What? Is there a difference between the two? Absolutely – burning calories is simply well… burning calories. It does not automatically equal weight loss. If the calories that you are burning come from tissue fat – you will be losing weight. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Let’s look at caloric expenditure vs weight loss and do a quick calculation:
1000g of fat = 2,2 pounds = Roughly 9000 calories
This means that in order to lose 2 pounds of body fat, you would have to burn 9000 calories. For women, this is the typical caloric requirement for about 5 days. So, not eating anything for 5 days would burn you 2,2 pounds of fat. You can see why calorie-restriction diets fail. Not to mention that your metabolism would greatly slow down after 20+ hours of starvation, leading to even slower fat burn. After starving, your body will do its best to store any excess calorie you eat in order to prevent you from dying of starvation in the future. This is much more applicable to women, as we all know intermittent fasting does work well for men.
So, there you go – trying to ‘burn calories’ is not an effective weight loss strategy. On the other hand, manipulating your metabolism and hormonal environment, by simply tweaking your diet a bit can get you much faster fat loss. By limiting calories, you are trying to ‘force’ your body to resort to burning body fat. However, there is an easier way! How to enable your body to burn body fat is different for men and women and in this article we will focus on men.
Men benefit greatly from intermittent fasting – having an 8 hour (or less) eating window and not eating the rest of the day. This is because they lack the ‘rebound’ effect women suffer from when fasting – in other words, men can fast, burn some fat and then NOT put it back on when they start eating again.