I’m going to just go ahead and ruin this right from the start… there is no “secret.” When it comes to losing weight the formula is deceptively simple, calories in must be less than calories out. That’s it. What does this mean practically?
Practically it means that you must consume less food than you burn to lose weight. We aren’t talking about being healthy here, we aren’t even necessarily talking about being fit, strictly just talking about losing weight. Since we aren’t talking about being healthy or fit we can throw a lot of things out the window and look at this in the simplest terms possible.
It doesn’t matter what you eat, it doesn’t matter how often you eat it, it doesn’t matter how many meals you break it into, it doesn’t matter if you eat after 8pm, it doesn’t matter if you eat only Snickers bars. If you’re trying to lose weight you just need to make sure that your calorie intake is less than your calories burned. That’s it.
Let’s say you burn 2000 calories a day just living life. You want to lose 10 pounds. It’s generally accepted that 10 pounds is 3500 calories so in order to lose the 10 pounds you will need to cut back 35,000 calories. It’s generally accepted that a 500 calorie deficit each day is healthy, doing this will allow you to lose about a pound a week. If you’re currently eating 2000 calories a day, your weight will stay the same. If you eat 2500 calories a day you will gain about a pound a week and if you eat 1500 calories a day you will lose about a pound a week. For the sake of losing weight it doesn’t matter where those calories come from.
That of course is way over simplified and your goals, and daily caloric intake are probably different from the example. The example here also doesn’t take into account body composition. Not exercising and cutting calories isn’t going to get you to burn just fat. Chances are you’re going to lose muscle too.
This article is also fairly bad advice. If you’re trying to lose weight you probably don’t want to just drop pounds, you probably want to add some muscle too. We’ll get into that later. What I wanted to emphasize here is that exercise can be a part of a weight loss program but if all you’re trying to do is lose weight it’s not really necessary. I constantly hear people doing this thing or that thing to lose weight and most of the time they don’t lose any weight at all because they fail to realize the importance of the diet. The point that I wanted to make here is that if you want to lose weight all that matters is the diet. There are obviously huge benefits to getting daily exercise and, as I will discuss in later articles, it can help you with the weight loss thing too.
The idea here is that we need to build a foundation, this and the forthcoming articles are intended to give you blocks to build upon to get where you want to go.
I have free calculators here on the site to help you get started on your weight loss journey.