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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.  


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.


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).

For example: Say your energy requirements to successfully lose 1 pound per week is 1,500 calories a day (I’ll get into the breakdown of cals next) but you’re only consuming 1,100 calories a day. Your body will have a very difficult (if at all) time losing that 1 pound per week because you’re now in a 900 calorie deficient for the day. When it comes to losing weight, consuming LESS energy beyond your required needs is a big NO-NO.

Most of my weight loss clients panic when I tell them how much they must eat every day to lose that 1 pound per week. Because 90% of the time, it is more food than they are used to consuming. Making, not eating enough calories, the #1 cause to why most of my clients had a hard time losing weight. The beauty of this? You get to eat MORE (of the right foods) and lose weight at the same time. Sign me up!!


Now that you have a better understanding of the importance of consuming the correct amount of calories, let’s discuss the breakdown of these calories.

Let’s take the female who requires 1,500 calorie a day. We know that “Tina” needs 1,500 calories a day to achieve her 1 pound per week weight loss goal. BUT, not all calories are created equal.

The focus here is, OUT of these calories what percentage is carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Identifying these percentages is not a one-size-fits-all model. It is unique to each individual. 

Fun facts to know:

1 gram carbohydrate = 4 calories

1 gram protein = 4 calories

1 gram fat = 9 calories

The most important thing to know here is, make sure you are not over or under eating your main 3 food groups. Additionally, when consuming carbohydrates, focus on consuming carbohydrates that help regulate insulin levels. High insulin levels shut off the fat burning process, so maintaining low levels of insulin is essential to maximizing fat burning. (No, this does not mean to 100% X carbohydrates.)


Now that we know “Tina” has all her ducks in a row, is fueling her body appropriately we begin to see the 1 pound loss per week. Yay! Go Tina!! But how does this happen? Where does the fat go?

Fat is stored in adipose tissue as triglycerides. When the body signals for energy and begins tapping into it’s stored energy, triglycerides are broken into fatty acids, released into the bloodstream, and can be burned (oxidized) for energy.

During oxidation, there are 3 metabolic steps that occur.

  • Lipolysis (lypo = fat. lysis = to breakdown)

  • Mobilization

  • Oxidation


Triglycerides are composed of 3 fatty acids, tri = 3, glycerides = fatty acids. In order for your body to burn the fatty acids, each, of the 3, acids must first be separated from the glycerol molecule. This reaction happens with the help of the enzyme lipase and hydrolysis (hydro = water, lysis = breakdown. Here you can see, the many, reason why h20 is important for weight loss.)


After the release from the adipose tissue, the fatty acids enter the bloodstream where they circulate and bind to a protein called serum albumin. This protein acts as the “taxi” that helps transport the fatty acids to the targeted cell requiring energy. Upon the arrival of the targeted cell, the final phase of the fat burning process begins, oxidation


Once the fatty acids have entered the cells, the acids are converted into ATP (energy) through a process called, beta-oxidation. Once converted into ATP, the cell can use this energy to perform whatever activity it is needed for - cardio, weightlifting, walking down the street, sleeping, or laying on the couch.

It doesn't end here.....

Along with the energy required for exercise, walk, sleep, or lay on the couch, the process of using up energy (fat) stores creates byproducts: water and carbon dioxide. Meaning, the water produced exits through urine, sweat, and the respiratory system. Yep, through breathing. Sometimes when clients are on a weight loss journey they may see the number on the scale go up a few pounds before it comes down, this is likely because of the water weight being produced to oxidize and release stored fat. 


The trend of fad diets, mindsets, and influencers is what makes nutrition “hard”. The science, facts and basics of nutrition are what make it easy. If you are one of those people that is creeping the internet or seeking a service provider looking for the next best weight loss “trick”, I need you to stop right now. If you're currently on a program that you know in the long-run isn't sustainable for you, stop right now.

Below are big warning signs to look out for when on a weight loss journey.

  1. The diet excludes food groups

  2. Focuses on one single food and supplements

  3. Eliminates solid foods for synthetic powdered products

  4. Sounds too good to be true

When you embark on a weight loss journey, the goal is to build SUSTAINABILITY. If you're on a journey that has a start date, end date, and you know is not a sustainable lifestyle for you, then stop doing what you're doing and seek advice from a trusted professional.  Why spend time, money, and energy into a "program" where you feel deprived and awful? Also remember, when you follow programs that are too low in calories, you are messing with your metabolism aka, when you stop and eat as you were before, there's a HIGH chance you're going to gain all the weight back PLUS some. 

If your following the "rules" to weight loss but are finding your body is not shifting weight or you're not losing inches (or maybe even gaining) below are some reasons why this may be. 

  • Stress

  • Gut health / Digestion

  • Hormones

  • Medications

  • Inflammation

  • Undiagnosed conditions

It's important to dig deeper in your journey to figure out WHY your body is not losing weight. There is always a reason, why. Mind you, this is ONLY if your body has extra weight to lose (the more you have, the easier it is). If you have 1-5# to lose, your weight may be staying where it is because that is your bodies HAPPY WEIGHT.  You need to accept that and move on. Toss the scale, focus on building strength, and being the healthiest version of yourself, 

If you're serious about losing weight and keeping it off, below are my top recommendations.

  1. COMMITMENT: Commit to the process. Take it seriously.

  2. MINDSET: Stay positive, motivated, and determined. Skip the feeling of shame and guilt. 

  3. GET OFF THE SCALE: You now understand that weight has many key players. So I hope you have a better understanding that weight will easily fluctuate on a day-to-day. Focus on doing what you need to do to feel good in your skin and pay less attention to the # on the scale. 

  4. PATIENCE: Accept the healthy way to lose weight is not a sprint, it's a marathon.

  5. LIFESTYLE: To maintain a healthy weight means creating a life-long lifestyle.

  6. X BOOZE: Not forever, just consume less than you may already be. Learn why, here.

  7. MOVE YOUR BODY. Build exercise / strength training into your weekly routine.

In my opinion, the science behind weight loss is easy. It's the "noise" and choices you may be making that make it hard. 

If you’re having trouble in your weight loss or health journey, click here to set up a free 15 minute phone consultation to discuss your health concerns and how I can help you feel good in your skin again!


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