Today’s email is inspired by a lengthy but informative discussion about calories and fat loss I recently listened to- Mythbusting – Carbs, Calories, Losing Fat, “Metabolic Damage” and More! with Alex Leaf .  Even though it was a rehashing of info that I have been exposed to before I managed to take something out of it, the term FLUX. 

When working on losing weight, the goal is to lose as little muscle as possible and wind up with fat loss.  Losing weight always comes down to the calories in vs calories out formula.  So if you desire weight loss you can take the approach of either eating less calories or burning more calories with activity.  Sometimes the best approach is a combination of both.  If you’ve already found what works for you and you are at your optimum body composition then congratulations, no more work needed.

If you are struggling to understand how to make the appropriate changes based on your particular body and metabolism here’s a tidbit about FLUX that I hope will help.

To understand FLUX you must understand that for some people, when calorie count lowers too far, their overall metabolism will slow and that usually will result in less energy to move or less energy to heal. You may wind up with sore muscles, achy joints or a lack of motivation to accomplish your goals.  In some cases this can even trigger feelings of depression or anxiety.
This typically happens when you eat less calories than is required for your base metabolic rate.

Your Base Metabolic Rate is the amount of calories that you burn on a very lazy day, in bed, watching Netflix.  It is based on your height, weight, and percentage of muscle.  Let’s say that your base metabolic rate is 1500; so by doing absolutely nothing, you burn 1500 calories a day.
If you eat 1000 calories a day you should be at a 3500 calorie deficit by week’s end.  That 3500 calorie deficit should trigger 1 lb of weight loss.  BUT if you eat fewer calories than is required for your base metabolism your body may “DOWN Regulate”.  Meaning it may adapt to the loss of calories by slowing down energy production or preventing healing.

A better approach may be to eat just above your calorie requirements, in this case, 1700 calories a day.  Then burning 700 calories through daily activities and exercise.  Your body will never sense deprivation.  Instead, it will think that it is adequately fueled for high activity.  Plus it has the increased demands placed upon it and it will respond appropriately. This is FLUXThe combination of calories plus activity and its impact on not only total weight but also your percentage of muscle growth.

Studies have shown that when you increase demand and have adequate calorie intake you will develop a more athletic build, compared to a calorie deficit as a result of not eating enough calories which just results in weight loss, and possibly muscle loss.

Of course, I recommend doing a deep dive on your own and listening to the podcast episode but if you want the gist of it, you have it.

Want to learn what your base metabolic rate is?  Let me know for your next visit and I’ll block out some extra time to run a BioImpedance Analysis on you.  It tests your Metabolic rate, measures body fat%, muscle %, hydration status, and gives you a Resilience factor as a summary of how healthy you are.


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Yours in health,

Dr. Jason Piken DC, CNS, PAK

Dr. Jason Piken

Dr. Jason Piken is a Chiropractor, Certified Nutrition Specialist and Health Coach who offers a unique holistic and whole body approach to nutrition and wellness.

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