Fact of FIT to FAT - FIT Human Performance

Fact of FIT to FAT


July 31, 2016 – Change

I was talking to a friend at the gym yesterday and she asked how my vacation went. “Wonderful” I said “but I put all my weight back on … shoot!” She asked me, “why does that happen?” She said every time she goes on vacation she gains any weight she has lost back … right away. So let me try to , an unsettling physical pitfall for many of us.

Plans have been set, your going on a vacation. WooHoo! This vacation you want to look great in your swimsuit, wear light clothes and feel good. So you make a plan to eat less, get off the sauce, and do a few extra workouts. AND presto, you feel better, look better, and are ready for that vacation. Vacation was great … floating in the pool with a book in one hand, a beer in the other, and a bag of chips between your legs. Bliss I tell you, just pure pleasure! Oh my gosh, but now it’s back to reality. After your body gets used to those big meals, fatty snacks, and extra (too many extra) calorie days and all the while the scale was changing. Here’s what happened;

To lose weight you need to understand the effect calories have on your body. For each pound of weight that your body carries, it takes about 12 calories per pound per day to keep it alive (a general rule to follow). If you weigh 150 pounds, you need approximately (150 * 12) 1,800 calories per day to keep yourself alive and maintain that same weight. If you eat more than 1,800 calories per day, the surplus turns into fat. For everybody, it takes about 3,500 excess calories to make a pound of fat. Calculate your calorie needs here.

Let’s say that you weigh 150 pounds and you were to eat, on average, 2,000 calories per day. That extra 200 calories per day is going to turn into fat. However, you will eventually hit a point of equilibrium because as you gain weight, you need more calories to maintain that weight. So, a person eating an average of 2,000 calories per day will hit equilibrium at (2,000 / 12) 166.67 pounds.

Now let’s assume that you eat, on average, 2,000 calories per day and reach equilibrium at 166 pounds. Then you go on a crash diet where you eat only 1,000 calories per day for 60 days. You lose 16 pounds and reach your target weight of 150 pounds. But then you go right back to eating 2,000 calories per day again. The graph below shows your eating pattern before, during and after the diet:

Calorie Deficit

Note that the graph assumes that you, like most people, eat a random number of calories per day. Some days you are “good” and eat less, and some days you are “bad” and eat more, but the assumption is that it averages out to 12 calories per pound per day over the long run.

A diet can really take the weight off, but the weight comes right back when you return to your “normal” eating pattern. The weight appears to come back so quickly because when you are at your lightest, you tend to gain more weight each day. The lighter you are, the fewer calories you need. If you only need 1,500 calories per day and you’re eating 2,000, you’re going to gain weight faster than if you need 1,800 and you’re eating 2,000. The daily extra food or calories pack the weight onto that smaller version of you FAST. And, if you are still drinking the sauce or having high fatty snacks or deserts … VERY fast. Yes, it stinks.

There are only two ways to keep the weight off:

  • Change your overall eating pattern so that you take in, on average, fewer calories than before you went on the diet.
  • Start exercising so that you “burn” the extra calories you take in.

The best course of action is a combination of these two options … eat less, exercise more. Another thing, I promise you quick weight loss really doesn’t last; your body is not stupid. If you starve yourself and then go back to normal eating without creating a healthy lifestyle your body wants you to retain those extra calories, every time! A lifestyle change is said to take 21 days. So find a month this year and change your life, and change your health! Save your life is more like it.

In good health,


”A pound of fat is 3500 calories. If you want to lose 1 pound a week, then burn 500 calories per day more than you eat. Weight loss is science not magic.” – Unknown