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Ted Talk 161: The Economics of Fat Loss. An Entirely New Approach to Weight Loss

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Ted Talk 161: The Economics of Fat Loss. An Entirely New Approach to Weight Loss

There are thousands of messages online about the best way to lose weight. Some of them are quick and effective but unsustainable in the long term. They are too radical, too extreme in their view of how you should eat and exercise; you should avoid those.

Others focus too much on being sustainable and could be faster in producing changes.

Of course, any system or approach you choose to deal with fat loss must be sustainable in the long term. Otherwise, you’ll end up losing and adding weight in a never-ending loop and feeling like garbage most of the time in the process. But first of all, they must be right.

Many, if not almost all, online approaches are outdated, wrong, or work only in particular cases, an extremely slim group of people.

In today’s Ted Talk, Ted reveals the only approach to fat loss that is sustainable in the long term; it was tested and proven scientifically and works for every person: the economics of fat loss. He shares some beliefs he had for decades that might have worked for some time but were unsustainable. He explains what a calorie budget is, how to administer it, and why people fall so easily into “carbs make you fat-like” false claims.

He also talks about the best ways to increase your calorie budget, what it means to have your numbers in red, and so much more.


You’ll learn:

  • Why It’s so hard to lose weight?
  • What is more important, food choices or total calories?
  • Why It’s so hard to lose weight?
  • About Ted’s beliefs that worked for some time
  • What is a calorie budget, and how it works
  • Is it possible to eat pastries and drink alcohol and still lose weight?
  • What is the best way to increase your calorie budget?
  • And much more… 


Links Mentioned:  

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Related Episodes:  

505: 5 Harsh Truths About Fat Loss (That No One Is Telling You) 

469: The Ultimate Secret to Fat Loss with Ted Ryce 

445: The Most Effective Diet For Weight Loss with Ted Ryce 


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Podcast Transcription: The Economics of Fat Loss. An Entirely New Approach to Weight Loss

Ted Ryce: I was having a conversation with my client, Trevor. And Trevor said, “Man, life is amazing. I’m nearly 50. I have six-pack abs for the first time in my life, I’m still eating the foods that I want. I’m still travelling for work. I’m able to go out and entertain my clients and have a good time. I still drink some alcohol. I go golfing with the boys.  

I do everything that I want, but I’m able to keep my results. It changed my life, my kids love it, and my kids friends make comments about me and how I’m like the ripped dad. My wife is happy you changed my life, Ted.” 

That’s so crazy when I hear that it’s amazing. What I asked him after that, I was like, “Trevor, well what’s the one thing that you learned that changed everything? Was there one big takeaway from what you learned from working with me?”  

And he said, “Ted, at the beginning you said the whole calories thing, the nutrition, the secret to it, it’s you have a budget, and that changed everything for me.” And a light went off of my head like, I need to tell people this truth about food.  

And more specifically, I need to record this episode and talk about the economics of fat loss. And so that’s what we’re going to do today. So, if you want to understand the fat loss in a very simple way if you want it simplified for you, because folks, it’s so simple, it’s hard to do, but the concept is simple. You’re listening to the right episode. 

And what is up? Welcome to the Legendary Life Podcast. Now, what do we do here? I want you to win big with your health. I believe it’s one of the most important areas you can ever succeed in. And more people than ever are struggling with their health, so this podcast will help you simplify the process of losing fat, improving your health, growing muscle, preventing disease. 

And if you are a founder, an entrepreneur, a high-performing professional, a consultant attorney, and you want me to guide you through the process to get better results faster, that’s what I do for work, folks. That’s how the lights stay on around here. that’s how we put food on the table.  

So, if you’re looking for that level of help, but if you aren’t, that’s cool, you can still take what I’m going to give you, apply it to your life, get the results, become a healthier person, and improve the world that way. So, let’s get into this. 

This is what I want to call “The Economics of Fat Loss” because people think it’s so complicated. One of the biggest things that I hear from people, “Oh, I eat so healthy. I had an acai bowl with green juice for breakfast. And then for lunch, I had a salad– a chicken salad– with olive oil and grass-fed cheese.” And it goes on, and I’m like, “You know what you didn’t tell me? You didn’t tell me how many calories were in any of the things you ate because you are under the impression that your food choices matter more than the amount of calories.” And I’m here to tell you they don’t.  

This was one of the hardest lessons I had to learn myself. I’m like, “Are you serious? Because I spent my twenties and a good portion of my thirties, I would spend my whole pay check at Whole Foods—or at least it felt that way, right?— Buying the organic meat and the free-range chicken and the organic vegetables.  

And if I was going to eat something sweet, I would have the Justine’s, I think it’s called Justine’s Reese’s Peanut Butter. And they’re not Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, but the Justine’s Peanut Butter Cups instead of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, like, having 300 calories of organic Peanut Butter Cups.  

We’re going to be the big difference between having 300 calories of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.” I have been there, folks, and I’m here to tell you, it’s all nonsense. It’s calories, pure and simple. You could eat nothing but Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and if you kept under your calorie count, you would still lose fat, that is the fact, that’s the truth.  

That’s been tested over and over and over in Metabolic Ward Studies for like 100 years now. The only people who believe anything different are the crazy influencer types and that’s whom I used to listen to but now I know it’s super simple.  

And thankfully, because I’ve been eating nothing, but I’m in Paris, or actually, I’m in Madrid now, but I was in Paris for a week. I ate macaroons and pralines and apple tarts and almond croissants. I was on a quest to find the best almond croissant in Paris. I’m not sure if I succeeded, but I succeeded in eating a lot of almond croissants and I’ll tell you this: I think I might even be a little bit leaner than when I started. I’ve only hit one workout and I’m planning to get back on it, but I even think I’m leaner.  

And people will look at that and say, “Well, it’s because your metabolism is so fast, you know? I’m just having that slow metabolism.” Look, that’s not true, I used to say that. If you know my story, I used to blame my hormones and my metabolism, I used to say that. And if you believe that, I’m all right.  

So, I am making fun of you a little bit, but I also am doing it in a way where I’ve been in your shoes and I used to make those same comments and it’s just, I don’t want to call it ignorance because the truth is it’s bullshit information so it’s not your fault if you believe in that stuff because I used to believe in it and I was part of the fitness.  

I’ve been in fitness for 20, over 23 years now. I’m going on 24 years, folks, and I believed in that. So, if I did and I spent my whole, you know, I’ve been learning ever since day one, I’ve been in this business and that’s my full-time gig. I can only imagine if you have kids and a job or running a business and you have to figure out the health and fitness stuff.  

And you got all these idiots saying, “Hey, listen, for you to banana, it raises your sugar and it may stub you from losing fat.” Complete bullshit! You want to try something and I just want to say this for the sceptical people.  

I’m not saying this because I want to convince you, meaning, I’m not trying to say, “Hey, believe, listen to me because I know the truth.” I’m not saying that right now. What I’m trying to say is, “Test the theory. Go do the potato, look up, Google the potato hack, do the master’s cleanse, look that up and do it. And you’ll find you’ll lose weight eating nothing but potatoes.  

People lose weight, by drinking nothing but beer—I don’t recommend that one though. I’m not telling you to do that one. Your liver enzymes aren’t going to like that. But you can still lose weight because it’s the economics of fat loss, you must learn this.”  

And again, I’m not telling you because listen, you need to believe in what I’m telling you because I’m emotionally invested in it and it’ll hurt my feelings. I’m not saying that I have this figured out. People pay me thousands of dollars to work with me to get the results that you see. I’m saying this because I care about you and I want you to learn the truth, that is why I’m telling it to you.  

And because I’m a little angry that I spent so much time learning from people who looked good without their shirt on or in a sports bra and booty shorts, and they were freaking wrong. They wasted my time a little, still a little irritated.  

Now I’m still irritated because people say the same thing today that they said 20 years ago and there’s no reason for it. At least we had a good reason for believing that stuff 20 years ago, 15 years ago, or even 10 years ago.  

But now there’s been so many studies on low carb and all these studies that have conclusively shown time after time after time. If the calories are the same and the protein is the same, it doesn’t matter. You can eat low fat, you can eat low carb, doesn’t matter as long as the calories are in check.  

And then you see people in the keto groups, I saw one guy who’s like, “Yeah, I lost, I think it was 70 LBS on a kilo or maybe it was 40 LBS on a kilo, kilo, keto– I’m in Europe, so the metric system folks—I lost 40 LBS on keto than I went carnivore and then I gained 20 back. It’s like because eating 5 LBS of rib-eye is more freaking calories than what you were eating on keto. Cooking a ribeye steak in a stick of butter is not the answer folks, okay? It’s so stupid and obvious now to me.  

And again, I’m not saying that person’s stupid because I did some, I used to do this, I used to put butter on bread on purpose because I felt like I thought this is what I believed. And I’ve said this before, “If I just ate the bread, it would spike my blood sugar and make me fat. But if I put butter on the bread, it would keep my blood sugar from spiking and not make me fat, even though I’m eating like a hundred to 200 more calories of butter.”  

And what I’m trying to say here is, “Look, I ate some French bread with French butter in the past week in Paris. It was delicious, but I ate it because I wanted to eat it and because it’s delicious.”  

I didn’t do it because it’s like, “Oh, low fats make you fat, so you have to put the butter on the bread, you know?” It’s so stupid what I used to believe. It’s such a joke to me now, hopefully, I didn’t clog too many arteries because of that dumb information that I followed by these lunatic low-carb people.  

And listen, I’m not saying, just so I’m clear because I know this isn’t a conversation like, “What do you mean lunatic? Are you saying low carb is a dumb diet? No, I’m not. If you want to do low carbo, that works for you, and that’s fine. If you want to cut calories by cutting your carbs, brings me tears to my eyes to hear that. But if that’s your thing, if you like avocado, coconut, cashews, Brazil nuts and that works for you and fattier cuts of meat, I would watch the fattier cuts of meat though. But if that works for you, great.  

Personally, I ate an orange, a banana, and oatmeal. I eat a lot of carbs and I can see my abs all the time and because I watch my calories, it’s the economics of fat loss. And I want to tell it to you like this, we all have a budget—I know it’s like 12 minutes in and I’m finally getting into it. I had to go off on the rant though, folks, I just had to do it. So, we all have a budget, you have a financial budget, it’s really easy. You have a financial budget. 

If you could take the money that you have and you could spend it on anything. You can go on vacation with it, you could give it to charity, you could feed the homeless, you could go to a casino in Vegas and gamble it all away, or maybe Macau if you wanted to be... Have a... Anyway, so you could spend your money any way you want and as long as you stay within your budget, you’re going to be fine, you’re not going to go into debt.  

But if you go above that budget, even if you’re giving, even if you’re starting, you’re building homes for displaced people due to the war in Ukraine, and you’re giving money to good causes, great causes, you’ll still go broke even if the causes are good. Are you with me? Of course, you are, simple, you understand that. No problem. It’s the same thing with your diet.  

If you’re eating 600-calorie acai bowls, 300-calorie green drinks, if you’re having a grassed fit ribeye steak, that’s 1,000 calories, but you’re like, “Hey, the healthy fats are going to be good for my brain, you’re missing, you’re missing it. You’re going over your budget and if you have excess body fat on you right now, you are in debt my friend, you are going over your budget, and it’s as simple as that. There are no arguments, there’s no nothing, that’s the way it is.  

And again, I’m not saying, “Hey, believe me, because you know, I know how it is.” There are a million different people telling you different things on the internet about what works for fat loss and what doesn’t. But just do the potato hack and prove it to yourself. I need to come up with something to give you, I will do that. 

Actually, I do have it. I just…I’m not going to make the... I need to give you something to prove to you as well, I mean, people join my, what is it called? Every once in a while, we do a seven-day challenge and people lose 1 to 5 LBS in a week. It’s crazy, we don’t even share anything game-changing compared to what we do inside the coaching program but people still get great results with it.  

So, test this, and you know what, I want to put my money where my mouth is and I’m going to talk to Gisele, my business partner, and I’m going to make sure we have something to give you next time I’m asking you to test something.  

But the fact of the matter is, it’s an economic thing and if you’re overweight or obese, you’re not just going over your budget, you’re going way over your budget. It’s the only way to be overweight or obese.  

There are people starving in the world and people in the states, again, not against them because it’s all the terrible misinformation, but people think, “Oh I’m, I’m 250 LBS at five foot nine because, every time I try to eat less, I go into starvation mode and I can’t lose body fat.  

Like WTF, that’s not a thing. Okay, you’ll starve to death if you’re not eating enough and that’s not anyone’s problem in the United States, right? Well, maybe some people, I’m sure there are some people still are food insecure, but the vast majority of us are not.  

So, just know if you’re overweight or obese, you are in debt with your calorie budget and you just need to balance the budget. Now I want to tell you, how do you do that? The way we do that in our coaching program is we have people weigh and track their food. “Oh my god, weighing and tracking food, that sounds so disordered,” but nobody talks about like, being obese is not disordered? It’s disordered, folks. And I’m not saying you have a disorder; I’m saying that’s messed up.  

There’s no reason anyone needs to eat that much, it’s destructive to your health. it’s probably destructive to the environment for all the things people say about “Help the environment,” consuming that much food has got to put a strain on things. And I’m not saying it’s entirely your fault too, I know this situation is very bad with food marketing, advertising, and hyper-palatable foods.  

Food industry wants you to keep eating. They want you to keep eating because it’s just, that’s their product just like how I want people to keep working with me, they want people to keep buying what they’re selling so it’s as simple as that.  

So, the way we help people get clear on their budget, and you don’t have to do this for as long as my clients do, but the problem is people have no idea what the calories are in the foods that they’re eating and not just the foods they’re eating, but the portion size they’re eating.  

Because the truth about this is you can get away with anything if you master this concept. You can eat... Like me, I’ve been eating almonds, I’ve been eating croissants for breakfast every day. Not a healthy choice, although a delicious one, and I haven’t weighed myself, so I can’t tell you if I’ve like, how much my weight has fluctuated, but I still have veins on my shoulders, my veins on my abs are gone. They’ve been caught for a little while now working on getting them back. But the veins on my shoulders and my left bicep, I’ve got a left bicep vein that I use as well at this point in my journey and they’re still there.  

Yes, I was walking 15,000 steps per day on average, which is part of the budget. So, on the nutrition side, we have people weigh and track their food and if you don’t want to do this for months, do it for a week, it’ll change how you look at food.  

And if you need accountability, well then that’s what we have the coaching program for. If you want to be taught a high level of how to do it, well, that’s what we have the coaching program for. But I’m telling you how we do it in the program and you, if you want to do it yourself, this is what we do.  

And this is the key, it’s not about exercise. Exercise is important, but you could lay in bed and lose body fat. It’s not recommended. I don’t have my clients do that, but sometimes I will have them back off on exercise. You better believe I’ll have them back off on exercise, and they are amazed.  

Again, don’t ask. I’m not asking you to believe me, I’m asking you to try it for yourself. And so, on the other side is how much exercise we do. And the thing is because you might ask, “Well how do you increase your budget? Because I want to eat more food.” Yeah, that’s a tricky one, and I don’t want to get into all the details because actually, when you lose body fat, especially if you’re a person who’s thinner in the past, once you lose body fat and get down to a smaller size, your appetite gets back to normal as well. And you’ll feel like crap if you try to eat the way you used to.  

That’s how our clients lose it and keep it off is, we get them to that point. It’s hard to do, takes a while to do, can’t do that in 12 weeks, not usually unless you’re already very close to the endpoint that you want to get to but that’s what happens. 

So, the number one thing that determines how many calories you need is your weight. I know there’s a belief out there that, “Oh, the bigger someone is probably the slower the metabolism they have,” that is wrong. That’s like saying that “Mac truck uses more gas sitting there at the stoplight idling than my sedan.” That’s just nonsense talk. It’s the only place where we say stuff like this is with, it’s like “It costs less money to build a smaller building than a bigger building.” That doesn’t make any sense.  

Bigger things require more energy and it’s certainly true, or energy and raw building blocks and that’s certainly true of the human body. And this becomes a problem because when you lose weight, your metabolism does slow down because you don’t need it. It’s like, you don’t need as much gas. If you were to take a Mac truck and to turn it into a sedan—if you wanted to do that of course—you would need less gas, it’s the same thing.  

So, the way we keep your body fat as... I’m sorry, body fat? No. Body weight as high as possible is we have you build muscle through resistance training and so that’s the second part. 

So, one is, “track your calories and weigh your food.” Do it for a week, do it every once in a while, to reorient you to not just the calories and the foods that you’re eating, but also the portion sizes that you’re eating, that’s where the weighing comes in folks.  

Second thing is, “Resistance training.” The way you make a fat loss so much easier, forget about cardio, unnecessary. Weight training is also unnecessary for fat loss. It just makes the process a lot easier whereas cardio does not, so weight training. 

And then the other thing is steps. The more active you are in general, now you could do cardio, you could just go for walks. I haven’t done cardio in weeks now probably over a month, but I’m getting at least 10,000 steps every day. So, that’s the...  

I mean, if you go to France, people are like the fridge paradox. They drink wine and eat cheese and yet they’re all thin. Well, they do have a little bit of a weight issue there, but it’s nothing compared to what you would see in the United States, Canada, the UK, and Australia, nothing, nowhere near.  

People are quite thin and the reason is they use the metro, they’re walking everywhere. Everyone’s walking everywhere in France and walking doesn’t just burn calories but also regulates your appetite. I don’t want to go down that rabbit hole too much, but this is more even the activity is more about appetite regulation as much as it is exercise, okay? 

So, those are the three things we do. We have people track their nutrition, and track away their food. We have people lift weights and we have people stay active either through steps or doing cardio, that is it. Now, that is it as far as actions when it comes to coaching.  

And yeah, do we have some, let’s say, strategies on how to do those things that are better? Yes, of course, because you can take what I just told you, “Okay, well I’m going to go track my food, I’m going to go lift weights, I’m going to go get in my steps and how come I didn’t get results with it, Ted?”  

Well, we have a way of doing things that are different because I’ve been doing it for a long time, right? But the simplicity is there and if you’re overweight or obese in particular, you should be able to get a few LBS of weight loss, if not more, just by doing those things.  

Just by understanding, “Hey, this is a calorie thing, so I’m going to track and weigh my food except when I’m out at a restaurant.” That’s not when you do it, but you’re going to estimate your calories. That’s what we teach our clients to do, they have great results with that–that’s what I personally do. They lift weights and they stay active. They get a step count of some sort, or we create a cardio routine for them and you get great results just with that.  

It is all about this: balancing that budget. And if you are in debt, you’re either putting... And then you’re putting on fat because you’re eating too many calories. And if you’re losing weight, you’re saving money, let’s say. If you’re building muscle, you’re like investing, that’s what that is. And if you’re maintaining, then you’re balancing it out completely and there’s nothing wrong with maintenance as long as that’s what you want. 

So, I hope this has been helpful folks, but it’s really the economics here. Forget about the physiology. Start to understand the math involved, and start to understand what we talked about today. Start to put it into action, you will get results.  

And if you need my help, reach out to me on Twitter. That’s really the place where I’m active these days. You can also shout me out on... Shout me out. Shout out… Mention me on Instagram as well. See that Instagrammer, Twitter works @ted_ryce. @ted_ryce, R-Y-C-E, folks, R-Y-C-E. Hope this helps. Have a great weekend and I’ll speak to you soon! 



Ted Ryce is a high-performance coach, celebrity trainer, and a longevity evangelist. A leading fitness professional for over 24 years in the Miami Beach area, who has worked with celebrities like Sir Richard Branson, Rick Martin, Robert Downey, Jr., and hundreads of CEOs of multimillion-dollar companies. In addition to his fitness career, Ryce is the host of the top-rated podcast called Legendary Life, which helps men and women reclaim their health, and create the body and life they deserve.

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