I've seen a lot of health and fitness gurus say that people should focus on diet over exercise for weight loss. The rationale is that it's easier to eat 500 less calories than to jog for an hour. However, I believe caloric restriction is very much the wrong focus.

People should focus on energy and fitness over weight loss.

Eating less calories often will mean having less energy, being less energetic, being less active... being weaker.

I'm not saying people should ignore their diet, quite the opposite... but they should focus on becoming stronger and healthier over this flaccid goal of simply being less flabby.

Losing weight does not necessarily mean getting stronger and fitter. However, getting stronger and fitter should be good goals in themselves.

Losing weight is simply not good enough. Losing weight does not inherently imply health and strength and energy. For a lot of people "losing weight" might imply being in a permanent battle with discipline for the rest of life - while maintaining or even decreasing current energy levels. That sucks!

Instead, think about getting healthier. Think holistically. Think about all the things you want to do. Think about how a healthy body moves. Think about endurance. Stamina. ENERGY.

Think about what it takes to get those things. What does it take to get endurance? What does it take to get stamina? What does it take to get ENERGY? What does it take to get STRENGTH? Think about what you imagine when you think about the path there.

Now think about "weight loss". What do you see? I see someone cutting up some lettuce. I see someone looking at pastries, sad they're not eating them. I see someone STILL FAT with low energy and a self image of lacking discipline. That sucks.

If a person focuses on gaining strength - they can see very meaningful gains very quickly. A person that barely runs or barely does push-ups can make tremendous gains. Person goes from barely running a mile comfortably to running a half marathon or even marathon in a matter of months. They can trim plenty of fat too... How many people discipline their way to satisfying fat loss within months? Most people are just getting fatter.

It's not that you can't lose weight by eating less. Of course you can. But when does that end? And then what? At what point do you go for HEALTH not "weight loss"? A lot of people seem like they'd love to JUST lose the weight and then they'll be good... missing the fact that their fitness and strength and general well-being is nowhere near their potential.

It is NORMAL to be able to run 10+ miles on a daily basis. It's just a human animal thing. Just like squirrels can jump from tree to tree, humans can run distance. I don't know what the numbers are for specific lifts or body weight exercises, but it's almost certainly much higher than whatever most people think it is. It's normal to be strong. It's normal to be able to lift another person's body of your size over your head... which is amazing! With just your arms, you can lift your entire body weight! To be able to climb a tree, work manual labor six days a week...

The body is meant to be strong. Thinking about how to get the body stronger will take you much farther than thinking about losing weight. Sure. Trim the fat. But do it by becoming stronger instead of becoming weaker.

When you restrict calories, unless you are taking out hard to digest foods and replacing them with easy to digest foods, you're often simply going to have less energy... because you're literally taking in less energy... so you're weaker. Less energy equals less power equals weaker.

Just focus on getting stronger. Do things that demonstrate your increased strength. ALSO, if you're trying to get leaner do things where you are running or moving fast. You can gain strength doing things like bench press, deadlifts, and squats while getting fatter at the same time, but I think that most people will not get fatter if they're running regularly and getting faster. Focus on getting faster over losing weight. Just think about being fast. I want to get faster. Do you see yourself being just as fat or fatter WHILE being faster? Probably not. You can imagine the excess fat melting away as rocket fuel for you to burn to go fast and long.