The Science Of Losing Weight
When trying to lose weight many people think that you should drop your calories down to 1,000 calories a day and do endless amounts of cardio. I have absolutely no idea where people get the number for the 1,000 calories a day. However if you drop your calories drastically, all you will do is send a signal to your brain that you are starving. The body is wired to adapt to strenuous situations such as a famine. Also, keep in mind that fat is the bodies storage of energy. If your body thinks that you are starving, it is much more likely to eat away at your muscle then to take energy from your emergency fat stores.
Your body is much more likely to save your stored fat for when it thinks you are on your last leg and will surely die if you don’t receive any nutrients. Muscle is costly for the body to maintain so it makes more sense for your body to cannibalize it’s own muscle if it thinks you’re starving. Then it will use fat for energy as a last resort.
Why People Who Only Focus On “Losing Weight” Become Flabby
As I mentioned above, if you attempt to lose weight the incorrect way you will end up losing muscle and not all of that fat you originally hoped to lose. You may be excited every time you step on the scale however, you are doing yourself an injustice. The reason for this is that muscle weighs more than fat. This may not make sense while you read it but I’ll accompany that fact with a picture. Muscle by volume is heavier than fat. By losing weight incorrectly you will end up losing muscle and keeping fat, causing your body to look hollow empty and worst of all, flabby. Imagine breasts and a stomach that sag like pancakes because they don’t have anymore muscle left to inflate them and keep them perky. The picture to the right is 5 lbs. of fat vs 5 lbs of muscle. You can see why people who are lean and muscular can weigh more than people who are fat and have more volume.
Weight Loss Explained
The way to lose weight (fat) correctly is to drop your calories slightly. In fact, it is more beneficial for you to actually increase your workload before you decrease your calories. It should be a flip flop from increasing work to decreasing your calories which will bring you the best results. More on that later. To start you should only drop your calories by around 100. Later on you can increase this amount to 250 and then slowly taper off until you are 500 calories below what you used to eat.
Weight loss is all about what is known as a caloric deficit. Food is not to be taken as a luxury or a hobbie anymore. Food has a purpose. Your body uses the food that you eat in order to run itself. Everything that you do from eating food, to digesting said food, thinking, reading, writing, walking and even talking requires food to fuel your activities. Based on your weight, muscle mass, metabolism, genetics, etc determines how much calories your body needs to do these daily activities. This is what’s known as the BMR or basal metabolic rate. It is your job to find this number, then the caloric deficit comes in to play when you eat slightly less than that number!
Good news, if the food you currently eat maintains your weight at a steady number then you already found it. You can sign up for my newsletter to receive my FREE e-book entitled “Fat And Greasy To Fit And Healthy” a quick start guide to going from an unhealthy diet to a healthy one.
How many Calories Are In a Pound Of Fat
There are 3,500 calories in a pound of fat. Each pound of fat on your body is from you eating 3,500 calories more than your body needed continually. This resulted from you gaining pounds of fat over time.
Your Basic Formula To Lose Weight
In order to reverse the effects of the fat that you gained. You must find your basal metabolic weight (BMR) AKA the amount of food that you need to eat each day to lose weight and either increase the amount of calories that you burn, eat less calories or do a combination of both. I recommend that you do a combination of both. The reason for this is that if you eat more food and burn more calories rather than eat less food and burn less calories, there is a greater chance that you will become malnourished.
Your basic formula to lose weight goes as follows. There are 3,500 calories in a lb of fat. One pound of fat loss a week is ideal in order to maintain as much muscle mass as possible. Overly obese people can get away with losing around 2-3 lbs a week until they get to a point where they are getting fairly lean. Over the course of 7 days in order to lose one lb of fat a week you should be in a caloric deficit of around 500 calories each day. Of course 500 calories multiplied by 7 equals 3,500. And as I mentioned earlier, you can reach this deficit by either eating less calories, doing more work, or a mixture of both.
The Best Way To Lose Weight
Now that you know your formula to lose weight. I’ll tell you the BEST WAY to lose weight. I’ll give you some general guidelines, but keep in mind that my FREE e-book, which comes with your subscription to my newsletter tells you how to convert your current diet into one which utilizes all the bullet points of my guideline slowly and easily!
- Determine your lean body weight in pounds and eat that amount in grams of protein each day. Protein will help you to maintain the muscle that you already have while trying to lose weight
- Eat smaller but more frequent meals. 4-6 meals a day is ideal and helps keep your metabolism burning.
- Lift weights and do cardio. Lifting weights will help your body to fill out as you lose weight and cardio will help your heart health and allow you to eat more food while still losing weight.
- Eat balanced meals for all your meals. Your meals should have a balance of protein, carbs and fats.
- Slowly over time decrease your carb intake. Decrease your fat intake as well but make sure you don’t decrease your fat intake too low, as fats control your hormone production.
- Get plenty of sleep. Getting at least 8 hours of sleep each night will help you to lose weight!
- Drink plenty of water. Water aids in muscle gain as well as fat loss!
It is important that you train the exact same way that you did while you were building muscle as while you try to lose fat. The reason for this is to let your body know that it needs to maintain it’s muscle in order to continue doing the activities that you put it through. If you were to try to lose weight while not maintaining a strict weight training regimen your body would think it was alright to cannibalize it’s own muscle. The reason for this is, as I’ve said before, that muscle is costly for your body to maintain. If you are in a caloric deficit it want’s to save onto your fat stores as a survival mechanism. By lifting heavy weights you will send signals to your body that your muscles are an important asset to your survival. The amount of weight that you are able to lift may decrease during your fat lose phase however you should try your best to continue to push yourself to lift as much as you can!
My Weight On The Scale Is Fluctuating Day By Day
If your weight fluctuates day by day, don’t fret. Some days you may wake up and see that your weight on the scale is up 3-4 pounds! There is absolutely no way that you possibly ate 3,500 extra calories MULTIPLIED BY 3-4! Unless you are a competitive eater of course. The reason why your weight fluctuates so much may have a few factors. For one, changes in sodium intake could cause you to retain water. One 16 oz. bottle of water weighs one pound in case you didn’t know. And you should be drinking around 4-5 of those a day.
Also, not to be gross but as someone who is new to fitness you probably aren’t very regular. You are most likely eating a few pounds of food a day and not all of that comes out in the morning when you go to the bathroom. As you become leaner and eat more fibrous vegetables to offset the amount of carbs you are not eating, this problem should be a thing of the past and your weight should become more steady.
Women may notice this phenomena more often then man on account of their hormonal fluctuations. These may occur more frequently around your “times of the month”. However, stay true to your diet and exercise regimen and you’ll continue to lose weight even though the scale may say otherwise.