Nutrition Tip: Revving Up Metabolism

Posted December 12, 2008 in Diet, Nutrition Tip 2 Comments »
Dr. John Berardi
Dr. John Berardi

I have been reading exercise and nutrition material written by a gentleman named Dr. John Berardi since the late 1990’s.

Since that time he has published 8 scientific abstracts; 15 scientific papers and textbook chapters; presented at nearly 50 scientific, exercise, and nutrition related conferences; and published countless articles online.

His first articles at Testosterone Magazine so many years ago, provided me with the basis for everything I know about nutrition today. Now I will turn some of that knowledge over to you in the form of Nutrition Tips written by Dr. Berardi himself.

Today’s Topic – Eat to Gain and Eat to Lose

Sometimes people believe that they need to starve themselves in order to lose weight. They believe that if they can lose 1 pound a week by eating 2000 calories a day, then they could lose 10 pounds a week by eating 500 calories a day. This is false.

When you decrease your calorie intake below a certain point, it signals your body to prepare for a famine by storing every single fraction of a calories that you intake. This makes it one hundred times harder to burn calories through activity, and it makes you one hundred times lazier when it comes to exercising.

The 2% Rule

I always publish nutrition guidelines that involve adding or subtracting as little as 100 calories per day, based on your fat loss or fat gain the previous week. It is important to keep within a certain allowance for the percentage of fat loss in a week. In fact, I recommend increasing your calories if you are losing more than 2% of your overall body weight each week.

For example: we have a 200 lb man and an 800 lb man. A 2% fat loss for the 200 lb man, is 4 pounds in one week; while a 2% fat loss for the 800 lb man is 16 pounds in one week. This seems reasonable. In reality we probably wouldn’t want to see more than a 3 lb weight loss in one week for a healthy 200 lb man, but an 800 lb man could potentially lose 20 pounds or more in one week and still be safe.

The 2% rule works pretty well, but it must also be applied with reason and in the context of each individual.

A 200 lb man losing 10 lbs a week will quickly see his muscle mass disappear and his weight loss come to a screeching halt as his body enters a state of famine. As I mentioned, it is in this case that his body stores all calories as fat and catabolizes as much muscle mass as possible in order to make the body smaller and lighter.

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Get Precision Nutrition

Basically, eat more food to lose more fat. Eat less food to store more fat and catabolize more muscle. Let’s see what JB has to say about it.

Tip: Revving Up Metabolism

“I recommend more calories than most do.

That’s because there’s no such thing as a stagnant metabolic set-point. Instead, metabolism chases intake.

So, if you want a bigger metabolism, you need a bigger food intake. And if you’re worried about fat gain with this approach, just use outcome-based decision making and adjust energy (calorie) intake every two weeks based on your results.

Not much ‘damage’ can take place in only two weeks. So if you end up boosting your metabolism, you’ll be thanking me eternally. And if it turns out you’re consuming too much, you can just adjust down.”

See Also

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2 Responses to “Nutrition Tip: Revving Up Metabolism”

  1. Thanks for this post, Dr. Berardi. I haven’t seen the 2% rule, but I definitely think it’s applicable for my clients (and me as well). I’m going to recommend this one. Keep up the great work!

  2. Excellent info. I tell my clients that weight loss is a lifestyle change and not a quick fix. As you said, most people do the opposite and starve themselves out of success.

    Thanks again.

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