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Why the Perfect Diet OR Awesome Training Programme doesn’t work

How to get in shape… 80% diet, 20% training……

Follow this nutrition plan to shred fat…..

This training programme is perfect for fat loss….

All of these statements are fundamentally flawed, as fat loss CAN ONLY HAPPEN when both energy intake and energy output are accounted for. Let me talk you through how fat loss works, and explain that when it comes to fat loss, energy in should always be considered alongside energy out- not just from the training session, but over the entire day, repeated consistently the majority of the time for sustainable results.

“Wait a minute… I lost fat without doing any exercise…… why are you suggesting I didn’t?”

I’m not. You can… but it’s not optimum, not by a long way. The way this works is that you can reduce calories down to a low level (below the amount that you burn in a day without training), and this leads to fat loss. Both sides of the equation are at a minimum- you’re not burning much, but you’re consuming even less…..  fat loss.  

So, on that note- why is this approach (which will work initially) a bad idea?

How to get in shape – why should I care about muscle?

When looking to get in shape, we don’t only want to lose bodyfat, we also want to make sure we’re maintaining or building lean mass. Obviously, this is important to “look and feel great”, but it goes much further than that. Maintaining lean mass is an essential way to maintain strength, power, fitness and metabolism….

Why do you want to lose fat?

Feel fitter? Look better? Be healthier?

All of these require fat loss and lean mass gain or maintenance. And if that’s not enough, here’s the thing…

More lean mass helps you to continue to lose fat, and burn more calories.

When we lose weight through maintaining a calorie deficit, out metabolism will begin to slow down… This is normal, but the extent of this reduction is based partially the amount of lean mass we lose. Again, the goal is fat loss. So a healthy balance of resistance training, cardio training, good levels of general activity, low stress, adequate sleep and good nutrition all pave the way for a sustainable, yet rapid, weight loss programme. Trust me, you can do this, and you’ll probably find that rather than “hating” the process of fat loss, it helps you to feel empowered, structured, and ready to take on whatever challenge comes your way.

But, before I get carried away, back to the point. Fat loss should be achieved not through a magic shake (or anything else that claims to be a magic solution), but by understanding why we gain fat, and why we lose it, and simply putting this concept into practice.

Once we understand this simple concept, then you’ll no longer fear a fat loss programme, or be overwhelmed and spring in and out of diets. You’ll understand why you gain, why you lose, when you’re on the right track, and when you need to simply do more. This gives you the control to make a difference to yourself (of course, we’re here to help every step of the way).

Fat loss- Calories in Vs Calories out IS NOT Diet VS Training… there’s more!

So, in a few words, here’s how you lose fat.

No if’s, no but’s, in every situation, this is what’s going on, regardless of what the bloke at slimming world or the woman at the gym in awesome shape told you…


Calories in (the food and drinks we consume and digest) = Calories out (RMR, TEF, NEAT, Exercise, other including stress, sleep, hormones, etc)


Both sides being equal, our weight will maintain. BUT as all of these factors contribute, understanding  that changes in any can result in a shift in balance of the equation, and lead to either weight loss or weight gain. Here’s what each part of the energy out equation means:


RMR- Resting metabolic rate, the amount of energy your body uses to function and survive in a completely rested state (no movement, no digestion, etc)

TEF- Thermic effect of food, the adjustment in metabolism to account for digestion (and not all nutrients are equal- for example protein has the highest TEF, so higher protein diets of “equal calories” will lead to a higher energy output on the higher protein option.

NEAT- Non-exercise activity thermogenesis, the amount of calories we burn through movement, both deliberate (active work) and non-deliberate (fidgeting), that in not necessarily considered exercise.

Exercise- The deliberate training session.

Other factors- Several other factors impact metabolism in various ways.


On the other side of the fence , heres a few considerations:

What we consume AND digest is the real calories in…. Generally, we don’t need to consider this, as the % is usually very high, but it’s worth being aware of during illness.

The main consideration here is tracking. Take the time to track properly, based on weight and high quality foods, and you may come close. Otherwise, a guess and a random “similar food” on an app could be WAY off the mark.


So, fat loss is simple. Not easy, and we need to control as many factors as possible, but we DO know what these factors are, and WE can control them. Hopefully by now its clear how diet alone, or a training programme alone won’t necessarily lead to sustainable fat loss. In fact, a diet programme and a training programme combined may not always lead to fat loss, even if the numbers are right, due to errors in monitoring the diet, or changes in total energy expenditure.

This is a GOOD THING!

Now you know that there is a reason you’ve not managed to make it work before…. Now is your time! This knowledge is gold, so make the most of it.


If you want a solid plan based around your life, your schedule, your work, and including the training programme, nutrition programme, mindset coaching and more, then simply contact us now!


Good luck on your Journey!


Josh Kennedy, MSc, ASCC, CSCS

Fitness Experience Owner, Director and coach

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