How to Walk the Calorie Tightrope for Fat Loss and Maintaining

I summarized my fat loss journey in the 3 minute video recorded a few days ago.  I mentioned how I learned the tricks about how to keep my shape. I learned how to walk the tightrope through the online Venus community.


About the tightrope…

So about the tightrope…

We get a lot of questions regarding how much to eat, when to eat, when not to eat, and how to time meals.  We have a lot of information regarding this, but it’s all just suggestions and things to try.  What really matters is starting somewhere; trying something, experimenting, and finding what works for you.  The answer is truly IN YOU.

It is like walking a tightrope.  No one can tell you EXACTLY how to do it, you have to step out and find your own balance.

Total freedom with food

We have total freedom with food;  we all get to decide what we put into our bodies and when to do it.  Never again do we have to allow someone else to tell us what and when to eat, or how much to eat.

What works for one person may not work for another person.

This is the main reason why our system is not a one size fits all DVD program; because there is no such thing.  Everyone is uniquely different with just a couple things in common;

  • We are human and we make mistakes.
  • We must all experiment and find what works.
  • We all need a calorie deficit in order to lose fat.  End of story.
  • We all need some resistance training to build our shape, improve our quality of life, and increase bone density.
  • We all have to learn to walk our own “tightrope”


Where you are in your fat loss journey matters

The calorie tightrope is slightly easier to walk when you have a higher body fat percentage, then it gets a bit trickier as you get close to your goal because of The theory of fat availability:


The Theory of Fat Availability:

  • There is a set amount of fat that can be released from a fat cell.
  • The more fat you have, the more fat can be used as a fuel when dieting.
  • The less fat you have, the less fat can be used as a fuel when dieting.
  • Towards the end of a transformation, when body fat is extremely low you may not have enough fat to handle a large caloric deficit anymore.

At the extreme low end, when your body fat cannot ‘keep up’ with the energy deficit you’ve imposed on your body, the energy MUST come from SOMEWHERE. This is when you are at risk of losing lean body mass during dieting (commonly referred to as ‘starvation mode’). This happens at extremely low levels of body fat, under 6% in men and 12% in women [Friedl K.E. J Appl Phsiol, 1994].


The good news about this is that if you are overweight you know you don’t have to worry about “starvation mode” because it’s a myth unless you have extremely low body fat.   Think about it; There is no such thing as starving fat people!

Even so, when you are overweight and embark on the calorie deficit for fat loss it is hard. It is corrective action for a health problem we all got ourselves into and it’s not the way we were meant to live our lives.  So of course it is not fun!  


Learning to walk your own tightrope

We can give you highly accurate guidelines like we do with our Venus Factor Virtual Nutritionist but it is just an estimate or place for you to start.  You will have to experiment, step out on a limb and learn to walk the tightrope.  One side is too much food and the other side is not enough food.

Our calculator does not tell someone how much to eat, it gives someone a RANGE to experiment with.

You have to look at the upper and lower limit, pick a place to start, then YOU GET TO DECIDE and will need to adjust depending on how your body reacts.  Remember, you have total freedom and YOU are the one in charge of your body.

No one can tell you exactly how to balance on the tightrope.  All they can do is give you a few tricks and tips.  Then you have to take a few steps and learn how to walk the rope.  You have a training rope, you have a safety net, and when you fall it’s not the end of the world.  You just get up and keep going.  Eventually your balance gets better and better.


The walk on the tightrope changes for you as you go along

The cool thing about our online community is that you can read stories about what works for others, and try something new and see if it works for you.  Some things will work for you, some won’t.  Some things will work for you now but not later, and then yet again it might work again in a new season of your life.

The balance constantly ebbs and flows, every day is different, every week is different, every season is different, every person is different. The calculator can’t give you the answer. Other people can’t give you the answer.  The answer is literally IN YOU.  You have to find it.


You are not broken!

Brad Pilon wrote something very interesting recently along these lines about how your body ebbs and flows:


A deficit is NOT a number less than what a calculator told you to eat. And a deficit is certainly NOT any amount of calories less than what you are used to eating. The amount of calories it takes to be in a deficit is also NOT fixed – it changes from day-to-day and month-to-month, depending on a number of factors including your activity level, body composition, age, and a whole host of other factors. It is a moving goal post that is and always will be defined by a loss of body mass.

If you eat a prescribed number of calories from some diet given to you by some weight loss coach and you do not lose body mass, you are NOT BROKEN, the diet was.



Brad and John are full of wisdom that they love to share with us in their blogs, in the uncensored podcasts they produce, and in our immersion coaching calls.  All of us in this community are successful in our fat loss journey because of what we have learned from these guys.  We all try our hardest to share what we learned inside the Venus community.


Will you step out on a limb and learn to walk your own tightrope?

As you embark on your weekend what will you do to further your progress?  Will you step out on a limb and starting learning to walk your own tightrope?

Remember to have some patience and allow your body some time to make the changes happen.  If you try to rush and are impatient it actually slows down your progress in the long run.

If you are in the “last 10 pounds” category it can take much longer per The Theory of Fat Availability.  Being impatient at this point in the game is a definite sabotage point.  If you really want to win this game focus on having patience.


On another fun note I took this picture this morning because it finally snowed here in the Sierra Nevada’s in California (it has been a drought here this winter).  If you watched the video you might have noticed the wind even though I was in a fairly sheltered spot – the storm was coming – and I was freezing in the video!

And yes, this is my back yard! 🙂

The weather changes fast in the mountains!

The weather changes fast in the mountains!


Have a great Friday and week-end!


PS  The Venus Factor 2014 Calendar is HERE.


About Roberta Saum

Roberta is a 56 year young Elite Trainer at 1st Phorm. She achieved her fitness dream at age 50 here at The Venus Factor. She is a Fitness Consultant/Motivator for Hopelessly Romantic Media Productions, Venus Factor Coach, Product Developer, Brand Ambassador, Contest Administrator, Author, Editor in Chief for the Venus Factor, and 1st Phorm Ambassador.

More about Coach Roberta

Facebook comments:


  1. DeniseDeGrazia says:

    Roberta, this is a perfect summary of this process. The tight rope is a great analogy. As usual another terrific article. And glad to see you got some snow finally. Must be the rain we got down in LA as well. Sadly, not enough.

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