“Steve, why is it so dang powerful to shed some pounds?”

That is the query that has consumed my mind for the previous decade of operating Nerd Health.

Simply eat much less and transfer extra” is sweet in idea…

But it surely comes throughout as an insult to individuals who KNOW this, who strive their finest, and but the dimensions simply doesn’t budge.

As a enterprise proprietor within the well being and health trade – who additionally occurs to hate the well being and health trade – I get to see either side:

  • A society full of individuals desperately making an attempt to do the best factor and really feel higher about themselves.
  • An trade designed to prey on insecurities, make you’re feeling horrible, and take your cash. Outcomes? Most likely not.
  • Firms that attempt to razzle dazzle you with “thrilling, new, and progressive” when “boring, time-tested, old-fashioned” is what truly works!

At the moment, we’re gonna deep dive – Scuba Steve type – into vitamin and why it’s so powerful to shed some pounds, and what you can begin to do about it.


I took this image strolling round Manhattan final week:

There’s some SERIOUS, psychological warfare occurring right here, and it hurts my soul.

For starters, they promote as “THE” flat stomach tea.

This implies there are a lot of different firms promoting comparable merchandise, which might ALSO lead me to imagine this can be a profitable product to promote!

They checklist each health buzzword and time period each marketer makes use of in relation to promoting well being and health: gluten free, “removes waste,” natural, “burn fats,”

Together with some actual head scratchers.

“Strengthen your colon?”

How the hell do you strengthen your colon?!

This jogs my memory of the sensible Saturday Evening Reside skit about “Colon Blow” cereal:

However I digest digress…

Persons are shopping for these things, even when they comprehend it most likely received’t work.

Like shopping for a lottery ticket even once we know the percentages of successful are zero% –  what we’re actually shopping for is “hope”:

  • Hope that this can truly work – in contrast to the final 10 makes an attempt.
  • Hope we will overcome 20 years of dangerous selections with a beverage.
  • Hope that this product will give us the arrogance and self love we deserve.

Don’t get me flawed.

“Hope is an effective factor, and no good factor ever dies.”

I simply HATE when hope will get weaponized to promote you costly snake oil and pretty-packaged fluff.

That is what we’re rebelling towards right here within the NF Rebellion: entrepreneurs and firms who’re crappy sufficient to prey on our hopes and fears and promote snake-oil in a bottle.

We’re additionally rebelling towards that voice in our head that talks all the way down to us, calls us failures for not getting in form but, and berates us each time we break down and eat a cookie.

I say no extra.

Let’s battle hearth with hearth science.


There are just a few usually accepted truths in relation to weight reduction.

All of those are controversial, differ wildly relying in your weight and physique fats proportion, and can differ from individual to individual.

Setting all of that apart, I’m going to try to hold issues easy simply to show my level.

Let’s go along with an (understandably) oversimplified have a look at weight reduction: a pound of fat equals around 3,500 calories.

This may imply you’ll must both eat three,500 much less energy, or burn an additional three,500 energy to lose 1 pound.

So…how lengthy does it take to burn three,500 extra energy per week?

Let me reply a query with one other query:

…What number of hours do you’ve gotten?

Research present you’ll burn an additional 100 calories when walking or running a mile.

So, you’ll must be operating/strolling an extra 5 miles per day, 7 days per week, to lose one pound per week.

I don’t learn about you, however I don’t have time to run an additional 5 miles a day. Nor do I wish to.

Not solely that, however as you’ll see beneath – this concept of simply burning an additional 500 energy per day to lose a pound per week solely works early on.

You’ll rapidly run into velocity bumps and roadblocks – figurative ones, attempt to keep away from the true ones in your run –  that decelerate your progress considerably. Merely put, exercising your manner skinny has confirmed time and time once more to not work:

  • Many individuals develop elevated appetites on account of train, which ends up in no weight reduction. Time Magazine got in trouble for pointing this out  – although they had been proper!
  • This 2011 study got here to the conclusion,In chubby and overweight populations… our outcomes present that remoted cardio train just isn’t an efficient weight reduction remedy.”
  • Another study in contrast individuals who dieted vs individuals who solely exercised: “Physique weight decreased by 10% within the food plan group and by 9% within the food plan–train group, however didn’t lower within the train group or the management group.”

What I’m making an attempt to say, and a lesson we try to deeply understand at Nerd Fitness: “you’ll be able to’t outrun your fork”

…and the dangerous information isn’t finished.


Whenever you begin to shed some pounds, your resting metabolism slows down.

You would possibly assume that is some type of evil sorcery worthy of “He Who Should Not Be Named,” however sadly – it’s simply 2nd grade math.

Whenever you begin to shed some pounds, there may be much less of you to ‘handle.’

In different phrases: your metabolism doesn’t should work as exhausting to gasoline all your bodily capabilities, has much less weight to hold, and thus it’s going to burn considerably fewer energy in comparison with if you had been a lot greater.

Right here is the day by day resting calorie burn (“sit in your ass all day”) of a 35-year previous male nerd at three very totally different weights:

  • 300 lbs: 2,600 energy.
  • 250 lbs: 2,300 energy.
  • 200 lbs: 2,000 energy.  

WHAT THIS MEANS: Until you modify your calorie consumption as your weight decreases… your earlier calorie consumption quantity turns into much less and fewer efficient at weight reduction, till you hit an equilibrium.

Put a special manner: this individual might eat 2,300 energy per day and over time, lose 50 kilos (from 300 kilos to 250 kilos), however that’s the place he’ll hit equilibrium: energy burned equals energy consumed.

To ensure that him to lose the following 50 kilos, he’ll must lower his caloric consumption much more, after which STAY at that calorie consumption to maintain the burden off.

In financial phrases, that is known as “diminishing marginal returns.”

After which it will get even worse!

There are buckets of anecdotal proof of a bodily function known as “adaptive thermogenesis.”

Which has nothing to do with the band Genesis – although be happy to hearken to “Invisible Contact” proper now:

It’d soften the blow when you study “adaptive thermogenesis.”

This time period refers back to the course of during which our our bodies will modify primarily based on what number of energy we burn – and do no matter it might probably to preserve the body fat we have.

Our our bodies WANT to keep up the additional physique fats we’ve (“I don’t know after I’ll want this, higher save”), and are actively working in unison to protect it – so even after just a few kilos are misplaced from operating, it’s going to be a persistent problem to maintain the burden off.

As identified on this article above:

“In long-term research of weight-reduced youngsters and adults, 80%-90% return to their previous weight percentiles, whereas research of these profitable at sustained weight reduction point out that the upkeep of a diminished diploma of physique fatness will most likely require a lifetime of meticulous attention to energy intake and expenditure.”

Because of this so many individuals can LOSE weight, however can’t appear to maintain the burden off.

To Recap:

  • You possibly can’t train your technique to weight reduction.
  • Your metabolism slows down if you shed some pounds.
  • Your physique will attempt to hold its fats shops.
  • Even if you lose the burden, your physique desires to maintain the fats it has.
  • When you shed some pounds, it’s important to hold engaged on it otherwise you’ll put the burden again on.

That is all horrible, horrible, no good, very dangerous information.

I do know, I do know.

Nonetheless, there may be HOPE!

And right here at Nerd Health – and within the Star Wars universe – rebellions are constructed on hope.

We’ve got 1000’s of success tales from individuals who thought they couldn’t shed some pounds…until they did.

Individuals HAVE misplaced weight, and stored it off. People who find themselves older, greater, have extra youngsters, much less cash, extra sicknesses, and larger hardships than you.

It’s a continuing battle, however one which’s completely price combating.

And this implies that you’re not damaged. You don’t have metabolic injury. You aren’t doomed. Certain, you’re flawed. But so are your heroes .

You is perhaps enjoying life on “Legendary” issue, however folks like you’ve gotten succeeded.

It begins by utilizing the entire instruments at our disposal, as a result of the forces working towards us are doing the identical.

Let’s get nerdy.


YES, it might be superior when you might drink a tea, or wrap your self in plastic, and it might one way or the other magically make you shed some pounds or fats.

YUP, it might be superb if a 30 minute bootcamp class was sufficient to nonetheless let you eat junk meals all day each day and never acquire a pound.

YEAH, it might be superb when you might take a magic tablet that reversed the previous decade of harm you’ve finished to your physique.

It will even be cool if superheroes had been actual and I might fly.

Properly, not like that.

Come on, Aquaman. Individuals can see you.


We reside in a world of science, physics, and thermodynamics.

This implies we must always ALWAYS have a look at life by means of the next lenses:

  1. Occam’s Razor: The only rationalization is PROBABLY the proper one.
  2. Legislation of vitality: Vitality can’t be created or destroyed, solely reworked.
  3. Actuality: If it sounds TOO good to be true, it most likely is.

Let’s apply this to our waistlines:

If we’re chubby

It’s not as a result of we’ve “toxins” in our physique that must be flushed out.

It’s not as a result of we didn’t spend sufficient time within the “fat-burning” zone throughout our “muscle confusion” bootcamp.

It’s not as a result of we picked the flawed ‘fats burning’ product tea.

These are all pseudoscience buzz phrases to promote merchandise, and haven’t any fact to their claims.

Occam’s Razor dictates the easiest answer is PROBABLY the best one.

So what’s the straightforward rationalization to why we’re chubby?

On daily basis, we eat meals that will get reworked into vitality.

This meals should both:

  • Gasoline our bodily capabilities: gasoline our organs, regulate our physique temperature, and many others.
  • Move by means of as waste: pee and poop.
  • Get saved as fats: saved for a wet day.

If we’re chubby, we’re consuming an excessive amount of ‘vitality’ each day. Our physique doesn’t want all of it, so an excessive amount of is being saved as fats constantly.

Which brings us to the principle level of our dietary focus:

If weight reduction is our objective, we should eat FEWER energy than we burn on a constant foundation.

By doing so, our physique HAS no alternative however to dip into that “wet day” fund of fats shops to nonetheless get all of its bodily duties finished every day.

Do that constantly, and that’s how we find yourself with a decrease quantity on the dimensions and a smaller pants measurement.

“Steve I do know I ought to eat much less. It’s doing it constantly that’s the powerful half.

Have you ever tried CAKE?!”

Nice level.

And sure, cake is superior.

However we’ve to begin someplace.

And it begins right here: we have to eat fewer energy, but it surely ALSO must be sustainable and satisfying, in any other case we’ll by no means keep it up.

And non permanent adjustments produce non permanent outcomes. We wish everlasting weight reduction!

Simply saying “eat much less” doesn’t issue the loopy organic, physiological, and/or emotional challenges we face each day:

We would eat once we’re confused, depressed, or bored.

We will’t eat only one potato chip with out consuming a whole bag.

We absentmindedly seize a handful of Peanut M&M’s when visiting Kevin in Accounting.

Not solely that, however even once we take note of what we eat, research present that we frequently underestimate our calorie consumption by 30+%.

Crap. This simply retains getting worse!

What’s a sensible nerd such as you speculated to do on this state of affairs!?

If we KNOW we overeat with out realizing it, and we KNOW limiting energy is hard to stay with long run, then the one path ahead is to assault the issue in a different way.

Not with match tea.

Nor with physique wraps.

Not with “muscle confusion.”

However with science, math, and psychology.


If weight reduction is the objective, we have to shift our meals selections to meals that give us extra “bang for our buck” – wholesome, filling, nutritious meals that fill us up and makes us much less more likely to overeat calorie-bomb meals.

These meals permit us to really feel full, however nonetheless hold us below our calorie objective for the day:

  • Protein like meat, fish, eggs, and so forth.  
  • Fruit like apples, bananas, berries.
  • Greens like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale.
  • Quinoa, legumes, oats, rice, and potatoes (carefully).

These are meals that take up plenty of area in our abdomen and make us really feel full.

Examine this to meals that don’t fill us up, however are loaded with energy – thus making it very simple to overeat with out realizing it.

  • Excessive calorie, simple to overeat meals like bread, fries, pasta.
  • Soda and juices and sugary espresso drinks.
  • Sweet, cookies, crackers, and many others.

To essentially HAMMER this level residence…

As we level out in “Can You Burn Fat and Build Muscle at the Same Time?” Right here’s what 200 energy appear to be, thanks to WiseGEEK.

Which of them do you assume will make you’re feeling full, and which of them will make you eat greater than you notice?










Are you able to get your self to cease after 2/3rds of a bagel or a small handful of pasta?

After all not!

Yet another instance – right here’s 200 energy of broccoli:

“Steve, that’s an absurd quantity of Broccoli.”

Yup. It’s additionally the SAME variety of energy as 2/3rds of a bagel (which doesn’t even embody the energy from the cream cheese or butter).

Now, it’s insulting to say “You must eat extra broccoli and fewer bagels. There’s yer drawback.”

I’m merely pointing this out to emphasise the distinction between vitality (energy) and quantity.

(Hate broccoli and all vegetables? Read this.)

Relying on what you eat, you can really feel “OH SO FULL” after your meal or “Why am I already hungry once more? NOM NOM NOM.”

Which suggests…

If you can begin to make even SMALL adjustments, substituting nutrient-dense, calorically-light meals like protein, fruit, and veggies, for junk meals – even sometimes, it’s going to shift the vitality stability again in the best route.

You’ll grow to be extra seemingly than to not eat fewer energy than you burn, shifting you beneath your day by day equilibrium.

Do this constantly, and also you begin to pull from these fats shops.

And we find yourself the holy grail: sustainable, non-miserable weight reduction.

That is truly the key sauce for ALL standard diets as of late.

As we level out in our “Perfect Diet” article, all the favored diets get you to eat extra REAL meals and fewer junk meals. They only all have their very own distinctive advertising spin to promote cookbooks and podcast episodes

Let’s have a look at every of those diets in a nutshell:

  • Paleo: lower out grains and dairy. Eat solely meat, veggies, fruits, and nuts
  • Keto: lower out ALL carbs. Eat solely meat, veggies, nuts, and fatty sauces.
  • Intermittent Fasting: lower out a whole MEAL each day.
  • Mediterranean Diet: deal with REAL meals, with complete grains. Reduce out processed meals.
  • Carnivore Diet: Solely eat meat. Take away the whole lot else.

ANY of the diets above will end in weight reduction when you strictly observe the principles, however not for the explanation you’d assume.

It’s not as a result of we’re designed to eat like cave folks (although we’re), or that our our bodies operate in a different way on a Ketogenic Weight-reduction plan (it does), and even that fasting has loads of well being advantages (it does!).

These issues are like 2% of the explanation why they work for weight reduction. [2% is a statistic I made up to emphasize the smaller importance of any ancillary benefit compared to the bigger picture]

The opposite 98%: they make us extra seemingly than to not eat fewer energy on common than we often eat, which is able to result in weight reduction in the long run… when you can keep it up.

And every food plan has guidelines and tips that talk to the specifics of particular person folks. We’ve got our personal 10-level system at Nerd Health that we’re pleased with – it promotes small adjustments and will get leads to a singular manner.


In my view, it’s best to solely observe a strict food plan like these above IF you’ll be able to see your self sticking with it constantly for the following 10 years.

“Steve, that’s melodramatic. Come on.”

That’s what I used to be going for.

If a food plan sounds too restrictive to stay with completely, then it’s too restrictive so that you can commit weeks or months of your life to!

In any case, non permanent adjustments equal non permanent outcomes. You’re higher off selecting a food plan that you simply confidently really feel like you’ll be able to persist with completely.

Right here’s the tip objective we’re working in the direction of:

Sustainable weight reduction and weight upkeep.

A wholesome weight that you could keep with out feeling depressing. Wanting within the mirror and being pleased with what you see, and realizing that the burden stays off.

And most significantly, our “regular” conduct that enables us to get pleasure from life but additionally attain our objectives. Not non permanent adjustments. However everlasting small changes that modify over time as we begin to see outcomes and construct momentum.

Sound good?

Let’s get again to fundamentals and begin studying concerning the meals we’re placing into our our bodies. Cool? Cool.


Conservatively talking, power coaching is the best factor ever invented within the historical past of the galaxy.

Okay, so possibly it’s third after electrical energy and Nintendo.

However I say this to make a degree.

There’s an enormous distinction between “train” and power coaching in relation to physique composition.

We cowl this in a really in-depth method in our “Can I shed some pounds and construct muscle?” article  – which is one large Harry Potter allegory that you simply’ll love – however I’ll share the fundamentals proper right here.

In case your objective is constant, everlasting, wholesome weight reduction and weight administration, 80-90% of the battle can be vitamin,

In the case of train, you actually solely have TWO issues to deal with:

  • What train do you like? Good. Do this.
  • Energy practice as typically as you’ve gotten time for.

I’ll contact on the primary one rapidly.

Whenever you do train you like, you’re giving your coronary heart and physique a great exercise. You’re reminding your self “I’m dwelling wholesome” and THUS you ought to be extra seemingly than to not stick along with your wholesome consuming technique.

Discover I mentioned “train you like.” When you hate operating, by no means run a mile once more. Hate going to the gymnasium? By no means set foot in a single. Hate bootcamps? Me too. Don’t do them.

As a substitute, go mountain climbing, or mountain climbing, or do yoga, or swing dancing, or LARPing. Actually, something that will get you off your ass and shifting. Cool? Cool.


Your physique capabilities in a different way if you strength train, in the entire proper methods.

We’ve got an entire Energy Coaching 101 sequence that may you get you began, however I’ll whet your urge for food with the nerdiest metaphor ever beneath.

You could find study after study after study that reveals you the advantages of power coaching for weight administration when mixed with “calorie restriction.”

Let me clarify it right here rapidly, borrowing from Harry Potter:

(You already know, the wizard.)

On the Hogwarts Faculty of Witchcraft and Wizardry, when every pupil arrives they placed on the “Sorting Hat,” an precise hat that determines which Home (group) that youngster will be a part of for his time at Hogwarts.

The hat acts nearly like a site visitors director:

“Harry, you’ll go to Gryffindor! Draco, you’ll go to Slytherin!”

Your physique operates in a VERY comparable trend: each day, it receives new energy (if you eat), and it must determine what to do with them!

For instance:

You eat a big Hawaiian pizza and 20 ounces of Mountain Dew. Your physique has to do SOMETHING with all these energy.

To maintain issues easy, let’s have a look at the three commonest outcomes.

It’ll kind these energy into considered one of three Homes:

A: Burn for Gasoline.
B: Rebuild Muscle.
C: Retailer as Fats.

Your physique kinds most of these energy into “Burn for Gasoline.” There’s plenty of energy your physique burns every day simply current: to maintain your liver functioning, your coronary heart pumping, your mind working, and so forth – it burns a great chunk of energy simply conserving the lights on.

Listed here are two fast examples:

  • A 6’, 34-year previous male weighing 250 kilos burns 2,300 energy a day simply by current.
  • A 5’5”, 40-year previous feminine weighing 140 kilos burns 1,350 energy a day simply by current.

Now, when you don’t do any train, and also you eat MORE energy than the speed you burn every day, the “Sorting Hat” in your physique must put these energy someplace!

The place do you assume it’ll kind them?

“C: Retailer as Fats.”

Nonetheless, your physique’s sorting conduct adjustments if you power practice.
Particularly, if you practice in a manner that actually challenges your muscular tissues. That is fully relative to the place you might be at in your life proper now:

  • HEAVY weight coaching is perhaps a 500 lb deadlift or a 5 pound dumbbell curl.
  • INTENSE body weight coaching is perhaps a handstand push-up or a knee push-up.

Whenever you power practice – by selecting up one thing heavy – your muscular tissues are “damaged down” throughout the train itself, after which they rebuild themselves stronger over the following 24-48 hours.

Guess what occurs throughout these 24-48 hours?

Your physique will divert as many energy as potential to “Rebuild Muscle!”

It additionally diverts extra energy to “Burn as Gasoline” to deal with this elevated “muscle rebuilding” exercise.

Which suggests two superb issues:

  • Your metabolism is revved up for this time interval, burning extra energy than regular.
  • Rebuilding muscle is a calorie taxing exercise!

There are considerably fewer energy obtainable for “Retailer as Fats.”


Whenever you eat fewer energy than your physique burns every day, persevering with to power practice will trigger your physique to get much more intelligent:

Let’s think about a state of affairs the place you’re consuming fewer energy than you burn each day:

  • You power practice recurrently, and your muscular tissues break down and must be rebuilt.
  • You don’t eat sufficient energy in comparison with what number of energy your physique must each rebuild muscle and gasoline itself…
  • So does your physique simply shut down?


Your physique has been getting ready for this, by storing any extra energy through the years within the “Retailer as Fats” home.

That is the second your physique has been saving up for.

This implies your physique can pull from “Retailer as Fats” to verify all of the work nonetheless will get finished, together with your day by day capabilities as a human, and rebuilding the muscle.

That is the trifecta of bodily transformation victory:

  • You get stronger and hold the muscle you’ve gotten.
  • You burn by means of the fats you’re making an attempt to do away with.
  • You’re reducing your physique fats p.c and conserving your muscle = look good bare.

This may be a “win-win-win” in keeping with Michael Scott, Regional Supervisor, Dunder Mifflin Scranton.


When you’re nonetheless studying, then there may be hope for you but.

You are able to do this – however it’s important to be good and diligent about it! Cease making an attempt to train your manner skinny, and cease looking for ‘get match fast’ options.

As a substitute, take this at some point at a time. We’re right here for you!

We speak about correct vitamin in our large “Healthy Eaters” guide, and we go extra in-depth into the precise meals that we suggest, but it surely begins right here:

  • You must eat fewer energy than you eat now to shed some pounds, and achieve this completely.
  • The easiest way to do this is to substitute extra protein and veggies onto your plate.
  • Energy coaching will supercharge your outcomes, constructing muscle and burning additional fats.

Perceive you’re overeating, and forgive your self for doing so – most meals have been designed so that you can overeat!


#1) Pledge to cease shopping for snake oil. When you’re unsure, ask your self “Does this sound too good to be true?” and “What would Steve do?”

As well as: cease doing workout routines you hate simply to shed some pounds. Choose workout routines you get pleasure from, and put all your deal with slowly adjusting your vitamin as an alternative!

Shun the Darkish Aspect and are available again to the Gentle!

#2) Be deliberate in your choices. Each calorie counts. Each determination counts. So make ONE totally different determination on account of you being extra conscious of what you place in your physique.

Consuming water as an alternative of soda or juice.

Swapping out a salad for fries as soon as per week. All of it counts, however make your determination deliberate.

You’re a sensible individual. You already know what meals must be day by day staples, and what meals must be occasional treats. All of it counts. So make ONE determination in a different way to show to your self that you could change.

#three) Educate your self on the serving measurement of ONE meals that you simply eat recurrently. Google it. Discover out if what you THINK is a serving and what’s truly in a serving is wherever near correct.

You is perhaps shocked to search out out:

  • A serving of pasta is HALF the dimensions of what you usually eat along with your meal.
  • How a lot peanut butter is taken into account a serving (trace: it ain’t a lot).
  • There are 2.5 servings in that one bottle of Lean Inexperienced Machine Bare Juice.

I don’t need you to alter the meals or the parts but. I simply need you to coach your self on what you’re consuming, and examine it to how a lot you thought you had been consuming.

#four) Do a power coaching routine! We’ve got 15 free circuit training routines and our Beginner Bodyweight Routine is tremendous standard. We even have an entire Strength 101 article series that will get you from “beginner to barbell” rapidly.

Whereas we’re hurtling down this rabbit gap of vitamin, energy, meals, and happiness, I’d love you to depart a remark beneath:

“What’s the greatest query you’ve gotten round vitamin, power coaching, and weight reduction?”


PS: I do know this text covers a LOT, and my hope with it’s to encourage, educate, and get you fired up. Nonetheless, you would possibly nonetheless be tremendous overwhelmed and misplaced. I get it!

If that sounds such as you, and also you’re searching for skilled steering, customized power coaching routines simply in your scenario, and professional accountability, try our 1-on-1 Online Coaching Program!

Schedule your free name and inform us your story! We’d love to listen to from you, and we will determine collectively if we’re a great match for one another! Merely click on the picture beneath for extra particulars:


Photograph supply: A good Sunday to you, Can I have your bicycle, Speed!, Swimming pool, Pizza lab, Dinner is set, Happy monday!, Speed.