Weight loss isn’t difficult to figure out, as you’ll learn in this article, however it does require discipline once you understand the basics. Armed with the right information anyone can lose weight.
Calories, calories, calories
We lose and gain weight based on the number of calories we eat and burn each day. Every one of us has a set number of calories we need to meet our daily requirement. This number varies dependent on if your a man or women as well as your height, age, current weight and daily activity level.
When we consume more calories then our body needs in a day and we don’t do any additional exercise to burn off those extra calories they are stored as fat to be used later on when we need it, such as a day we don’t take in enough calories.
The downfall many of us are faced with now is that we’re not overeating so we can store fat to use on days when we don’t have access to enough food. Instead we’re just eating more then we need to each day which is causing us to slowly add a few pounds ever few months.
It takes 3500 extra calories, over and above what our body needs and burns during a day, to store 1 pound of fat. The opposite is also true, we must create a deficit of 3500 calories either through eating fewer calories then we need or exercising to burn off more calories to lose one pound of fat.
This is generally looked at over a 7 day period. Let’s use a simple example.
You need 2500 calories a day, but you also exercise for 30 minutes each day burning an additional 350 calories.
If you cut your daily caloric intake by 150 calories and continue your exercise routine you’ll be creating a calorie deficit of 500 calories a day which over a period of week is 3500 calories, or in other words one pound of fat burned.
Here’s how the math looks.
150 calories you reduce + 350 calories burned through exercise = 500 calories
What type of Exercise
Exercise is a key component in losing weight as we don’t want to just start eating a lot less, that will have other adverse side effects. Activities such as swimming, jogging, biking or paddling are the best for burning large quantities of calories in a short period of time.
Ab devices such as ab belts, ab machines and other belly focussed exercises that some people feel are the key to losing stomach fat don’t actually produce much results in turn of calorie burning (however visit http://www.flexxbelt.org if you want some more information on an excellent ab muscle toner).
How to Count Those Calories
First off the calculation doesn’t have to be exact. There are numerous calculators you can use to estimate what your daily calorie requirement is, and it’s safe to cut that by about 200-300 calories while working towards losing weight.
To measure the calories you’re taking in, that takes a bit more work. Start by reading suggested serving sizes on food packages. This will tell you how many calories are in a given serving size. Next start only eating that given serving size and keep a journal. This will serve as your road map.
There are also some good guidelines for how many calories particular types and durations of exercise burn. I would say it’s more important that you choose an exercise you enjoy rather then focussing on something that burns the most calories. Other wise you won’t be likely to stick with it for the long term.
A Few More Dieting Tips
There are a few other simple habits you can work into your daily routine to help cut down on calories.
- Drink only water through the day. No coffee or soda’s. This will cut down on empty calories we often consume in beverages.
- Trade in snack foods for fruit and vegetables. They’re low in sugar, lower in calories and generally have a good amount of fiber that will leave you feeling full for longer.
- Try eating 5-7 smaller meals through the day rather then just 3 big meals. This will stop you from feeling really hungry between meals and wanting to snack.
- Finally, while I don’t feel dieting programs are the answer, the one I would suggest checking out would be Weight Watchers. Their system is based on calorie reduction and you’ll learn a lot in just a few weeks using their Points Plus System.