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Cutting Calories

If you want to reduce your body fat, you can't escape the physics of the situation:

Every 3500 calories beyond your basic needs will result in a pound of fat.

So, to reduce fat you must control your calories. This doesn't necessarily mean reducing carbs or reducing fat.

  • Carbs: Highly processed carbs, such as table sugar and most flours, cause a chain of chemical reactions and hormonal fluctuations that increase hunger, and thus cause you to eat more--which means you take in more calories. The fact you are eating carbohydrates is irrelevant. Carbohydrates do not make you fat by din of being carbohydrates. You make yourself fat by eating too much, regardless of whether it's carbs, fat, or protein.
  • Fat: Fat does not make you fat. But, fat is more calorie-dense than carbohydrates or protein. Thus, you will reach your caloric limit faster if a higher portion of your food intake is fat. But fat is not evil--you need it for basic metabolic processes. One of those processes is the process of burning excess body fat. Eat the right fats--that is, don't eat hydrogenated oil and make sure you trim excess fat off of the cuts of meat you eat. Ground meat contains excess fat, but cuts of meat do not contain more saturated fat than your body can handle.

So, if carbs aren't bad and fats aren't bad, how do you reduce calories? Very simply, here's what you need to remember: control portion size. Eat smaller portions. There is no law saying you must completely fill a plate with food and then eat it all. Food portions in France are about twice those in America. Americans eat way too much! Here are three ways to cut back on portion size:

  • Use 9-inch plates, rather than 10. This is easy to do, but may not be enough.
  • Use 10-inch plates, but leave a 1-inch border around them (you will probably cheat on this, so make it a 2-inch border).
  • Use half-size plates, and eat 6 x per day.

This alone will cut your caloric intake, possibly to where it needs to be. But you should also consider these tips:

  • Eat nutrient-dense (vs. calorie dense) foods. This means, for example, replacing "grains" with "greens" on the food pyramid. Aim for dark green leafy vegetables: kale, bok choy, broccoli, mustard greens, and so on.
  • Don't eat a carbohydrate by itself. Every time you do, your body is processing sugars faster than it should have to. If all you have is an apple, try eating half of  it now and half of it later.
  • Give the calories a place to go. If you can coordinate your schedule such that you engage in heavy exercise less than an hour before a meal, your glycogen-depleted muscles will soak up calories that would otherwise be stored as fat. You get a mild response this way if you do even mild exercising before a meal (e.g., a 30-minute walk).

Don't worry about the pseudo-science that's out there. A lot of this stuff sounds very convincing, but it's simply somebody's bullsh--.

An example is the elaborate theory where you have to eat foods according to their akalinity or acidity. Your stomach is full of hydrochloric acid and can make more with no problem. Apply common sense here, so you can turn your attention to things that matter. Yes, people do lose weight on such diets--but that's simply because they are more conscious of what they eat and are thus eating less. They are controlling their portions. You can control your portions with the simple tips above, and not engage in some whacky diet that causes nutritional deficiencies. 


Here's another calorie site:



Article Authorship

The articles on this site are authoritative, because:

  • Every contributor is an expert in his or her field.
  • The articles comply with the accepted principles of the bodybuilder literature.
  • The articles comply with the teachings of such luminaries as 8-time Mr. Olympia Lee Haney.

 Where an article is not bylined with a specific author's name, it was written by Mark Lamendola (see photos on home page and elsewhere on this site). Mark is a 4th degree blackbelt, has not been sick since 1971, and has not missed a workout since 1977. Just an example of how Mark knows what he's talking about: In his early 50s, Mark demonstrated a biceps curl using half his body weight. That's a Jack LaLanne level stunt. Few people can even come close. If you want to know how to build a strong, beautiful body, read the articles here.

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