It seems as though there is a never-ending stream of questions regarding how to train and what to eat to get the best personalized results for each and every client. I receive inquiries on this topic on a very frequent basis and I’m going to share a question that came from a podcast listener later in this post. But first, I want to let you know that I’ll be giving a presentation on Thursday, October 4th at the Belgrade Public Library from 6:00-7:00pm. The talk is entitled “Wellness Big Three: Movement, Food, and Sleep” and I’ll be sharing some of the methods that I use with clients, and that are supported by the most recent science, to leverage training, eating, and lifestyle most effectively for each individual. This includes but is not limited to many of the concepts utilized in my most recent book Project JACKED.
Now let’s get to the question of the week. A reader (and viewer and listener) who is utilizing the JACKED® system of wellness upregulation, asked a very insightful question of which the crux was this: “Can I lose weight too rapidly?” Of course, as many of you know, in answering this reader’s question and addressing this issue of weight loss I always begin with clarification. Despite society’s fixation on weight loss, I always prefer to emphasize that our main goal in any exercise and diet intervention is to improve health first. Then, as health improves, body composition automatically resets to ideal levels. Many times a person will increase muscle, or lean body mass, as well as losing bodyfat (adipose tissue), so they indeed undergo some degree of weight loss. I just think it’s better to understand the larger and more important focus on health enhancement and the undoing of metabolic dysregulation and hormonal imbalance.
If you don’t want to read any further, here is your answer…YES, absolutely, you can lose weight too quickly. In JACKED Month 1, as clients undergo a pantry cleanout and a diet cleanup, and they eliminate processed, packaged foods; they often experience several pounds of nearly instantaneous weight loss as they remove seed oils, sugars, and refined carbs from the diet. This is mostly water weight, as water retention was being promoted by chronic inflammation (particularly from the oils) and sodium retention (primarily from the sugar). Clearing the body of these offensive pseudofoods allows the kidneys to more appropriately manage sodium and potassium balance as well as water retention. But beyond this initial spike in weight loss, we really don’t want to see weight coming off too quickly. And that rate will certainly vary from person to person, but more than a 1-3 pound drop each week can indicate a loss of muscle mass (which we don’t want) in addition to a reduction in bodyfat.
This all relates to energy balance in our bodies and how our eating and exercising habits affect our metabolisms. Calorie restriction is essentially starvation, and our bodies perceive this as a serious threat. Sure, we’ll lose a little weight at first when we cut calories, but eventually the metabolism just slows down to limit the loss, and our hormones get out of whack and cause us to eat back, or compensatorily consume, those lost calories. We end up storing more fat to protect against any future caloric restriction insults, and oh, by the way, we probably lost a little muscle mass in the process as the body stripped muscle protein so the liver could convert it into glucose for energy. And while some exercise is good, ironically, if we exercise too much, we create a strong demand for more energy (and more glucose if the exercise is intense enough) and we enhance this sugar-craving and burning effect. High levels of moderately hard aerobic training can actually lead to muscle loss and fat retention.
…Unless you use the JACKED system, which teaches you how to test your individual responses to food and training and to manipulate your metabolism most effectively. PK and I took a deeper dive into this topic in the podcast and if you’re interested in learning more, be sure to give it a listen. It’s an interesting discussion and it reflects my great joy in helping people succeed with their health, training, and nutritional goals. Thanks as always for reading and I hope you have an absolutely phenomenal day!