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Breaking Down How to Lose Weight

Updated on February 28, 2017
  • Burn More Calories than You Consume
  • 1 Pound Contains 3500 Calories
  • 1 Gram of Protien Contains 4 Calories
  • 1 Gram of Carbohydrates Contains 4 Calories
  • 1 Gram of Fat Contains 9 Calories
  • Exercise

Losing Weight

Losing weight is not a difficult concept to understand. There is only one principal you need to understand, burn more calories than you consume. It is that simple. If an individual has a daily caloric intake of 2000 calories, they would need to consume/eat less than 2000 calories in a day to lose weight. For example, if an individual burns 2000 calories naturally in a day, does aerobic exercise which burns 400 extra calories, and consumes 2100 calories, they would have a difference of 300 calories burned compared to what is consumed. (burned calories: 2000+400=2400, Consumed: 2100, and Difference: 2400-2100=300 extra calories burned)

Education creates understanding and can institute change. There is a way to understand caloric intake and pounds lost. One pound has 3500 calories in it. That means to lose 1 pound an individual would have to burn 3500 more calories than they consume. When that pound is spread over an entire week it is 500 fewer calories a day. In other words, an individual needs to consume 500 fewer calories each day than they burn to lose one pound a week. If an individual naturally burns 2000 calories a day, for that individual to lose one pound a week they would need to consume no more than 1500 calories a day (that is without exercise). (2000-500=1500)

The recommendation for healthy weight loss is 1 to 2 pounds a week. Losing more than 1 to 2 pounds a week could mean that an individual is not receiving the nutrients they need. With a knowledge of how many calories burned to consumed, it is understandable that it is unhealthy to lose more 1 to 2 pounds a week. This is the reason there are no quick fixes. Real weight loss will take work and time.

Important Things to Know

Now that you have this information, to start losing weight, you need to find out how many calories you need daily. The average is around 2000 calories a day. You can find your personal caloric intake by going into any search engine and typing "daily caloric intake". That will pull up multiple sites that will ask you some basic information (height, weight, age) and produce the daily caloric intake you require.

Once you know your daily caloric intake, it's time to find out how many calories you are actually consuming. It is important to understand which foods contain the most calories and which ones have fewer. In every gram of protein there are 4 calories. There are also 4 calories in every gram of carbohydrates. There are 9 calories in every gram of fat. Because of this, it is much harder for the body to break down fat. That is why fat is considered so bad. Remember though, a little bit of fat is good for you. You can now start calculating your calories consumed and calories burned.

Diet and Exercise

Being healthy is the goal, not losing weight. When you understand the concept of calories and how they work in relationship to weight, dieting is no longer the goal. It is important to change your perspective from losing weight to being healthy. When you can do this you will have a better chance of sticking with your goal. Remember this will take work, there are no quick fixes!

Now that you know it is not a matter of dieting, it is a matter of changing your lifestyle and habits. Your understand of what you are eating, and what it does to you, will change the way you think. You need to actively decide to change your eating habits. Remember this is not a diet because you are not going to go back to your old habits.

Exercise is key to success in losing weight. It is good to get 30 minutes of exercise at least 3 times a week. Preferably you would work out 5 times a week. A combination of weight training and aerobic exercise is best for optimal results. Remember when you are burning more calories you can eat more calories.

A note on exercise: there are more advantages to exercise than just losing weight. Some other advantages of exercise include increased energy, depression relief, better mental health, and better sleep.

Words of Encouragment

I hope this hub has helped. I really think that people make this topic way too complicated. When you understanding the simple concepts and principles of something, the task at hand isn't so daunting. Find out how many calories are in different foods and what your caloric intake should be. Find out how many calories you consume and how many you burn through exercise. Education will empower you to know what you need to change and what you are doing well. Good luck and keep it simple!


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    • bayoulady profile image


      8 years ago from Northern Louisiana,USA

      Thanks for your quick reply.

      I get so discouraged with myself and this old body.I agree with your very well written hub. It's just that it is not working for me. I have lymphedema in both legs. (No cure)I am in stage two.I do walk for exercise,but after ten minutes or so, my legs start excessive swelling.

      I have recently found that I have to stay at 900 to 1000 calories a day to lose weight, and with that I sometimes lose a pound or less. So I tell myself,"Six months to lose 25 lbs?It's too hard."

      I guess that is why your eyecatching title caught my eye.. Sigh......I just don't feel like I have had enough to eat on that limited amount.

      Anyway, you are an excellent writer!

    • B Stucki profile imageAUTHOR

      B Stucki 

      8 years ago

      Thanks for the remarks. There is no doubt that age and genetics play a role in losing weight. I don't think that it is "easy" to lose weight. I think it takes sustained work. I do think that the concept and principle makes sense and is easy to understand: Consume fewer calories than you burn. Age, gentetics, metabolsims are all included in that because all of that affect your daily caloric needs. When following this principle you will lose weight. The most important thing though is to be healthy!

    • bayoulady profile image


      8 years ago from Northern Louisiana,USA

      Very informative hub. Well written as well.

      As a senior citizen , I am curious about your age, because I once at a young age thought that weight loss was "easy" and simple. I could lose at least five pounds a week just by cutting calories and increasing activity.Almost effortless.Simple.

      Now that my metabolism is slowing(even with exercise)it is extremely difficult for me to lose weight.

      There has been a great deal of reasearch on the part that genetics and body type play in weight loss.

      What are your thoughts on age and metabolism, genetics, and body type?


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