.S. – get muscles in minutes, get leaner with less, yadda, yadda, yadda.
Well now it’s 2006 and we have some research and some PhD exercise scientists starting to talk about this concept called, “energy flux.” Energy flux is simply consuming more energy and burning more energy in order to stoke metabolism, increase rate of tissue turnover and improve body composition.
Different name, same concept: eat more, exercise more.
I told you so.
So, if you hate exercise, you have a conundrum.
You can certainly lose body fat with diet alone, as long as you have a calorie deficit, but you’re stacking the odds against you because ultimately, restrictive low calorie diets always cause metabolic slowdown. No matter how hard you try, you’ll almost always hit a plateau before you reach your long term goal and you’re likely to gain it all back!
My solution to your conundrum:
I’d suggest you re-examine your definition of “exercise.” Fitness means different things to different people. Sitting on a bicycle in a health club might not be your cup of tea, but if you think hard enough, I’m sure that you can come up with some type of physical activity that burns calories which you can enjoy.
The IDEAL exercise program for fat loss has a combination of cardiovascular (aerobic) training and strength training. But ultimately, you’re not likely to stick with exercise long term unless you choose activities you enjoy – so pick something you enjoy, even if it doesn’t follow the guidelines of “traditional” fat loss programs. It’s better to do something than nothing, and all exercise counts.
All physical activity has health benefits too, and while it takes some effort to reach the level of exercise necessary to transform your body shape, it doesn’t take much exercise at all to get health benefits, and that is a proven fact. Like I said, any exercise is better than no exercise.
Some people may have orthopedic problems which limit the type of exercise they can do. But nearly everyone can walk. So if you can walk, then walk.
Almost everyone can do some type of strength training. Instead of focusing on what you can’t do or what you don’t like to do, direct your attention to what you CAN do and what you would like to do.
Maybe you don’t like being couped up inside all the time. Maybe you’d prefer hiking or jogging outside. Or maybe boxing or martial arts sounds fun to you. Maybe you like basketball or tennis. Maybe you’d enjoy classes, or yoga or pilates. Your options are nearly unlimited, but you have to do something or your body will continue to deteriorate.
The human body does not stay the same or “maintain” when you don’t move it and utilize energy. The body falls apart from disuse. Anti aging researchers today are even admitting that genetics is only responsible for 30% of the effects of aging and that aging would be better described as the “disuse syndrome.” Yup… Use it or lose it.
The biggest factor that causes people to go downhill as they get older is the loss of muscle that occurs over time from inactivity, a process called “sarcopenia.” However, that muscle loss is 100% preventable with strength training.
Human beings were meant to move.
Bodies don’t lose their function by being used too much and “wearing out”, they lose their function by not being used enough and “rusting out.”
So if the POSITIVE benefits of exercise don’t motivate you enough, then just picture yourself 10, 20 years from now and imagine what will NEGATIVE things will happen to you if you DON’T start exercising now. That’s called “dual-direction motivational propulsion”!
One last tip: Be careful what you say to yourself over and over because that tends to program your subconscious mind and create your self image. If you’ve been repeating to yourself for years, “I hate exercise” or “I’m not an exercise person”, that eventually becomes a part of your identity. You always tend to behave in alignment with your identity and your self image in order to stay “true to yourself.”
If you’ve never exercised consistently before, then HOW DO YOU KNOW you’re not an exercise person? Did you “try” once briefly and quit? Maybe you’ll like it. It’s often hard in the beginning and sometimes doesn’t feel so good – especially if you haven’t worked out in years or you’ve let yourself slip physically. But it gets easier and starts feeling better the more you do it.
Maybe when you look in the mirror after just a few weeks of it and see your body start to change, you’ll begin to like it a LOT. It can get addictive, you know. The endorphins that are released when you exercise are like opiates. Ever hear of “runners HIGH?” Exercise can be fun and FEEL GOOD.
Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle lays it all out for you and will help you get started. The exercise recommendations are explained in detail in chapters 16 and 17, including sample workouts. But even if you don’t use my exercise programs and you use your own, you’ll find value in the e-book because of the nutrition information.
Burn The Fat is the most detailed, “one-stop” guide to fat burning nutrition you’ll ever find. That’s why so many people call it “the fat loss bible.”