This may not be what a lot of people want to hear, but I’ll take honesty over fabrication any day of the week, thank you very much.
The world has become so different over time; these days we all want that quick-fix, an instant way of getting the results we’re after. We want to be able to eat whatever we want, but still stay in great shape. Sorry, that just aint gonna happen. There is no technologically advanced or scientifically proven method of getting in shape in a safe and healthy way other than by following a healthy lifestyle – eating nutritious food and staying active. Sure, there are lots of different procedures that can alter the way you look, many different “magic” pills you can try that may appear to help temporarily, but if you really want to be fit and healthy, there’s no other option than to make diet and exercise a priority in your life.
How to Lose Weight
The first thing many people do when they want to lose weight is stop eating. Sure, you’d think this would work. After all, food makes you fat, so if you stop eating, you’re bound to lose weight, right? Not exactly. Your body actually needs food in order to survive it. Without enough food, you have no energy, and not only will you feel fatigued and lethargic, but your body actually stops functioning properly and this can lead to a number of serious health issues.
Not only that, but when you’re not getting enough food, your body goes into starvation mode in order to conserve energy, and in most cases this means it’s basically forced to start using up the muscle in your body as a result. So you may be getting smaller in size when you’re eating one meal a day, but you’re actually keeping most of that stubborn fat you want to get rid of, losing all the muscle you want, and wreaking havoc on your body on top of all that.
No, skipping meals is NOT the way to lose weight. Instead it’s a matter of a simple mathematical calculation and once you have that figured out, you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to reach your fitness goals.
You may be trying to bulk up, or you’re happy at your current weight, but if you’re part of the majority of people out there, you’re trying to lose weight. Whether you want to lose five or fifty pounds, the same answer is true – you need a caloric deficit.
What the Heck is a Caloric Deficit?
A caloric deficit means you’re consuming fewer calories each day than you’re burning. If you’re taking in 2000 calories a day, but only burning 1500 a day, you’re going to put on weight. With these numbers you’d be gaining about a pound a week. And that really adds up. Fast.
To lose weight safely, you should aim to only lose about 1 pound a week. You can take a more aggressive approach and aim for 2 or more a week, but not only is this usually a more difficult plan to stick to, it also means you’re at greater risk of losing more muscle in the process, and that’s definitely not something you want.
About 3,500 calories equals 1 pound, so let’s do the math. If you want to lose 1 pound of fat in a week, you need a caloric deficit of around 500 calories a day. Subtract 500 from your daily calorie limit and you’ll know exactly how many calories you need to eat. Don’t go over and don’t go under, and by the end of the week you will lose around 1 pound. Don’t forget to keep your protein intake high through the week, to help prevent as much muscle loss as possible.
Also, try to avoid drastic weight loss by dropping more than 3,500 calories from each week, not only because you’re risking losing major muscle mass, but also because you’ll be putting yourself at risk of nutrient deficiencies and other serious health problems.
How to Track Your Calories
Obviously, in order to keep track and make sure you’re not taking in more calories than you’re supposed to each day, you need to track calories. Keep track of how many calories you’re burning each day (your BMR along with any exercise you do each day) as well as how many calories you’re consuming, and you can ensure you’re maintaining a caloric deficit. Continue with the deficit until you have reached your weight loss goals, and then in order to maintain your weight, you need to lose the deficit and start meeting your full daily calorie needs.
Possibly the worst thing about this is that many people still think of “diet and exercise” as bad things. That’s not the case at all. Eating right and staying physically active both offer instant gratification, literally mood boosters that help increase energy and alertness, not to mention the long-term benefits of a fit body, improved confidence and self-esteem, and prevention of a myriad of health conditions, from arthritis and diabetes to high blood pressure and cancer.
There is no magic pill you can pop that will make you wake up the next day with lower blood pressure and a six-pack, so if you want the easy way out, you don’t have that option when it comes to your health. You can live the life you want, feel healthy and happy and more, but you have to be willing to devote some time and effort to the cause. You’re willing to spend 3 hours a day using your cellphone or checking Facebook messages on the computer, so why not put the same amount of time towards something that really matters?