July 19th, 2008

Eye-Opening”Fat Loss Secret”Video

I absolutely love this video! This three minute clip gives the answer to why you may not be losing fat… But let me tell you a quick story first to explain why I appreciate it so much before you watch the video…

You know that annoying guy at the gym selling memberships… and then trying to upsell you on a package of 20 personal training sessions?

Yep, that was me. Sorry. I know how you just love “pushy” salespeople. But hey, I believed in my product… it was a GREAT product.

Anyway, back in the early days of my fitness career, I was a salesman.

When I first took the job, they forced me to sit in a class and take sales training. I got to learn “fun” stuff like cold calling and prospecting…

Truth be told, I don’t think I needed the training. It wasn’t a difficult job for me because I looked the part. I WAS the product.

But the training did help. And there was one thing I remember vividly, and it stuck with me to this day. They taught me in sales training that “Nothing is more persuasive than a good demonstration/

They said, “If you tell them, they doubt you, but if you show them, they believe you.”

It’s the reason informercials work so well. Admit it, you bought an ab swing, ab lounge, ab belt or Ab Doer didn’t you? If not, I’ll give you brownie points, but then tell me you never bought anything like a Showtime Rotissiere oven or six star cutlery set, or 5 tray food dehydrator after Ron Popeil demonstrated them on TV.

Fast forward to today, many years since my salesman days.

Now I’m a fat loss coach, author and nutrition educator. And I have a big problem, as many nutrition educators do.

The problem is, a lot of people don’t believe us when we say that FAT LOSS all comes down to a calorie deficit (which means, to lose weight, you have to eat less than you burn).

In my last blog post about a recent low carb study, I wrote:

“One of the most firmly established facts in dietetics research is that almost everyone underreports their food intake BADLY, sometimes by as much as 50%. I’m not saying everyone “lies,” they just forget or don’t know. In fact, this underreporting of calorie intake is such a huge problem that it makes obesity research very difficult to do and conclusions difficult to draw from free-living studies.”

Well, hardly anyone believes that either. When they can’t lose weight, they blame it on something else: it’s not under-estimating portions, it’s genetics, thyroid or some kind of hormonal anomaly.

“Help Tom! I’m eating 900 calories a day and I still can’t lose weight!”

Yeah right.

And that brings me to this video you’re about to watch and why I like it so much.

It’s hard enough to explain this verbally with logic when you’re up against so much resistance and denial. But what if you could see with your own eyes an example of just ONE OF MANY ways that you may be eating far more than you realize?

Like I said before, NOTHING beats a good demonstration.

So, watch this demonstration, and appreciate a much needed wake up call about calories.

Credit and a big thank you go to the producer of this video, LEIGH PEELE…
, we love you!… well, us nutrition educators love you… some other people may hate you after watching this (but even THEY will love you too after they get lean and mean by following this advice.)

Learn more from Leigh Peele at:


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21 Responses to “Eye-Opening”Fat Loss Secret”Video”

  • Hi Tom,While I agree with your sentiment, your “Yeah Right” comment flies right in the face of the starvation mode. Also, would have really liked to have read a line or two about not all calories created equal. That being said, people totally underestimate the amount of calories they consume.Sincerely,A more than satisfied BFFM customer.

  • Craigthanks for your post! My point was that at 900 calories, EVERYONE will lose weight. But some people claim to be “diet resistant” and say that they are eating 1200, 1000, 900 calories a day OR LESS and still not losing weight. Then they usually blame something like hormones, etc. What is reallyhappening 99.99% of the time is they are underestimating their food intake in a massive way.To say this flies in the face of starvation mode would only be correct if you believed that actually eating 900 calories a day would cause your metabolic rate to drop to 900 calories a day and become your new maintenance level.That is not what happens with starvation mode — what happens is your metabolism DECREASES, it does not slow down to match your current very low intake.What starvation mode really means is that due to a chronically low caloric intake, your actual weight loss is much less than your predicted weight loss due to this slowdown in metabolism. it makes for frustratingly slow fat loss but does not stop fat loss.Think of prisoner of war or concentration camps or picture victims of famine, etc. They dont stop losing weight do they – they waste away to skin and bones and even death by starvationI discussed all the latest research on this in a previous blog post which you can see here:http://www.burnthefatblog.com/archives/ 2007/11/is_starvation_mode_a_myth_no_i.phplast but not least, yes, it goes without saying that not all calories are created equal. However, a metabolizable calorie is just a calorie from a pure energy balance perspective, and that is the part that a lot of people dont believe and what I would like to help more people accept and understand — Leigh’s video used a GREAT demonstration to illustrate the point.my very best to you,tom venuto

  • While I do believe that people underestimate calorie consumption, I feel like focusing on minor measuring mistakes misses the bigger issue. Most people are only able to accurately measure a small quantity of the food they eat. I think the bigger mistakes are made at salad bars and cafes where people have absolutely no idea how many calories they are eating. I think it’s important for people to learn to eat the right kinds of foods and develop an intuition for appropriate portions, and downsize appropriately.

  • Billy — I can agree with that completely- use of measuring cups is a minor issue. But when you see how far the calories can be off from such a minor detail in people who are ALREADY attempting to measure their food, do you realize how far off people could be when they make even bigger mistakes or when they completely wing it?Like people who have NO idea that the NO FAT muffin they just ate at Dunkin donuts had 660 calories?Or the folks who ate the steak at Longhorn who would never in a million years imagine that it contained 1500 calories and the whole meal was 2500 caloriesOr the ones who drink a couple of those mocha frappa cappa cinno things at starbucks with 400, 500, 600 calories a pop and yet they claim their eating a grand total of only 1200 calories a day?See what Im saying? Its an all around lack of awareness of calories which is COMPOUNDED by the fact that so many people are in denial that calories even matter in the first place!heres another wake up call:20 worst foods in america — by mens healthhttp://www.menshealth.com/eatthis/20-Worst-Foods/index.phpread and be shockedChilis awesome blossom 2700 CALORIES IN AN APPETIZER!!!!!Best regards,Tom V

  • Ben

    Calories in versus calories out assumes that the body has to store excess calories as fat and conversley has to use excess fat to make up the calorie deficiency.The reality is the body can do this but more often chooses to adjust glycogen levels, blood sugar levels, rate of thermogenesis and uses down regulation of the BMR to adjust the body to match intake. Therefore you can eat more or less of the needed ‘calories’ and not lose or gain a thing. Hence plenty of people control their intake and ‘burn up the fat’ down the gym yet get awful results.I have found the type of calories and the hormonal environment of the body istelf is more influencing on fat levels than calories in / out alone.However, massive portion like in this video aint gonna help no-one even if it is the right food for their body!Ben Wilson

  • Hi Ben. We are probably on the same page completely, but you are referring more to nutrient partitioning than energy balance itself –energy balance, ie calories in versus calories out determines WHETHER you will lose or gain weight.Nutrient partitioning determines WHERE that loss or gain comes from — when you ARE in a deficit, where do you pull the energy from? And when you ARE in a surplus where do you store the energy – as lean tissue, fat or glycogen? THIS, as you said, depends a lot on hormones.However, and this is my point regarding calories, you have to have that calorie surplus to gain or that calorie deficit to lose in the first place!… and many people on weight loss diets are in a surplus (and gaining weight) or in energy balance (and not losing weight) and they dont even realize why – because they are underestimating their portion sizes

  • Doris

    Thank you for sharing the video, Tom. It is eye opening and certainly makes me more aware of where I am failing. It just shows that something that seems so minor as that can be a huge area of sabotage, unknowingly.Thank you for empowering me with that information.

  • Kaari

    WHAT??? This is CRAZY!Thank you so much for sharing this! Ummm…this one hits home. I’ll have MUCH better results now.Here is another one…I figured this out making my healthy bread in the breadbaker. (For bread, you are supposed to spoon the flour into the cup, scrape it flat with a knife and THEN dump it into the pan. That way the flour is light and fluffy, not packed tight.)I did a science experiment with my small kids to demonstrate this to them. We jammed one as full as we could with flour, then spooned the other one in like you are supposed to, and scraped it flat. I got over twice the flour into the packed-full cup. A cup is a cup is a cup? Not so!

  • Tiffany

    Tom, you are right about food portions absolutely! I am a swimmer who has lost over 10kgs since 1 June 2008 after taking on a personal trainer in the gym for 2 * 1 hr sessions a week. My PT asked me what I ate after 5km training sessions for breakfast and when I told him, he said that amount of food should take me through til 3pm! So out the door with the loaf of bread in the toaster, and in with a weighed 30g of oats and voila, what a difference the PT has made !

  • Cheryl McEwan

    Love the video! I have never understood the American way of measuring by volume, it’s so inaccurate – and exactly what are the benefits? I weigh all my food in grams and it makes everything easy. Peanut Butter has 60 cals per 10g and I call that a portion (15g if I’m feeling indulgent). I was smiling smugly at the video, until it got to the part “…..and we know you lick the spoon”. Doh!!!Have to admit, I do lick the spoon (and the knife) and those cals aren’t counted. Keep up the great work, Tom. I lost 30lbs after reading BFFM and am now maintaining my goal weight and feeling great – fit and healthy. I can’t say I followed the programme religiously but I found all the information invaluable. The best $ I ever spent and I recommend it to everyone who wants to understand how to lose fat properly. It isn’t called the fat loss bible for nothing!

  • stacey hancock

    This is fantastic!!I love it – and will be sharing that with my weight loss (or not losing weight) clients.And I personally will be weighing my food instead of measuring for my up and coming comp…I should’ve known better, but sometimes we need something like this to shake us up.stace

  • Pete

    You’ve just made your ebook make sense to me!You rulePete-the pistolinator

  • Jane

    What? Why do you need to measure it just below the cup? That wouldn’t be a cup right? It’s just shy.

  • David

    You have to measure below the cup because the manufacturer of the oatmeal has lied a little about their serving size. They rounded 0.9 cups to 1 cup. In fact, the package usually says something like “serving size about 1 cup.” I’ve found that when I weigh it out, the serving size is always slightly smaller in volume than the package states.

  • Candice

    I thought I was doing good only getting 5 or 10 ‘Timbits’ donut holes at the donut shop, I just looked up the sour cream glazed and they are 90 CALS EACH!!! That’s twice what I thought they’d be, 900 calories for ten, glad I looked it up!

  • Jimmy

    I loved this, I am a 51 year old male who in Jan 06 was at 220 lbs and around 33% BF. By Nov of 06 I was 153 lbs, and 6%.When friends & family asked how often do you work out and how did you make such a dramatic change, tell me how you did it.My answer was simple. I disciplined myself to do consistent cardio and strength training, but probably 70 percent of my success was that I ate quality calorie foods and I WEIGHED EVERYTHING THAT I ATE EVERYTHING!!!!!IMO the best investment I made was a digital scale. I knew exactly how many calories I ate. From there it was simple to adjust my intake to create a healthy and steady fat loss.. Many said I was way to obsessive about the foods I ate and the way I monitored my food intake… Too that I would just say, your results will reflect the time and effort you put into anything!!!

  • Mark

    Hi Tom,First I want to commend you for your efforts to provide objective scientific information to people, in a world that is ripe for exploitation due to scientific illiteracy and powerful vested interests. Infact, your the first person on the web that i’ve been able to refer people I meet/friends too knowing I can trust you to give good advice. Second, sorry this is a bit long, but I want to provide some background on my viewpoint.You know there is a ‘but’ coming with such high praise right? OK I do have some disagreements here. I will say upfront that I probably am slightly of a bias, because I married a recovering anorexic, more on lessons from that below.There’s no question you are right that this problem is real. But the example given is I believe extreme to make a point. Peanut butter is a very high in fat. It would be very difficult to eat near 400 extra calorie’s a day by mistaken portion size from protein or even carbs, ASSUMING they aren’t eating processed foods i.e. so healthy eating is surely a better focus.Wouldn’t is be more accurate to say, be careful of portion sizes for high fat foods, but don’t obsess over portion sizes for protein (lean sources) or even carbs too much.I don’t believe any ‘diet’ method can succeed long term for many people if it requires obsessive behaviour, such as careful monitoring of portion sizes. If anything, the result of that is to create an unhealthy relationship to food.Yep, it’s a great method for obsessive compulsive types, myself included, and most athlete’s i’ve ever met are all obsessive/compulsive – directed in a healthy way. But MOST people are not, and don’t want to have to think about measuring everything they eat with a micrometer. If you force that on them, eventually they will rebel.If someone isn’t getting the fat loss they want, isn’t it easier and better to say increase your calorie expenditure – such as the gflux method you’ve talked about?OK granted, you need to point out they musn’t then increase portion sizes as they increase exercise, so some discussion of portion size is unavoidable, but its been my limited experience that focussing on exercise is more effective than focussing obessively on food intake. Infact, it seems as people exercise and get fitter, they ‘naturally’, then start to want to clean up their eating, and eventually adjust amounts they eat. But whenver I see someone go ‘gun-ho’ into a fat loss regime, and start trying to obsess over everything they eat, they give up within a few months with a rebellious attitude of ‘sc**w that, I want to live and not eat like a rabit’ or some similar disparaging remark about ‘healthy lifestyles’.OK one other point, the calorie In/out equation, lets call it CAL_EQU for short.There is no question that for the many people the calorie CAL_EQU works, espeically I believe anyone who is say over 10% or more above ideal body fat.But my experience is also that in many cases it doesn’t work -negatively – for people who can’t lose body fat no matter how big a deficit they createpositively – for people who eat any amount and not put on fat.I wouldn’t believe this either, but my life experience has convinced me otherwise. When I met my wife, a recovering anorexic she ate between 500-800 calorie’s a day – and did not lose weight [ she was about 15lbs over ideal weight at the time. Her ideal weight was about 130lbs, she had gone down to about 80 and nearly died, and was up around 145lbs at this time.]Now, I know you might believe she was ‘cheating calorie’s, I thought the same. I was a good runner on the running team, studying science, and eveything I knew said this was impossible.I can’t convince you, but I was convinced over about a year of watching her eating habbits, that there was no cheating So much so, I went and studied the science for many years to understand how this was possible – back around late 80’s-early 90’s with no internet and little knowledge around.I also contrasted this with my own body type, a classic runner, where I can eat any amount, and never put on body fat. When I ate 1000-2000 calorie’s a day more than maintenance, I simply burned it off literally, my body temp would rise dramaticially for many hours ( similar to the feel of glycogen replacement cycle post exercise ). Whereas now, at age 41, anything I eat above maintenance goes on as fat.This has all taught me that, whilst in general the energy balance equation is true, that there are always exceptions.As you yourself have pointed out, the body often plataue’s, and another example of this is when body fat gets down low, its hard to lose anymore – the energy balance equation doesn’t work linearly at all points.BTW – my wife is now a now super healthy, and has a much admired physique for age 38 ( though she also had the muscle memory and genes for it, she was a top junior sprinter), using what you call G-glux and high intensity training methods and having her stay away form obessing over food, but it took about 10-15 years to correct the damage she did to her metabolism.- starvation mode is very real bottom line, as are messed up metabolisms from extreme dieting.I could write a book on everthing that failed for her, including eating 1200 calorie a day, and exercising 3 hours a day obessively for years – never lost a pound! everything changed once she ate more (but healthy) and exercised less but more intensely…took me a year to convince her, can you imagine convincing a recoving anorexic to eat more and exercise less? but science won the day fortunately, and her results have convinced me to be careful about that CAL_EQU.Mark.

  • The video was cool and interesting, I also like the music. I agree with you when people saying that they are eating 1000 calories per day and not losing weight it’s bogus.For me, and I mean it’s work for me at this time, I don’t count calories but I’m very careful what kind of food I choose. For example, for lunch and dinner I always have protein (red meat or fish or chicken) with lots of salad and sometimes some carbs, If I want to repeat I will but I have to put much more salad than the other things.At least by doing this I lost 7 pounds in the last 12 days.


    Hi Tom,At the end of Leigh’s video, she advertises her own book about fat loss, how does her book compare to yours?Terrie

  • Terri. Im reading Leigh’s book now. Bear with me a week or so and I will write a review.I like it already because its not a rehash of whats already been done a thousand times in other books. Its not a diet or even a stand alone program, its designed to help you troubleshoot stalls and plateaus in whichever program you are on. so if Youre on BFFM and plateau’d there is advice on breaking stalls and plateaus in leighs book that i didnt cover or even think of in my bookLeighs book is a bit of a wake up call call though, in the same sense as this video is. So people who are against counting calories or weighing food, shouldnt bother… although ironically, its the person who wont count anything who is stuck at a plateau who probably could use this info themostTom

  • paul laucher

    whats the name of the tune in the video,thanks great article as usuall

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