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Metabolic Effect Podcast: Episode 3. The Difference Between Movement & Exercise

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All right guys, welcome to the podcast. This is Dr. Jade Teta here and this is the Metabolic Effect Podcast and today I’m going to be talking to you about a little bit of a controversial subject and that subject is the idea of exercise versus movement and what is the difference. You know we talk a lot at Metabolic Effect about the way the metabolism works, and how eat less exercise more works against the natural compensatory reactions of the metabolism, in other words when you eat less and/or exercise more, the body does not act like a calculator or a chemistry set as the calorie fanatics and the carb control insulin fanatics would have you believe, it works more like a see-saw or a thermostat.

So when you eat less and exercise more, whether you’re eating less carbs or doing more cardio or eating less calories, your body compensates like a see saw, it tips back in the other direction. It reacts and adapts, and because it does that it will induce compensations. What we here at metabolic effects call the law of metabolic compensation. Research calls this adaptive thermo genesis, which is one small piece of what I call the law of metabolic compensation. But this law of metabolic compensation basically says when you try to eat less and/or exercise more, when you try to treat your metabolism like a calculator or a chemistry set, what you are doing is you’re going to be inducing changes that increase hunger, increase cravings, make energy unpredictable and unstable, perhaps change your mood, all of those things, plus in certain susceptible individuals, result a pretty profound and drastic reduction in basil metabolic rate or the amount of calories that you burn at rest.

Average seems to be around 300 calories per day. Some people can have a reaction as big as 500 to 800 calories per day, and some don’t get much of a reaction at all from this metabolic compensation. But when we talk about exercise in general in this eat less-exercise more equation, often time people will hear me say eat less-exercise more doesn’t work; it doesn’t really work like that. But then they’ll hear me start talking about things like you’ve got to get up and move more, you’ve got to walk all of the time, you got to really put forth your effort in moving. And they say,”Well, that’s exercise, so you’re kind of contradicting yourself.” And I think it’s important when I talk about movement, I’m making a distinction between movement and exercise, and so from one perspective eating less and maybe moving more is more true to the metabolism and more of the way it works than eating less and exercising more.

And I want to make this distinction and I also want to draw this to your attention because too many people miss this subtle distinction, when you understand it, it’s not that subtle at all. But for me, what I describe as movement is anything that a human would be doing in their natural state that would get them from point A to point B in terms of the ability to travel or the ability to basically engage in locomotion, move from one point to the next. Basically a form of transportation in natural state. When in our natural state we don’t have cars and trains and planes and bicycles and things like that, we evolved in a world that had none of those things so our natural ability to move was mainly walking and if you look at studies of hunter gatherer societies, both those that are existing and the data that anthropologists have looked at as well, it looks like most of our hunter gatherer ancestors we evolved in sort of a nomadic type of tradition.

And even when we settled down, people had to range pretty far and wide to hunt for food and gather food, so estimates are that your average hunter gather societies are moving from 12 to 20 miles every single day and we’re doing so often hauling things. So we are built for moving, you know a lot of people say humans are built to run, really humans are built to walk and movement, that’s one very important piece of movement. That walking around activities of daily living really are not the same as exercise, are they? So anything that gets you from point A to point B transportation or anything that’s activities of daily living like washing dishes or fidgeting or gardening or all those kinds of things, that’s what I qualify as movement.

Exercise is very different isn’t it, because exercise is a structured scheduled type of activity that you are doing for a specific reason, either to get stronger or faster or burn calories or those kinds of things. So movement is very different than exercise. Now why would we make this distinction? Certainly exercise is a type of movement, but why would I go to the lengths of making this distinction? Because movement seems to not be as stressful to the body as exercise. Now here’s the thing exercise is a stress to the body. Now people hear me say that and say “What do you mean? Exercise is so healthy”, yes stress can both be healthy stress called eustress or negative stress.

Exercise when it’s taken to the extreme, done for too long, too intensely or too often, can become a negative stress to the body and induce many of these metabolic compensations that we talk about. Increased hunger, increased cravings, unpredictable energy. Movement on the other hand does not seem to do that, for example, walking. Let’s take walking for example, just your every day walking, we’re not talking about power walking which would be more a scheduled structured type of exercise to try to burn calories, but just walking from place to place. Walking is one of those things, one of the few types of activities that actually lower cortisol level, where it’s pretty much everything else, any type of exercise that you do for a long period of time for a given intensity, will raise cortisol.

So what does this tell you about movement? It’s far less stressful on the body than traditional forms of exercise and of course there’s other types of exercise like yoga and Tai Chi that may classify themselves better as movement and stress reducing than perhaps even exercise. So there’s certainly some grey area here, but I do think this distinction is critical to be made in the realm of metabolism and in people who are trying to lose weight. So just to get us started with this discussion, movement is anything that is a form of transportation in natural states, walking pretty much. That’s basically what we would be doing, we would be walking. We wouldn’t necessarily be running trying to get to places because we want to converse our energy. We’d be walking around gathering things, and that kind of thing.

And then activities of daily living, fidgeting, gardening, vacuuming, cleaning up the house, getting from point A to point B, etcetera. These distinctions, of course there’s a little bit of grey area here but I think this distinction is critical to make and I’m going to explain why here in just a minute. So here is why this is important, because when we get into this eat less-exercise more equation, this dogma that we all talk about that you have to do for weight loss, really the better approach to talk about this is you really want to be thinking differently. Now here’s the interesting thing, to lose weight, right? To lose weight and specifically lose fat, because you can be burning calories and losing weight, that weight or those calories may or may not be fat calories, they could be muscle which we would not want that’s devastating towards the metabolism.

But there’s the interesting thing, movement versus exercise in terms of how the metabolism functions, movement is going to be much more gentle and there’s two sort of states here, eat less-exercise more is what we’ve been told but there’s another way to burn calories and balance hormones. Those are the two things I was referring to. You need two things to lose fat and weight. Burn calories, calorie defect and hormonal balance. Well, eat less-exercise more easily creates the caloric defect but does not balance hormones. In fact, it causes an imbalance in hormones which is why you get this compensatory reaction. Hunger, cravings, unpredictable energy, etcetera. Well, there is another way, in fact two other ways to create a calorie deficit and balance the hormonal system and that is to either eat less and exercise less or eat more and exercise more.

So let me repeat that, we’ve been working on this model of eat less-exercise more. And now I’m telling you there’s another way to do this, a way that may actually work better than eat less-exercise more because let’s face it, eat less-exercise more works in the short run sure, but 95% of people fail with that model and 66% end up fatter when they use that model because they cannot sustain eat less-exercise more. Now we know we have to have a calorie defect, and we know we have to have hormonal balance. One of the reasons eat less-exercise more does not work in the long run is because it creates the calorie defect but not the hormonal balance, so are there any models we have available to us that will reduce calories and balance hormones?

Eat less exercise less may be one of those models and eat more exercise more may be one of those models. And the reason I talked about movement versus exercise before, you’re going to find out here in just a minute. Now we have two models, people live in these lifestyles right now. What would the eat-less exercise-less lifestyle look like? Well, it would look a lot like old Europe like, or the European model or the Japanese model. I’ve visited Paris twice in the last year and half now, and when you’re in Paris, you don’t see a whole lot of people running around on the street like you do in the states. You see people eating, taking long periods of time to eat, they don’t graze throughout the day, they have three regular meals, they take their time with their meals, their meals are much smaller than in the United States where we are and they walk an awful lot. They walk an awful lot.

So this is an example of an eat-less exercise-less approach. Now they don’t run around exercising like crazy like we do in the States, but they do move a lot more, they do walk a lot more. And isn’t it interesting in the research, the research hints and suggests that for health and weight loss, you would be far better off moving all day long, walking around all day long, versus sitting all day along and doing a 30-minute metabolic conditioning or jog. That’s interesting, isn’t it? Let me repeat that. So basically what I’m saying is the research hints that for weight loss and for health, you would be better off moving, walking around for eight hours a day moving around, up on your feet moving around walking, activities of daily living for health and fitness and weight loss and not do any structured exercise versus sitting on your butt all day long for eight hours and doing thirty minutes of structured exercise.

Sitting may be the issue there. So really rather than time exercising being the major factor, it may be time sitting that is the major determine to our health and weight loss. So that means this movement factor, the difference between movement and exercise now comes to the forefront. So again the Persian lifestyle compared to the US lifestyle is more eat less exercise less. Or eat less, move more. See the distinction there? So you kind of see how the Japanese would do this or the Europeans would do this. Eat less exercise less and they tend to be leaner than us, they tend to have better health than us here in the United States. Now let’s take another model, so eat less exercise less, that means you’re eating less calories, you’re eating less food volume, and you’re also moving more, but you’re not doing a whole lot of this structured exercise.

No metabolic conditioning, no running around doing marathons and things like that. And then we have another model, the eat more exercise more model, this is more the athletic model isn’t it, you don’t see any athlete, any good athlete that competes at the top of their game in their right mind who tries to eat less and exercise more. No, they want to perform at the top of their level so they eat more and exercise more. And they remain very lean as well, and both this eat less exercise less model, the sort of Persian European Japanese model and the eat more exercise more model, sort of the athletic model seem to have less compensatory metabolic reactions associated with them because calorie intake is balanced with calorie output.

Now you could certainly create a calorie defect, but you seem to be balancing the hormones in that way, telling the body “Hey, you don’t need a whole lot of food because you’re not exercising a whole lot” so the stress is managed. On the other end of the thing, hey you’re moving a whole lot more and you’re actually exercising a ton so you need more fuel, more food to balance that out. So eat less exercise less, eat more exercise more, very different than eat less exercise more. And so this distinction becomes really critical right? And the reason I really took my time in the beginning to help you understand the difference of how I’m quantifying movement versus exercise is because often times people get confused when I tell them what the eat-less exercise-less approach might be.

And what I’m suggesting to you if you’re someone who has been struggling with your weight loss efforts, if you are somebody, you or someone you know has been struggling to stay on this eat less exercise more approach, which certainly can work for some people, just the infirmity. The vast majority of people it fails for miserably, the statistics say 95% of people fail to get the weight off or keep it off and 66% of people doing these diets end up fatter. I always repeat those stats in pretty much everything I do because to me I don’t understand why no one else is saying this. This is really shown in the research conclusively how poorly the eat-less exercise-more dieting model works.

And so we’re looking for other models, so if you’re somebody who that’s failed for, simply because you can’t do it, which by the way, a program that works in the short run that you cannot maintain or makes things worse in the long run is not a program that works. And that’s part of the issue here, people keep trying to say that the eat less-exercise more model works when people do it, but the fact of the matter is if they can’t do it, then it doesn’t work. And I don’t understand that either, how come people don’t’ get that? We need to find solutions that work. Well there’re two other solutions that I think work better based on my clinical experience. Eat less exercise less works much better and eat more exercise more works much better so let’s talk about these two versions of this.

In the eat less exercise less model, what you’re essentially doing is you’re putting yourself back several generations, maybe your great grandparents generation or maybe the hunter gatherer lifestyle or mimicking the European and Japanese lifestyle where you’re not eating a whole lot, you’re not exercising a whole lot, but you’re moving throughout the day. So what this would look like an hour maybe two of maybe walking around, 10,000 to 20,000 steps or more daily of moving. Maybe you’re at a walking treadmill; maybe you do several thirty minute walks throughout your day. Maybe you do an hour and a walk in the morning and an hour and a half walk at night, but basically you are walking around.

You’re making sure that you’re moving, accumulating steps, similar to what you would be doing in natural setting. Moving around, you would not be sitting around like a bump on a log in a natural setting. But you’re not doing any real structured exercise and at the same time you’re eating a pretty low calorie diet, right? You’ve having a smallish breakfast, a small lunch and a medium size dinner. And here’s what happens, what often times happens is because you’re not exercising a whole lot, because you’re not stressing out your physiology, you’re not getting the same compensatory reactions. You’re not feeling hungry all the time; you’re not having cravings all the time.

Your energy is predictable and stable and because you’re moving a whole lot, you’re also reducing stares hormones throughout the day and maintaining insulin sensitivity because one of the major ways your body maintains insulin sensitivity is through movement. A lot of people don’t know this but movement actually increases glucose receptors on the cells and that helps the cells get glucose. And that can immediately, movement by itself, just keeping yourself active, can immediately desensitize the body to insulin. So that’s part of what this is doing, this eat more exercise more approach or this eat-less exercise-less approach, both of these are managing insulin and managing calories.

So in the eat-less exercise-less approach, you’re moving a lot, walking around, you’re not doing a whole lot of structured activity. And you are eating less, and when people follow this, usually typically there is a bit of adjustment period, about four to seven days because people who are used to eating five to six times per day, guess how many times you’re going to be hungry during the day? Five to six times. Because even though hunger is bio-chemical, hunger also has a behavioral and habitual component to it, so that if you’re used to eating at a particular time, you’ll typically be hungry at that time as well. So there is an adjustment period here, but then this works very, very nicely and the metabolic compensation that kicks in is much, much less.

So those of you who have been stuck with the eat -less exercise more approach, simply by moving to the eat-less exercise-less approach, you may actually find you reverse some of your weight loss resistance. And by the way this weight loss resistance is induced by these metabolic compensations that are caused by increased hunger, increased cravings, unstable and unpredictable energy and a lowered metabolic rate. And by the way that lowered metabolic rate from dieting has been shown to last for a very long time, up to a year. And that’s why many people struggle, because they have so much compensatory decline in metabolic rate, that they can no longer lose weight on very low calorie diets, so you need to move to one of these two models.

So that’s what the eat-less exercise-less approach looks like and to do it smarter by the way, I don’t advise staying away from structured exercise all together. What I do advise is you’re moving every single day through walking, one to two hours a day, 10,000 to 20,000 steps minimum and two to three times a week doing traditional weight training. And why do I say traditional weight training during eat less exercise less? The reason why is because traditional weight training is the best way to maintain muscle mass. So you do not want to lose muscle mass, it’s one of you major metabolic organs, it accounts to up to a half to three quarters of your resting metabolic rate, so you want to maintain your muscle. Besides that in natural settings, humans lifted and hauled and did all kinds of lifting anyway so it tries to mimic that.

So in eat less exercise less its’ three small meals a day, low calorie, walk, walk, walk, walk, and two to three traditional weight training sessions per week to maintain muscle. And by the way, those three meals you’re eating in the eat-less exercise-less, they should be protein adequate. They should have enough protein because again protein signals to the body, don’t waste muscle. And you do not want to waste muscle, especially in this approach. And this is what I refer to almost as a ‘starving the fat effect’ because what’s happening is your giving your body very little calories, but you’re also doing very little stressful exercise which reduces metabolic compensation and you’re hitting it with higher protein levels to help satiate you and not make you hungry.

And also you’re doing straining, weight based work outs which tell the muscle and signal to the muscle, hey, don’t go anywhere, we might need you for this work. So eat less and exercise less is one very good approach to weight loss resistance. Eat more exercise more is another fantastic approach, here what we’re doing is we’re elevating calories and we’re elevating frequency of eating so in eat less exercise less where we may have been eating three times, three small meals, in eat more exercise more we are eating five or six times a day with three bigger meals and maybe three snacks in addition to that. So this is where you do a normal sized breakfast, a normal sized lunch, a normal sized dinner. Maybe a protein shake in between breakfast and lunch and maybe a post workout recovery shake after your exercise; this is more of like the athletic model.

Eat more exercise more, and your exercise is such that you’re basically working out almost on a daily basis, five to seven days a week. Maybe you’re doing two to three traditional weight training sessions; maybe you’re doing two to three cross fit or metabolic conditioning classes and everything in between. So you get the difference. Eat more exercise more has a lot more structured exercise and a lot of food to fuel that movement. Eat less exercise less has a lot of movement but very little exercise structure and not a whole lot of food and doing things this way balances the bio-chemistry, balanced the metabolism and both can still create that calorie defect you need if you’re after fat loss. And both by the way can also maintain and gain muscle and the eat-more exercise-more approach, that is also an approach used to gain muscle.

So you can still manipulate the calorie intake up or down without having a lot of the compensatory reactions because you’re also balancing the metabolism which eat-less exercise-more does not do. Now here’s the interesting thing about this whole movement versus exercise approach, I have a really, really interesting research paper that I’ll discuss here for a minute to kind of illustrate for you how powerful this can be. This study was published in the Scandinavian journal of medicine and science and sports and exercise and it was published online March 26, 2014. This particular study, it’s titled: A Time Efficient Reduction of Fat Mass in 4 Days with Exercise and Calorie Restriction. So this particular study by Calbet JA in the Scandinavian journal of medicine and science and sports published online March 26, 2014_.

This particular research study is an example in my mind of eat-less exercise-less. Let me tell you what they did in this particular study. What they did took men and put them through a pretty remarkable weight loss regime that resembles a lot about what I’m telling you about eat less exercise less. In fact, it’s in a very extreme example of eat less exercise less. So basically what they did, is they brought these 15 individuals in and they put them through some pretesting to kind of do their weights and their blood lapse and all this kind of stuff in phase one which basically took about the first week of the study. Then they moved them into phase two of the study, and phase two of the study was the major component of the study and in this particular phase of the study, is they gave these individuals only 320 calories per day and on top of that they gave them nine hours of exercise.

Now, there is the thing. They call it nine hours of exercise, but I made the distinction between what is exercise and what is movement. And really this was not nine hours of exercise; this was nine hours of movement. Basically what they did is they started the day with 45 minutes of arm cranking at a very low intensity. The intensity was at about 50% of max intensity, so it was pretty low. Then they basically had these people get up and essentially meander around the country side, and when I say meander that’s what I mean .They basically had these people walking around all day walking around the county side and basically they had them walking around the country side and basically the walking speed was 4.5 km per hour, now for those of us here in the states that’s about 2.7 miles per hour.

That’s a pretty slow walk, that’s less than 3.0 on the treadmill, right? So that’s a pretty slow walk, and that was the average sort of pace, so at times they may have been walking faster, but at times they were walking more slowly. And this was after a 12 hour fast, the protocol looked like this, and the protocol only lasted four days, so basically at the start of the phase two, this four day protocol, they had these people fast for 12 hours, they then woke up and gave them either whey protein or a sucrose solution. So they gave basically sucrose dissolved in 1.5 liters of water or whey dissolved in 1.5 liters of water. And these individuals in the morning got to basically have a third of that solution, so they basically had half a liter of this solution this sucrose in it, half of them got whey.

Then they began doing their arm cranking, 45 minutes of arm cranking and by the way that was at 15% of max intensity, so very low intensity, not 50 but 15%. And then basically had them walk around all day long for basically eight hours, so it was nine hours total of pretty low intensity movement. 1 hour of arm cranking, 8 hours of walking and they did this for four days straight. At lunch time they had another third of the sucrose or whey solution and they had the final third of the sucrose and whey solution for dinner. This came to about 320 calories per day, they were also able to have an electrolyte beverage, which is basically each of them had a three liter canteen, three liters of a solution that had about three grams of sucrose per liter. So nine grams of sucrose, pure sugar and electrolytes dissolved in water.

So this is still pretty low calories, this is pretty much like a teaspoon of water in each liter, so three extra teaspoon of sugar. For those of you who don’t know a teaspoon of sugar has probably about 15 calories. So what this looks like is an extremely low calorie diet, 320 calories for 4 days and a ton of movement, basically moving all day long. Now here’s what’s really interesting about this. Now here’s an extreme example of eat less exercise less. So what do you think happened to these individuals? Well first of all, many of the study participants remarked on how easy it was, and there was very little of compensatory reactions during this. That was partly because they were walking around in a group, they were distracted, they were moving, moving is incomparable with eating. It was distracting them a little bit.

They were also in a group, they were talking a lot. That was part of it; it was much easier than they thought it would be. And these individuals by the way were not fitness people, these individuals were BMI greater than 25, so that’s slightly overweight but they didn’t have any serious diseases or physical limitations. So they were basically like your overage overweight American or westerner. And this was pretty easy; it was all men by the way. So after the four days, this is what’s pretty striking. Four days of a 320 calorie diet and walking all day long, they lost 11 pounds of fat, that’s above 5 kilograms for those of you in the Europe area. They lost 11 pounds of fat in four days, or sorry 11 pounds in four days.

The fat they lost was around 4.5 pounds; they also lost about 3.1 pounds of water and 6.1 pounds of lean mass. So you hear that lean mass, people think that lean mass is equivalent to muscle mass, it’s not. Lean mass includes bone, organ tissue, muscle, water, and glycogen stores. So since bone and organ tissue do not change, really lean mass is muscle glycogen and water, so when you lose a lot of water weight from exercising or being out and you think you lost muscle when you’re on one of these machines that tell you your muscle mass. When you lose that much water, it’s going to look like you lost a lot of muscle because muscle is associated with water where fat is not. So in this particular study they say they lost 6.1 pounds of lean mass, but half of that was water, 3.1 pounds of water.

So here’s the interesting thing, yes they lost some muscle, they lost about 4.5 pounds of fat, about 3 pounds of muscle and about 3 pounds of water in the first four days. Then after the first four day period, here’s where the study gets really, really interesting. Then what they did with these individuals, they basically took them back and gave them a diet that was pretty structured and based on their previous diet that they were all eating before and also limited them from doing more than ten thousand steps. And the reason they did this is because you can imagine if you’re in one of the studies and you go out and you lose 11 pounds in four days you may just after doing that for four days, it can become habitual for some people so they make want to keep walking more, they may want to eat less calories and keep going so what the researchers did is they wanted to make sure that did not happen.

They basically gave them this four day regimen, this very extreme regime for four days and gave them back their normal diet and limited their activity. So after that particular phase which lasted a week, so phase two was the four days and they basically brought them into phase three which was to acclimate them back to their old way of living that lasted a week. What happened was they did gain some weight back, but not that much. Not that much. And what’s really interesting is they followed up with this insulin in four weeks and in four weeks they actually had continued to keep off most of the weight. And they followed them up a year later, and even a year later they were still down six pounds, four pounds of fat, and actually regained all but about a pound of their lean tissue.

So they gained some of their muscle and water and all of that. That is pretty remarkable why? Because metabolic compensation is such a huge part of dieting and the eat-less exercise-more approach definitely causes a huge amount of metabolic compensation. Now let me be clear about this, the most amount of metabolic compensation seems to occur when people are dieting without any activity at all. Certainly if you add some activity on that helps to maintain, even if you’re running around, it helps to maintain some of your muscle mass. But it still has 20% to 50% lean body mass lost and you still get an awful loss and you still get an awful lot of hunger and craving result.

In this particular study, something about the way it was done caused that not to be the case, and up to a year later these people bucked the 95% trend of people who failed to keep the weight off and they bucked the 66% trend, none of them got fatter. All of them were still down s6 pounds and 4 pounds of fat at the end of a year simply from doing this four day eat less exercise less extreme controlled study. I found this fascinating and I think it has an awful lot to teach us about the way we are doing weight loss, this is an example of eat less exercise less, and an extreme example. And by the way some of you may have wondered why did half of the group get the sucrose solution and the other half get the whey solution.

Well, the researchers were interested to see if they gave 320 calories of protein versus 320 calories of sucrose, would there be any difference in the loss of lean muscle mass, and there really wasn’t. So the extra protein didn’t really protect from the muscle loss in this particular study and there was really no difference in follow up either. And that’s probably because the calorie defect was so great that it really didn’t make much of a difference at all. Now we could probably construct an eat-less exercise-less study that would even be better than this, right? Perhaps instead of arm cranking first thing in the morning, we can have them do a traditional weight training workout to make sure that the muscle has some strain on it and some tension associated with it so it maintains its muscle mass.

That has been proven to be able to maintain muscle mass. We could also probably give a higher amount of protein because we do know that protein will have some muscle spanning effects but it has to be at a particularly high level, so maybe if the protein went up a little bit. So if I was going to design this study, I might do it the same way except I would start them out with weight training in the morning instead of arm cranking and make sure I’m exposing their muscle to some of that weight training tension and I may bump up the protein a little bit. Or give something like branch chain amino acids which contain the amino acid leucine which has been shown to spare muscle losses and that can be the case of up to five to ten grams of BCAA, this is a branch chain amino acid, an old tool that all the body builders used to use.

So perhaps giving a concentrated branch chain amino acid instead of whey protein, we could have alleviated some of the muscle losses, but this illustrates to you right away what can be accomplished when you’re doing things a little bit differently rather than having these people exercising like crazy and doing a bunch of metabolic conditioning and that kind of thing. So I pulled this study to sort of illustrate how well this effect can work even when it’s done in a version that’s extreme in nature. Not many people are going to voluntarily consume 320 calories per day for 4 days this is almost like fasting isn’t it? It’s basically very little calories, an extreme calorie deficit. Yet you did not see a lot of the metabolic compensation, probably because of all the movement.

Now here’s the interesting thing, what does all that movement by the way? It keeps you insulin sensitive and it also controls some of the stress hormone levels, that’s probably part of what was going on here. So how might you use this in your life to basically take advantage of some of this? Well one of the things you could do is you could certainly on the weekends, sort of duplicate this. Eat normally on the week, and maybe starting on Saturday morning and Sunday, you basically have a just a small amount of food, maybe 500 calories, one meal maybe at the end of the day and you basically are moving around and walking sipping on an electrolyte sugar beverage that had only about one tea spoon of table sugar plus some salt and things like that per liter.

Drinking that throughout the day repeatedly and moving, moving, moving, moving, moving, and go back to what you were doing during the week before. This might be a nice solution for you. And if I was going to do this, I would probably do some weight training on Friday or something like that to try to maintain my muscle mass. The other way to do this is to simply use an eat-less exercise-less strategy as your weight loss strategy instead of an eat less exercise more strategy. In other words you decrease your calories pretty significantly; to levels that might scare a whole lot of people, and this is one thing I’ll talk about here. A lot of people say “Jade_, I’m doing this eat less exercise approach that you’ve outlined for me and I’m looking at my calories and I’m only consuming around 1000 calories per day, and I’m worried my metabolism is now going to explode because I have such low calories”.

And the issue here is this, those low calories only become an issue for your metabolism when you’re also adding onto that a huge amount of cardiovascular exercise and metabolic conditioning and all these things that people do, when you match a low calorie diet with a low exercise output lifestyle, you don’t see the same results. I can tell you this conclusively. You don’t see as much metabolic compensation. If you’re going to eat less, that’s just fine, also exercise less, movement is something you defiantly want to keep doing. So in these particular days when you’re eating less, if you’re eating only 1000 calories, those are not the days you want to do your cross fit and run your 5ks and do all that kind of stuff. Instead, what you want to do is leisurely walking, not power walking, slow leisure walking like walking the dog, like walking talking to your significant other, or walking and drinking coffee.

Slow walking, walking, walking, walking, and low calorie intake. Another thing this lifestyle does too by the way, is for people who are really impacted by behavioral hunger, the type of hunger that is just associated with being around food or kicks in at times you’re used to eating, it gives you a chance to be mindful of food intake in general so you can begin to develop some of the mindfulness and habitual skillpower, a lot of people think it’s willpower, but it’s actually skillpower. It can be learned, not reacting to food by crushing everything in your path and eating like a mad person is a skill that can be earned over time and it comes from mindfulness, so this eat-less exercise-less approach also gives you the ability to practice mindfulness around food.

And many people who use this type of approach find that indeed over time, food does not have the same pull over them that it once did. And so this is a really interesting way to begin talking about how to go about dealing with weight loss in general and also dealing with metabolic compensation and especially those who have weight loss resistance, or who have pushed their metabolism so hard with eat less exercise more that they can no longer get the results that they were getting before. Now here’s the caveat to this, your body will still, your metabolism will still compensate. It will compensate less probably with eat less exercise more, but remember the metabolism is extremely adaptive and reactive, so if you push hard enough with either eat more exercise more, if you go too far with that or eat less exercise less, either one of those, your metabolism will compensate.

One way that it happens is overstraining in athletes, that’s a form of metabolic compensation. So if you start feeling while you’re doing eat less exercise less, if you push it too far, then what will happen is you will start feeling increased hunger, increased cravings, and that weight loss will begin to slow and or stop. And when that happens it’s very easy to deal with, you just switch back to the other model. So for example if you’ve been doing eat less exercise less, you can then push yourself into eat more exercise more, if you were doing eat more exercise more, you can then go to eat less exercise less, and toggle back and forth the metabolism to keep it from compensating and adapting. And by the way there are actually four metabolic toggles that I speak of that you can do this.

Eat less exercise less one and eat more exercise more is one, those are the ones that we have been talking about, those two seem to have the least amount of metabolic compensation and are the safest in my clinical experience. But obviously you can use eat less exercise more and eat more exercise less, that would be sort of eat more exercise less would be sort of the coach potato mentality which would be a great metabolic toggle to use if you’ve been in over training or you’ve been in a state where you’ve been getting ready for a athletic event and you’re really spent and you need to recover. Well eat more exercise less, the coach potato model might work for you, but if you do that for any length of time, you’re probably going to end up storing some fat, won’t you?

Or you’re going to compensate in some way, likewise, eat less exercise more it’s not that that model is useless, we just know that model does not last for too long. In other words if you put it into play, you’re probably only going to get some results out of it for 7 to 14 days before your metabolism begins to compensate. So it’s not that you can’t use these other models, just understand you have three toggles to play with. Eat less exercise less, eat more exercise more, eat less exercise more, eat more exercise less. These four sort of metabolic toggles and now hopefully through this discussion you can start developing some insight around an approach that might work for you and this is very individualized but this type of approach begins to help you deal with the way your metabolism actually works instead of treating it like some rudimentary calculator and a chemistry set and only worrying about cutting carbs and cutting calories, and not paying attention to the other stuff that’s going on.

And by the way as sort of a final thought into this whole discussion, certainly your sleep and other things that are going on in your life are going to impact the way your metabolism functions. So all you need to remember is this metabolic compensation is something you need to keep aware of, your metabolism functions more like a see saw or a thermostat and that eat less exercise more does not work in the long run, so you have these other things you can deal with. Eat less exercise less, eat more exercise more, but this whole discus ion really does not make sense unless you start to understand the difference between what is movements and what is exercise and how they both play the role. So hopefully you enjoyed today’s podcast guys, I’ll check you next time. Have a good one.

 

 

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