It is not possible to ‘lose’ weight. It’s a shame that the language is so easy to misunderstand. When you weigh less than you did last week, you must actually give off something that weighs something. Every day you take in food and water, and you breathe in air. Between these three inputs there must be all of the essential elements of sustaining life. All of these things have weight. At the end of the day you might weigh more or less than you did at the beginning–if you ate five pounds of food, and you urinated, defecated and exhaled a total of five pounds of matter then you will not have gained or lost weight.
The only way you can trend down on weight is if you can find a way to consume less than you expel. Science has already been conducted that shows that most of the weight you ‘lose’ when your weight goes down leaves your body in the form of carbon dioxide. The process of consuming your fatty acids and your glucoses ends up creating carbon dioxide. This is why when you hold your breath the carbon dioxide builds up in your blood, because moment by moment every cell in your body is converting fatty acids or sugars in your blood into carbon dioxide as a byproduct of the chemistry that changes carbohydrate, fat, and protein into whatever your cells need for life.
The thought that the phrase ‘losing’ weight equals ‘burning fat’–that when you lose weight it is lost during physical activity, is just a consequence of the limited language that is used. Nobody ever thinks about exhaling weight, even though that is where it is going. In physics there is only one process that converts mass (weight) into energy–a nuclear reaction. The sun loses tons of weight per second as it converts hydrogen into helium. A uranium reactor converts mass into energy as it splits the uranium atom into smaller atoms. You have no process in your body that converts mass into energy. You convert mass into mass, as all chemical reactions do. All of the products of your chemistry exactly equal all of the inputs to it. Losing weight must mean giving off more weight than you take in.
So, exercise does not lose weight. Running uses 124 calories per hour for a man. The net calories of running are 105. That is because even when you sleep you must consume stored energy, and for the average man that is 19 calories. Most of us don’t run every day for an hour, I know that I don’t. Running or any other exercise don’t just result in more energy consumed, they have the side effect of increasing your hunger. Ever heard of ‘working up an appetite?” Increase your physical activity and you will increase your need for food. Trying to exercise while trying to reduce your weight operates at cross-purposes. If you are trying to lose weight you should not change your physical routine, but you should change the types of fuel you put into your body.
I lose weight, and I don’t change the number of calories I eat, or the amount of physical activity that I undertake. How do I do it? I stop eating carbohydrates when I want my weight to go down. That is all I do, and while I eat no carbs (except those incidental to the green veggies I eat) my weight very slowly descends to my natural weight, which I think is around 138 pounds. (I am 5 foot 6 inch) If I weigh myself at night before bed at around 10PM, I usually weigh about 1.5 pounds more than I do at 6AM after eight hours of using energy all night and exhaling nothing but CO2, drinking no water, and exhaling evaporated water in my breath. Water weighs quite a bit, so I don’t want to do the chemistry and figure out how much fat I must have consumed and turned into water and CO2 after using 152 ‘calories’ while I slept. The point I am trying to make is that I can lose weight (and so can you) by eating something that does not add to my fat stores while I am awake.
Carbohydrates are turned into blood sugar. Your blood sugar is tightly regulated by a well-functioning metabolism. If it begins to go up your body instantly responds by creating insulin. The insulin commands your cells to accept blood sugar to lower it, and it commands your fat cells to let it in, and it commands your liver to metabolize it into fats as well. All of this is to get the sugar out of your blood as quickly as possible. If you eat a big starchy meal then you will have a big insulin reaction and will end up with low blood sugar and a resulting loss of energy–you feel tired, then you feel hungry again as a result of the low sugar. We all know this crash. For this discussion we are concerned with the shunting to fat of the sugars that we eat that are not consumed in the instant. If our resting consumption of energy is 19 calories per hour, then if we eat a starchy meal that has 500 calories of carbohydrate, our pancreas and liver respond to turn 480 of those calories into fat, to clean our bloodstream of excess, toxic blood sugar. Then, when we are not eating, our bodies release some of it back into the system for us to live on for all of those hours that we are not eating.
If you eat foods that do not cause insulin to be released, then you don’t add to fat stores. You don’t get hungry because your blood sugar level does not dip after a flood of it at meal time. Your weight very gradually lowers as you eat and drink and partake in your normal daily activities. Eventually you get to a point where your mass in equals exactly your mass out, and you are neither gaining or losing weight. It is at this point that you can eat a dessert a couple of nights a week and it won’t cause you to ‘gain weight’. Your system will be able to handle the occasional deviation from your ideal diet of very limited carbohydrate without it causing you any concern. You can continue to eat as much fat and protein as you want and you will not gain weight.