Over our combined thirty years as personal trainers we have seen our share of clients who are diligent, eat perfectly, and do not miss a workout but still cannot lose a pound.
However, in time we discovered that there was another reason why our clients continually struggled to meet their goals.
In the sports world, sprinters are leaner than distance runners yet burn far fewer calories.
People of equal height and weight will invariably derive different outcomes from an equal calorie diet. Bodybuilders don’t necessarily make it a point to count calories, yet achieve amazingly lean physiques. Stress and sleep don’t have calories yet they dramatically impact how much we eat and what we choose to eat. You may be thinking we have forgotten the first law of thermodynamics: energy can neither be created nor destroyed.
The law of entropy states that energy put into a system will suffer some loss or dissipation. When gasoline in your car is converted into energy to power the engine, some of the energy is used for movement and some is lost as heat. Cutting calories from the diet and burning up energy on a treadmill may lead to weight loss, but there is no guarantee those pounds will be fat. Hormones are so powerful to understand  because they are minimally impacted by willpower and explain differences in metabolism and lifestyle. One more thing to understand about this is that calories impact hormones and hormones impact calories. Take a “calories first approach” by eating less and exercising more, and you will change hormones in a negative direction leading to a slower metabolism and compensatory hunger, cravings, and energy lows. Take a “hormones first approach” by eating more of the right things more often and exercising smarter, and you are far more likely to automatically end up in a caloric deficit. In other words, take care of the hormones and the calories often take care of themselves, take care of the calories first and you are almost certain to end up dealing with an onslaught of negative hormonal consequences. So, is there a way to use food to control hormone production in the body the same way we count calories? Protein consumption increases glucagon relative to insulin while carbohydrates do the reverse. While many hormone-savvy experts argue the proper ratio of carbohydrates to protein, we know that all people are different. An easy way to find the appropriate ratio for you is to let your hunger and cravings between meals guide you. In this case, fiber and protein should be elevated while starch and sugar consumption are reduced.
Weight training should be the centerpiece of the exercise program with cardiovascular activity consisting of 20-30 minutes of intervals several times per week.
This style of training will elevate testosterone (muscle building) and HGH (fat burning) over slower workouts. Essentially, the goal should be to increase the density of the exercise session: how much work can you cram into a 30-40 minute time slot? The consistent use of supersets in your programs can also slash the workout time considerably.
Keep the intensity high, the weight heavy, the rest periods short, and get to failure multiple times throughout the workout. We are sure you are waiting for the data, so let’s look at a few studies on diet and exercise. Based on the caloric model we would expect the high carbohydrate group to have an advantage and lose more weight. An example of how metabolic exercise and calories interact can be found in the July 1994 journal, Metabolism. However, when the results of the study were tallied, the high intensity group was the winner burning 9 times more fat than the aerobic group.
The weight loss puzzle is an intricate one, with very few success stories compared to failures. However, by putting calories in the context of hormonal metabolism, you can finally understand why some people struggle so mightily. Integrative Physician, Author The Metabolic Effect Diet, Founder CEO Metabolic Effect Inc., Health, Fitness and fat loss expert.
Since the release of The Metabolic Effect Diet, a lot of people have been asking us how this book is different from other diet and health books.  They also wonder about the subtitle, Eat More, Workout Less and Actually Lose While You Rest. The question then becomes why?  If it is not calories that are making the sprinters more muscular and leaner, then what is it? Finally, each person is as different on the inside chemically as they are on the outside physically.


In order to use the high intensity principles that burn fat, yet keep it safe and individualized, The Metabolic Effect Diet, uses rest-based training.  This is a concept we developed for Metabolic Effect Inc.
The ME Diet is a lifestyle system that allows the use of nutrition, exercise, and lifestyle factors to create the proper hormonal balance for sustained fat loss. It is one of those things that personal trainers and serious fitness enthusiasts don’t like to think about, let alone admit.
The calorie model is completely dependent upon willpower; it works against the body’s natural physiology, and does not take into account differences in metabolism, lifestyle and most importantly personal preference.
If the calorie model is the final word on weight loss, then why are there these discrepancies? We haven’t forgotten about it and we don’t dispute it, but what we need to realize is that there is a second law of thermodynamics. In complex systems like the human body, the first and second law do not work independently of each other. There is no such thing as a 100% efficient energy system and the human body is no exception. Doing so ignores the law of entropy and oversimplifies the body’s biochemistry and fuel mechanics.
They carry the instructions for fuel metabolism determining how many and which type of calories are burned: sugar or fat. They are not separate, but which one you choose to focus on will determine your success with fat loss. And with less potential for metabolic slow down and less chance of compensatory eating reactions.
The degree of carbohydrate reduction relative to protein consumption depends on how “weight loss resistant” your client is (another way of saying how insulin resistant, thyroid sensitive, and adrenally strong their metabolism is). Fiber will blunt the hunger hormone ghrelin while protein will interrupt cravings by affecting multiple satiety hormones and provide a fat burning advantage.
Fifty percent of their plate should be in the form of fiber rich vegetables or low glycemic index fruits (berries, apples, pears, grapefruits). More important is the release of local “hormones” called myokines which likely provide the real advantage to this style of training. Performing a superset means using two exercises done one after the other without rest, and is a technique often used by trainers to induce failure. This is hormonally beneficial since studies indicate that exercise sessions lasting over forty minutes in duration MAY elevate cortisol levels and can become counter-productive.
The more times you reach failure, whether mechanical or metabolic, the more likely you are to respond to the exercise and burn fat for hours after the session ends. In the July 2004 issue of Nutrition and Metabolism, 28 overweight men and women were tracked using two different diets. This remarkable study compared standard aerobic training with high intensity interval exercise.
In fact, most people are reluctant to discuss this reality since it is a source of much confusion, frustration, and debate. It may sound like marketing hype, but the science actually supports our contention that you can actually consume more food, spend less time in the gym and reprogram your metabolism so that you burn fat more efficiently even when you’re not working out.
It is important to understand you may be burning calories and losing weight, but you may or may not be burning or losing fat.
This is why many people struggle with body transformation.  Because they are getting advice from doctors, nutritionists, and personal trainers who do not get the distinction of weight loss vs.
There is no one size fits all approach that will work for fat loss.  This is the key difference between The Metabolic Effect Diet and other programs.
It has to do with that certain percentage of people that do not get results from standard advice. After 8 weeks of seeing little or no results these types normally walk away from the program and resign that they just cannot lose weight. The way the body processes calories depends on the complex needs and interactions of the metabolism rather than just the quantity consumed. The first step in avoiding the calorie trap is to understand fuel metabolism, and although a lesson in thermodynamics is instructive, much more needs to be considered. Calories are criticially important, but they are not the final word in weight loss success. The relative macronutrient composition of a meal is one way to determine the hormonal influence on fuel metabolism.
By increasing the percentage of protein in the diet you will elevate glucagon relative to insulin and potentially increase fat burning (this is drastically oversimplified as protein does much more, but it gets the point across). While the average person will do well on a diet comprised of 40% carbohydrates and 30% protein, others will require much less carbohydrates and some (a very small percent in our experience) may even require more carbs. In hormonal exercise, failure is success and in fact, inducing failure in your client is the strongest indication you have created a potent hormonal, fat-burning effect (by failure we mean pushing the body to its limit not necessarily training to complete exhaustive failure each set).


For enhanced hormonal effects, make sure you avoid large amounts of moderate-intensity, long duration exercise sessions (i.e jogging, running, biking, swimming) to avoid the caloric trap.
The high protein diet induced more weight loss, more fat loss, and a higher proportion of trunk fat lost when compared to the high carbohydrate diet. Over the course of the study, the aerobic group performed more exercise and burned almost twice as many calories (48% more) than the high intensity group. After all, if you achieve results and someone else does not, it is easy to chalk it up to that  person being a lazy glutton. It circumvents willpower, controls hunger, and directly determines the amount and type of calories burned. If you eat a doughnut for breakfast vs a chicken breast which is going to keep you full, balanced in energy and free from cravings before lunch? This is why runners who get injured or can no longer keep up the mileage will often develop soft and saggy bodies. However, it is now being viewed by researchers as a hormone and it is highly correlated with the release of  human growth hormone a key fat burning hormone. The tools for weight loss, eating less and exercising more, are different than the tools for fat loss. When the hormonal influences on fuel metabolism are factored in, even the most resistant weight loss seekers will benefit.
Vegetables, with their very low carbohydrate to fiber ratio are far superior to whole grains, and white flour products are rarely beneficial. High intensity interval cardio and failure-based weight training derive their weight loss advantage not through calories, but by their hormonal effects. In hormonal exercise, training to the point of failure is essential and the use of heavy weight often induces mechanical failure (client can longer lift the weight out due to sheer heaviness), while short rest periods often induce metabolic failure (creates a burning effect in the muscles and so the client must rest). When I say hormones, most people will think of the sex steroids including estrogen, progesterone and testosterone.  But, there are other hormones that impact hunger (ghrelin, leptin, CCK), brain chemistry and mood (serotonin, dopamine), as well as fat storage (insulin, glucagon, adrenaline, human growth hormone). Contrast that with runners who engage in weight training and other more intense activities.  In the later scenario, they are able to stay leaner and maintain more muscle mass.
The more sound approach is to understand your unique metabolism, start out with a blueprint, and then use your own biochemical reactions to help you find the unique diet suited to you.
This makes the workouts employed in the book universally scalable for all fitness levels and physical abilities. These are Breathless, Burning, Heavy, and Heat.  Each of these parameters deliver a hormonal advantage to the exerciser.
Hormones like cortisol, testosterone, and human growth hormone (HGH) can even determine where in the body fat will be stored or burned. Hormonal exercise compared to caloric exercise should focus on quality rather than quantity.
The fact that hormones impact fat storage is easily demonstrated by looking at the fat distribution of men vs.
Before you think we are simply reverting back to talking about calories, consider what meal 2 does. Longer duration moderate intensity exercise also causes hormonal changes that lead to compensatory eating reactions like increased hunger and cravings. One additional benefit is the workouts only require a set of dumbbells and a small area of floor space. Remember the 8 egg white omelet?  It also involves exercising in a way that stimulates fat burning while you are resting, not just during exercise.  In other words, fat loss exercise is about working smarter not longer. Omega 3 fats found in fatty fish have their own hormone-like effects and speak directly to our fat burning genes. They are confused because they usually understand long distance athletes like marathon runners burn much greater amounts of calories. High intensity programs built to simply work people into exhaustion or improve athletic performance usually don’t work for the average fat loss seeker.
Similar to a weight loss diet and exercise approach, a healthy diet or healthy exercise habits are not the same as fat loss diet and exercise.  Finally, any approach to fat loss must take into account the unique genetic, metabolic and psychological sensitivities of the person. Keep in mind that long distance runners exercise for hours when training for and engaging in their sport.  Sprinters on the other hand exercise in short bursts lasting seconds to minutes and then have long periods of time where they rest and recover before they repeat. The ME Diet changes the weight loss approach to diet and exercise into metabolically charged fat loss leading to a more sustainable lifestyle and significant body change. The calorie comparison between the two activities is not even close with marathon runners burning hundreds if not thousands more caloires. So, the idea that you can exercise less and still develop a lean muscular physique is something that is revealed in the example of these two athletes.



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