People do the craziest things to lose weight. Seriously, everything from fad diets to juice cleanses to laxatives and diet pills. While these methods may pacify your weight desires for a week or so, they are not long term or sustainable for weight lose and maintenance! The beautiful truth is, if you want to loose weight, it’s simple math. Yes, just adding and subtracting and occasional division. There is often some misunderstanding about counting calories so let me explain how it all works.
To maintain a healthy weight, you need to balance calorie intake with energy expended. This does NOT mean that if you eat 1500 calories a day that you have to give yourself a heart attack on the treadmill trying to burn 1500 calories. There is something called a Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) and it accounts for all the calories burned via daily survival functions such as digestion and breathing. There is an equation used to calculate this using your height, age, weight, and gender but there are tons of online calculators that are much easier to use. Once you know your BMR, calories burned during exercise can be added to it to calculate the amount of calories that can be consumed in order to maintain your weight.
One pound of fat equals 3,500 kilocalories therefore in order to loose one pound of fat, you need to burn 3,500 calories more than you takes in per week. Creating a 500 kilocalorie deficit daily will result in one pound lost after a week. This calorie deficit can either come from reduced energy intake, increased energy expenditure, or a combination of both. So let’s say you find that your BMR is 1,400 calories/day and you burn 400 calories at the gym. That means you expended a total of 1,800 calories therefore you can eat 1,300 calories for that day. If you maintain that 500 calorie deficiency every day for a week, you’ll see results! Take these three steps to begin weight loss today!
1. Start a food journal. Log everything you eat and drink, the calories, and how many calories you burned during exercise. Also include your weight to track your progress!
2. Calculate your BMR by using any online tool (suggestion: http://www.webmd.com/diet/healthtool-metabolism-calculator)
3. Calculate how many calories you are allotted daily according to your exercise expenditure and BMR! Remember you must have at least a 500 calorie gap between what you put in and what you put out.
By: Julia Dalton