“The secret to weight loss”.
This statement will draw attention from just about anyone. Let’s face it, a fair amount of people in this country have a weight problem. The word “secret” implies that you have the magical solution that only a select group of people know. That wonderful little pill that will make all your problems disappears.
The problem is once you hear what the secret is, you stop listening! You already know what the problem is; you just lack the comprehension and or ability in how to deal with it. Coupled with all the misinformation out there (i.e. people selling you their “secrets”) you simply give up and continue to avoid the problem.
The secret is “Lifestyle”. And it can be summed up with one simple statement; “If you don’t live a healthy and fit lifestyle, you cannot look healthy and fit”.
Treat your body like you treat your personal checkbook. Find a way to balance out your activity level (or lack thereof) with your calorie intake and poof, the weight just melts away.
How much should you really be consuming in a day??? Of course like everything else in lifes it’s complicated! It depends on your height, weight, gender and activity level (which will vary from day to day).
There are numerous formulas out there that will give you a number. They key here is to remember one simple fact, it’s all just an educated guess. Is that supposed to make you feel less overwhelmed? Probably not, but that’s not my point here. I am simply saying that this number, regardless of where you get it is just a starting point. After you have consistently hit this number you will need to evaluate where it took you.
So for that reason I advocate starting simple:
Take whatever you weight (not what you want to weight) and add a zero to the end of it. So for example Sally is 150lbs. She needs to try and consume 1,500 cal for the day. If Sally were to exercise, then add 20% to that number for each 30 minutes that you exercise. If you workout for an hour, that’s 1,500 x .2 = 300 = 1,800. Then 1,800 x .2 = 360 = 2,160 cals.
The more active you are, the more you need to consume.
It is preferable for Sally to divide that number by 3 meals and two snacks. The body has trouble processing large meals, much of it will get saved as fat. So big meals are not good for your overall progress.
This number is a rough “guess” as to Sally’s metabolism. Her goal is to teach herself to eat 1500 cal/day, consistently for 1 months. This will be a challenge simply because the body is already used to consuming whatever you are already consuming. The body doesn’t like change!
At the end of one month Sally will evaluate the results. If she has lost more than 2 lbs a week, it’s too much. If she remained the same or gained weight, she needs to adjust her calorie intake (or be more honest with her food journal).
It’s not sexy and it sure as heck doesn’t sell! But a food journal is to weight loss is what gravity is to a falling apple (it drops).