Do You Want To Get In Great Shape Whilst Still Being Able To Enjoy A Beer Or Two Every Week? Perhaps You Would You Love To Be Able To Work Towards A 6-Pack Stomach Whilst Still Enjoying The Occasional Slice Of Cake For Dessert? Or Perhaps You Have A Weight Loss Goal That Would Need To Fit In With Regularly Scheduled Business Lunches!?
Today’s corporate high flyer has even more challengers, they all want: professional success, a great family life with partners / spouses, a rich and fulfilling family life with kids, to be able to travel and holiday regularly, to attend and enjoy regular social events that include drinking alcohol and eating a rich a vast range of extravagant foods whilst still achieving the status quo of having a chiseled physique. Oh yes and this all on a time restricted schedule that barely allows for 30 minutes of exercise a day!
In saying that, we all want balance in our lives. What if I told you that it is possible? What if I told you that you CAN have your cake and eat it too!
You: “Not another crazy lemon detox diet or low carb diet you say! I’ve tried that before!”
You: “How then?”
Me: “The Deficit Method developed by Dr Tony Boutagy”
Weight loss is one of the biggest industries in the world! On every corner now days you have an organic cafe / eatery providing salads and lean meats, a 24 hour gym with cheap memberships, a supplement / vitamin store with the “latest” wonder supplement guaranteed to strip body fat or a juice shop supplying all the vitamins and minerals you need to fuel an army. Oh yes and I almost forgot the paleo cookies… (Ah huh? Yes I know.)
Australian’s in 2015 alone spent $8.5 billion on gym memberships, sports equipment and the latest fitness fads. And yet Australians are fatter than ever…
In response to this obesity epidemic, there are countless fitness and weight loss books o our shelves, a multitude of diet methods hitting our Facebook feeds and a multitude of gurus developing diets and training regimes to combat the bulge world wide.
The issue is, these methods require discipline and regular adherence and consistency to work. That’s right, for you to see the benefit of any approach it takes time!
The reality is, the majority of people just don’t have much discipline or staying power so therefor they brake their diet and abandon the plan altogether before they have really given it a chance to work.
Beyond whatever the method is called or proclaims to be able to achieve, one fact remains… You cannot reduce body weight or more specifically fat mass unless you achieve an energy deficit for that 24 hour period. Moreover, to then see the benefit of this deficit then expressed on the scale, a DEXA scan or a skin for assessment, you would need to achieve this deficit consistently for a period of time whilst trying to prevent a reduction in your metabolism. Tricky!
Our metabolism adapts and adjusts itself over time to match our energy intake and lifestyle changes. In most cases when Calorie intake is lower than the amount needed to maintain normal function our metabolism decreases over time for survival and to maintain homeostasis. This metabolic adaptation or adjustment occurs for three reasons:
- lowering of thyroid hormone output
- reduced thermic effect of feeding (TEF)
- reduced muscle mass with over dieting, inactivity or ageing
Q – What Is The Deficit Method Then?
The Deficit Method takes into account that most adults want to continue to socialise over a meal with friends, travel and eat out every week, enjoy wine occasionally and have days that they want to enjoy some yummy food unrestricted.
It works best when performed a minimum of 2 days a week (Monday / Friday or Tuesday Thursday) and up to 3 days a week maximum (Monday Wednesday Friday or Tuesday Thursday Saturday). It’s important that they are non-consecutive days to allow the body and mind to re-charge. As the method also requires strength training, the body will also need time to recover from this too.
Q – Why you ask?
Because the Deficit Method approach is so aggressive and takes you into such a marked caloric deficit, the day after you having done it you would need to reload with food and replenish glycogen stores in your body so that you can function and perform in the gym the next day. The recovery day also ensures your thyroid hormone function doesn’t reduce as a result of over-dieting.
Q- Why can’t I just keep pushing because I’m so keen!?
When you push the body too hard for too long into the fat loss zone, inevitably what it will want to do is survive as it thinks there is a food shortage. This is the bodies constant goal, that is to maintain balance or homeostasis for survival. Period. More isn’t always better.
Q – So I get to eat the day after then!?
Yes, you get to eat the day after! And lots of food too. The concept still urges you to eat whole foods that are nutrient dense and avoiding as much processed and refined foods that are nutrient sparse, but yes you could in theory also enjoy some indulgence like cake or chocolate!
By re-feeding the day after the Deficit Method day, this gives the body extra calories that help to keep your metabolism thriving and reduces the likelihood of any metabolic adjustment as previously mentioned.
Q – How many calories would I eat then on the Deficit Method day?
If you had a resting metabolic rate (RMR) of 2000k/cal a day, and your plan was to exercise that day too for 60 minutes in the gym and your ultra flashy Garmin watch tells you that you normally expend about 600k/cal in that session for the 60 minutes, your break even for the day would be 2600k/cal.
You would then simply divide that 2600k/cal by 3 = 866k/cal . That then would be your daily calorie target you would aim to eat from food.
Now that isn’t much food at all. You could probably eat that in on meal normally without blinking. So to get the most out of such low energy intake, the foods selected need to be carefully picked and strategically placed in the right time of the day.
Those calories need to primary come from protein, making up approximately 40% of the total energy intake for the day, and with fats making up approximately 40% and carbohydrates the remaining 20% of the energy for the day.
- Protein helps to achieve satiety and the feeling of fullness
- Protein protects from muscle atrophy
- Protein builds muscle
- Protein increases the thermic effect of feeding (TEF) and expends energy
So, eating protein will trigger muscle protein synthesis (MPS) which is basically the muscle building machinery in the body. This helps to preserve our muscle whilst we are in marked caloric deficit like this Deficit Method will take us in to. The danger with ANY weight loss plan is always the potential loss of muscle tissue.
Q – What kind of training then should I do on that day?
All training isn’t equal. Resistance training triggers MPS (that muscle building machinery we spoke about earlier). Whilst on very low calories on this Deficit Method day, to preserve muscle resistance training is then essential! Resistance training again will trigger MPS and help us to preserve our hard earned muscle.
Carbohydrates aren’t the enemy, they just aren’t the best choice of macronutrient given we don’t have a lot of energy coming in that day.
Q – Why does the method need to create such a marked deficit?
To give you balance! To allow you other days of indulgence and days where you eat much more food. Now we aren’t talking about binging on biscuits. We are talking about some sensible and controlled enjoyment.
The idea is that it would be EXTREMELY difficult for that average person to eat back all the calories from the day before, therefore creating weight loss.
Q – So, how much weight should I expect to lose then?
Let’s make it clear, all weight is NOT equal. What we are trying to lose here is fat mass. In an ideal world where you would lose 0.5kg of fat mass in a week whilst preserving all your muscle, the scale would only be down 0.5kg.
Doesn’t sound like much? Your friend lost 6kg in a week on a lemon detox diet? Right. They would have lost water as a result of depleting carbohydrate stores and quite possibly some muscle too due to not eating any protein and not using resistance training whilst in marked caloric deficit.
Q – What does the strength training look like?
The strength training requires non-consecutive training days as the programs are full body structured. The best way to maximise muscle fibre activation and to recruit the most amount of muscle which will expend a large amount of energy in the process is to perform non-related sets i.e. squats with chin ups.
This style of training produces and very large EPOC effect (expired post-exercises oxygen consumption) which will keep your body fat burning way after you have finished your workout as opposed to just doing abs or arms that day which are smaller muscle groups and therefore will not expend the same amount of energy. This = less calories expended = less fat loss potential.
Q – How is this method different from any other method?
The goal of any good weight / fat loss plan should be to preserve muscle. Muscle is metabolically expensive tissue and is what keeps our metabolism primed. Most other diets don’t have a strong emphasis on preserving muscle tissue therefor the net result after the diet is finished is not typically great.
Example, if you lose 5kg whilst on a diet, but 2.5kg of that weight loss came from muscle tissue, would that be a good result? Not really. Why? Because now you have less muscle on your frame and subsequently your RMR would have reduced meaning you now have to eat less food to put weight on. Sound familiar?
Other methods also require a large degree of compliance for large portions of the week for the plan to work. This is VERY difficult for a lot of people to achieve as discussed.
Other methods also tend to exclude whole food groups. Notice we have NOT demonised any particular food group. If you do not have an intolerance, you can eat it as so long as they are:
- Nutrient dense and based on whole foods as much as possible
- Calorie sparse and minimally processed
- High in protein choices from a variety of sources like meat, poultry, fish, legumes, nuts, eggs and dairy
- Balance of good unsaturated fats with saturated fats
- Somewhat sensible portion controlled so that you aren’t gorging yourself to death
Any diet that you stick to for long enough should render some weight loss, the issue is if it is the right type of weight loss and if they allow for a healthy social life, help you to preserve lean muscle and if they keep your metabolism primed!
This most certainly is not all the details of the Deficit method, for more information and to find out how to set up the Deficit Method plan for you, APPLY to at www.miyagi.fitness/apply/ and we will be in touch with all eligible applicants.