Are you working out harder than everyone you know because you want to lose weight? Are you killing yourself in the gym just to lose fat, but despite your efforts, the scale doesn’t move?
Well, working out at the gym certainly helps us in many ways. It helps with building muscle and it also helps psychologically. There’s so many benefits of exercise, we all know that. But when it comes to losing weight, just working out very hard, without taking care of our nutrition, it’s not the best solution.
So, if you are killing yourself at the gym without losing weight, you should give up this idea and listen to a new Ted Talk episode! Ted is going to explain why trying to out train your diet doesn’t work and why instead of killing yourself at the gym you should pay more attention to your nutrition.
So, if you want to start losing weight and get your dream body in a healthy and efficient way, tune in for a new Legendary Life podcast episode!
Why working out hard doesn’t guarantee weight loss
Why you show give up the idea of killing yourself in the gym
What you should do instead
Most important nutrition principles for effective weight loss
Follow this calorie counting rules to lose weight
Ted’s client’s experience with training and nutrition
And much more
Follow me on Twitter @ted_ryce
Help! I'm Doing Everything Right, But I'm Still Not Losing Weight
Ted Ryce: I had a conversation with someone the other day, and they were telling me how they work out harder than everyone they know, they lift more than everyone they know and yet, they still are getting fat. In fact, not only are they getting fat, but some of their numbers, their cholesterol, their blood sugar, their blood pressure, their numbers are still off.
And I want to ask you: Does that sound familiar? Maybe you're not having the same bio marker issues with blood sugar and cholesterol. But do you go to the gym, and workout hard and you try to eat healthy, but you just don't understand why the fat's not coming off, in spite of all your herculean efforts to do high intensity interval training, do boot camps, workout with a trainer, etc, etc, etc. Do you want to find out get results without killing yourself in the gym?
Well, if that's the case, today's episode is for you, my friend, and welcome back to the show! Great to have you back. This is the Legendary Life podcast. And we're going to talk about...This is Real Talk Friday. And I just want you to have a little bit more fun today and not go as deep, right?
So not only is that conversation that I mentioned, something that actually happened, I was in the gym the other day... Now, I'm in Brazil, I'm in Florianopolis, Brazil. And let me tell you, people in the US talk about how the beauty standards are tough in the US, multiply that by 10 here in Brazil, there is a lot of motivation to get in shape. And also, it's just in the culture as well. There's dancing, so exercise is kind of like that. There's dancing, there's beach tennis, there's all these sports that Brazilians play. And so going to the gym and pushing themselves, it's just... you can see, everyone's in there doing it.
So, I was in the gym the other day, working out way less intense than everyone who is in this... So, I went down to do some isometric training. And the basement of the gym is where all the cardio machines are in this particular gym I'm working out in, which is incidentally called "The Gym" in English, by the way, it's kind of funny. And there's all these people, mostly women running hard on the treadmills, and there is a coach, talking to them in Portuguese, telling them to run faster, telling them to run harder, telling them when to rest.
And as I was looking...Now, everyone was in good shape who is running, because you have to be in good shape to be running intervals, period. But a lot of them didn't look like how they performed, and this is such a common thing. Now, I'm not saying, by the way, I'm not saying they need to look different. I'm not saying that they should hold themselves to a beauty standard that they don't agree with. That's not what I mean.
But what I do mean is this: and I believe that for you, too. We're talking about people who are trying to make change, but they're not getting changed. That's who we're talking about here. And I had a conversation with one of the women, she's 27 years old. She said, "Yeah, I've been trying to change my body." Now she looked fantastic. And of course, genetics are on their side here in Brazil, the women have a lot of curves, a lot of beautiful features, in general. But she didn't look how she wanted, especially because she was in the gym working out so hard.
And I had a conversation with her. And I said, "Well, listen, your trainer's crushing you, but how many calories do you eat per day? How many grams of protein do you eat per day?" "Well, I don't know. I don't know how many calories I eat." And she spoke English.
We're speaking in English, and she was telling me, “I have no idea. I have no idea how many calories I'm eating. I have no idea how many grams of protein
I’m eating.” And I said, “Well, now you know why. You don't have to work out as hard as you're working out, there's no need for it.” I mean, work out, work out because it helps you build muscle, helps you psychologically, there's so many benefits of exercise, especially lifting weights. But if you're killing yourself, and the reason that you're killing yourself, is because you want to see a difference in your body, which by the way, there ain't nothing wrong with you. You want to look better? Don't let people tell you anything. Don't let people impose their BS on you. If you want to look better, there's nothing wrong with that. If you don't want to look better, there's also nothing wrong with it.
Now, if you're not exercising, there's something wrong with that. That's like not brushing your teeth. It's like, "Well, enjoy the cavities and root canals and getting your teeth pulled, or paying for the dental implants." Because that's what's going to happen, but as far as looks are concerned, hey, if you're good with the way you look, no problem. But if you're not good with the way you look, if you're not okay with it, then let's do something to change, especially if you're in the gym and you're thinking, well, I eat mostly healthy choices, so I'll just go to the gym and workout. Stop killing yourself in the gym!
Now in Brazil, they eat pretty healthy here. In fact, the rate of obesity, at least compared to the US, they eat more healthy. There's more thin people here than the US. US is one of the most unhealthy places, so many overweight and obese people, mostly—not to go off on a tangent, but to slightly take a slight detour—mostly driven by stress and unhappiness, is what I think the root cause of the obesity is, it's not genes or, that's... again, I don't have hard data on that. But that is my belief after working with so many people. It's, this is an education issue. It's a stress/happiness issue.
So anyway, they do eat things like pão de queijo, which is cheese bread, they drink cafezinho, which are Brazilian…they're sweetened espressos. So, they do a lot of things that are not super healthy. But in general, they don't have the overweight or obesity rates that a place like the US has, or Canada or Australia or the UK.
And what I began to show her was I showed her My Fitness Pal, and I said, "Look, what did you eat for breakfast?" "Well, I had some pão de queijo, I had two eggs.” This is so common, right? "Two eggs, I eat two eggs," like, that's a reasonable number. Who knows why, but that's like the reasonable number of eggs to eat. “Two, I have two eggs, I have some pão de queijo and I have a cafezinho.” That's for breakfast.
And I was like, "Okay, well, look, let's look at...And then I began to show her, "Well, look, you want for you..." She wasn't overweight, she was more normal weight. And I said, "How many kilograms do you weigh? Okay, we're going to turn that into..." she weighed like 115 pounds, I think it was. And I said...and she was quite short, 155 centimeters, if I remember correctly, which there's nothing wrong with that. I personally prefer that. Just FYI. So I was just saying there's nothing wrong with that height, but it is not tall, okay, by most people's standards.
So, I said, "Well, listen, for you, you want to shoot for about one gram of protein per pound, or 2.2 grams per kilo." And then I showed her that that's about 115 grams of protein you want to eat per day. And let's look at how much you had for breakfast. It was about... I believe it was, you know, less than 15 grams. So she's having meals that are similar. She's eating maybe 60, you know, somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 to 60, maybe even 70 grams of protein. So she's not eating so little protein that she's... Doing yourself a huge disservice or unhealthy amount of protein it's okay, but for getting the best results from your workouts, it was low.
And we also saw that...we went over her lunch, we went over dinner, we tried to put it all together and just come up with an idea. Okay, how much protein are you eating? How many total calories you're eating per day? And we saw the calories were too high. Protein was too low. And it's so common. I don't care what country you're in. I've done this in multiple countries, by the way, right? I've traveled the world. I've done this in multiple countries, the answer is always the same. I don't care if it's Mexican food or Thai food or Malaysian food or Brazilian food, Mediterranean food, it doesn't matter, I'll tell you. In general, and we're talking optimal here, protein is too low for optimal, calories are too high.
And I showed her how to track. She downloaded My Fitness Pal, she paid for premium, and I showed her some things that she's been doing. She got better results in a week, just by paying attention to her nutrition. So it's that simple, folks. It's literally that simple.
In fact, if you are struggling with this and you're like, "Okay, well, how do I get started on what you're talking about?" Go to legendarylifetpodcast.com and find The Absolute Best Diet for Weight Loss, Episode 445. Or you can just look on Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to podcast, find Episode 445. . I tell you exactly what to do there. I tell you exactly. I take you through step by step. I have you pause and go do things and then you come back, start listening again. That's Episode 445.
Now, more recently, I want to talk about something else, another person, or someone I don't know. There's an MMA athlete, Mixed Martial Arts, for those of you who are not in the know, name Bin Akrin or Ben Asken, I can't even remember his name, and I'm not really watching MMA right now, but the dude does looks really average, but he's a high-level of Professional MMA fighter. Okay, he trains... you think you train hard? You have no idea what hard training is, compared to what this guy goes through. "Oh, I train hard!" No, you don't. You have no idea, okay. And your training most likely doesn't involve getting punched and being kicked and taken down and submitted. And even if it does, it ain’t by professionals, okay, training for fight.
I've worked with MMA fighters. In case you don't know, I've got a brown belt in Brazilian jujitsu, was considering fighting MMA for a short period of time, decided against it because my shoulder was a mess. And thank God I did. But I have first-hand experience of this, is what I'm trying to tell you. And people train hard in MMA, hard! They train multiple hours and on too many days.
Well, I put up a post that… and I put up on Facebook, I showed a picture of Ben, I said, "Look, this is a pro MMA fighter. He trains longer than you, he trains harder than you. It's his job to be in shape. It's how he makes his money. And he's not ripped, okay? So if he can't out train his diet, what makes you even think that you could begin to?"
Now, I want to say, the guy isn't overweight, he's not obese. He's probably around, I don't know, somewhere in between 15 and 20% body fat? Probably around 15-ish, is what I would say. So not doing terrible. He just doesn't look ripped like you would expect someone who was a professional MMA fighter to look.
And it was funny watching people's reactions. I mean, you've got to love social media. Some people are like, "Oh, he was talking too much trash about to fight." And I'm like, "I don't even... I'm not watching... That's not what the post is about. Stay on topic, okay? Check your emotions." "No, I want to talk about the fight." It's so funny, people in social media it's like they can't stay on topic, right? People are too triggered, too stressed, and then they try to hijack the conversation. I'm like, "I don't even know what the..." I don't even know what the problems are, right? I don't even know what he said or what trash he was talking. I was just illustrating a point because I thought it was a very good one.
And one person was like, "Oh my gosh, that's crazy! I can't believe it!" I said, "Why? Why can't you believe it?" And she went on to say, "Well, I mean, I know people who don't eat well, and they work out, but they look better than he does. He doesn't look very strong or very, you know, good at all." And yet, of course – and this is me talking now – yet, of course, the guy is trained in Muay Thai, he's trained in Thai boxing, he's trained in wrestling, he's trained in Jijitsu, the guy's a beast, okay. You don't make it into a pro MMA fight where there's a lot of money on the line when you can't wrestle yourself out of a paper bag. The guy is high-level athlete. But you know, he looks pretty average. He looks like a guy like, oh, yeah, I can tell you work out. But hey, one day, maybe if you work a little harder, people will be able to tell but, you know?
And I saw some of his training, the guy was going nuts. And I think it was just a little promo training, because he was training in the snow. He was doing walking lunges with a log on his back, and he was dragging a sled with his, I think his dogs or I think his kids were on it too. Like, he's a total beast.
And so, again, I want to return...And you go look him up, Ben Akren, or Ben Askin? Sorry, I don't have the name right. I apologize. But if you don't train... If you look at him and some of the things he does, and you're like, "Ooh, my back would go out or my kneecap would shoot across the room if I tried some of that." Then what makes you think that you have any chance in out training your diet? You should stop trying to out train your diet!
So many of us think that, and what I want to tell you now, let me give you some advice, give up! Okay? If you're not willing to learn nutrition principles, I want you to give up. Now, you may be taken aback by that, "What do you mean, give up? What do you mean by that?" What I mean is give up working hard in the gym just to lose fat. Give up that idea! Don't give up the gym, but give up that idea. Accept that, “You know what, I'm working out, I'm not getting... I don't see a big difference in my body.” But now you can say to yourself, “Hey, listen, I workout because it makes me feel good. And I like the way I feel after I workout, and I do look better when I work out versus before in the past when I didn't work out, but killing myself in gym is not going to lead to better results—not necessarily.”
Now, there's some ways... there's little tricks here and there that you can use. But still, even if you use those tricks, it's not going to work. And the problem is, you don't burn as many calories as you think during exercise, and you eat way more calories—if you're struggling with fat loss, that is—you're eating way more calories than you realize. And if you're not willing to adjust your nutrition in some way, just give up that idea. Just go to the gym, workout, push yourself, for sure. But if you're trying to kill yourself, and you come home, and you look in the mirror and see, “Well, did I burn off any fat? Can I see any difference? Can I see more definition?” And then day after day, week after week, there's no difference, give that up! Accept that it's just not going to happen for you unless you change your nutrition.
Now, of course, some of you may have say like, "Well, okay, well, I'm up for changing my nutrition, what do I do?" And I already told you what I…I've shared again, Episode 445. Look it up on wherever you listen to this podcast, and listen to it, and actually do what I tell you to do there, okay/ Because people have told me, "Hey, great episode." I'm like, "Yeah, but did you do it?" "Oh, well, no... Yeah, no." "Okay. All right. Well, I'm glad you enjoyed it. I'm glad you found the information entertaining, then."
But you don't have to track... Now look, I'll tell you I'm super biased. I've done the low carb, I've done low fat, I've done so many different variations. I've never really been on a weight loss diet, to be honest. Like, I never said, "Oh, I'm going to do the Atkins or I'm going to do you know, the anabolic diet." That's one of the ones that was popular in my circle, the anabolic diet, you've got to take a shot of olive oil on the anabolic diet. Which was like a cyclical keto diet.
Anyway, I'm not going to get into that. But I never did any of them because I was too lazy with the nutrition, and also, I was already ripped, you know, in my 20s and early 30s, I was already ripped. I didn't really... I'm like, "I know what to do." And I didn't understand, I was eating decently, and I was training hard. Now I wish I could go back and do things differently because I really suffered with the low carb diet that I was on.
But what I'm trying to get at here is, look, there's many different ways, you can try cutting carbs, you can try doing intermittent fasting, just the thing is number one, if you try those things, if you cut carbs, and you feel like, "Oh, man, I am missing me some carbs. That's not going to be something that you can stick with." So why even do it?
And the intermittent fasting thing, what usually happens to people is that they run into problems. So they’re like, “Yeah, I skipped breakfast, and I don't eat lunch until about noon or one but by the time I get to noon or one, I'm light headed, I'm ravenous, I end up eating the same number of meals, but just in a shorter amount of time.” You can try those things. And I've tried them, and I've put butter in my coffee, and I've done the low carb thing and I ate paleo before it was even called paleo. I've been in this business 23 years, folks, okay? Paleo was...I've done all these things, all right? And what I have come to believe, is understanding nutrition principles is the way forward.
And by the way, that one person who is like, "Oh, I can't believe Ben Askren, this pro MMA fighter is in such, you know, looks that way." She said in such bad shape, but he's not, he's in great shape. He just has more body fat, you know, very, very important nuance there in our language that we should adjust. Because you can have more body fat than maybe what looks ideal, but you can be in great shape. And you can have lower body fat, and look ideal. Think about people with cocaine habits, they're going on the cocaine champagne diet, if you ever come to Miami, but they're not healthy, okay, that's not healthy, all right.
So, anyway, just, it's not all about the body fat, the body fat is part of it, but it's not all about the body fat, okay? It's about your activity levels. It's about the way you maintain low body fat. So those things are important.
But she was... she's a vegan. Not was, she still is, she's a vegan. And so she's eats “healthy vegan food,” right? But if you're eating too many calories, you're eating too many calories. It doesn't matter if you're vegan, if you're carnivore, if you're low carb, if you're low fat, if you're paleo, if you're not paleo, if you only eat foods blessed by Tibetan monks in Katmandu, which I think is actually in Nepal, it's in a different country. But you know, it doesn't matter, okay, it doesn't matter, if you eat too many calories, you eat too many calories.
Now, certainly whole foods are easier to keep your calories low when you eat whole foods instead of ultra processed foods like cakes, cookies, croissants, and ice cream. But the reality is, I'm getting leaner, and I am eating sushi with rice. So that's not so terrible, but I have ice cream, I had some frozen yogurt the other day, I had some sorbet, some passion fruit sorbet the other day. And if you dial your calories in, you can eat those things and lose fat.
And so after all these years, I've been in this business, after trying to be so good, after being so crazy with nutrition… Again, I've never been on a diet, but I was the guy who wouldn't even go to eat at a restaurant because it didn't have organic food. I freaked out about the genetically modified foods, I freaked out if it wasn't organic, thought I was putting all these pesticides in my body and it was messing me up. And what I've come to believe in is number one, it really has to do with the food principles, the nutrition principles, total calories, protein adherence, finding foods that help you stay satiated, because if you're hungry, we all eat because we're hungry, not because of complicated physiological mechanisms. Well, that is, I guess what hunger is, but what I'm really talking about is people geek out about, “Oh, your blood sugar and the leptin levels and insulin leptin ratio,” and it's like, no, you're hungry, so you eat. And there's foods that help with hunger, and there's foods that don't help with hunger.
Croissant’s the worst food you can eat based on the satiety index. You eat a croissant, you've had about 300 calories, but you're like, "Man, I'm still hungry. It's like I hardly ate anything, so I'm going to have another croissant, I guess because it was so delicious." So, you had 600 calories of croissants, butter and bread, and you had very low protein and you've eaten a substantial amount of calories and gotten nothing for it, at least in terms of hunger. Now, hopefully, you enjoyed it. But for a lot of people, they're not even enjoying it, just eating on the run. And so then they're hungry, they eat another one. And it tastes good while you're eating it, but then the stress takes over and you don't really savor the meal.
So, as I'm ranting and raving about this, rambling on, waffling, as my friends in the UK in Australia would say, what's the big takeaway from for you in this? What is the big takeaway that you're taking away from this conversation, taking away from the stories that you've heard here, taking away from the stories that is... listening to these stories, the things that it brings up for you the stories of people who you know? Oh, yeah, Bob works out like crazy, so does Jessica. And yeah, they're not as fit as they think they should be and they say it's their metabolism. But maybe there's something else going on. Maybe Ted's onto something.
And the answer is yes, I am. That's why I'm in this business. That's how I pay the bills. I'm not famous, I don't pay the bills by being famous. I'm not the Kim Kardashian of nutrition, okay? I don't have that many social media followers, where people are just like, "Oh, we will pay you $100,000 for one Instagram post to talk about our shitty supplement." I don't do that, I work, I'm a coach, right? I'm a coach, I get people results. I interview them on this podcast, I post the results up on our Success Stories page on legendarylifepodcast.com.
This is what I found that works the best. Even if I don't get someone...even if you don't track for a long time, if you just do it a little bit just to get an idea, oh, it's going to be so helpful for you. And again, I don't get anything out of saying this, right? I don't have stock in My Fitness Pal. Even though that's the app that I recommend people use because it's got so much functionality. But really, you could use any app you want. There's a lot of functionality in My Fitness Pal, but you're probably not going to figure it out on your own anyways, so just use any app and track. Or just give up the idea that you're going to work off the fat you don't want, by going to the gym. Just give it up!
Well, I'm going to stop there. I think I've said enough about this; don't really have too much more to say. But again, think about this. Think about you, think about your situation. Are you one of those people who you know, you're working things off? Have you made excuses, your metabolism, your age, your hormones, pre menopause post menopause, andropause if you're a guy, look, all of that is nonsense, okay? It is, it's nonsense, right? You find thinner people in other countries. It's like, we have our heads up our butt in the rich Western countries. It's crazy what we believe. It's not limited to just nutrition and fitness either. But that's a story for another podcast, okay?
But it's crazy what we believe. "No, I can't lose weight because I'm eating too little." Yeah, that's not really a thing, okay? Type in “starvation” in Google and click on images, okay, you're not going to see like1000 starving people with their rib cage poking out through their skin because they've lost, not just so much fat, but muscle as well. And then the one person with a slow metabolism that, "Oh, they've actually been getting fatter, because they're eating less." It doesn't exist. And yet we believe that, it’s so crazy, you know? I mean, it's good for...
And when I say these things, number one, I used to believe them, so I'm not talking down to you. I used to believe them. Number two, it was hard to break free of that type of stuff, that type of, you know, those beliefs. And I'm sharing it also... And the other thing I want to say is, these things that I make fun of that I talk bad about the low carb diets... And I hope I never come across as trying to convince you like, "Look, you've got to stop eating low carb, okay. It's stupid! It's stupid!" I mean, I do think it's stupid. But it's good for business, okay, people who do low carb diets who don't get results, which there are many, right? There are so many. It's like, "I lost 20 pounds on a low carb!" It's like, "Yeah, and you've got another 40 to go. Shut up! You're not that impressive, okay? Not as far as vocal and enthusiastic as you are. I mean, I'm happy you lost 20 pounds. But you're awfully enthusiastic for someone who's still obese,” right? It's just silliness, you know?
But it's good for business. So, whenever I talk about this stuff, it's good for... all the people doing keto, it's good for my business. It's good for my business. If so many people don't get results, it makes what I do more rare. Why am I telling you this? Because what I'm trying to say is, I don't have... like, telling you the truth doesn't help my business. It's better that more people believe in the nonsense. It's better for me. It's better for me if you believe in the nonsense, because you will get more and more frustrated, more and more frustrated, try stricter and stricter diets. And then you'll see my before and afters, you won't even listen to what I say, you're just like, “Hey, I want that. I'm willing to pay whatever amount of money you charge, because I just want what you're able to consistently give your clients.”
So, the more people out there, it's great for my business, okay. And I don't want to brag either, because I've got mixed emotions about it. I really want more people to have this handled. But at the same time, it's good for business, so I try to do both, right? I try to get out there...
And so when I say these things and why I should tell you them, it's like, yeah, of course, I'm trying to persuade you that I'm a person who knows what I'm talking about, and if you're interested in hiring a coach, I'm a good choice, provided that you vibe with my personality, but at the same time, it's like, I want you to break free of that stuff, right? Because I know most people won't hire me. It's okay. It's okay. But if I can get people… my purpose here, my passion is to help you get in better shape, because I really believe the 70%... Like I talked about earlier, the 70% of people in America who are overweight or obese, and whatever the percentage is, I think it’s very similar in the UK in Australia.
I do believe if we are a healthier nation, if we were a healthier country, that's going to lead to healthier emotions, it's going to lead to feeling better about ourselves, it's going to lead to a better world, okay? And I really believe that 70% of people, I don't think they're happy, I think is rare. "No, I'm happy. I can't, you know, I have to buy two seats..." Right? Oh, I'm sorry, I'm trying to come up with a joke, but I don't want to offend anybody too much. But look, I believe people are unhappy, okay? I believe people are too stressed. And they may not be unhappy because they've been through a lot of terrible things in life, but just maybe too much stress, not really knowing, you know, spending time with the people who really serve them. I really believe fixing our physical health is the foundation to better emotional health.
And so if I can participate in that that's what I want to participate in. That is my mission here, right? Lessen the suffering of the world. Especially in terms of the suffering that so many of us, including myself go through when we're trying to get some control over our life because sometimes fat loss, it's not even about looking amazing...When I was shredded, and I'm back on my way to Shreddedville, to Ripville, I still had problems. It doesn't get rid of all your problems. But it does make you feel like, hey, I've got more agency over my life. I've got more control over my life, all right?
So I want to leave you with that thought. Yeah, I know. It was a little bit. I was like, okay, that's all I have to say. And then I had a little bit more to say, I guess. But that's what I want to leave you with today, okay? It really is about that, showing that you have more control over your life than you think. And if you just had the right information and took the right action, you could, just like my client, who just signed up with me, literally this week, he had been trying to lose weight for a month, been stuck. No, he's been losing weight for a while, but was at a plateau for a month. And he was stuck in the 192 range, boom, within days, he was below 190. We haven't met 189 in days.
Think about that: a month, stuck. Days, broke his plateau, simply by doing the right things. That's what's possible, folks. And let me tell you, that guy, he's on his way, not just to a different body, but to a different life. And that can be you too, regardless of whether you work with me or not. But quit the nonsense, go listen to for Episode 445, get yourself some results, and stop trying to stop killing yourself in gym, okay?
That's it for me. Hope you enjoy today. And really love doing these Real Talk Fridays. The next episode, on Monday will be all about seed oils in inflammation. This was a special request. And so we're going to be talking about seed oils and inflammation on the next episode. Can't wait for that one!
If you want to keep the conversation going, hit me up on Twitter, spending a lot of time there, probably more time than I should, @ted_ryce. Let's keep the conversation going there! Enjoy your weekend. Love you lots! Speak to you on Monday!
Sign up to receive email updates
Enter your name and email address below and I'll send you periodic updates about the podcast.