So it's 2017 and you want to lose some weight, huh? Sounds familiar...nearly every year. But why is it that most people cannot reach their goals within the first 30 days after the ball drops? Well, one reason could be because they haven't tried out our new Fitness Guru Program launched this month ! (Available until January 31)
There are many factors that contribute to weight loss (and keeping it off) that extend beyond the physical changes people aim for. But for the sake of starting you off on the road to success, we will stick with some of the more basic and easier to accomplish parts. Here are 5 steps for you to follow.
1. The Cost of Doing Nothing
Did you know your body burns calories by doing absolutely nothing? Yes, it's true! We each have something called a basal metabolic rate (BMR), which is measured in caloric expenditure (the number of calories you burn). Why is this important? Because if you are monitoring your caloric intake as part of your weight loss goal for 2017, then this number is the golden key. Here is a quick way to calculate your BMR.
Now that you have your golden key, read on to unlock the next part.
2. Crunch the Numbers...Not the Snacks
So many people are not sure what numbers to look at other than those on the scale beneath their feet. Tons of restaurants display their calorie contents for every food they serve, but other than clogging up the menu and making it more difficult to read than it already is, what purpose does this serve if you don't even know how to count your calories?
Do you know how many calories you need to burn to lose a single pound of fat? A whopping 3,500 calories. (Not to be confused with a Whopper of 3,500 calories!) So here's a quick and simple math equation to help you understand how many calories you need to burn to lose that single pound in a week.
3,500 calories ÷ 7 days = 500 calories per day
Now you may think, well that's easy, I just have to short 250 calories each day while eating and burn another 250 while exercising. RIght? Sure, but good luck with the simplicity of that calculation. The human body is not a stagnant and smooth-running machine like most people assume. It is always fluctuating and so are your meals (damn those nights of food therapy!).
So, to the point of this point: you must measure your calories in vs. your calories out.
3. Move Yo' A$$! (But How Much?)
Exercise is, as we all know, essential for weight loss. But how much exercise exactly? Each form of exercise burns a certain number of calories in its own way due to the motions performed, the intensity at which they are performed, and the duration for which they are performed. It is impossible to say 30 minutes of running on a treadmill is exactly a certain number of calories burned. But, exercise scientists (yes, we are real scientists), have developed equations to help people get as close as possible to these numbers. Here is a website to help you search for caloric expenditures specific to certain exercises. There are tons out there on the internet, or you could just buy a FitBit and let it calculate it for you! But, I prefer to stay in control of my health rather that leave it in the hands of technology. You know, being a scientist and all.
4. Adding the Numbers to Subtract the Weight
Now it's time to piece all of these together: BMR, calories in, and calories out.
First, if you have an idea of how many calories you eat regularly (or if you are insanely detailed-oriented and calculated every number of calorie possible from every piece of food you eat every single day), you are ready to complete this brief headache portion of reaching your goal.
The next part is simple, in terms of math that is.
If your caloric intake is 2,500 each day, and your BMR is only 2,000, you have a surplus of 500 calories. Which means, you need to work your butt off, quite literally, to burn 500 more calories that day just to make things even!
Thterefore, you should obviously be aiming for a deficit of 500 calories (incorporating exercise as well as dietary adjustments) to reach a goal of losing at least one pound per week. It sounds like a lots of math, but it is quite easy if you have an idea before you start moving on to achieve this challenging goal. But, YOU CAN DO IT!
5. Lean on Me
One last component that is essential to weight loss is support. Building a community of people aiming for similar goals will ensure that each of you stay on track by holding each other accountable. DO NOT go easy on each other! If you want to reach your goal, you MUST be serious about it! Leave the slackers at the door but be sure to take your sneakers with you. Additionally, your goal is yours and yours alone. It is your responsibility to stay on track and waver as little as possible.
Believe it or not, this is the easy part. The hard part comes later: maintaining your weight.
If you need help with any aspect of this, or if you just refuse to count any kind of calorie (or do anything related to math), that's why you have us: to help you stay on track and reach your goal with as much precision as possible.
If you haven't done so already, we highly recommend you sign up for our Fitness Guru discount program available this month only. We will work with you one-on-one and side-by-side (as much as we possibly can) to help you reach your goals for good! Now get those fingers moving so we can get your butt moving!
The author, Justin Flinner, is the owner of My Metro Medicine and has worked in the exercise and health industries for nearly 20 years. He is a licensed medical practitioner, university professor, and national champion in martial arts. He has worked for numerous government and financial institutions in the nation's capital delivering programs, seminars, and classes on countless health topics. Please send any inquiries you have for Justin to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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inspirational ideas on healthy living through eastern medicine, optimism, and possibility through empowerment.