Losing Weight 101: The Essentials For Fat Loss

weight-loss-in-practice1Everyone seems to ask: “How do I lose weight?”  It’s a question I hear nearly every day being in the field of fitness.

Losing weight can be made so much harder than it needs to be.  No, I am not saying that losing weight and cutting the fat is easy by any means.

What I do mean, however, is with all of the information put out there online now-a-days, it can be hard to determine what route you want to go to lose weight.

There’s hundreds and hundreds of fad diets out there.  Millions of people saying they have the “best” of the “fastest” way to lose weight.  But the truth is, 9/10 times it’s all a load of crap.

By all means, there are several diets out there and experts who provide sound weight loss advice.  Most of them, though, just want to push you on a new diet or workout regime to get you to buy what their selling.

I’m sure we have all seen this before.  And I will be the first to admit that I have bought into several of these promising diets before.  IIFYM (if it fits your macros), ketogenic diets (cut out carbohydrates), severe energy deficit diets, etc.  I have looked into, and tried, many of these different fad diets.

And the truth is that any of them MIGHT work.  Some diets work better for some people than others.  I had great results with the ketogenic diet, but know several other fitness professionals who could not stand the diet.

Every body reacts differently when a new stimulus is placed upon it.  But when it comes to losing weight, there are some foundational methods to help you lose weight.

So, for a second, let’s put all bullshit aside and get down to the basic essentials of weight loss.

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Losing weight – sounds easy right?  Most people who have went through a weight loss phase/routine/diet would most likely tell you the opposite.

Losing weight sounds simple, but to follow a sound weight loss plan is an entirely different story.

The truth of the matter is healthy weight loss takes time.  There’s no way around that.  Yes there’s hundred of programs out there that promise you’ll lose 50 pounds in 8 weeks.  Or cut your body fat by 10% within 2 months.

All of that sounds great, doesn’t it?  It definitely does.  But the problem is that diets that promote that extreme of weight loss in such a short time are not very healthy.  Nor are they very sustainable.

To put “healthy weight loss” into terms, you should be losing about 1-2 pounds per week.  To further specify, a pound of body fat is about 3500 calories.  In order to lose 1 pound per week you would need to reduce your daily caloric intake by about 500 calories per day.  In order to lose 2 pounds of body fat per week you would reduce your daily intake by 1000 calories per day.

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That is as basic and simple as weight loss can get.  You need to expend (burn) more calories than you intake (consume).

Essentially, losing weight can be done in one of three  ways:

  • Consuming 500-1000 less calories per day
  • Expending (burning via exercise) 500-1000 more calories per day
  • Or a mixture of these two things (i.e. consume 500 less calories and burn 500 more via exercise)

As stated above, we choose a number between 500-1000 calories per day because having a caloric deficit between 500-1000 calories will lead to 1-2 pounds of weight lost per week (which is considered a healthy standard).

It is best if you choose a specific caloric intake to aim for each day.  So for instance, let’s say you typically consume 3200 calories each day and you haven’t been gaining or losing any weight.  I also want to lose 1.5 pounds of weight per week.  Based off of this, I would decide to cut down by 750 calories per day in order to lose 1.5 pounds each week (750 x 7 = 5250 calories, remember 3500 calories = 1 pound of fat so 3500 x 1.5 = 5250 / 7 days = 750 calories per day).

Thus, I need to either consume 750 calories less each day, increase my exercise and daily activity to burn 750 calories more each day, or find a combination of the 2 to meet that goal.

A great post on a simple way to begin counting calories and learning how to do so properly can be found here: How to count calories to lose weight: The Basic Blueprint

If you’d like, there are several apps available for download that can help you track the amount of calories you consume and expend each day.  2 of my favorites include: MyFitnessPal & Lose It!

Give one or both of those apps a try and see what you think.  Being able to track your calories throughout the day on your phone makes it a very convenient and helpful tool.

We will also be posting an article looking in depth into food labels and how to read them properly and more thoroughly (so make sure to check back soon).

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It is important to also remember to eat quality foods during these times.  While it is entirely possible to lose weight by continuing to eat poorly, it is not the best option for your health.  Think about the end goal of losing weight – are you doing it for the sole purpose to lose weight?  Or do you also want to be a healthier person in the end?

Your diet should consist mostly of natural, unprocessed foods.  Preferably, some of these foods should include animal products such as meats, eggs, and dairy products.  Also make sure to include whole fruits and vegetables in your diet.  And while carbohydrates tend to get a bad rap now-a-days, don’t avoid them!  It is important to include carbohydrates to keep yourself from becoming fatigued easily throughout the day and throughout your workouts.

Some examples of quality carbohydrates to consume include:

  • Oatmeal
  • Whole grain cereal
  • Whole grain bread
  • Whole wheat pastas
  • Brown Rice

Here are some examples of carbohydrates you want to try to limit in your diet:

  • Sugary beverages such as juices or soda
  • Fried food
  • Candy
  • White breads and pastas
  • Fast foods
  • Junk foods / Processed foods

Make sure to give the article “Nutrition Basics: Take A Look At Macronutrients” a quick read if you would like a good introduction into nutrition and diet.

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One important aspect of your weight loss journey will be to decide on your end weight.  Come up with a specific number for your goal weight at the end of your weight loss journey.  What weight do you feel is a weight you would be satisfied with? How much weight do you plan on losing each week?  All of these should be carefully considered prior to your weight loss journey.

Coming up with weekly, monthly, and overall goals for your weight loss will help to motivate you and stay on track with your weight loss program.

If you need to, start slow.  It’s better than not starting at all and sometimes diving in head first can be too much for someone.

If you’re looking for your own personalized exercise and diet plan, contact us!  We provide guaranteed programs to help you reach your goal weight!  Simply fill out the contact form provided for more information.

It is vital that the habits developed throughout your weight loss program (eating new foods, less calories, exercising regularly, etc.) stick with you afterward.  Make these habits and routines habits that will last a lifetime so you can be forever healthy!

Remember, your journey truly never ends.  You may reach the goal weight you put in place for yourself, but you must continue to work to stay at that weight and stay healthy!

Is there any other tips you would give on losing weight?  Anything that may have been successful for you?  Or maybe some things that did not work as well for you?

Let us know your comments or questions below!

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