Loosing weight and keeping it off is a lifetime battle. But, it is one battle worth fighting. No matter what size you are, everyone can always benefit from becoming healthier. If you are reading this then chances are you have already decided that you want to loose weight. Or maybe you have been trying to loose the same twenty pounds for years. Remember, loosing weight is a numbers game and you are in control. Don’t ever feel hopeless.
This post is all about the basics. Square one. Lets say you have never tried to loose weight before. Where do you start? Do the math. The first step is to calculate your BMI and find out exactly where you stand.
- Your BMI is the measure of relative weight based on an individuals’s height and weight. Basically it is a simple calculation that estimates an individuals body fat percentage allowing doctors to easily determine if their patients are over or underweight. Or, normal. Once you have calculated your BMI you can determine how much weight you will need to loose (or gain) to get you into the normal range using the chart provided. The chart looks like this:
- Next you will need to calculate your BMR. This is your Basal Metabolic Rate. Your body uses a certain amount of energy every day just to keep your blood flowing, your heart beating and your organs going. This number is the minimal amount of calories you burn on a daily basis. This is a very important number to know. In order to maintain your current weight you must eat no more than whatever that number is if you were to spend your entire life laying in bed.
- Next you will need to calculate your AMR. Your Active Metabolic Rate is an estimate on the number of calories you burn being active every day. For this you will use the Harris Benedict Formula. You can try out this handy calculator for that.
- BMR + AMR = Your magic number! The number of calories you need to consume every day to maintain your current weight. But you want to loose weight so, you need to do some more calculating.
- 1 pound = 3,500 calories which is 500 calories a day. Aim for slow and steady weight loss. This method is healthiest and also the transition allows your mind and body to adapt to the changes in your diet and exercise routine. Therefore, you are more likely to stick to your new lifestyle change and not yo-yo: loose weight quickly, get tired of being so hungry/ working out, gain weight back quickly, get angry for gaining weight back, loose weight quickly again. It’s a vicious cycle you don’t want to get caught in. Or maybe you already are? I will get dive deeper into this subject in the near future.
- Subtract 500 from your magic number. Now you have the number of calories you need to consume every day to grant you with a one pound weight loss every week. Keep in mind, if you are very overweight, your weight may come off much quicker than the minimal one pound a week because of the sudden shock to your system as you begin restricting calories. Even if you are not overweight, this can be the case. It seems for me, whenever I go overboard on a vacation, etc. As soon as I get back home and eating regularly again, the extra pounds melt off in the matter of a few days. It is completely normal for me to drop ten lbs in a week. Maybe some of it is water weight, I am really not sure. But, don’t be alarmed if that happens to you.
- Bottom line: You need to create an excess of 500 calories per day. Ideally by eating less and adding exercise into your life. For example: Add in a 20 min run a 4-5 days a week and cut out that midnight bowl of ice cream and you have your excess right there.
- If you want to do the calculations yourself, I made up an easy to follow guide. Personally I think this may be less confusing then the different calculators especially if this is all new to you.
- The reasons to loose weight, eat healthy and exercise are endless. Do it for yourself. Stop making excuses and believe in yourself! Anyone can loose weight. Anyone can be thin. It is all just a numbers game + will power.
- Now that you have all your numbers calculated, the #1 easiest way to stay on track and reach your weight loss goals is to keep a log of your daily intake/ outtake. Just as in Weight Watchers (where they keep track of points) but, instead of buying into someone else’s system of calculating food values just simply write it down. A rough estimate is really all you need. And, if you have a smart phone there are a bunch of apps that make counting calories very easy, they even have bar code scanning! My personal favorite is My Fitness Pal which can be used on your smart phone and online (by syncing).
Good luck getting started on your weight loss journey and stay tuned for Weight Loss 102 which will focus on learning to use the Food Guide Pyramid as a weight loss tool.
Trust me when I saw, you do not need money to loose weight. I will never tell you to go out and join a gym or hire a personal trainer. I will never tell you to see a nutritionist. You will become your own nutritionist as your weight loss journey continues. You will learn everything you need to know to loose weight and keep it off. All the knowledge will be stored inside of you! You have the power because you are in control!! Take control!