Losing weight is the most asked question I get of all time...My answer is always the same and nothing seems to change. So I figured I’d put it in a nice little article for you. The easy answer is calories in should be less than calories out. Meaning you burn more calories than you take in. This can be done in multiple ways. Let’s take a look!
Step 1) Eating Less Food
So obviously eating less food is the best way to lose weight. This can be challenging to most though because...well who really knows how much food they’re eating? Even myself sometimes take a slab of butter and put it in my eggs and probably add an extra 100 or 200 calories that I wasn’t supposed to. So how can we combat this? Follow these tips.
A) Eat Whole Foods:
When you eat processed foods, it’s easier for them to add calories in the form of sugar and fat to make it taste better and last longer. Whole food generally will take longer to digest and has less calories.
B) Eat Higher Protein Foods:
Foods require energy to break down in the stomach. On average we lose 10% of the calories we consume from digestion. Fats, Carbs, and Proteins all require different amounts of energy to digest. Lets take a look:
- Fats (0-3%)
- Carbs (5-10%)
- Protein (25-30%)
This is huge. Protein is held together tightly and require a lot of work to break down and digest.
Don’t just fall for any labeling that says “high protein”. Some companies take their product and just add protein to it without taking away calories from anything else! Don’t fall for this. Look for foods high in protein and low in carbs and fats. It will keep you fuller for longer and burn more calories from digestion!
C) Eliminate liquid calories:
The hardest part of eating less calories is staying full. Liquid calories are quickly digested and can leave you feeling hungry again quickly. Don’t fall for this. Don’t buy that juice, eat fruit instead. Don’t drink that protein shake, eat some whole food!Step 2: Lift Weights:
Exercise in general burns calories. This much is obvious. The average hour long workout can burn anywhere from 150-350 calories. It will definitely help but it’s not the main purpose of doing it. What we want to do is increase our metabolism throughout the day. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn at rest. Now it’s not a crazy amount like some people would have you believe but it’s not a insignificant amount. Muscle tissue contributes approximately 20% to TDEE versus 5% for fat tissue (for individuals with about 20% body fat). This would add about 50-75 calories burned a day. Over a week that’s 350-500 calories extra burned. That’s over half a pound of more fat burned a month. So it adds up!
Exercise burns about 150-350 calories in an hour long session. It also keeps the heart rate elevated post workout! EPOC is the amount of oxygen required by the body after a workout to recover. This generally will last about 1-2 hours. It’s not as huge as fitness studios will claim it is. Generally it will burn 6-12% of the total calories you burned in the workout. So a 200 calorie workout will let you burn an extra 12-30 calories. These things seem small at first, but when done consistently it adds up over time!
Step 3: Get your steps in!
No one walks anymore. To some degree it’s our fault. To some degree technology eliminates a lot of the need for walking. The first thing I recommend to people trying to lose weight is to track their steps for a week and try their best to hit 10,000 steps. On average, 10,000 steps will burn about 500 calories a day! That’s insane. My best workouts burn about 400 calories. You have to make it a priority though. Find ways to take 10 minute walks throughout the day. Three 10 minute walks should get you around 6,000 steps. Random walking throughout the day should get you 3,000 more. You can do this!
Step 4: Try Fasting!
Intermittent Fasting is not a diet, but a pattern of eating. It doesn’t change what you eat, but how you eat it! I still want you to eat what you normally do. Continue to track what you’re eating just like the first week.
For this week you will try narrowing the window of when you eat. There are many ways to go about fasting such as:
- Daily Fasting - fasting for 16 hours, eating for 8 hours
- Weekly fasting - fast for 24 hours one day a week
- Alternate Day Fasting - fast 24 hours every other day
For the purpose of this week just stick with daily fasting since it is the easiest to implement. Like it says, you will only have a window of 8 hours to eat all your meals in. So one example would be waking up and not eating your first meal until 12pm. Your last meal would be at 8pm. If you are a breakfast person and are up early in the morning you can eat your first meal at 10am and your last meal at 4pm.
The idea here is to get over the mental barrier that you “have to eat” when you’re hungry. Hunger just means that your stomach is empty, and your stomach wants you to fill it again. Fasting will train you to only eat when you have to, not when you want to. By only giving yourself a window to eat in you will become even more conscious of what you’re eating.
Doing these steps will make it impossible to not lose weight! You just need to do the little things right consistently. The smallest ripple can lead to the biggest wave! There’s obviously a lot more tips and tricks that can go into this, but the more information I throw at you, the greater chance of confusing you. Do the right things, do them often, enjoy life in moderation, and lose weight!