Health & Medical Nutrition

Losing Weight is a Matter of Counting Calories

I'm sure you know there's a lot of hype out there. One source tells you to eat fat-free, another convinces you that a low-carb diet is the way to go about. Then there are some who claim you should only eat meat. Not long ago, I came across an e-book that claims you should survive only on vegetables, water and apples.

You've probably seen the headlines : "Lose 5 to 7 lbs (2 to 3 kilos) each week", "Eat whatever you want and still lose weight while sitting on your couch" and other rubbish designed to make only your wallet lose weight. Fact is, you probably accumulated your weight over several years, so you can't expect to lose it overnight.

Just don't believe the "get thin fast" hype. Most likely it will only weaken your body, break down muscle tissue, lower your metabolism and your energy levels.

The biggest mistake people often make is stop eating fats altogether. "Eating fat will make you fat" is a commonly heard argument that isn't entirely true. "Eating too much fat of the wrong kind" would be better. The plain truth is you will get fat much quicker by eating (and especially drinking) food that contains sugar. Some people avoid eating any fat, but will drink a bottle of soda every day and expect to lose weight ? Truth is your body needs fat in order to function properly.

So I understand most people are confused and don't know what to believe anymore. Well, I don't believe in miracles, I believe in good old-fashion common-sense. Losing 5 to 7 lbs a week is not common-sense, it's crazy and will harm your body in the long run. Losing 5 to 7 lbs a month, now there's an whole new story ! (Unless you're on "The Biggest Loser" and willing to train your ass off for 5 hours each day, then you'll probable be able to lose more)

In the end, it almost completely comes down to one thing : "counting your calories". You eat more calories than your body needs, you gain weight. You eat fewer calories than you need, you get the picture. BUT BE CAREFUL, you need a minimum amount of calorie intake, otherwise it won't work.

Almost as important as counting calories, is the amount of meals you have a day. Don't eat just 3 big meal a day, but have up to 6 smaller meals. We want to give your body the impression it won't be getting hungry, even when we limit the amount of calories it needs to sustain itself.

Your body daily burns around 13 kcal (kilocalories) for every pound (0,45 kilo) of body weight (or less if you're a couch potato, or more if you're already active and more muscular than average). If you weigh 176 lbs (80 kilos), your body will use up 176 x 13 = 2288 kcal each day without extra body exercising. If you ride your bicycle for about a half an hour at a moderate pace, you will have burned up an extra 200 kcal totalling 2488 kcal. It's as simple as 1-2-3.

Now the key to success is to slightly decrease the number of calories you consume and slightly increase the amount of body exercise.

You don't have to become a super athlete to lose weight. Riding your bicycle (home trainer) for half an hour, three times a week and some weight lifting can do wonders.

To lose 2 pounds (1 kilo) of body fat, the body needs to burn off 7000 kcal. This seems like a lot. But with the right attitude and the tips provided on this site and in the e-book I recommended to you earlier, you will be on your way to transform your body into a mean lean fat burning machine with lasting effects.

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