Let's be honest, a vast majority of the people who start working out would like to lose weight, or at least “trim up” (combination of losing weight and gaining/maintaining muscle).
With all of the different diets/workout programs/guru’s/celebrities/etc all pushing their own agenda, it is no wonder most people have NO IDEA what it really takes to lose weight (or gain, or maintain).
Most people trying to sell you something would have you believe that their way it the ONLY way, and they want you to pay them $$$$ for their MUST-HAVE secrets and diet plan. The problem with this is that literally EVERYONE is different, and there is no “one size fits all” diet or meal plan that will work for absolutely everyone. Essentially what I am saying is that just because one person had success doing something one way, absolutely does not mean that you will enjoy the same success they did… there are too many variables!
However, one method will ALWAYS remain true… because science. And check out how easy this is:
If you burn more calories than you ingest over a long period of time, you will lose weight.
If you burn less calories than you ingest over a long period of time, you will gain weight.
If you burn the same amount of calories as you ingest over a long period of time, you will maintain weight.
For short, this whole idea is usually called “calories in vs. calories out.” IN is what you eat, OUT is what you burn. This always works, period. Ask any of my clients who have had great success losing fat!
But again, everyone is different heights/weights/gender/activity level/etc… so what the heck do we do Brian?!? Well, first one must understand what their calorie maintenance level is (this is the number of calories that would be equal to what your body burns in a day). You could experiment at different calorie #’s to find this, or jump start to a fairly close estimation by going to an online calculator by typing in “calorie maintenance level.”
Once you know your maintenance level, you would then have a couple options to ensure that you are burning more calories per day than you are consuming…
Reduce the number of calories you are consuming daily (through food of course)
Increase the amount of calories you are burning daily (exercise, muscle growth,etc)
A combination of both reducing calories and increasing exercise.
In most cases, option 3 works the best, especially for those of you who are not willing to drastically decrease the amount of food you ingest on a daily basis. However, either option WILL 100% work if you have created a deficit and you maintain that deficit over a long period of time. The weight loss will not (and should not) occur overnight, it should be a process over the course of week and months… maybe even years. If you lose weight too fast you are likely losing muscle along with fat and that is not what we want. We want to make sure it is only fat being lose.
I personally like MyFitnessPal for tracking calories, it is free and it is simple… what more could you need? Tracking is a MUST, so is measuring/weighing (at least at first) to make sure you are getting the #’s right. If you guesstimate, it is human nature to underestimate the amount of calories in a foods.
Our media makes it seem like its SO HARD to lose weight, and every day there are new programs and diets shoved in your face. It really quite simple in theory, but difficult in practice.
Who really WANTS to eat less, skip out on the junk foods they enjoy, skip that extra appetizer or dessert with your friends?? The answer - nobody. But if you want it bad enough, and are willing to make the sacrifices NEEDED in order to lose fat, it really is SIMPLE!
And in all reality in most cases people don’t even need to eat less during most meals, rather it is usually just that they need to stop mindless snacking, getting the “quick fix” option on the run, and be prepared by meal prepping. Again, simple in theory but not so simple in practice.
Eat better food, be prepared, exercise often (and right!), and you should be a-ok.
Thanks for reading,