| Food & Diet

How To Lose Weight By Eating More

By Tyler Woodward

Tired of doing restrictive diets that don’t work and the endless cycle of gaining back the weight you lost? Well, look no further, here's how to lose weight by eating more, without exercising! Let me explain…

Key Takeaways:

Calories In Vs. Calories Out:

Energy Balance Equation

There is one central principle governing weight loss. You must consume fewer calories than you burn in order to lose weight. As you may know, a calorie is a unit of energy and is equal to 4.18 Joules. This is the amount of energy or heat required to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water by 1°C. This means that calories are really just a measure of heat. As humans, we actually measure calories in kilocalories (1,000 calories) or kCal because we consume so many calories on a daily basis. 

The amount of calories that you burn on a daily basis is known as your metabolic rate. This makes up the “calories out” part of the weight-loss equation. Your metabolic rate or metabolism is made up of three different parts:

  • Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) - Your BMR is basically the amount of calories that you burn if you didn’t move an inch throughout the day. It’s the amount of calories that your cells use to function or maintain homeostasis. Homeostasis is basically the tendency of the body and its cells to act in order to stay in balance with its environment.
  • Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT) - NEAT is the amount of calories you burn from small, subtle movements throughout the day.  This includes breathing, walking, talking, cooking ect,. Most people don’t think about NEAT when they attempt to lose weight, but it can actually make a huge difference in how many calories you burn daily. This study found that  “fidgety” people can burn an additional 100-800 calories daily.
  • Exercise - Exercise is the daily activity that we normally do account for or at least acknowledge that it burns a decent amount of calories. It's worth noting that most calorie counters (treadmill counters, fitbits, apple watches, ect,) are terribly inaccurate and significantly overestimate the amount of calories we burn during exercise.

Read More: The Only Way To Lose Weight (It's That Simple)

How To Lose Weight By Eating More:

How To lose weight by eating more

At this point, you might be thinking that I’m just going to tell you to move (NEAT) and exercise more, so that you burn more calories and can therefore eat more. While this is true and you probably should aim to move more, regardless of whether you’re trying to lose weight, this article focuses on how to boost your metabolism or BMR. 

How To Boost Your Metabolism:

How To boost your metabolism

It’s pretty much an agreed upon fact at this point that if you consume more calories than you burn you will store the excess energy as fat, or potentially muscle if you perform some form of resistance training. So how is it possible to eat more (calories?) and still lose weight? Well, it comes down to one statistic, by the age of 5 over 50% of children are deficient in at least one essential micronutrient, and this percentage continues to increase as we age. What Are Micronutrients And Why Are They Important?

Micronutrients are the vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, and amino acids that we must consume through our diet in order for our body to function properly. They are referred to as micronutrients because we only need to consume a small amount of them, typically in micrograms (mcg), in order to meet our dietary needs. The issue is that on average we don’t get enough of these micronutrients through our diets to fuel our body, resulting in micronutrient deficiencies occurring over time. 

Micronutrients are necessary in our body to accomplish thousands of biological functions. Here a few examples:

  • Iron - Iron is necessary in order to produce the main ingredient of our red blood cells, the protein hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is responsible for transporting oxygen and carbon dioxide into and out of the body. 
    • Anemia occurs if you are deficient in iron and results in reduced oxygen flow to the your organs.
  • Iodine - Iodine is required by your thyroid gland to convert the thyroid hormone T3 into its active form, T4, which is capable of entering our cells (unlike T3). The thyroid gland is often referred to as the master regulator of your metabolism and controls how much energy your body uses. 
    • Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the body does not produce enough thyroid hormone (T4 specifically) and results a in a lowered body temperature (remember calories=heat, meaning fewer calories are burned)  and often fatigue and weight gain. 

When you become micronutrient deficient your body has 2 options:

1. Compensate -

Most micronutrients play a variety of roles in the body, so depending on the micronutrient your body may be able to “reallocate” some of its resources. This may sound like a good thing, but it's really not. For example, let's take a look at calcium. Calcium is an essential neurotransmitter required for your nervous system to function. If we become deficient in calcium, our body begins to pull calcium from our bones to compensate. Calcium deficiencies over time lead to the development of osteoporosis (weak or brittle bones) which causes your bones to break much easier and affects many older people.

2. Decreased Metabolism -

If our body cannot pull a given micronutrient from elsewhere in your body, then it is forced to decrease our metabolism. Remember, a decreased metabolism really just means that there are less chemical reactions occurring and that every chemical reaction uses energy and releases heat. The less chemical reactions that occur (like when we run out of any micronutrient), the less heat is generated and the fewer calories or energy we require to function.

    Being deficient in key micronutrients is like your body is running on low-power mode. The goal of your body when deficient in essential micronutrients is no longer to thrive, rather to survive. Yes, you are capable of functioning while deficient in some micronutrients, or we would’ve died off as a species thousands of years ago, but certain biological processes will become slowed or cannot occur at all without the micronutrient “fuel” necessary to build them.  And the more deficient you are, the slower your metabolism will get.

    Read More: Step By Step Guide For Skyrocketing Your Metabolism

    How To Correct Your Micronutrient Deficiencies:

    Correct Micronutrient deficiencies

    The easiest way to correct your micronutrient deficiencies is by testing yourself to see what micronutrients you are deficient in. This is by the far the easiest method of correcting your micronutrient deficiencies because you know which vitamins, minerals, or amino acids you are deficient in. Now, all you have to do is consume foods that are rich in those micronutrients. As far as micronutrient tests go you can ask your doctor for a full-panel micronutrient test, but sadly unless you are experiencing some adverse health conditions they are generally reluctant to do so. Thankfully, today you can purchase a full micronutrient test online through websites like resetyourself.com, everlywell.com, or spectracell.com. 

    If you don’t want to bother with getting a micronutrient test, then make sure you are consuming foods that are micronutrient rich and avoiding foods that deplete your body of micronutrients.

    Some of the most micronutrient dense foods are:

    Thermo Diet Pyramid

    • Organ Meats - If you can’t get or don’t like organ meats, there are now a ton of organ meat supplements that are your next best bet
    • Muscle Meats - Consuming some form of meat is basically the only way to get in fat-soluble vitamins (vitamins that only exist in fat) through your diet. 
    • Fruits - All types of fruits tend to be rich in a variety of micronutrients 
    • Roots - Roots like potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, ect, also tend to be very micronutrient dense
    • Collagen or Gelatin - When our ancestors used to consume an animal, they would eat every part of the animal including the bones and joints. These tend to be very rich in micronutrients like calcium and the amino acid glycine which can be difficult to consume from other sources, but consuming a collagen or bone broth supplement can be just as beneficial.

    Foods to Avoid:

    • Nuts & Seeds - Although very dense in micronutrients, the nutrients contained within nuts and seeds are not accessible to humans. Nuts and seeds contain large amounts of the anti nutrient phytic acid, which not only blocks your body from being able to absorb the vitamins and minerals from the nuts & seeds, but can also drain our body of key micronutrients. 
    • Cruciferous Vegetables - Vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and kale contain high amounts of goitrogens. Goitrogens deplete your body of Iodine, which directly inhibits the ability of your thyroid to function. You’ve more than likely been told that cruciferous vegetables are healthy for you, but consider this... It's estimated that about 95% of women and 91% of men show at least one symptom of hypothyroidism. Since goitrogens directly interfere with thyroid function, I'll let you decide whether cruciferous vegetables are healthy.

    Polyunsaturated Fats

    • Polyunsaturated Fats - Polyunsaturated fats are types of fat molecules that have multiple double bonds in their fatty acid chain. Double bonds are extremely less stable compared to single bonds and due to the high body temperature found in humans, the double bonds break apart or oxidize. When this happens, free radicals are released into your body causing inflammation and oxidative stress. Saturated fats on the other hand do not contain any double bonds and therefore are not broken apart in our body. 

    By consuming foods that are rich with micronutrients and avoiding foods that deplete our body of micronutrients, over time we will correct our micronutrient deficiencies and “reset our metabolism” equal to that of your early childhood. 

    Read More: What Does It Mean To Be Healthy

    Glucose vs. Fatty Acid Metabolism:

    There is one last piece of the puzzle and that is the question of the optimal fuel source. Our cells are capable of running off of two different energy sources, carbohydrates, or sugar, and fats (proteins must be converted into fats or sugar to be used as energy. Metabolize is the process by which energy molecules are converted into a form of usable energy by the cells, typically as ATP (adenosine triphosphate). 

    Glucose metabolism 

    Fatty Acid Metabolism

    • Faster
    • Slower
    • More energy/ ATP produced 
    • Proportionally less ATP/energy produced
    • Beneficial byproducts (CO2)
    • Stress hormone byproducts produced
    • Less CO2 released

    As you can tell from the table above, glucose metabolism is a much more efficient process compared to fatty acid metabolism. This is not to say fatty acid metabolism is “bad”, it is just less efficient than glucose metabolism. If you want to burn fat at some point you will need your cells to perform fatty acid metabolism. For these reasons, it is much more efficient to consume a diet that is high in quality carbohydrates and contains moderate amounts of fats and proteins. By consuming adequate amounts of carbohydrates, you will provide your cells with their optimal food/energy source and restrict the amount of fatty acid metabolism to only what is necessary to lose weight. But before we cap this discussion, I’d like to draw your attention to two key points:

    1. The CO2 Feedback Loop - The more CO2 released by your cells the more acidic the nearby blood becomes. The increased acidity of your blood changes the shape or conformation of hemoglobin (the molecule found in your red blood cells). This changed shape makes it much easier for hemoglobin to release its stored O2 from the lungs and pick up CO2 to release. This results in a feedback loop of increased oxygen uptake and CO2 release by your cells resulting in, yup you guessed it, an increased metabolic rate. So the more glucose we can supply our cells with, the more energy they will use compared to fatty acids
    2. The Stress Hormone Release - Stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline must be released into the bloodstream to signal to the body to break down its fat stores. While again, this is necessary in order to lose fat, we want to minimize the amount this occurs. The release of these stress hormones signals to your body to preserve its energy and, as a result, it will slow your metabolic rate over time. By prioritizing carbohydrates as a fuel source, we can restrict fatty acid metabolism to only what is necessary which will maintain our metabolism. 

    *Note* - Lastly, I’d like to mention that Polyunsaturated fats aka PUFAs are so highly unstable that our cells try to avoid using them as energy. This is believed by many to play a large role in the obesity epidemic because our cells prefer to store the PUFAs rather than use them as energy.

    In the words of the Research Cowboy himself, the fatty acid metabolism is a conservative metabolism, while the glucose metabolism is a wasteful metabolism. You want a metabolism to be "wasteful" in your body because it provides a surplus of energy to the body and its cell. And in the context of metabolism we want to be driving the Hummer (glucose/wasteful metabolism), not the prius (fatty acid/conservative metabolism. 

    By following these steps, over time we can increase our metabolic rate. The degree to which our metabolism increases will be dictated how micronutrient deficient you are and how well you adhere to this diet. If you're looking for a complete program designed to teach you how to eat to burn fat, reset your metabolism, and restore hormonal balance to your body, look no further than the Thermo Diet program by Christopher Walker.

    The Thermo Diet Program

    Eventually, by increasing your metabolic rate through the Thermo Diet, the “calories out” half of the equation will gradually rise. This will result in your current “calories in” to shift from being maintenance calories to a caloric deficit due to the increase in metabolic rate. 

    Conclusion:

    My goal in writing this article, as always, is to provide you with logically-based principles that you can use to form your own conclusions regarding any information you may come across within this subject. I really hope you found this article interesting and if you have anything to add to this article, or any comments or criticism, feel free to reach out to me on our facebook groups (The Thermo Diet Community Group, The UMZU Community Group) or on Instagram @tylerwoodward__. Also, please feel free to share this article with anyone that might be interested.

    Thanks for reading

    Until next time… be good
    ~Tyler Woodward
    B.S. Physiology and Neurobiology