Q&A With Brian
Hi Brian, How many calories should you burn in each session to lose weight consistently? Thanks, Kelsey - Wandi WA.
Great question Kelsey and I have a very simple answer for you.
ANY calories you burn through exercise will contribute to you losing weight. Doing the maths of using exercise as a tool for losing weight can be very demoralising, but here goes.
In order to burn 1 kilogram of body fat, you will need to burn approximately 7,700 calories. Now considering that walking for an hour uses approximately 350 calories, to lose 1 kilogram of body fat from walking you will need to do it for 22 hours.
Maybe, aerobics is your thing, if so you are looking at 14 hours for 1 kilogram.
Cycling, 25 hours and swimming is about 18 hours.
Now all these are just approximations based on a female of 60 kilogram, but you should get the idea - using just exercise to influence weight is a battle you will lose.
Don’t get me wrong exercise is great for you. Personally I love the way it makes me feel. However if you are going to exercise for weight lose, please use my suggestions I’ve given in previous post about High Intensity Interval Training. HIIT is the best way of using exercise effectively to shift body fat. Not because of the amount of calories you burn whilst doing it, but the amount of calories you burn after as a result of doing it.
So if exercise is not the solution what is?
Have you ever wondered why you have fat in the first place; what is fat’s function?
The answer is protection: protection from starving to death or freezing to death.
Taking this idea further we see that body fat is not a problem as such, but a solution by the body to a problem.
Based on the signals your brain is receiving (these signals are known as hormones), it interprets the most appropriate response is for you to carry “x” amount of body fat in order to keep you safe.
These signals can be attributed to 3 main categories of stress...
Physical: as a result of nutritional deficiency or starvation, chronic dehydration, sleep deprivation as with sleep apnea, medications and digestive system dysfunction.
Mental: chronic mental stress results in an elevation of the stress hormone cortisol, which in turn will lead to an increase in body fat regardless of the amount of food you eat or amount of exercise you do. Ask anyone who has taken cortisol medication for a long period of time, and one of the most common effects of this is an increase in body fat.
Emotional: stress as a result of physical or sexual abuse, trauma, grief, self-punishment, where extra body fat is laid down as an insulator from an external stress.
The paradigm of losing weight by controlling calories in versus calories out is flawed. 90% of people who try to lose weight this way will fail, and end up being heavier 12 months later.
I’m convinced the answer to obesity is to identify why your brain thinks being overweight is keeping you safe. In my work as a Gabriel Method coach I help people identify the real reason they have a weight problem. In identifying the triggers, you can target the areas which are of most influence.
I encourage you to take this short Fat Trigger Quiz to identifying your triggers.