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The Science of Weight Loss - Fastest Way to Lose Weight

Updated on November 14, 2012

Learn the Science of How to Lose Weight


Everyday millions of people attempt to lose weight, some are successful … many aren’t. For those who try and never make it, the solution can be found in a few simple weight loss tips that can help you find the tools and motivation you need to keep working towards your goal.

Do you know what it takes to lose weight fast? If you want to lose 10 pounds or more and are looking for the best way to lose weight, our proven weight loss tips can help you succeed where other plans have failed. We’re not going to tell you exactly what you have to eat, that’s not a formula for successful weight loss. We’ll give you the information you need so YOU can be in charge of your own weight loss program.

The foundation of a successful weight loss plan is knowing how you gain weight and what it takes to lose it. Every pound of body fat is equivalent to approximately 3,500 calories. A calorie is simply a measure of energy; our body needs fuel, or energy (calories) to process its many functions. Everything from breathing to jogging will require a measure of energy (calories) to use as fuel.

The number of calories your body needs varies depending on three main factors: the amount of physical activity you engage in, your BMR, and the thermic affect of food.


Fastest Way to Lose Weight


How to Lose Weight Fast

How To Lose Weight Fast
How To Lose Weight Fast

The first factor that will influence the number of calories you burn is your BMR (Basic Metabolic Rate). Your BMR is the amount of energy (calories) you body needs to function while at rest. Your BMR will account for approximately 60 to 70 percent of the calories your body burns in a day and includes the calories required to keep your heart beating, lungs breathing, body temperature stabilized and kidneys functioning. One of the most accurate formulas for determining your BMR is the Harris-Benedict formula:

Adult male:

66 + (6.3 x body weight in pounds) + (12.9 x height in inches) – (6.8 x age in years)

Adult female:

655 + (4.3 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x age in years)

(The first number in the formula for women is indeed 655!)

How to Lose Weight

How to Lose Weight Fast
How to Lose Weight Fast

How to Lose Weight

The next item, physical activity, will consume the second largest number of calories. As we mentioned, everything you do will require calories to fuel your body. It doesn’t matter if you’re making your bed, brushing your teeth or running a marathon, you’ll be burning calories. The number of calories you burn as you engage in physical activity will be dependent on your weight, the more you weigh, the more calories or energy it takes to move your body.

The third factor in determining the amount of calories you need in a day is the thermic effect of your food. This is the amount of energy your body uses to digest the food you eat. Our body uses energy to break food down into their basic elements in order to be utilized properly. The number of calories burned digesting food each day can be calculated by multiplying the number of calories consumed by .10 or 10 percent.

Now that we know what a calorie is and how our body utilizes this energy, we need to take a look at how much we actually consume. Our body needs fuel, but what happens if we give it too much? The number of calories you need to maintain your current weight will vary from person to person, and as we’ve seen physical activity, the thermic affect of food and your BMR will all have an impact on the number of calories you need.

Knowing the number of calories your body burns in a day is important. This is a crucial step in learning how to lose weight and keeping it off. Now it’s simply a matter of calculating how many calories you are taking in. If you consume more calories than your body needs, or burns in a day, you’re going to gain weight. If you consume fewer calories, you’ll lose weight. It’s that simple. For every 3,500 calorie deficit you create, you will lose one pound. For example, let’s say you have calculated that you need 2,200 calories each day just to maintain your current weight. If you reduce your daily caloric intake to 1,700 calories, you’ve created a 500 calorie deficit. If you keep this up for a week, you will have created a deficit of 3,500 calories (500 X 7) and this will translate into one pound of lost weight. On the other hand, if you eat more than the 2,200 calories your body needs, you’ll gain a pound for every 3,500 excess calories consumed.

You now know the mechanics of calories in vs. calories out and how that translates into either weight loss or weight gain, or simply maintaining your current weight. Adjusting your intake of calories is an effective way to lose weight, but it’s not the only way. As we’ve already seen, we need to create a calorie deficit of 3,500 calories for every pound of body weight we want to lose. This deficit can also be created, or increased, by expending more energy through increased physical activity.

Incorporating exercise into your daily routine can easily up the amount of calories your body needs and will help create a larger deficit for faster weight loss. Moderate walking can burn approximately 300 calories per hour, low-impact aerobics 350 calories and general circuit training 550.

By combining a healthy low-calorie diet and plenty of physical activity, one can reasonably expect to loose two to three pounds a week by creating a calorie deficit of 1500 calories per day. Most experts advise against losing more than 3 pounds per week, but many weight loss programs have far exceeded this number. In fact, in the first week or two of any diet, it’s not unusual to lose 5 to 10 pounds. Whatever your weight loss goals may be, adjusting your calorie intake and expenditure will result in successful weight loss.

One of our Favorite Ways to Get Moving!

Comments

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  • profile image

    thebestworkout 

    6 years ago

    very useful

  • Lamme profile imageAUTHOR

    Lamme 

    7 years ago

    Hi Jim. You're absolutely right. Severely restricting calories will backfire and not result in the weight loss people think they will get. Losing weight is hard, but the formula is simple. Burn more calories than you consume, no magic secret there. Thanks for commenting Jim.

  • profile image

    Jim 

    7 years ago

    Great info. Too many people look for some type of "trick" that will help them lose weight, when the only way to accomplish that is by burning more calories than you consume. A lot of people also don't realize that if you cut back on calories too far, the body will actually respond by slowing the metabolism in order to conserve calories.

  • Lamme profile imageAUTHOR

    Lamme 

    8 years ago

    Thanks akirchner, as much as we'd like to have a way to make it easier, there really is only one way to lose weight. I appreciate your stopping in and commenting!

  • akirchner profile image

    Audrey Kirchner 

    8 years ago from Washington

    It really is a science in that you have to do the math - you cannot eat more calories than your body can burn or you gain weight, or don't lose weight! That is the rub - and I think having all these 'magical' formulas to help us lose it is just kidding ourselves. It is about discipline and also about knowing what you are eating that makes it all work. Great info!

  • Lamme profile imageAUTHOR

    Lamme 

    8 years ago

    estherdaniels, have you thought about trying to change just one little tiny thing? Like the article explains, it's all about the cumulative effect. Just find a simple way to eliminate 100, 200, 300 calories, whatever you feel you can handle and the weight will come off. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  • Lamme profile imageAUTHOR

    Lamme 

    8 years ago

    Hi Bob, thanks for reading and commenting! Losing weight is always a challenge, but knowing the science behind it can help. Thanks for stopping in.

  • estherdaniels profile image

    estherdaniels 

    8 years ago from LONDON

    hi lamme i love your tips here i can't lose weight i just think i have no will power so think make me keep eattting the bad food but these tips may one day make me do something i just hope thanks all the best with this hob.

  • Bob Buford profile image

    Bob Buford 

    8 years ago from Colorado

    Wow...great article. I'm motivated to lose those few extra pounds from my recent vacation! Thanks, Lamme!

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