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The Diehl to Weight Loss: The Right Way


September was a big weight-loss month for clients. It is the 1st month post Summer and people are ready to get back or start, getting in shape. I spend a lot of time explaining the process of weight loss for many clients. It is important for my clients (and my viewers) to understand the (many) factors and science behind weight loss. Why? Because the more you know, the more powerful you are, and the better you can apply.


We live in a world where everything is available to us at the snap of our fingers. At times, I am very grateful for this but when it comes to your health, there's no such thing as quick results with a snap of a finger.  In this month's newsletter, I want to spend the time to educate you on the DIEHL to weight loss.


Note, there are many layers to this topic but below are important key facts you need to know.


If you, or a loved one, are on a weight loss or health journey, please take the time to read the below.


Let’s begin!


When we think of "weight" we automatically think of "fat". Am I wrong? Let’s debunk this.  


WHAT DOES THAT NUMBER ON THE SCALE MEAN?


It is important to identify the difference between body WEIGHT and body COMPOSITION. When you step on the scale, you see a number, but what does that number mean?


Body weight = Body total mass 


Body composition = What your weight is made up of. Water (fluids, hormones, inflammation), bones, digestion, muscle, and fat.  


Here is an average percentage breakdown:

  • Water = 60%

  • Bone = 15%

  • Digestion = 1-5%

  • Muscle & fat determine the remainder ratio

So this means, when you step on the scale, that number is the sum of all the above key players. This is why when you're on a weight loss journey, it's important to focus on building lean muscle mass and burning body fat. Not necessarily focusing on the # on the scale. 


We can absolutely decrease body fat percentage with diet alone but {insert trainer tip} when you want to lose weight, building lean muscle mass will expedite the process. Building lean muscle mass will also, increase your metabolic rate, increase your daily carbohydrate allowance, and decrease bone and joint pains. Our goal is to have more muscle mass than body fat (let’s also not forget, muscle weighs more than fat).  


Now that we have a better understanding of what the number on the scale means, let's discuss the mathematics and science on how we lose weight.


WEIGHT LOSS SCIENCE


Let's say you have all your ducks in a row - sleep, digestion, hydration, stress, energy, and hormone levels are 100%. Then, how do you lose weight? 


The human anatomy is a powerful energy system. Calories = energy. Each one of us requires certain energy (calorie) needs. Your total energy requirements are calculated by sex, age, height, weight, activity level, and goals.


We as humans eat for survival, yes, but let’s be honest, the majority of us eat for taste and pleasure. With every bite of food, your body does not care how it tastes, it cares about the chemical reactions needed for digestion, distribution of nutrients, and converting those nutrients into overall health and energy production. This is where math plays a part. 


3,500 calories = 1 pound. 


Whether you need to gain or lose weight, your body needs a 3,500-calorie gain or deficient to do so. For example, if you’re a female that wants to lose 20 pounds, we calculate your total caloric requirements to maintain your current weight and deduct 500 calories a day to equal 3,500 calorie deficient for 7 days. This equates to 1 pound loss per week. AKA, the HEALTHY way of losing weight. If you're in a high deficit and losing 3-5 pounds per week, this is a metabolic red flag. This means, in a perfect world, it will take you roughly 20 weeks to lose 20 pounds. This is where I exhaust consistency, patience, and trusting the process.


Know and always remember that healthy weight loss takes  CONSISTENCY and TIME. If you lose 1 pound and not 3 pounds in a week, then you’re doing something right, not wrong.  (If you are looking to gain, the same math applies except we would add an additional 500 calories a day, 7 days a week to give you a 1 lb gain every week).


When you deprive your body of its energy requirements (calories) then your body becomes stressed, metabolism slows down, weight loss plateau’s, nutrient deficiencies occur, and low energy levels hit hard. 


When you take in more energy than your body requires, you end up storing extra “energy” as body fat. This is one of the many reasons people gain weight (under eating, overeating, insulin production, poor nutrition, etc. being the other).