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  • Writer's pictureAmber

The 4 Principles of tissue re-composition and weight loss

Updated: Mar 3, 2022

Principle 1: Weight loss = Calories out > calories in



Main Goal

  • Decrease body fat percentage while increasing or maintaining lean muscle mass.


  • Losing weight in the form of muscle is not the ultimate goal, muscle tissue consumes energy at rest. The more muscle tissue we gain, the more calories we burn at rest. This helps us to balance the energy equation at the bottom of our pyramid more easily.

Where to Start

Keep an “Awareness Log”

Self-Awareness – You must be aware of what’s happening and when it is happening. Your emotions, triggers, etc.

To do this we must be grounded.

How do we ground ourselves?

  • One of the easiest ways to do this is to breathe. Take a moment to breathe and to feel. Note this down if you need to and any actions that may have led up.

  • I was listening to a great podcast today that mentioned, “Breathing is free”. To me, breathing and movement are the two most free forms of medicine we have.

The Four Principles

Principle #1: Weight loss happens when calories burned is greater than calories consumed

1) Weight loss mostly comes down to being in a caloric deficit. This means calories out > calories in. You burn more than you consume.

Over time, your body uses its resources to replenish fuel sources. This is where cardiovascular training, or aerobic training, comes into play. Aerobic training is defined as low-intensity training over an extended duration. During this time, once our stores of fast energy supply, aka glycogen and glucose, our bodies begin to utilize fat cells as their substrate for energy replenishment. This is why walking is such a highly recommended activity for weight loss. Biking and swimming are also great recommendations. They provide a fairly low impact activity that can be sustained at whatever level their ability provides and, if done for 30-60 minutes several times per week, can provide fat loss.

HOW do I know whether or not I am in a calorie deficit?

Count calories and keep a log, this doesn’t need to be meticulous or nuanced. If you’ve never tracked meals before, start by just writing them down. This is also going to build awareness by keeping a journal. Eventually, it will benefit you to know how many calories you are consuming and what outcome that is providing. My wife and I leave our scale on the counter and weigh out all of our meals.

Why does this work?

  1. Awareness of current patterns. You are becoming aware of your actual inputs by writing them down. By tracking the inputs, we can more easily track what to change later on in order to achieve the desired outcome.

  2. It is increasingly difficult to log meals that you don’t cook. It eased my calorie counting when I was providing my meals.

    1. PS. You can still weigh out meals if you get those meal kit deliveries. AND it’s about the same cost for a box (2 meals for 4 people) as it is for 2 people to dine out in the city for one night

    2. Food scales work best over measuring cups measures for net weights as volumes are not as specific measurements

Is this the only way I will lose weight?

No, but you do need to be somewhat aware of how much energy you’re consuming in this energy equation. Because energy cannot be created nor destroyed this will give us an idea of how much energy the body is being supplied with.

**Just because we consume the food, does not mean our body is breaking it down or using the energy. This is often a confounding variable in weight loss. We may be consuming a certain number of calories, but based on hormones and other bodily functions, the ability to actually absorb the nutrients is faulted. This is why we note processes and log outcomes. This then allows us to dial in on our processes to yield the outcomes we want.

We will discuss other key principles that play a role in weight loss and body composition but this one is first and foremost. This is the least nuanced principle and gives us insight into our current habits while allowing us to see where we can make changes.

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