The “Extra Work” You Need to Burn Calories Isn’t What You Think
Written by TJ O’Brien

I am FIRED up because I keep hearing some of the same diet myths around the gym and I want to let you know that:

  1. You can’t spot reduce fat in a particular area of your body. aka, doing sit-ups will not “tone your core”. The only way to get a six pack is to drop your body fat percentage (usually around 13% or lower for men, 20% or lower for women)
  2. Exercise doesn’t burn that many calories relative to your overall calorie consumption. Exercising away calories or “banking” burned calories is typically an ineffective or unsustainable approach to weight loss.

Sometimes I joke that we could probably get more people to lose weight if we ran a daily nutrition presentation and taught people to grocery shop and cook instead of whooping their asses in a workout.

Also, if your goal is to lose weight and you spend more than one hour at Invictus in a session (you stay after to do extra cardio because you want to burn more cals), that extra time would be better spent on grocery shopping, meal prepping, or just flat our resting so you weren’t so damn hungry later on in the day.

You can’t escape the truth that doing some exercise (especially strength training) is a good way to raise your basal metabolic rate (number of calories you burn at rest), improve your mood, and can be a “lynchpin habit,” one that leads to other good behaviors. But attempting to lose weight through exercise alone is a Sisyphean task.

That’s because “NEAT” or “Non-Exercise-Activity-Thermogenesis” and your “BMR” or Basal Metabolic Rate” are responsible for like 80% of the calories you burn. Check it ou

And according to this Google image grab, it looks like the calories your body burns from processing the food you eat is about equal to average “exercise activity thermogenesis.” Sad.

“Sheeeeeet, I wish I knew my body fat percentage and my basal metabolic rate.

I’d like to see where I’m at and get some DATA. I love DATA.” 



Then get a DEXA scan, it tells you both of these numbers (and a hell of a lot more) on the spot. Doing it on a quarterly basis allows you to track your progress.


Also Check Out…

Why You Aren’t Losing Weight on a Calorie Deficit

Why We Recommend Resistance Training for Fat Loss

What’s the Best Way to Measure Body Composition?


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