If you start with the desired result of weight loss, this is actually a three legged race between food choices, activity levels, and mental clarity or strength. The relationship is perhaps best explained with a simple analogy
- A doughnut has around 200 calories, and you can eat it in a minute or so
- To work off 200 calories through exercise is going to take a good 20 to 30 minutes
- If you have sufficient mental strength, you may not eat the doughnut at all or only eat a small sliver to get a meaningful taste and stop.
Accordingly life can often appear like an ongoing game of paper, scissors, rock, and the winner bounces around amongst the three options.
Let’s look at the three options in the context of weight loss,
Mental clarity – if you are stressed the body retains more water adding weight, it’s simply the body protecting itself as part of its “fight or flee” subconscious response. Also if you’re not in a strong frame of mind, it’s much easier to skip exercise or make poor diet choices.
Exercise – at the start of any weight loss program you get an 8 week honeymoon as your metabolism adjusts to your new level of activity, during this time your burn rate is much higher. After 8 weeks your metabolism will have adjusted and your burn rate will plateau.
At its most basic level losing weight is about creating a negative energy level, ergo consuming more calories than you eat or drink. Exercise can help in using up calories, but remember the donut analogy you need to do a lot to compensate for poor diet choices.
If your food choices remain stable, and you walk an extra hour a day you will burn 500 calories, and potentially lose up to half a kg per week. The best way to exercise for weight loss is when you monitor your heart rate, and exercise in your optimum pulse range for fat burn.
Diet – Fads come and go, slow and steady wins the race. The 8 week window also applies to diets and how successful they seem. Many people simply give up after their metabolism plateaus and their results aren’t as good. The best way to diet is to make smaller incremental changes that will in turn over time become habits, appear natural, and then sustainable over the rest of your life. If you think about it, wasn’t that how you got to where you are now.
Plus we recommend using some fasting techniques to give yourself a helping hand during the process. In FMDZen we use fasting to keep stepping you down a level as you improve, this way you are backstopped with guaranteed results.
So the winner is – Mental Clarity and Strength. If you get this right you will be able to balance out both Exercise and Diet to get the best possible results.