Lose weight fast: What is more important, training or diet? With Case Studies!
This article is for stayers who want to lose weight fast. I am presenting 3 case studies with examples to help you lose weight really fast.
“Be careful, sport can make you fat!” I read recently in a forum.
“Nonsense,” writes another, “you only achieve the best progress with a lot of training!”
Who is right? One thing is certain. The discussion is very old:
What is more helpful in losing weight quickly: training or diet?
Let’s draw a line under it.
In this article, you will find the answer.
So why is there a training vs. diet debate?
That training helps you lose weight is obvious – you would think so. In fact, the debate comes up again and again.
Why is that?
Some people train regularly and still don’t lose weight.
Some clinical studies show that people who want to lose weight at different rates – even though they do the same exercise program.
That would argue that training isn’t the key to fat loss. Or that people can break down fat differently.
However, what is often interesting about studies is what has not been examined.
Here, for example, the eating habits – 5 best diets and more important, how to mix them to supercharge your weight loss.
Further studies then uncovered the real cause:
Some people eat more when they exercise. Others don’t.
Scientists call the first group “compensators.”
Some compensators ate more because exercise gave them an appetite. For some, it was pure psychology: they thought the training had earned them an extra portion.
Another reason is that many people overestimate calorie consumption in conventional endurance training. Moderate cardio (walking or jogging) burns just 5-10 calories per minute (or less).
30 minutes of jogging burns 150-300 kcal – about ½ bar of chocolate.
Some people get frustrated because they expected double or even triple that.
Then imagine how easy it would be to replenish the number of calories you burned from your workout with your next meal: a small slice of pizza, a beer or two, or a chocolate bar or two.
“Then I’d rather eat 500-1000 calories less per day”, many people think, “I should just as well be able to lose a kilo in 1-2 weeks.”
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In a way, this may seem logical:
A significant calorie deficit cannot usually be achieved in practice without a change in diet.
Let alone persevere.
And nutrition isn’t everything: When it comes to losing weight, it’s not just the calories that play a role. But also the positive changes that strength training triggers in the metabolism.
The blanket judgment that training is ineffective because you ate too much afterward misses the mark.
Things will become clearer when we look at the fat-burning formula.
Lose Weight Fast: What is the Fat Burning Formula?
If you want to lose fat, then you only have one chance:
You want to create an energy deficit.
However, the fat-burning formula has two sides:
Note: I intentionally simplify because it is sufficient for the topic of this article. The daily calorie requirement is actually more complex than shown here.
There are easier ways than balancing diet and exercise.
You can make optimal progress only when you use training AND nutrition to your advantage.
How do you find the optimal balance between training and nutrition?
Many people think they can lose weight quickly without exercise, expecting to lose 3-4 pounds of fat a week just by eating less.
“After all, that’s exactly what the contestants on these TV weight loss shows are doing,” they think.
But most of them don’t know what that would mean.
For example, there is Vanessa, one of my personal coaching clients. Vanessa is in her early thirties, 1.73 m tall, weighs 68 kilos, and her body fat percentage was 23%.
She would have had to eat almost 1,800 calories a day to maintain her weight without exercise.
If we calculate this using Vanessa’s starting coordinates, it quickly becomes clear how unrealistic it would be to lose even a kilo of fat per week just through diet.
Case study #1 – You would ONLY bet on nutrition
One pound of body fat provides about 7,000 calories.
If Vanessa wanted to lose 2 pounds per week, she would have to achieve a calorie deficit of 1000 kcal per day. Since her energy requirement is 1800 kcal, she should only eat 800 kcal.
That would be a real starvation diet, which is doomed to fail for various reasons:
- Feeling hungry: Vanessa would always be hungry and her appetite steadily increased.
- Vitamin deficiency: She ate too little to provide her body with vital nutrients.
- Tiredness: Her energy levels would drop drastically and unconsciously move even less.
- Muscle Loss: Your body would not only break down fat but precious muscles as well.
With this approach, she would have headed straight for the yo-yo effect. After breaking off the starvation diet, she quickly gained additional fat.
Conclusion: Losing weight quickly without exercise is not a good idea.
Case Study #2 – You would ONLY bet on training
Let’s assume she would stick to her diet but train like a champ.
To achieve the same calorie deficit, she would have to burn 1000 kcal every day by exercising.
How realistic is three hours of swimming or two hours of running or strength training – every day?
Even if we continue this thought:
- Overtraining: A few extra overnight training hours would overwhelm even professional athletes.
- Stress: Those who dramatically increase their sports workload on an ad hoc basis undoubtedly increase their stress level.
- Injuries: Without sufficient regeneration, there is a risk of injuries to the musculoskeletal system.
- Time investment: Vanessa could not (let alone not want to) find the time for several hours of training a day in addition to a demanding job and time with friends.
Conclusion: lose weight fast ONLY with sport? Also, not a good idea.
Case study #3 – You rely on training AND nutrition
I recommend Vanessa to include all four elements of the MBSC formula and also to be a bit more moderate:
- Goal: 500 grams of fat loss per week. This corresponds to a calorie deficit of 500 kcal per day.
- Nutrition: 1600 calories a day are just below her calorie requirement, and Vanessa can easily manage them in everyday life. (By switching to protein foods and lots of fresh fruit and vegetables in the smoothies, she is hungry less often than before, despite being in a calorie deficit).
- Training: Vanessa does strength training three times a week, which she supplements with endurance training of her choice or regular walks. This allows her to increase her energy requirements by an average of 300 kcal per day.
Using this approach, she lost 10 pounds of fat in 8 weeks – and felt great doing it.
What would have surprised you earlier: The scale has hardly changed during this time. The body fat percentage has dropped significantly.
Good if you measure the right values.
Lose weight fast: Conclusion
If you want to lose weight fast, then you should keep an eye on your energy balance.
In most cases, it’s not a good idea to rely solely on a diet and just eat fewer calories.
To maximize fat loss, you want to crank up your metabolism and work on the other side of the formula: your energy expenditure.
When you build muscle, not only do you look more defined, but you also use more energy while you sleep and on the sofa. More on that in this article. You will also learn that proper training is more than just calorie consumption.
You also optimize your hormones to “lean and strong.”
I go into more detail on the “exercise and exercise” side of the fat-burning formula in a new fitness program, The Bikini Beta Switch Program here.
There you will learn how to maximize your daily calorie requirement to lose fat and become stronger, fitter, and more defined.