“Eat less, move more” is too prim­i­tive a rule for the com­plex human body.

Pro­fes­sion­al body­builder and fit­ness train­er Paul Rev­elia reg­u­lar­ly shares prac­ti­cal tips for los­ing fat mass, based on his own expe­ri­ence prepar­ing for com­pet­i­tive per­for­mances. In anoth­er video, he explains how he helps clients over­come weight loss plateaus.

How do we lose weight?

To start, Paul explains what your basal meta­bol­ic rate (BMR) is—the num­ber of calo­ries your body nat­u­ral­ly burns as part of your nor­mal activ­i­ties every day, with­out any addi­tion­al exer­cise. You need to deter­mine before you can cal­cu­late the amount of calo­rie deficit you need to lose weight. But there is a nuance.

“Your basal meta­bol­ic rate actu­al­ly decreas­es as you lose fat because your body does­n’t need as much ener­gy to func­tion,” explains Rev­elia. “It’s like dri­ving down the road in a car with a trail­er… If you dump that trail­er, your the machine will oper­ate more effi­cient­ly and require less fuel.”

He also notes that as you con­tin­ue the diet, you may feel more tired and your body will burn few­er calo­ries in an attempt to con­serve ener­gy. This is called mito­chon­dr­i­al effi­cien­cy, where the body becomes more effi­cient with dai­ly move­ment.

How to overcome a plateau?

When peo­ple who are los­ing weight stop los­ing weight, a log­i­cal solu­tion usu­al­ly comes to their mind: increas­ing car­dio loads and fur­ther reduc­ing the num­ber of calo­ries. Rev­elia believes that such tac­tics will only make the prob­lem worse. He advis­es tak­ing a “diet break” instead: tem­porar­i­ly increas­ing your caloric intake while increas­ing your ener­gy expen­di­ture through exer­cise. This will restart the process (and also give you more strength and moti­va­tion).

“As much as we would like to find sim­ple solu­tions, we need to be smarter here. Those peo­ple who use this tech­nique say that it sim­ply changed their lives: when they reach the desired weight, they feel great because they have not suf­fered from hunger for a long peri­od. “My clients go on the podi­um at body­build­ing com­pe­ti­tions main­tain­ing their com­pe­ti­tion weight with almost the same amount of calo­ries they had when they start­ed the diet.”

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