2 steps to weight loss – A case study

2 steps to Weight loss – A case study


To lose weight, you MUST burn up more calories than you consume. The technical term for this is to create a “calorie deficit”.

There are many different methods you can use to achieve this, but you must achieve a calorie deficit in order to lose weight.



Mary and Betty (twin sisters) both burn approx. 2000 calories per day prior to their weight loss efforts.

**Get a rough calculation of how many calories you burn –  HERE

  • They decide to burn up an extra 500 calories per day via exercise and movement
  • They decide to consume 1500 calories per day (500 less than the 2000 they burnt prior to weight loss efforts)
  • This creates a 1000 calorie deficit per day
  • Which equates to 7000 calorie deficit per week
  • Which equates to (approx) 1kg lost per week – Yay


Betty and Mary’s lost “weight” (as measured on the scales) can come from…

  • fluid
  • excess body fat – Yay
  • lean muscle – Boo

(which leads us to step 2) 

Step 2 – QUALITY

Step 2 determines where the lost “weight” will come from (fat, fluid or muscle). It also has a significant impact in hunger / fullness levels, energy levels and hormonal health.



filled her 1500 calorie budget primarily with low fat, low protein, high carbohydrate foods. Typical diet foods like low fat yoghurts, muesli bars, rice crackers, fruit juice smoothies etc.

Betty – 1500 calories. Betty did not consume enough protein to support muscle maintenance.




filled her calorie budget with an appropriate balance of all 3 macro-nutrients. Protein, fat and carbohydrates. This naturally limited the amount of carbohydrates Mary ate each day. Not because they are evil or bad, simply to fit an appropriate balance of all 3 macronutrients into her 1500 calorie budget.

Mary – 1500 calories. Consumed adequate protein to support muscle maintenance


** Please also read Carbs, calories and weight loss explained

8 weeks later…

They both lost weight.

Of course they did,  they were both in a calorie deficit. As we learned in step 1… THAT’S HOW ALL WEIGHT LOSS WORKS.

Betty’s weight loss results

Betty lost 6kgs (on the scales).

  • 1.2 kgs was from body fat
  • 1.0 kgs came from fluid (this is normal)
  • 3.8 from lean muscle mass (LMM)
  • 6.0 total weight loss (as measured on scales)

Betty’s insufficient protein intake caused her to lose muscle. Losing this much lean muscle will mean that Betty’s metabolism will go down slightly, she will be weaker and she will look flabbier.

As a result, Betty will struggle to maintain her weight loss. Weight gain will be easier due to her decreased metabolism. Let’s not forget that Betty was hungry a lot of the time on her weight loss plan.


Mary’s weight loss results

Mary consumed adequate protein and fat (hence less carbs) in her 1500 calorie budget.

Mary lost 8 kgs (on the scales).

  • 7 kgs from body fat
  • 1 kg of fluid (normal)
  • 8 kgs total weight loss as measured on scales

Betty and Mary both created a calorie deficit.   They both consumed the same AMOUNT of calories 1500 (QUANTITY). But the macro-nutrient balance (QUALITY) was different, hence very different results in the amount of body fat lost.

Mary was not as hungry as Betty, due to the fact that adequate protein intake helped keep her full for longer. Bonus

Note from Chriss

I know you think you want the number on the scales to go down at any cost. Please believe me when I tell you that the number on the scales does not tell you the whole story. The aim when trying to lose weight should always be to lose body fat and preserve lean muscle mass.

Loss of muscle mass = slower metabolism + weaker you + flabbier you.


Most of the above can be achieved making 3 ridiculously simple steps..



** Disclaimer

This weight loss information assumes that you do not have any major medical or hormonal issues and that you are not on any medications that prevent weight loss or promotes fat gain.

Click to read 7 reasons you are not losing weight, even though you are trying


 Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do you lose weight by going Paleo?
  • Burn more calories than you consume (calorie deficit)


  • How do you lose weight with meal replacement shakes?
  • Burn more calories than you consume (calorie deficit)



  • How do you lose weight with ________ plan? (insert your favourite weight loss method)
  • Burn more calories than you consume (calorie deficit)

** Are you noticing a theme here?

  • How do you gain weight? (even if eating healthy, even if you have gone Paleo or eat clean, or any other plan that you can think of)
  • Consume more calories than you burn (calorie surplus)

Imagine a car that needs 60 litres of fuel. It doesn’t matter how pure or wonderful the fuel source is, if you put in 70 litres it is considered excess (and will be converted to excess body fat in the case of the human body)

** See also – Is this healthy food making me fat?

More questions…

But Chriss, what about sugar?

If you set yourself an appropriate calorie budget and fill it with adequate protein, carbs and fat, then your sugar intake will naturally be lower. Oh, and please know, there is no need to quit it completely.

See also – What’s wrong with the sugar is bad message?


But Chriss, what about managing your blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity?

If you set yourself an appropriate calorie budget and fill it with adequate protein, carbs and fat, then your blood sugar levels will be naturally managed. (Great question btw)

See also – Insulin sensitivity and your weight


But Chriss, what about fat?

If you set yourself an appropriate calorie budget and fill it with adequate protein, carbs and fat, then your fat intake will be naturally managed.

** Are you noticing a theme here?


But Chriss, does that mean I need to strictly count every calorie IN and OUT?

No. I don’t strictly count calories in vs. out. Neither do my clients. Most of this can be achieved with habit changes and new routines. However a little awareness about calories and macro nutrients goes a long way.

See also – What the hell is a calorie?


But Chriss, what about exercise?

While it’s true, exercise can help use up some more calories, hence help you achieve the calorie deficit needed to achieve weight loss, it only plays a small role. A medium female burns approx 500 calories in a hard exercise session. She would need to add 14hrs of exercise in order to burn off  1kg. That is assuming she doesn’t eat any more to compensate.

Everything you need to know about exercising for weight loss

It all makes sense Chriss, can you help me with a step by step plan?

As a matter of fact I can.

I have created a 12 week online habit change coaching program that will walk you through all of this and so much more.

Learn more = Coaching with Chriss A 12 week habit change system that will result in you finally reaching and maintaining your health and fitness goals