Weight Lost always Returns! Whose fault is it?

Woman on exercise ball.

Weight Loss: Your "Must Have" Knowledge

This article concerns weight loss and gaining strength while accomplishing both in the minimum weekly time investment. 

It also covers the even more important subject of KEEPING IT OFF.

This is not a short article but contains the information you need to attain the look and fitness you have always wanted. 

It is a series of statements, all of which I have researched, but the researcher’s notes are absent for brevity. However, the concepts are there for your review, and you may look into each on your own.

I have used a little “device” as follows:

LESSON: followed by an important short fact. I hope it doesn’t become irritating.

So the FIRST Lesson is,

LESSON: Calorie-restricted dieting is technically a matter of “fewer calories in and more calories out.”

LESSON: Of all fad diets and exercise programs aside, Calorie-Restriction is the only real way to lose weight.

LESSON: Weight loss should mean FAT loss and not just lower numbers on a bathroom scale

Over the years, you have heard of hundreds of diets, but ultimately, none of them really work. The simple fact is this: to lose fat, you must eat fewer calories than you burn.

However, that’s NOT the end of the story!

Losing weight by watching numbers on a scale can be completely counterproductive.


LESSON: Most calorie-restricted diets cause weight loss to occur equally between fat and muscle.

This is disastrous, as you will soon learn why.

We want to lose FAT, not muscle because muscle cells burn many more calories than any other cells. Therefore, these muscle cells are the ones we want to build and NOT lose.

LESSON: To keep weight (fat) off, you do NOT want to lose muscle. You ONLY want to lose FAT.

LESSON: There are some techniques that maximize FAT loss while minimizing MUSCLE loss.

Rarely do you see these techniques discussed in nutrition, muscle, or weight loss articles. Most articles and books tend to lead you in the wrong direction because they are “selling” sensational “magic diets” or “Amazing Exercise Programs.”

These may take a bunch of weight off initially but are utterly useless in delivering true permanent fat loss. And worse, this temporary “loss” inevitably seems to come back.

Ever notice that? We all have!

How can I say that the media and authors have been misleading us?

Numbers do not lie; after 40 years of exposure to all these “magic diets and programs,” Americans are fatter and sicker than ever! 

Why Traditional Diets Don't Keep Weight Off

Most calorie-restricted diets work but are difficult to stay on because you are “hungry” all the time. Usually, the next meal is always on your mind.

LESSON: Calorie-restricted diets have two significant but rarely discussed problems, 

  1. While dieting, the brain will slow your metabolism because it thinks you are “starving.” So when you return to your standard eating patterns, all the weight returns. In most cases, even more comes back because of the slowed metabolism. 
  2. One study showed that for every pound of weight lost, your brain demands you eat 100 extra calories daily! This too will cause the complete reversal of the weight you lost! 

LESSON: If the calorie restriction is too significant, you will lose muscle (which lowers metabolism) and  means you burn fewer calories daily. Plus your body wants those calories back and forces you to eat more. It is a lose-lose situation.

Ok, I am going to attempt some humor here. It is “lose-lose” because at first you DO LOSE SOME WEIGHT but once you stop dieting you lose by gaining it all back and usually even more!

LESSON: For weight loss, slow and steady is the only sure way of keeping the lost fat LOST!

SUMMARY of the above ideas:

LESSON: By dieting too severely you create your very own “Slower Metabolism.”

A slowed metabolism is counterproductive, no matter how you look at it.

You may decide to continue on that diet, eat even less, and lose some more weight, but your metabolism will continue to slow. That is a no-win situation.

There is hope, though, if you grasp and follow these LESSONS.


LESSON: The trick is to cut calories at a rate that causes weight loss without lowering your metabolism. Often this takes longer than one would like but losing at the proper (slow) rate is key to keeping it off. 

Besides lowering your own metabolism by dieting too much or too often we have this:

LESSON: After the age of 30, we tend to lose about 10 pounds of lean mass (muscle, bone, tendons) per decade. Therefore, we burn fewer calories, and we BECOME FATTER and WEAKER.

So do not diet for rapid weight loss and offset the natural loss of lean muscle by INTENSE exercise. (more on this later in this article).”

LESSON: Muscle burns fat.

The less muscle we have, the fewer fat calories we burn. We also risk becoming frail with weaker bones. We should all want MORE MUSCLE. I doubt there has ever been an 80-year-old who said, “I just have too much muscle!”

LESSON: Lose weight (FAT) while maintaining as much muscle as possible.




LESSON: This form of exercise is called HIGH-INTENSITY TRAINING. (HIT)

Do not let the term “High-Intensity” scare you.  I will explain in a bit.

The Difference Between TRUE Exercise (HIT) and Activity (Everything Other type of Exercise)

What is exercise?

LESSON: ACTUAL EXERCISE is a purposefully directed activity that stimulates the body to produce a positive adaption in two areas:

1. Your level of fitness (fitness is your ability to do things) and

2. Health (absence of sickness). 

And it also must not cause harm!

Without getting into the weeds on this, but to make a point, many activities today that are thought of as exercise are actually just “activity.” Activities such as walking, swimming, jogging, normal (non-high intensity) weight training, and casual yoga can seem like exercise but are simply activities. Done too much, and too often they often risk inflammation and injury. The typical 3-5 hours of “exercise” a week RARELY results in permanent weight (fat) loss.

Worse yet are the “boot camps,” “challenges,” and other “programs” that are difficult and taxing but often end in injury, which results in non-completion. They also encourage hunger because they do not encourage UPWARDS ADAPTION of your muscle cells which is what causes both strength and increased metabolism.

LESSON:  All the above activities, if used to lose weight, will, 80-95% of the time, result in the weight returning, and often more than initially lost.

If done for “fun” and to stay limber, they are fine but remember they encourage hunger and often cause injury.

What I am about to say is science but, again, rarely discussed in the mainstream of health and fitness:

“Lost Weight” also tends to return because calories burned while performing activities are like a loan from your fat “bank.” The body wants to be paid back and will encourage you to eat more.

While dieting, exercises that don’t BUILD STRENGTH cause you to lose both muscle and fat, AND your metabolism will slow.

Many of us are “active” ad even VERY active but not truly exercising.

LESSON: Only high-intensity training will produce permanent weight loss by building strength and increasing metabolism.

Genuine Exercise and Metabolism:

From above, “Exercise is a purposefully directed activity that stimulates the body to produce a positive adaption.”

For the purpose of this article, the adaption we are looking for is muscular strength.

While dieting HIT  may build muscle, but at a minimum, it will minimize muscle loss. It should cause FAT loss while maintaining muscle.

REPEAT LESSON: You want to lose FAT and not muscle.

LESSON: Exercise must stress the muscle so that the adaption of “a stronger muscle” occurs.

LESSON: A stronger muscle means better metabolism.

LESSON: Better metabolism means “burns more calories.”

LESSON: Burning more calories means fat loss. (Calories in and calories out theory.)

Walking, swimming, and jogging may stress the body the first few times performed, but after you become “comfortable” with it, it becomes only an “activity.” Because there is no more stress which causes muscle adaption. The only way these activities cause adaption is if you walk faster and faster, add hills, start jogging, and eventually run. But, it is said that 50% of runners hurt themselves so badly each year that they have to stop running for months. 

That’s not productive or safe.

The right way to get the most benefit in the least time is to do specific exercises in a particular manner:


At Leo Fit Labs We Do True Exercise:

At Leo’s Fitness Lab, we build stronger muscles using High-Intensity Training. It is so effective you can do as little as 20 minutes twice a week. As a result, our customers become stronger week in and week out. It is recorded on our machine’s computer screens so you can track and see it yourself. All in real time.

LESSON: True Exercise is called “High-Intensity Exercise.”

This “High-Intensity” may sound scary, but Intense here only means “harder than you’re used to” for you at your current fitness level.

LESSON: For exercise to cause the adaption of strength and faster metabolism, it must be short and intense.

In most cases, the proper high intensity will only be an “all-out” effort of 90-120 seconds per body part. If you are a beginner going ‘”all-out”‘ may end in only 30-60 seconds. What matters is that you exercise “all-out” for the fitness level you are at right now.

Why High-Intensity Training? 

(My attempt here is to keep this as simple as possible. I aim to get through the main points without delving into many scientific references. The concepts presented are sound though simplified.)

Your muscles have different types of fibers:

1 Those fibers that primarily burn sugar with oxygen (aerobic) and

2. Those that primarily burn sugar (glucose) without oxygen (anaerobic.)

Most exercise, such as 95% of what people currently do, mainly uses oxygen-reliant muscle fibers. As a result, aerobics is considered a standard weight loss technique. But aerobics have the problems listed above.

The main three are:

  1. They borrow calories that your body wants back,
  2. They rarely build strength or muscle, and
  3. They take up a lot of time.   

Aerobic Exercise has been incorrectly taught as THE way to lose weight. But the non-oxygen reliant muscle fibers are the true path to permanent weight loss.

These are our “fight or flight,” “life or death” muscle fibers and they are the STRONGEST in your body. Every muscle is composed of both of these types of fibers. But most of the time only the aerobic fibers are activated. The strongest fibers are almost NEVER engaged in aerobic exercises. Your body reserves them for emergencies.

Traditional Weight Trainings Disadvantages

In traditional weight training, the strongest fibers are only partially used. Standard weight training only lightly taps into these muscle fibers at the very end of a set when you cannot finish the last rep. Only the last few seconds of a set give lasting benefits.

These are strong fibers, but they don’t have much endurance. 60-120 seconds worth is about it. So you can enhance them in very short periods of time. They are the emergency muscles that pack their own “rocket fuel,” again sugar, and do not need oxygen to burn it.

When you do exhaust these fibers with short, high-intensity exercise, you create the situation for the upwards adaption we want.  That is increased strength and metabolism.

Here is an easy-to-understand example.

In the early days of man, when a bear attacked you, you fought hard, very hard, to survive. That’s what these “fight 0r flight” muscles are for. “Life or death.” These muscle fibers are super strong but can only last for a short duration.

If you succumbed, you died and didn’t pass on your genes. But if you survived, your brain adapted by saying, “Whew! That was close. I need to build up my strongest muscle fibers, and I need to refill them with sugar.”

This sugar is not borrowed, as it was already in the muscle waiting to be burned in a “life or death” situation. The body wants to replace it. This “in and out” of sugar in these particular muscle fibers is extremely healthy. This process builds strength and metabolism. 

Your brain also adapts by trying to store a little more sugar as a buffer for the next emergency! This makes the muscle stronger and often builds size, but the size depends on your genes.  Strength always occurs. “Emergency events” always result in a bit more strength and metabolism.  

The above is the “WHY” we need High-Intensity Exercise.  

Computer Controlled HIT on Our ARX Machines

Man working out on ARX machine at Leo's Fitness Lab.

LESSON: Real Exercise creates stress on the muscle fibers that build metabolism, muscle, and strength.

We mimic the “bear attack” by doing intense exercise (for our current fitness level) on our computer-controlled machines. The computer tracks your strength by the second and gives you the precise amount of resistance necessary to cause ADAPTION.

The weight is right for you, every moment, to cause the upwards adaption that HIT causes.

The machines are called ARX – Adaptive Resistance eXercise.

Here are a few unique facts about ARX machines.

When you push, it pushes back; when you stop, it stops. No injuries.

The Wonder of The ARX Machines

The ARX machines “know” how strong you are second by second and will deliver the weight that will cause your strongest muscle fibers to come into play. The strongest ones that store sugar, don’t use oxygen and are the “emergency” muscles. You do a 60-120 second exercise that puts your muscle in an “emergency” throughout the set. As your muscle weakens, the weight lowers, so the relative “intensity” remains the same. The “stress” remains to the very end. This is almost magic! And impossible to do safely in a normal gym setting.

We want to drain the sugar until that muscle “fails,” which means you cannot do another repetition. This is usually only 5-8 repetitions per body part. You will only need to perform one set per body part to cause temporary muscle failure, and this delivers maximum benefits:  The benefit is Upwards Adaption of Strength and Metabolism.

Science has shown that even if you do 10 more sets you will receive almost no additional benefit. So why waste time, cause exhaustion, or risk injury?

You can complete one set of these exercises, stressing your body just enough for the stregth level that it is at currently and the result will be stronger muscles at your next workout. We see people getting stronger and stronger for months on end. And it could take years using regular weight training to achieve this kind of strength.

This may sound hard to believe, but you will understand after your VERY first exercise. 

LESSON: One set to temporary muscle failure, on a particular muscle or group of muscles,  will give the maximum benefit from a weight session, And only one set per body part is needed.

LESSON: This can be done in as little as 20 minutes, twice a week. 

More Reasons To Use ARX Machines

ARX screen with live results for leg press.

Another benefit of ARX is the computer screen. It tracks your work with a moving line so you can see your exercise in real-time. The gray line is your last workout and the red one is the current workout. (The data on the right is valuable and can be explained in person.) The computer saves all info from every workout so you can see your strength increases week to week. This technology doesn’t exist in a normal gym setting.

Lastly, you have a personal trainer by your side to encourage you.

To sum up, you are competing against yourself because you can see last week’s session in the grey line and this week’s in the green. You have the machine giving you the weight you need, second by second and you have your personal trainer for that little extra “mental push.”

It is no wonder people see such fast results.

Side note about type two diabetes, which has become an epidemic, even amongst children. HIT exercise can prevent, or reverse type two diabetes. This is a bonus to your training.

All this in only 20 Minutes Twice a Week!

Why Only Twenty Minutes Twice A Week?

When your muscles are stressed until they temporarily fail they need 3-4 days to recover and rebuild. These short, focused workouts replace hours of normal weight training. And yet are STILL more productive because of the computer monitoring and consistent resistance.

The Final and Very Significant Benefit of ARX

Did you know that everyone is stronger on the “negative” part of an exercise? The positive is when you push, like a bench press pushing up, and the negative is when you return to the starting point. On the way down you can resist 30-100% more weight, but it is gravity returning the weight to the starting position so you get no benefit. In a typical gym setting you never get this productive “overload” on the negative half of every exercise. This is a massive waste of time.

The ARX machine adds the precise amount of additional weight, which you can safely handle, to the negative on each exercise. Extra weight on the “negative” direction adds 30-50% more benefits to each workout. 

Again, this is why we only need twenty minutes twice a week.

There is nothing else like this, and as I said earlier,

You won’t really understand it until you try the first exercise.  

Carbohydrates and Their Problems With Weight Loss

Remember the calories in and calories out? The following is some advice I have found VERY useful.

One can eat any food and reduce calories to lose weight. But science, and I, have found that the kind of calories can make the diet easy or difficult. For example, carbs, aka carbohydrates, especially sugar or highly processed food, but even fruits, some vegetables, and organic grains, will all turn to sugar when you eat them. So carbs are, in effect, sugar.

LESSON:  All carbs turn into sugar.

LESSON: To make a diet easier, eat fewer carbohydrates.

Why Fewer Carbs?

Sugar gives you instant energy but also raises insulin. Insulin tries to push the sugar into the weaker MUSCLE cells and organs. But for 90% of us, our normal muscle cells are always full of sugar. This is because the bloodstream can only carry about a teaspoon of sugar at any time. The sugar in your blood is the sugar you use for everyday activities, including aerobic exercise. The sugar in your strongest fibers are only used in “emergencies” or doing HIT exercises.  

The organs and bloodstream where sugar is stored are usually full because we eat carbs of one kind or another all day, every day.

While the sugar runs around your bloodstream, you feel good for a very short time, and then the insulin response pushes the excess sugar into fat cells.

High levels of insulin can drive spikes that “crash” and stimulate you to eat more sugar. That’s why people feel like eating carbs all day. Eating carbs makes you want more carbs.

LESSON:  Carbs encourage you to eat more carbs

LESSON:  We, in general, eat too many carbohydrates.

You Need Far Fewer Carbs Than You Think!

Your body can make sugar from fat or protein, so you DO NOT need to eat carbs IF YOU ARE TRYING TO LOSE FAT. 

LESSON: There is no clear need for carbohydrates in our diet. 

No daily minimum has ever been established for carbs. You can live on just fat and protein indefinitely. 

Eating no or little carbs may sound crazy. But the constant bombardment of modern civilization by the “need” for carbs is mainly a bid for profits.

The whole “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” is a con perpetrated by breakfast cereal companies and protein powder sellers.  

Eating carbs at breakfast will make you want more in an hour or two. Eating carbohydrates makes you desire more carbs. Some say they are addictive. 

LESSON: Eat mostly proteins, greens, and fat which is called “low carb eating.”

Keto, Carnivore, and Atkins are forms of low-carb eating. But any diet that keeps carbs at 50 grams or less per day is low carb. Some even say 75-100 grams, but 50 grams is generally accepted. You can play with it. 

Changing your diet is a long-term commitment. Work at it!

Eat low carb and eat slightly fewer calories than your body needs daily, and you will lose weight (fat).

Some Extra Tools For Weight Loss

A final point about weight loss. 

If you cut calories too much, this will slow your metabolism as your body thinks you are starving. So how much is too much? You need to know your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR). Your RMR is the number of calories your body burns daily while at rest, not counting additional calories burned for movement. Testing for this number is done by a machine that analyzes your breath. Did you know that you breathe out most of the weight you lose? Our PNOE machine tests your Resting Metabolic Rate guiding you to eat the appropriate amount of calories to lose excess body fat and support healthy lean muscle growth.

The beauty of this test is that we can test you every other week to see if your metabolism is slowing down, and it if is, you need to eat a little more. Recall we DO NOT want a slower metabolism. If anything, our ARX workouts will help, but you need to know your RMR. This is one of the pieces of knowledge regarding weight loss that many people don’t know. And it isn’t spoken about because few organizations can test it. Most use estimates but these don’t tell you your personal RMR.

Lastly, Leo’s Fitness Lab uses a Cosmed BodPod to test body composition. This medical research-grade machine tests your body composition to ensure you are losing fat and maintaining or building muscle. On a diet, maintaining muscle strength is vital. If you are not on a diet to lose fat, this device will tell us how much muscle you are gaining.

Between ARX workouts, 20 minutes twice a week, plus metabolism and body composition testing, we can keep you on a winning track.

Make an appointment for a free trial of the ARX machines now! 619-299-1694 or leofitlabs.com

Leo Hamel