In our last episode, we introduced David Sean, a fitness and nutrition expert who also competed in Pro Physique competitions. He explained why it was easier to train men than it is women and why doing too much  cardio will have negative effects on your body.

In volume 2 of our hot topic episodes, David talks about the different ways the body burns calories, the reason why women wouldn’t get bulky like men, the types of fat we should be eating more of, and why crash dieting just won’t work.

“Focus on the things you can do to control what your outcomes gonna be.” David Sean

On Today’s Episode of the Low Carb Leader:

  • Start by figuring out what you’re eating every day.
  • The four ways to burn calories.
  • The positive effects of raising your metabolic rate.
  • Why women build muscle differently than men.
  • The types of fat you want in your diet.
  • How crash diets affect your basal metabolic rate.


The Takeaway:

  • Not everybody’s willing to track what they eat, but they have to if they want to get it right.
  • If you have a long term mindset, if you’re patient, you can fix yourself now.


Connect with David Sean:


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Read Podcast Transcripts

031 – Hot Topics, Volume 2

Hello, and welcome to The Low Carb Leader podcast. I am your host, Dan Perryman, and you have joined me for Episode 31. In today’s Hot Topics podcast we are going to be discussing how to progress as a weightlifter and an athlete, the way we burn calories, basal metabolic rate, and does lifting weights make women bulky. We will also be discussing the type of fats you should be eating and do crash diets work. You can find the show notes and the transcripts at I hope you enjoy the show.

Tips to Start Reaching Your Fitness Goals

So the average viewer or the average listener, they’ve been eating kind of a high carb diet, just the standard American diet. They’ve been going to the treadmill three times a week. They’ve been – and they’re not really progressing. So what are your tips? How do you stage that for somebody?

You know, it kind of depends. If somebody is – because let’s be honest, Dan. Not everybody is willing to track everything they eat, like you or like me. And I don’t always do it, but I do it a large percentage of the time, building or cutting. So let me ask you this. Should we talk about in the context of someone who does want to measure calories and track or someone who needs to sort of just improve their habits, or what would you think would be the best?

Or both. But I think measuring how much you eat is almost a must at the beginning.

So there’s the bad news. You’ve got to track this, guys. You’ve just got to track it if you really want to get to your goals. What’s interesting is – and I say this for my clients. It’s a little rough at the beginning because it’s just a new thing you’re doing, like anything in life. But you get used to it pretty quick. It’s not that bad. If you want to know how to track this stuff you can read my free book, if you opt in at The best thing that people starting out can do is to just get some parameters, I think. And the reason I say that is I have to approach it in a way of what would I do – when a client comes to me where do I start with them? And so what I like to do is one, I like to take them through a building phase. So I make them sign up for a year program. I don’t do this 90-day stuff. And so in that context, if you’re patient and you’ll give yourself – whether you’re getting coached or whether you’re just doing it yourself – if you’ll be patient and have like a year mindset and a long-term mindset, you can start to fix yourself now. But if you’re trying to fix it in 90 days you’ll probably just – and you’re cut, cut, cut, you’ll hurt your metabolism.

I would say start out by figuring out what you’ve been eating every day. And if you can find out what your calories you’ve been eating every day is and you know what your body weight is, you kind of have a parameter. So let’s say I start someone out at 2500 calories, and let’s say even like an obese person, that gets a little bit more tricky. But if I start them out at 2500 and I’ll say well just follow this each day, and then I want you to tell me over the next week or two are you accumulating more hunger, or are you feeling like you’re eating a lot of food? That’s for people that haven’t tracked anything. So if they tell me at 2500 they’re getting more hungry every day I know that they’ve – you see what I’m saying? They’ve been taking in maybe 3000. But it’s surprising. Sometimes people that carry a lot of body mass, sometimes they don’t have the greatest metabolism. Sometimes maybe that 25— let’s say they weigh 300 pounds. Put them at the 2500 calorie mark, a lot of times they’ll be like this is a lot of food. I can’t eat it. Then you’ve kind of got to dig in and figure out why is their metabolism kind of sluggish. And you might be a person with a high metabolism naturally. You might be medium. You might be a little bit lower metabolism. But don’t focus on that. Focus on the things that you can do to control what your outcome is going to be, like building up your basal metabolic rate through adding more lean tissue.

Just talk about that, the pie diagram of, the pie chart of –

How our Bodies Burn Calories

Oh yeah, yeah. So there’s a lot of different diagrams out there, but I think a pie would be the best to like do a little [inaudible 0:04:22.8]. Okay, so there’s four ways that we burn calories, four basic ways. There’s the thermic effect of food. So we eat food, and it takes actual calories to break that down and assimilate it. So about 10% of the calories we burn each day are from the thermic effect of food. Now the other ways we burn calories, it’s called the NEAT effect, non-exercise activity thermogenesis. That is like if you see me kind of moving my hands or something like that, Dan’s still. He doesn’t like – he doesn’t move around a lot. He’s calm, and he’s so chill. I’m all moving around. See, this is non-exercise activity thermogenesis.

I was just thinking I should probably be [inaudible 0:05:02.1] to burn some –

So there’s that. And then there’s the actual calories that you burn from your workouts. And a lot of times that’s maybe 10% to 15% of the total calories for the day. People think the treadmill stuff is helping them. But 70% – check this out. And it’s not every time exactly like this, but if you average most people out this is probably what it would look like. About 70% of the calories you burn every day are from your basal metabolic rate, meaning when you’re just sitting there. So if you burned 2000 calories in a day, that means 1400 of those calories were burned from you just sitting there. And so that’s the thing you want to build. So it’s this much – well it’s a pie chart, right? So like this much of the pie chart is your BMR, and then all those other three things are like a little part. They’re like about 30%. So I always say play in the big leagues. Stay in the part where 70% of the calories you burn every day from your basal metabolic rate.

And if you can build that basal metabolic rate and not worry about those other little slivers of the pie you’re going to lean out naturally. So double your muscle mass and you will eventually lean out naturally. So all the people that are walking around that you see at your gym that are like, oh, it’s so easy for them to stay lean, or it’s their metabolism, well, that’s true sometimes. But it also could be that that person just slowly accumulated strength and muscle over the years, and eventually they just kind of leaned out naturally. And that’s what you hear some of the top people say. That’s why bodybuilders, unless they do a big, active building phase, they’re going to stay pretty lean in their off-season, too. And the same goes for you, whether you’re a bodybuilder or just a person that wants to be fit. Keep adding that lean muscle tissue. Do your best with your nutrition. Study and do all these things. But just keep adding that muscle tissue, and eventually they’ll lean out naturally.

So the common objection that you typically hear is for women, I don’t want to get bulky. I don’t want to lift weights because I’m going to get bulky. Who – what percent get bulky?

Well, I work with some of the top women competitors in the world, actually, and even they don’t really get bulky. I think some women would say well that’s a little more muscle than I want, but at the same time like she does look pretty good, you know what I mean? So when you think of that bulky look what you’ve got to realize is that strength training and lifting heavy for women, it’s not going to make you bulky, but here’s what will do. It will give you a flatter stomach, and it will give you some lifted glutes. Women always want to work on their butt. I hear that all the time. And it will give you those little, you know, the little kind of shoulder pad look, get you a little bit of like a – a little separation on the deltoid. So if you’re a woman and you want to lift heavy and you want to build muscle what it’s going to do is define your shoulders, flatten your stomach and lift your glutes. And I don’t think too many women would complain about those three things happening, you know what I mean?

Necessary Fats

Talk about the type of fats. We’re not talking about McDonald’s fats.

I get most of my fats, and my clients, we try to stay away from processed foods. But I do have tools to where people can use flexible dieting. But when I say fats I’m saying get your fats from sources like olive oils or nuts, if it’s like a fatty meat or something like that. But I’m definitely not saying that you should – because that could be taken as, well, he said you’ve got to get fat. Let’s get some fast food. So I’ve got to be careful with my terminology sometimes. But yeah, definitely not saying that you should eat processed foods, Oreos, stuff like that. But you definitely need 25%, at least 25% of your calories from fats, or it will start to hurt your metabolism. So if you’re coming into a situation where you’re wanting to get super lean, the last few weeks before that leanest date, if your fats drop a little bit below that that’s not a bad thing, but you don’t want to keep it there for more than four weeks, if that makes sense.

Crash Dieting

One more question, and we’ll get to the exercise. But I hear a lot of people say oh, I have a wedding to go to, or I have an event I want to go to and it’s in six weeks, and then they go on this crash diet. Is that healthy? Is that a good approach? What do you recommend for somebody who it’s pretty close to an event that they have to –?

It’s funny. Usually when I answer these questions I will think of the most recent conversation I had about it. So the other day I was talking to my chiropractor, and he asked me. He said hey – I’m laying on the table getting ready to get adjusted. He said hey, what’s the – and he’s a pretty fit guy, but just not – he might be on a bio impedance scale, he’s probably 10% to 12% body fat, but he wants to get down to five or six and get peeled. And he said, what’s the quickest anybody has ever got a six pack? And I said well, the way you asked that question concerns me a little bit. I recommended do a building phase first, and then you’ll cut better. And he said well, I’ve got – the warm weather’s coming up. He wants to do it now. I don’t have time for a building phase. So what I told him was look, you can reduce your calorie intake. You can be smart about the way you split up your macros, but what I told him was if you do a cut phase now your BMR will be reduced because he’s already been kind of dieting for a while.

So my advice is if you’ve got to do it, it’s going to be hard if you don’t have a great metabolism at the beginning. But you can do it. But just don’t prejudge what being lean is like from a situation where the metabolism wasn’t really that great at the beginning because the people that have been dieting and their BMR slowed down a little bit, and then they further do that, those are the ones that say I’m never going to try to get lean again. This is a terrible life. So if that’s happened to you or you know someone who is like I’m not going to ever diet again because it’s terrible. And yeah, I looked like that, but I felt miserable, a lot of times that’s because at the beginning of that cut cycle they didn’t have a great BMR. So if you’ve got to go on a cruise or you’ve got a wedding, do what you’ve got to do if you need to lean out, but just know that it doesn’t have to be that painful. And know what situation you’re putting yourself in. I don’t know of a better way to explain it. But it breaks my heart when I see someone go I did that once and I’m never doing it again. And it’s like it doesn’t have to be that hard.