Weight loss. We see all the ads every day for some product or device that will magically make weight loss a breeze but what exactly is the basic principle behind losing weight? Everyone always says it’s about burning more calories than you take in. And sorry to tell you…they speak the truth. Well kind of, but without the specifics. My physician’s assistant (doctor type person) says what you eat is just as, if not more important, than what you do to burn calories. Example: you can burn x amount of calories in a day but if you don’t manage what you eat and you go x+ calories over what your body needs, you either won’t lose weight or you will gain weight over time.
Determining how many calories your body needs depends on a variety of factors. A few of these factors include gender, height, weight, and body composition. Height and weight have influence frame size and how much weight your frame has to support on a daily basis in all of its activities such as walking or even breathing. Body composition matters a lot because if you are mainly muscle, then your muscles have a higher energy demand than fat does. Fat doesn’t burn calories, but takes up more room than muscle. The more muscle you have the more calories you burn in your daily activities.
I use apps like Lose It on my smartphone to help give me an approximation of how many calories I need a day to maintain my weight and how many I need to consume based on my lifestyle activity and current weight (part of account setup). I like using the app because it makes it easy to find out how many calories I need to aim for that day to lose ~2 pounds a week (you can change this amount based on your goals). **Always remember that if you lose weight, your required amount of calories decreases so pay attention to the app!** You can also use this app to track how many calories you consume which is a great plus!
1 pound of fat=approximately 3500 calories, so to lose 1 pound a week (7 days) so you need to cut 500 calories from your required amount of calories daily. I try to cut 1000 a day (it’s a lot easier than you think for someone of my size) so I lose 2 pounds a week (Also, please remember: I’ve consulted my doctor about how much weight I can lose healthily when starting out). I do have to remember sometimes that it is very possible to drink calories so pay attention to the serving sizes of liquids and the calories of them when you are trying to stay under your calorie goals.
TIP: Always remember to drink your recommended amount of water, no less than 64 ounces each day. It helps your skin and body in a plethora of ways. It also helps your body stay hydrated and not hold onto excess water. Try to drink mainly water because it has no calories or sugars in it and it leaves you the option to eat more because you’re not drinking your calories.
I’ve lowered my goal of calories by approximately 200 because I like having that cushioning when adding stuff to the app. It’s like a little mental guard rail.
Goal Weight: 160 pounds
Starting weight in July 2013: (drum roll) 297lbs
Weight at the start of Running Uphill: 288
Current Weight: (lowest weight this week) 286.6
Pants size- About the same