Note: This was a guest post on A King's Castle. This is a great…
One of the biggest causes of modern-day obesity is sedentarianism. It’s a disease, a societally accepted one, and it’s making us fat. Sedentarianism is essentially us being lazy and/or having jobs that require us to be sedentary. This is one of the few major negatives of technology. It makes us lazy.
I’m not usually a fan of the “our ancestors did this so we must also” argument because it’s normally bullshit. Our ancestors were constantly dying at age 30 from other men, sabre-tooth tigers, the cold, disease etc. It’s not exaclty something to aspire to.
However, in the case of sedentarianism (yes I think this is a completely made up word) the argument is true. This is where our ancestors beat us hands down. We are biologically evolved to be on our feet, not our asses. We were designed to be burning calories throughout the day, not just 30 minutes to one hour during our workouts.
Your Total Daily Energy Expenditure is the total number of calories you expend every day through total activity. Although I do normally say that 80% of your fat loss results will come from your diet (which is true in most cases), TDEE is very, very important.
The 80/20 rule kind of depends on how much cardio/daily movement you’re already doing. If you’re alreday doing quite a bit of movement per day and you’re still not losing weight, you likely have a sugar addiction or aren’t eating enouhg protein or veggies (to control that appetite).
However, for a lot of people, they simply aren’t burning enough calories per day. This is often the case with Men Over 40 who have desk jobs, smaller men (who simply weigh less) and women as well. Those with lighter bodyweights need to be careful to avoid starving themselves by allowing calories to drop too low. This is best done through raising their TDEE.
Raising your TDEE also gives you freedom – freedom to eat more calories than you otherwise would be eating if you were completely sedentary. Think of caveman you, and compare his daily calorie expenditure compared to yours. For most Men Over 40 with “normal” jobs, their calorie burn is about 2500 per day (for the average weight dude, at about 25-30% body fat).
Compared to their previous cavemen selves, this is pretty low. Our ancestors were on their feet a lot of the time; a lot more than us, and were probably burning over 500-8000 more calories per day purely from this. If we can simply hit an extra 300-400, we instantly have more room for error in terms of dieting.
Over the course of a month, we’re talking 30*400= 12,000 calories. Can you see how important these daily habits are when they accumulate over time?
How To Gain These Benefits
Most of this stuff requires organisation, time management and prioritisation. Do you actually want to lose weight? Yes? Good. Well you need to schedule 30 minutes per day to do some type of TDEE-increasing exercise. Not cardio, general movement – walking, for example.
You could decrease your calories by another 300 and save time, sure, but this isn’t as sustainable, as you’ll be hungrier doing this. I don’t need to keep going on about this, so I’ll give you some links if you need to revisit why sustainability is so key:
Time management is so important, as this is one of those daily habits we need to be doing – if you do jack shit all week and try and “make up for it at the weekend” it ends up turning into cardio. The magic of this stuff is realised once it becomes a subconscious habit. Then, it makes it so much easier to stay lean. You don’t even have to think about it, and it just seems to “happen”.
If you simply start off with 30 mins per day, and then build up over time to 45 mins per day, you’ll notice a HUGE difference in your ability to lose weight, particularly if you’re in the Men Over 40 camp. It’s a long-term strategy that works. No 30 day nonsense.