The Fit in 20 Philosophy: Exercise for Health, Food for Weight Maintenance


Work out and weight loss


Herman Pontzer, an anthropologist from Hunter College in New York, took interest in the effect of physical activity on weight loss.  In 2009 and 2010, he studied a Tanzanian Hunter-Gatherer tribe, and measured their daily caloric expenditure.  He theorized that, because of their constant activity, it must follow that they burn more calories than those of us in the West who are more sedentary.

The result?  “We were really surprised when the energy expenditure among the Hadza [the tribe Pontzer studied] was no higher than it is for people in the US and Europe,” Pontzer said.

The conclusion?  Exercise does little – if anything – to assist with weight loss.  And this is backed up by numerous other studies.

We at Fit in 20 believe that it is 100% about what you eat that determines whether you will lose weight, and/or maintain a healthy weight.  Remember Christopher Reeve, the actor who played Superman in the blockbuster 1970s movie of the same name?  In 1995 he became paralyzed from the neck down due to a horseback riding accident.

But he never became obese, or even overweight.  And this was true even though, for 9 years until his death in 2004, he was completely sedentary.

Many times, potential clients have sat across the table from us and have told us the same story.  “I gained my weight because of [a car accident/a new job/an illness/etc.] and I wasn’t able to move as much after.”  We disagree with their conclusion.

They gained their weight because they didn’t adjust their caloric intake downwards to compensate for the fact they had become less active.  This statement doesn’t even account for the emotional/mental stress created by a car accident, a new job, an illness, or a major life change.  Oftentimes people will comfort eat in times of stress, exacerbating the problem.

Bottom line: if you adjust your caloric intake, activity level doesn’t even need to factor in to the equation.

Now we at Fit in 20 are personal trainers, and we believe in exercise.  The practicality is that we wouldn’t have jobs if we didn’t, but that’s not why we recommend it.  We want you to exercise because it’s good for you.  So how – and where – exactly does exercise fit in to the picture, in our philosophy?

First, ladies, you need to do resistance training to maintain strong, healthy bones (i.e. to avoid osteoporosis).  You also need to maintain muscle mass for balance, and to be able to move through the world easily as you age.  Men, the same goes for you: muscle mass is the key to longevity.

Cardio is necessary to keep our heart, lungs and organs healthy.  So, we need it.  We need both cardio and resistance training.

But not to assist with weight loss.  We follow a carefully-prepared food plan to do that.

We use the MODA Nutrition™ formula to help our clients lose weight.  Tony Vassallo, self-proclaimed “former fat guy” (he lost 130 lbs over 7 years ago and has maintained the loss to-date), has a system that works.  We follow his food plan here at fit in 20.  Below are Tony’s pics.

But before we prescribe a food plan for you, we first diagnose what your particular problem is.  We administer a series of questionnaires to determine which of the following you are:

  1. A normal eater who is overweight/obese
  2. A stress eater who is overweight/obese
  3. An emotional eater who is overweight/obese; or
  4. A food addict who is overweight/obese


Note that each of these conditions can be exacerbated by the person being fat-loss resistant (due to stress, environmental toxins, steroids/hormones/pesticides in foods, etc.).  We are trained in diagnosing and solving this problem as well.

Depending on what your problem is, we will create the ideal food plan and resistance/cardio training protocol to get you to your goal fast.

Bottom line, though, remember, is that, barring major medical complications, eating right will solve all your overweight issues.  You can lose all the weight you need to WITHOUT exercise, if you change how you eat.  But you will have very little success if all you do is exercise and don’t change how you eat.

If you’d like to learn more about how we at Fit in 20 can help you, why not reach out?  Perhaps you’d like to find out which of the 4 categories above you fit in to, or if you’re possibly struggling with fat loss resistance?  We can be reached by phone/text at 647-677-6025, or at  Alternately you can fill out the form found here , and we will get back to you ASAP.

The consultation is free, and you’ve got nothing to lose except the weight!  Oh, and don’t forget to ask about our 90-day money-back guarantee!



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