Are you trying to lose some weight, but don’t know where to start? There are plenty of weight loss myths out there, which can be overwhelming. “Carbs are bad!”, “Fat is bad”, “Do this diet, if you want to lose 40 pounds a month”. Some of these statements are just ridiculous and lies told from the weight loss industry.
However, behind everything is always a scientific approach and today I will show you the science behind weight loss.
The science behind losing weight
Okay, let me just start from the beginning. Fat loss is all about numbers. In order to lose weight your body has to be in a caloric deficit. This means that you are burning more calories than you consume.
In order to lose 1 pound of fat you have to burn 3500 calories. So, if you would create a caloric deficit of 500 calories per day, you could theoretically lose 1 pound of fat in one week.
You can create a caloric deficit in two ways:
- Consuming less food
The “Basal Metabolic Rate” is the amount of calories your body needs per day to keep alive. It is the amount of energy needed while resting. In such a state, energy will be used only to remain the vital organs. NEVER go below your personal BMR, as your body needs the fuel to remain alive. This is important, guys!
- Height: 173 cm / 5,67 feet
- Weight: 55kg / 121 pounds
- Age: 18
- Gender: Female
- Activity level: 3-5 per week weight lifting
- BMR: 1460 kcal per day
- Caloric need: 2187 kcal per day (BMR + your activity level)
So, my calories are:
- Maintaining weight: 2187 kcal
- Gaining weight: 2187 kcal + 300 – 500 kcal (creating a caloric surplus)
- Losing weight: 2187 kcal – 500 kcal = 1687 kcal (creating a caloric deficit)
If I wanted to lose weight, this would be my calories daily:
- Training days: 2187 kcal
- Rest days: 1687 kcal
Because on training days I burn on average 500 kcal. 2187 kcal food intake – burning 500 kcal as I am exercising = 1687 kcal total.
Now it’s your turn
You can calculate your BMR here.
It will take you to the website I use to calculate mine. Type in your gender, weight, height and activity level and you will get two numbers.
- Caloric needs (If you type in your activity levels you get the amount of calories your body needs to remain the weight it is)
Now take a look at how often you exercise. Fill in the list as above;
- Training days: (Your calories needed in order to maintain weight)
- Rest days: (Your calories needed to maintain weight minus the caloric deficit of 300-500 calories)
It’s your choice how much of a caloric deficit you want to create. I always say: Slow and steady wins the race!
I would recommend starting with a deficit of 300 kcal per day, slowly creating less and less until you reach 500 kcal. But, remember, never go below your personal BMR, because it could have unhealthy consequences.
Tracking your food
In the beginning it can be really hard to understand how much you can eat. Therefore I would recommend to track your calories with online applications, such as Lifesum or Cronometer. You can sign up for free!
Even though you might not be a big fan of tracking your food, it is really helpful to get an idea how much calories and what macros a certain meal has. Over time you can stop using the app and listen to your intuition.
Weight loss doesn’t mean starving yourself
So many girls think that the only way they are going to lose weight is through eating 1000 calories per day or less. Or, that they can’t have carbs anymore, just because some dumb ass weight loss “expert” says that you should ditch carbs.
If you ditch carbs, you will lose weight, FAST.
But, your body needs carbs and as soon as you start eating them again, your body will gain all of the weight, back. If not even more. This is what we call the yoyo effect.
Food is fuel. In my opinion anyone can eat as much HEALTHY FOOD as they want. And that’s, because healthy food, like vegetables, fruits, fibers and protein are ridiculously low in calories and therefore it is really hard to overeat.
So, before thinking you should starve yourself, EAT SMART. Food is fuel, your body needs food to remain alive and to produce energy. Eat healthy, nourish your body right and it will thank you! You will have more energy, you will live better, sleep better, exercise better and most importantly think better.
Don’t just go on a diet, change your whole lifestyle.
Healthy food you should eat a lot of
- vegetables (all sorts)
- good carbs and fibers (quinoa, natural rice, wholewheat bread, rolled oats, seeds)
- protein ( healthy and organic eggs and meat, fish, chickpeas, beans, lentils, tofu)
- healthy fats and omega 3 rich fats (avocado, nuts, olive oil, coconut oil, fish)
Foods you should avoid
- Processed foods (Fast food, junk food, sweets)
- Simple carbs (White pasta, white bread, white rice, sugar)
- Unhealthy fats (butter, processed meat, plant oil like palm oil, sunflower oil..)
I hope I could help you to understand how weight loss works. Try to implement the new knowledge this week and next week I will share 10 healthy tips on losing weight. Till then you can check out
- Make small changes to see big results where I talk about creating small healthy alternatives to lose weight.
- Fat burning foods, where I show you 10 foods that boost your metabolism.
I hope you enjoyed this blog post, see you next week! Thank you for reading,