Here is a question I’m asked all the time, how do you successfully lose weight?
In truth the answer is quite simple:
Burn more calories than you consume.
To do this you simply have to exercise. As exercise will greatly increase the number of calories burned from day to day. You will not only burn calories while exercising, but increase your muscle tissue which will cause you to burn more calories.
But you will have to do more than just exercise if you want to successfully lose weight? You will also have to cut back on the amount of food you are eating, particularly the high-calorie food that has few nutrients and is almost certainly calorie dense.
To lose one pound of fat, you have to create a calorie deficit of about 3,500 calories. What this means is that you have to burn 3,500 more calories than you consume over a period of time. If you want to lose a pound a week, you have to burn 500 more calories than you consume each day! (7 days a week x 500 calories = 3500 calories)
If you want to lose 2 pounds in a week, you have to burn 1,000 calories more than you eat each day. Now you know why it’s so hard to successfully lose weight.
If you were to use diet changes alone to create a daily calorie deficit of 1,000 calories, you would pretty much have to starve yourself, and this is just no good for you because your body wouldn’t be getting the calories it needs to sustain itself. Doing this makes you feel sluggish, ill and is a big reason why so many ‘dieters’ “fall off” the wagon.
However, by following through with your exercise, you could increase the number of calories you burn in a day by as much as 500. That means you only have to decrease your food intake by 500 calories a day—that’s so much easier. By cutting out the crap from your diet should achieve that.
I know a lot of you think diet is all you need, and starvation is virtually the perfect method for you to get that healthy lifestyle. So I want today to introduce you to your total energy expenditure which is the number of calories your body burns each day is called.
The following three factors make up your total energy expenditure:
Even when your body is at rest, it requires energy for your bodies basic needs, such as fuel for organs, breathing, circulating blood, adjusting hormone levels, plus growing and repairing cells. Calories expended to cover these basic functions are your basal metabolic rate (BMR). Typically, a person’s BMR is the largest portion of energy use, representing two-thirds to three-quarters of the calories used each day. Energy needs for these basic functions stay fairly consistent and aren’t easily changed. I think you realise also how essential these calories are for healthy living.
Digesting, absorbing, transporting and storing the food you consume also takes calories. This accounts for about 10 percent of the calories used each day. For the most part, your body’s energy requirement to process food stays relatively steady and isn’t easily changed.
Physical activity which is standard in everyday living including walking to the shops, doing housework, moving from room to room, getting up and down from your desk, accounts for the remainder of calories used. You control the number of calories burned depending on the frequency, duration and intensity of your activities. So by adding to the amount of exercise you do, of course you’ll burn more calories.
So here’s the good news. When you eat fewer calories than your body is using, a calorie shortfall is created, and the body responds by digging into body fat reserves to make up the difference.
The easiest way to cut calories is to eliminate excess dietary fat – meaning no butter, oils, salad dressings; remove the skin from chicken; substitute egg whites for most of your whole eggs; avoid whole milk dairy products. All in all minimizing your consumption of fat is important, but moderate amounts of it support vitamin absorption and help manufacture hormones.
If you are trying to lose weight don’t go below 1200 calories for women, and 1500 calories for men. Calorie restriction below this level will not meet your nutrient needs and can actually prevent weight loss.
So, to lose weight get the right balance between calorie reduction and increasing exercise and daily activity. It might be simple but it’s the truth.