Girl Eating Healthy

Losing weight is a popular subject. Cooler temps are coming, which means weight gain. Let’s look at what it takes to keep the weight off and even lose weight, safely.

Your weight is a balance between the calories you take in and the calories you burn.   

To lose weight, you’ll need a calorie deficit. You can accomplish this by reducing calories, burning more calories than you eat, or a combination of both.

There are 3,500 calories in one pound of fat. Safe fat loss is 1-2 pounds loss per week. To lose one pound of fat per week, you need a 500 calorie deficit each day.

To calculate the number of calories your body needs, find your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR).

BMR is the number of calories your body needs in a 24 hour time period. The calories to accomplish its most basic life-sustaining functions, just resting.

To find your BMR use this equation:

Women: BMR = 655 + (4.35 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x age in years)

Men: BMR = 66 + (6.23 x weight in pounds) + (12.7 x height in inches) – (6.8 x age in years)

TDEE factors in any movement and exercise to get an idea of how many calories are burned each day. TDEE, Total Daily Energy Expenditure, is activity added into your BMR equation. By adding the number of calories needed to do these things with your BMR, you get your TDEE.

 To find your TDEE, chose one and calculate:

  • Sedentary (little or no exercise): TDEE = BMR x 1.2
  • Lightly active (exercise 1–3 days/week): TDEE = BMR x 1.375
  • Moderately active (exercise 3–5 days/week): TDEE = BMR x 1.55
  • Very active (exercise 6–7 days a week): TDEE = BMR x 1.725
  • Extremely active (elite level athlete/very active + physical job): TDEE = BMR x 1.9

Once you know your BMR and TDEE, reduce your caloric intake and/or burn more calories with exercise. Your goal is a caloric deficit.

Here is an example:

With a TDEE of 2,500, if you ate 2,000 calories per day, you’d be eating at a 500 calorie deficit. That is an average of 1 pound per week weight loss. There’s always an option to increase exercise or cut more calories for more calorie deficit.

Stay Mindful

So just cut out calories?  Be mindful of it. Eating less is a great start, but it can have drawbacks. When you eat less food, you’re likely to find yourself hungry after meals instead of feeling satiated. This is because your body is used to consuming a larger portion of food. To avoid sabotaging your weight loss goals, try these ideas:

  • Fill up on fiber. Fiber will keep you full. Fibrous foods often need chewing, which is another factor that leads to feeling satisfied from eating.
  • Eat more meals. Aim for 4-6 meals a day, snacks included. Remember to practice portion control.
  • Balance your meals. Aim to have a source of complex carbs, unsaturated fats and a lean protein in each meal.
  • Avoid processed foods and stick with healthy options (of course).

Remember, it takes time. Slow and steady weight loss is sustainable weight loss. You want to keep the weight off, not regain it. Quick fixes don’t last. Truth is, achieving sustainable, healthy weight loss is about more than just “eating less.” It’s about sticking to eating a balanced, healthy diet and exercising.

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