In episode 93 of his video series, Dr. Larson discusses:
Common suggestions in the past about how to lose weight by eating less and exercising more won’t ever work. Calories in versus calories out has been debunked. Dropping caloric intake is not the answer to losing weight and reducing your risk of chronic illness. If you normally consume 2000 calories a day, and you drop your caloric intake by 500 calories, your body goes through specific changes to offset that calorie loss.
When you drop calories, hormones like insulin and ghrelin go up, and leptin goes down. Meaning that the hormones that signal the brain that you are full go down, and the ones to signal the brain that you are hungry, go up. So a person has to white knuckle it through the process. And you can only fight hormones so long before they win; they will always win. DR. CHAD LARSON
The prefrontal cortex is the boss of the brain. When people who have restricted their caloric intake, or are in a “calorie restrictive state,” are observed using a functional MRI unit, meaning you can watch parts of the brain, are given a food stimulus, the emotional and cognitive parts of the brain light up. And at the same time, the prefrontal cortex goes down.
The brain says, “I don’t care about the boss, I am excited about food, and I want to eat”. So, food awareness becomes acute, and all you feel is hunger. And again, hormones will always win.
In the same respect, exercise has many great benefits, but not for fat burning. Burning calories is not a great way to instigate the fat burning system. Eating less and exercising more doesn’t improve your ability to burn fat. Fat burning comes from decisions made in the kitchen, not the gym.
You should exercise, but if you are working out to burn calories, then you are going to be in a calorie deficit again. And when you are, the hunger hormones are going to kick in and skyrocket. The body will say “I need more calories,” and again, you are going to act on those hormone signals, and likely, consume more calories than you burn.
Weight loss isn’t about will power or self-control; it is all hormonal. You have to stimulate hormones so that your body uses fat for energy and targets fat stores. Glucose and glycogen stored in the body supplies about 2000 calories at any given time. Fat energy stores are tens of thousands of calories in the body. But because of the food decisions that we make, the fat stores are all locked up and untapped. When you consume a large number of refined or processed carbohydrates, insulin is released, and that locks down the fat stores.
The only way to get to burning fat is to get insulin down so your fat burning hormones can kick in. Insulin is the gatekeeper for our bodies to burn fat. Read the information provided, and it will give you different advice than what you have heard in the past. Calories in versus calories out doesn’t work. Weight loss is a hormonal thing, and once you shift the hormones, your body will start to burn fat. And then it will have the right pieces to burn fat more effectively to lose body fat and weight.