Why “Eat Less, Move More” Is Crap Advice (For Most People)

April 16, 2017 | 9 Comments

eat less move more

Logically, telling someone who’s fat that they should “eat less, move more” makes sense.

It’s like telling someone addicted to hookers and cocaine, “Hey man, you should stop banging hookers and doing so much coke.

It’s like telling an alcoholic to “Stop drinking so much bro, it’s bad for you.”

So basically, it’s common sense.

But clearly, common sense isn’t working.

People are more overweight and out of shape than ever.

And while I’m not saying people are stupid, it’s clear that “eat less, move more” isn’t the right advice.

We need a different approach and I’ll show you how to do it below.

But isn’t weight loss just calories in, calories out?

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At it’s most basic level, weight loss is an energy balance issue.

If you eat less than you burn, you will lose weight.

But just because it’s that simple, doesn’t mean it’s the best advice for someone to follow.

I tell people all the time that if they simply eat less, they’ll start losing weight.

But while that may be true, you’ll soon find out that the phrase doesn’t hold much value.

“Eat less, move more” doesn’t mean anything

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To the average Joe, “eat less, move more” has no real meaning.

To them, it means walking an extra mile here and there.

It means maybe eating an extra piece of fruit and cutting back on the fries at lunch.

But the big problem is that there’s no system or structure in place.

How much “more” do I move?

How much “less” do I eat?

Without some sort of plan or system in place, most people have no idea what the fuck to do.

That’s why meal plans and macro/calorie guidelines are so helpful.

They give us a “map” on what to do and where to go next.

If you’re tracking how many calories you’re eating and you see you’re not losing weight, then all you have to do is lower the calories a bit.

As long as you know your numbers, you will eventually lose weight.

Click here for more info on tracking calories, macros, and my super simple approach to doing it.

Now that’s not to say you have to be super anal about your numbers.

But at least in the beginning, you should be tracking what you eat down to the gram, so you have some idea of what’s going inside you.

Find the best way to “eat less, move more” FOR YOU

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There’s no other way to do it.

You can’t follow dogmatic diets like paleo if you love bread.

You just can’t.

You’ll end up hating your life and wanting to kill yourself.

Calories, protein, fat & carb ratios all matter.

And as long as you hit some generalized baselines (find out how here),  how you do it is up to you.

  • You can count macros.
  • You can do my version of Macro FLEX Tracking
  • You can eat one big ass meal per day
  • You can do intermittent fasting
  • You can eat 8 mini meals per day
  • You can meal prep brown rice and chicken if you enjoy it.
  • You can get your protein from chicken, beef, whey…. it doesn’t matter
  • You can eat your fruits and veggies raw, by themselves….
  • …Or you can blend them up in a giant shake because you’re a strong, independent black woman who don’t need no man (okay, that’s enough coffee for today).

Point is, there are an infinite amount of ways to “eat less.”

Same goes for your workouts…

The exact workout you do matters a lot less than doing something you enjoy and progressively getting better at it.

We can argue about rep ranges, rep tempo, and volume all day long, but that’s not what people need.

What people need is to get off their ass and just start doing something.

Then do that thing 1% better next time, and the time after that.

Stop complicating this shit.

It’s pretty fucking obvious most people aren’t in crap shape because they choose to train in the 8-10 rep range instead of the 4-6 rep range. 

Details like that are minuscule for 99% of people.

Focus on what actually matters.

Follow these 3 steps instead of “eat less, move more”

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I’m not perfect.

When people message me for advice, sometimes I just want to slap them in the face and tell them to eat less crap and exercise.

But I also know this is largely useless advice.

That person already knows this.

And I just sound like a condescending asshole when I say it.

So here are 3 simple steps for you to follow that works 10x better than just “eat less, move more.”

Step 1: Tackle the big picture

For example, let’s say you need 2000 calories every day to lose weight.

That’s your only goal, every single day.

At this point we’re not even worried about macro ratios, meal timing, and the exact foods you eat.

Your only job is to get 2000 calories by the end of the day.

Think you can do it?

I’m not saying it’s easy.

Hell, most people can’t even do this.


It’s a lot more useful than simply telling you to “eat less.”

There’s no ambiguity behind this.

Eat 2000 calories.

That’s all.

If you can nail down the art of staying within a calorie limit every day, you’ll be 20 steps ahead of everyone else.

Step 2: Manipulate your macro nutrient intake

Now that you know how to eat less, it’s time to start moving around the exact foods you eat.

This is where you start to eat a little more protein, cut back on the doughnuts and booze a bit, and maybe eat a damn carrot stick every now and then.

While exact macro ratios are highly debatable, it’s very wise to use the following guidelines for fat loss diets:

  • Higher in protein
  • Lower in fats
  • Moderate carbs

Protein helps preserve muscle.

Fats helps regulate hormones. But at the same time we don’t want to go too high when dieting since fats are 9 calories per gram (2x that protein and carbs).

And carbs usually act as the filler for the rest of your daily intake.

Step 3: Fuck with the other tiny details

Steps 1 and 2 will get you 95% of the results you want.

Yes this even works for gaining weight and building muscle (you just need to ramp up the calories so you’re eating in a surplus instead of a deficit).

Step 3 is where all the tiny details fall under.

And you should only be on Step 3 after you master Steps 1 and 2.

Unfortunately, Step 3 is where 99% of people spend there time from the get go.

I’m talking about stuff like:

  • Supplements.
  • Deciding between eating 2 meals per day or 2 slightly smaller meals per day plus a snack.
  • Deciding if you should train in the morning or afternoon because some article said afternoon training is better, despite the fact that you train fine in the morning.
  • Worrying if doing 5 minutes of cardio after lifting is going to make you lose all your muscle (it won’t).
  • Making the life changing decision of choosing between cable flyes or dumbbell flyes (hint: it doesn’t fucking matter).
  • Supplements.
    • P.S. If you really want the lowdown on which supplements do and don’t work, you need to check out this guide. 

Basically stuff that doesn’t matter.

Step 3 is sexy.

Who the hell wants to talk about calories and energy balance when you can just buy detox tea off Instagram?

So get your shit together and screwing around with details you know don’t matter that much.

Note: Obviously this isn’t a step-by-step A-Z battle battle plan on what to do to lose weight. 

For the exact workout and diet blueprints to build the body of your dreams, I recommend checking out Superhero Shredding 2.0

“Eat less, move more:” Good intentions but pretty useless by itself

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Look, telling someone to eat less, move more isn’t wrong.

They may very well need to eat less crap and exercise more.

But without some structure or a plan in place, that phrase holds very little value.

For a step-by-step plan on how to eat and train to build your best body ever, check out Superhero Shredding 2.0

9 Comments - Leave Your Thoughts

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  1. Hey Keith, spot on advice (or should I say rant?). It’s so true that most people spend 95% of their time worrying about Step 3 crap. I get questions like that all the time. People don’t like Step 1 and 2 because -as you said- they are not “sexy”. I laughed when I read this: “It’s pretty fucking obvious most people aren’t in crap shape because they choose to train in the 8-10 rep range instead of the 4-6 rep range.” [Had to Tweet this.] It’s very obvious, but I get questions like this all the time from beginners who haven’t done a single pull up in their life: they worry about this meaningless crap. Anyway, this post is useful for me too because you’re right, I don’t help anyone when I say “Eat less, move more”. I’ll keep that in mind from now on and I’ll might just send people to this article instead.


  2. Hey Keith!

    Great article. Made me laugh – yet this is so true! It’s like, let’s get the basics down first. Change ONE thing at a time and go from there.


  3. Good point! What about when you’re doing all the right stuff and you’re still getting zero progress? I get 100g+ quality protein a day, (1500 calories a day), I run 35-45 km per week and I’m 30lbs overweight. I’ve been active and eating clean like this for a long time, and haven’t lost an ounce in over six months. I know I’m doing the right things, but it’s annoying to have to put up with people being patronizing because they assume I eat crap and don’t exercise. Wtf? Am I doomed?

  4. So, eat less, move more essentially? The dieting industry has made this difficult, and it’s really not. Any plan has you doing exactly that… less caloric intake and in increase in energy expenditure. It’s not rocket science, and no one approach will work for everyone. Only you can learn what your body reacts to… you’re not going to read it out of a book, learn it in a social group, or (god forbid) find it on a mobile application. If you live a sedentary lifestyle and don’t monitor your food intake you will get fat. So; move more… and experiment with caloric intake to get to that point where you are losing weight slowly, and don’t feel like you’re starving at the same time. You may cal this article a rant, but; all it really is… is a commercial.

  5. Well written, thank you, this is just the advice I need. How would you calculate baseline calories or is it a flat 2000 for everyone?

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