The Simplest Guaranteed Way to Lose Weight
The Weight Loss Formula
The simple undisputed formula for weight loss.
To Lose Weight Eat Fewer Calories than You Burn.
To Gain Weight Eat More Calories than You Burn.
If your body burns 2300 calories per day and you eat 2200 calories per day then you will lose weight.
What is a calorie? A calorie is just a measurement of how much energy is in each type of food. A handful of lettuce might be 20 calories. A handful of apple slices might be 100 calories. A handful of chocolate might be 300 calories.
The Only Numbers You Need to Know
1. How many calories you're burning. This depends on several factors but you can get pretty close using an online calculator. Enter your age, weight, and activity level.
2. How many calories you're eating. Look on nutrition labels.
3. One pound of body weight is equal to approximately 3500 calories.
According to the site, I need to eat approximately 2400 calories per day to stay at my current weight of 165 lbs. Weekly that is 16800 calories.
So if I eat 16800 calories for the week, I will maintain my weight. If I eat less than 16800 calories for the week, I will lose weight. It doesn't matter if I eat salads, fruit, bread, pasta, ice cream, chocolate bars, or potato chips.
GOAL: Let's say I want to lose 1 lb. per week for 5 weeks. Since 1 lb. equals approximately 3500 calories I need to subtract that from my weekly caloric needs of 16800.
16800 weekly cal. maintenance - 3500 cal. = 13300 cal. weekly goal
So if I eat 13300 calories per week (1900 calories per day) I will lose approximately 1 lb each week. I can rigidly stick to 1900 calories per day or I can pig out a couple of days and just eat less on the other days. It doesn't matter. As long as I eat 13300 calories per week my body will average it out over time. (you can calculate these numbers for whatever time frame you want. Daily, weekly, bi-weekly, etc.)
REMEMBER: After 5 weeks, I'm 5 lbs. lighter, at 160 lbs. I now recalculate my daily caloric needs and guess what, it's 2368 calories/day now, down from 2400. Why? Now that my body is smaller, it needs less food. So to maintain my new weight, I now need to eat around 2368 calories per day.
Weight Loss Questions
So I can just eat junk food and still lose weight? Yes, as long as you stay under your caloric needs. This is a bad idea though. Not only will you be hungry throughout the day (a Snickers bar is not very filling), but your body won't get it's proper vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and all that other good stuff you get from fruits and veggies.
Why does this work? Fat is your body's extra energy storage. When you eat less food than your body needs, your body turns your fat into energy and uses it. When you eat more food than your body needs, your body turns it into fat and saves it for later.
If I want to lose my love handles or stomach, can't I just do lots of situps? No. Despite what magazines say, you cannot target certain areas of your body for weight loss. If you're eating more calories than you burn, you will get fatter no matter what exercise you do. Eat less calories than you burn and your stomach and love handles will shrink together. I promise!
I want to lose weight around my butt and hips. What exercises should I do? Despite what magazines say, you cannot target certain areas of your body for weight loss. If you're eating more calories than you burn, you will get fatter no matter what exercise you do. Eat less calories than you burn and your butt and hips will shrink together. I promise!
What about exercise? When you exercise your body uses more energy, so you burn more calories. It's great for your heart, so everyone should exercise. I don't mention it in this article because you can sit on the couch all day and still lose weight as long as you eat less calories than you burn.
Does it matter what time of day I eat or how often I eat? No. Just hit your caloric goals and you'll lose the weight. If eating many small meals throughout the day helps you control your appetite, then go for it. If you'd rather eat one or two big meals per day, that works too.
Do you count drinks when you add up your calories? Yes, count the calories of everything you eat and drink. For reference, water has 0 calories. A can of Coca-Cola has 140 calories.
How much weight should I lose? It's up to you and your doctor. Generally 1% of body weight per week or less is a good goal. I personally wouldn't risk my health by trying to lose more than that.
I don't want to count calories or mess with any numbers. What do I do to lose weight? That's like driving without a speedometer. Speedometers are helpful but not necessary. Even if you don't count calories, get familiar with how many calories are in each type of food. Limit high calorie foods like junk food, soda, fruit drinks, vegetable oils, fried foods, nuts. Eat more vegetables and whole fruit instead. But don't get caught up in rigid Do's and Dont's of eating. There are body builders with six pack abs who eat Oreo cookies. There are also overweight vegetarians. It's all about how many calories you burn and eat.
Do fats or sugars on nutrition labels make you fatter? If you eat more calories than you burn, yes. If you eat the same or fewer calories than you burn, no.
Do carbs or gluten make you fatter? If you eat more calories than you burn, yes. If you eat the same or fewer calories than you burn, no. I'm repeating this over and over because it is the only formula that really matters for weight loss.
But doesn't sodium and water retention also change your body weight? Yes, you will lose some water weight by cutting sodium and drinking more water (ironically your body holds less water when you drink more of it). It's a quick fix though because you can only cut so much sodium from your diet and drink so much water. I say go for it, but most people who look at themselves disappointingly in the mirror need to lose more than just water weight.
Is this how Jenny Craig works?
I can tell you yes without even looking it up. But I've just now looked it up, and yes, here it says on webmd.com "...the Jenny Craig method is calorie based. The menus a client develops with his or her counselor are based on an individual's weight, height, and goals." It goes on to say they stress exercise as well, but the defining factor is eating fewer calories than you burn. I'll say it another way, you can get fat while exercising. You CANNOT get fat by eating fewer calories than you burn.