How to Lose Weight - Guaranteed!
The Science and The Math
First, let's discuss why these tips are so certain, and in order to do so I need you to think back to the most traumatic time of your life -- your physics class! In physics there is a governing rule that essentially holds the universe in check and everything from the subatomic particles you're made of to the exploding suns in our universe follow it. It's called the Law of Conservation of Energy and it states that energy cannot be created or destroyed.
Now, what does this have to do with your diet? Well, everything! Calories are simply a unit of energy. Whenever you eat food, the calories are how much energy you need to expend in order to convert the food calories into mechanical work, like walking, breathing, and existing! Much like fuel is energy that the car converts into mechanical work.
Don't worry. This is so easy. So we know that energy cannot be created or destroyed, only transferred into things like work, breathing, and the other daily things you humans do. So anything that doesn't get transferred cannot be destroyed -- it instead gets stored as fat, a mechanism that kept us alive in prehistoric times. Luckily for us, our body uses up energy in order to live, every single day, and this is what's called the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). You can calculate your own BMR using the calculator below:
Tying It All Together
The Three Scenarios:
There are only three possible scenarios concerning your BMR.
- The number of calories you ate are greater than your BMR.
- The number of calories you ate are equal to your BMR.
- The number of calories you ate are less than your BMR.
The first scenario leaves us with more calories of energy than our body can transfer into mechanical work and living expenditure. Since what wasn't transferred can't be destroyed, our body stores it as fat, or "energy for emergencies". Seeing as how most of us are no longer in a position where we have to wait days until our next meal, storing fat is not beneficial.
The second scenario is pretty simple. The calories we consumed all get used up that day. No weight gain and no weight loss.
The third scenario is the goal. When our bodies don't have enough energy (i.e. enough consumed calories) for the day, it looks to the "energy for emergencies" and converts our stored fat into usable energy, instead. If you keep up the third scenario up long enough, you'll begin to notice your stored fat depleting!
Making Sure You're on the Right Track:
- In order to actually make sure you're on the right track, count all your calories. Read the labels of the foods your eating and keep up with serving sizes!
- Don't forget snacks! Snacks have calories, too. It's a common mistake to completely forget about that 100 calorie cookie and fail to realize you've eaten more than your BMR!
- A good place to start is a 500 calorie deficit. By eating 500 calories less than your BMR, you total a 3500 calories deficit every week - which ends up being about a pound of fat a week!
- Remember: calories are calories. If your BMR is 2000 calories and one day you ate 1500 calories worth of pizza and the other day you ate 2500 calories worth of salads -- you actually gained weight the day you ate salads and lost weight the day you ate pizza!
Which of these have your tried before? Leave a comment!
Read the Labels!
There are various aids that can help you meet your goals.
- CalorieKing is a calorie counting website with a large database of caloric values, trackers, and calculators that can help you manage your daily intake. It's also FREE.
- Fitbit is a fitness tracker that goes on your wrist with an accompanying app. The app tracks your BMR, the extra calories you burned, takes your caloric intake, and gives you a total for the day. It keeps track of your stats through the week, and can even personalize goals for you with reminders. These come in different tiers and are all very handy!