The signal from depletion in the human body triggers a supra-commensurate response. That is, as you drop blood sugar and leptin (this is before you’ve reached the body fat to be burned) the body desires to reclaim all of that energy PLUS more. Keep in mind, the hunger signal is usually hitting you before or just as you start burning fat.
A recent joint study by Yale and Harvard uncovered how and where the effect transpires: https://news.yale.edu/…/yale-led-study-reveals-biology-lept…
One of the first responses is in the brain. Your brain is ready to gain energy the moment you make the body lose energy. This is why the calories-in/calories-out model of weight loss in American society has been an abject failure in 100% of long-term weight loss studies. Wantonly depleting the body without addressing the brain’s perceived needs WILL ALWAYS FAIL in the long run.
We have to be smarter than our survival machine drive. This requires some awareness about hormonal cascades. “Move more/eat less” says nothing about mental health or neurological function; therefore it says nothing. Nothing at all.
In my career over the course of the past 15 years, I’ve seen too many short-term successes to count. It’s in the thousands. When I was at Bally’s, I met almost every active member and every new member (and many more prospective members) at several clubs from 2004-2010. Six years times twelve months times eighty (low ball estimate) per month is 5,760. At lifetime, I met a lot more. My first five days I collected a list of 250 names among the regular gym-goers. I didn’t allow myself to leave for the day until I’d met 50 new people and gathered some information about them. I came to observe most of the 4,000 active members at one club, and kept an eye on the methodology of my peers who collectively trained over 1,000 clients. In the independent sphere, I’ve met five to ten new people per month for the past six-and-a-half years while coaching around 100 different individuals. On the absolute low end, I’ve seen up close over 10,000 people’s journeys.
It could be 20,000. It doesn’t matter. What matters is among these, there were thousands of short-term successes. Short-term successes are common. The absolute worst trainers on earth have tons of these. All the transformations you see on informercials are the rule, not the exception. Ten year success? You may not know a single one. You certainly haven’t seen one on an infomercial or advertisement. I have many. I have peers who have many. But that’s because we look at sustainability.
Inevitably, people are confronted with mental health and brain health. Depletion isn’t scalable. Sure, you can just starve and sweat your butt off for a few days, a few weeks, maybe a few months. But that brain signal of repletion is pounding louder every day that you don’t manage it.
What’s the takeaway? Primarily, I want to say that you must carefully watch the depletion. This can be managed through trace minerals and vitamins. But in the end, you want to think about the whole effort like you are trying to steal from a heavily fortified and secure facility. You cannot just take it all. You must take tiny increments which won’t set off as many alarms. This takes time. This takes patience. This take planning. This take precision. This takes a different mentality than the short-term excitement of transformation testimonials.
You can’t trust your brain in the moment. Because it is the regulator of depletion. You have to gently ask it to come along. You have to trick it. You have to be convincing and gradual. Depletion is tenuous.