How do I lose weight?

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Weight loss is a very simple but not an easy process. It’s not easy, because it requires A LOT of will power and consistency, but it’s very simple, just because it relies on a very simple principle: in order to lose weight one has to cause a CALORIE DEFICIT.

This means you need to have less calories than your body needs to function. But before we discuss this, let’s see what this CALORIE thing is.

Calories are units of energy. Such as any other ‘engine’, our body needs energy from the foods we eat to function properly. This energy comes from our daily food intake.

If you want us to go further into Physics, then a calorie is the amount of heat energy required to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water up 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit).

When we talk about foods, we should actually consider it as a kiloCalorie or a kilojoule (1000 calories), but we’re got accustomed to using the not so correct term of a Calorie. Please note that, whenever we talk about a Calorie, we’re actually meaning a Kcal. Let’s see how Calories are found in some elements our body will process:

  • 1 gram of Protein = 4 Calories
  • 1 gram of Carbohydrate = 4 Calories
  • 1 gram of Fat = 9 Calories
  • 1 gram of Alcohol = 7 Calories

A pound of body fat has approx. 3500 Calories. A kilogram has approx. 7700.

This is the most important aspect to take into account: in order to lose 1 pound of fat, you need to have a deficit of 3500 Calories.

A NORMAL Calorie intake is 1500-2000 for a woman and 2500 for a man. Of course this varies from person to person. A very tiny woman for instance won’t do too great with 2000 Calories, while a very tall woman might get sick from under-eating. Anyway, if your daily intake is 3000 as a woman or 4000 as a man, then you’re indeed in trouble.

So, let’s consider 2000 and 2500 as approx. normal Calorie intakes / day for a woman, respectively a man.

How do I actually lose weight?

OK, so you’ve been bombarded with all this fancy information about Calories, kilojoules and so on. What you need to learn about losing weight is that you need your DAILY CALORIES to be less than your body would need. This means creating a DEFICIT. And that can be done in 2 ways (preferably both are applied):

1. EAT LESS CALORIES

If you want to lose 1 pound of weight, just make sure you eat 500 less calories/day. It’s that simple. Maybe you won’t be able to get to a healthy 2000-2500 diet, if you’re usually eating 4000 Calories/day, but, even the smallest tweaks in your diet will do the trick. Cut on soda and you can ‘save’ hundreds of calories. Stop eating fast-food, don’t drink milk-shakes etc.

With just few adjustments, you can start losing some serious weight. Remember, we don’t advice ANYONE to do this fast or make huge changes. Consistency is the key, so that you’re not putting it all back. By taking baby-steps, you can adjust to a healthier life style and also see those pounds drop off and never get back on your belly and hips.

2. WORK OUT AND BURN THE EXTRA CALORIES

It would be great if you could tweak your regular diet and also work out, but burning a lot of calories can also help you drop off the unwanted weight. If you’re doing regular exercise and burn off calories, then you’ll lose weight too. Just remember, a pound of fat is approx. 3500 Calories. Time to start running and maybe take aerobics, Tae Bo classes. Anything that means running, jumping and a lot of sweat.

Weight loss is amazingly simple in theory. All you need to do is feed your body the healthy Calories number and also move around a bit. By taking on few classes of just jogging around, you can get your body into a better shape and use up Calories, while not eating some bad foods or filling up with useless Calories from drinks can really make the difference.

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