Why you are not losing weight: nutrition, muscles & BMR

Actually, that “fat” we really hate, is the main reason why the human specie is still on planet Earth.

Fat allowed us to survive not one, but two ice ages and very long dry seasons, as well as hunger. On the flip side, that very same fat is now killing us. Our body’s ability to store fat granted us survival for 150.000 generations. Food has been available on a constant basis only in the last four generations, and in exaggerated quantities, but our brain seems to ignore it. Fat or adipose tissue are an extraordinary source of energy. To think that 1 kg of fat amounts to 7000 calories, which are stored in our body and ready for future usage, and it doesn’t even etch on the basal metabolic rate energy usage.

In short, Basal Metabolic Rate or BMR is what our body consumes at rest, only to “live”. A grown young man needs around 1600-3200 calories a day (70/140 calories an hour). Muscles burn calories, while fat doesn’t.

Our specie survived hunger for the last 200.000 years and our ancestors were not as active as we might think. The work of the anthropologists observed that prehistoric men did less than modern men. In Australia, the aboriginals alternate between the modern world and their traditional life in which they are less active. Therefore, it is scientifically proven that physical activity is not enough to avoid fat accumulation.

Let’s talk about working out and how false is the belief that “If I go to the gym, then I can go out and eat pizza with no regrets”. They are fooling you around, it’s false! Now we will see why one hour of gym is useless and often helps to put on more fat storage rather than lose it.

In 1 hour of workout you burn around 300 calories; by eating a pizza you take in 700 calories, but be careful: the 300 calories burned include basal metabolic rate. That means that if you didn’t go to the gym you would have burned 70/140 in an hour, anyway, so you only burned less than 230 cal. If after your pizza you have a small dessert, then it’s another 600 calories and since you went to the gym maybe you will have pizza the next day as well, because “you earned it”. You are getting fat!

In Europe, there is the cultural habit of having meals multiple servings and this is a tragedy for health and for fat storage control. Try eating only one plate and then wait 20 minutes, the hunger is gone. Know that there is a 1000 calories difference between being satisfied and being full and, apparently, we need another 2000/3000 calories to get from full to “sick”. If you go eat at your granny’s house and eat until you feel sick, you have easily introduced 4000 caloriesWhen this happens, we go for a jog the day after to “burn calories”. Unfortunately, to burn this much calories we would need 27 hour of workout!

The problem is not that we don’t burn enough calories, but is that we introduce way too many.

Moreover, even if absurdly we would run for 27 hours, we wouldn’t only be burning fat but also other (important) tissues, including muscles and this is another big problem; we will see why later. In short, if you only do 1 hour a day of aerobic workouts like jogging/running and other creative activities invented in western countries to make you spend money and time at the gym, you won’t burn burn much calories, but often helps to get fat, because it puts you in mental condition to go eat the long awaited pizza and dessert.

Why it work for young people? Why when we were younger we could eat anything after a workout and we were always in good shape? Something changed after 20 years old. The answer is simple: muscles! Muscular structure consumes a lot of calories, even at rest. The main difference for most adults is that they have less muscular mass, compared to teenagers. After 30 years old, a natural loss of muscular mass occurs, and physical activity becomes harder to do, therefore, the amount of calories burned by your BMR is lower. Another thing that helps a lot is to sleep more. Ellington Darden has recently discovered that adding hours of sleep is essential for weight loss; in his research he found out that subjects who slept less didn’t lose fat as easy as the ones who slept enough and were well rested.

A trip to Thailand can become more fun and it can help to improve your physical and mental shape, as well as sportive performance. The complete training-holiday center, oriented to Thai Boxing, is now fully open.

At 7 Muay Thai Gym & Beach Resort in Rayong province (Thailand), we studied a specific program to burn excess fat, which is very effective for 3 main reasons:

  • Intense physical activity, the beach and the pool, reactivate the muscular mass and the calories burnt by the basal metabolic rate, even when you are not working out.
  • The studied meal plan with no salt, sugar or additives like MSG, helps to control the calories intake.
  • Heat helps the liquid flow and causes sweating and the need drinking a lot of water during the day, as well as during your training.
  • Feeling tired, relaxing and the beach to sleep longer hours.