It’s time to lay the age-old question of “how many calories should I be eating” to rest. To answer this question, you’ll need 4 pieces of information: 1) Your height, 2) Your weight, 3) Gender, and 4) Age. Based on those data markers, you will require a certain amount of calories just for basic functions such as breathing. The number acquired with the above information is termed your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). The fifth and final required statistic will be your activity level. Above and beyond the calories your body needs for basic functions such as breathing, the more active you are, the more calories you will require to maintain a caloric balance.
If you’ve ever looked at the nutrition label on the back of a food item, you may have noticed the FDA bases the percentages of the macronutrients (proteins, carbs and fats) of that item off a 2,000-calorie diet. Also, the “recommended 2,000-calorie diet” serves as a misconception; very few individuals will need to consume that many calories on a daily basis (excluding extremely active individuals/athletes along with a few other exceptions). For example I will use my statistics: I stand 5ft 8in tall and weigh 175lbs (that’s 68 inches and 79.5kilograms). Based on those numbers (along with my age and gender) my Basal Metabolic Rate is 1,850 calories. That means without even exercising my body is burning 1,850 calories just for basic functions such as breathing. Without getting directly involved in explaining the boring calculations, with an increased activity level throughout the day, more calories will need to be consumed in order to maintain caloric balance. Remember: Energy in must equal energy out in order to maintain body weight. If we consume more calories than we burn, that is when weight gain happens. With the Basal Metabolic Rate explained, how many calories am I supposed to be eating in order to lose weight?
Did you know there are 3,500 calories in 1 pound? So in order to lose 1 pound per week, you must cut back 500 calories per day! Please do not allow these numbers to confuse or discourage you, they are simply here to try and explain and give you a working knowledge of how to lose those unwanted pounds. Purely for illustration purposes, if I have to eat 2,500 calories just to MAINTAIN my current weight, in order to lose 1 pound per week I will need to either A) decrease my caloric intake by 500 calories per day or B) decrease my caloric intake by 250 calories and exercise to burn 250 extra calories. The key to weight loss is creating a daily caloric deficit in the amount of calories you normally consume. The beauty of option B is not only having to cut out less calories in your nutrition plan, but also the health benefits from daily exercise. Studies have shown you will lose more weight AND maintain the weight loss when you incorporate daily exercise into your weight loss regimen. So what are you waiting for? Let’s get that body in motion!
When you think of your body, think of it as an expensive, high-end Ferrari: you want to put 112-octane fuel in the engine in order to optimize the performance. If you put diesel fuel in this high-octane engine, it will shut down and will not run properly. Obviously in this parallel, the Ferrari is your body and the fuel would be the nutrients you put in your body. Your body works very similar to this high-end Ferrari: if you don’t refuel the Ferrari, how will you have the necessary fuel to reach your destination safely and efficiently? Again, the same principle applies to your metabolism! If you do not feed your body the minimum calories (calculated with info above for BMR), your metabolism will slow down and when you slow your metabolism, you will start storing more of the foods you eat as fat around the abdomen and thighs.
When it comes to proper nutrition, your metabolism, and weight loss it’s not necessarily about eating less, rather it’s about eating right! You do not have to starve yourself in order to have a successful weight loss regimen. In addition, don’t waste your money on the fitness industry’s weight loss gimmicks that aren’t approved or regulated by the FDA; if something sounds too good to be true, chances are it probably is! Don’t delay your weight loss plan; contact me for further information on how I can assist you in losing weight the healthy way. Lose the weight, don’t lose your faith!
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