Updated: Sep 21
Written by: Garrett Hubbell
To lose weight, you will need to take an inventory of what you are consuming on a daily basis. If you are eating more calories than you are burning (calorie surplus), you will gain weight. If you are eating less calories than you are burning (calorie deficit), you will lose weight.
There are a couple ways to go about losing weight. One way is to just consume less calories than you are currently. Another way is to burn more calories than you currently are.
Consuming Less Calories, or Diet - The best diet/program is the one that you comply with. Extreme changes yield extreme results but are often difficult to maintain over a long time period. For that reason, we recommend that you don’t drastically cut your calories or completely change the foods that you're eating. You don’t even need to skip meals out or starve yourself, just slightly decrease the portions of each meal. This may take a month or two for your hunger and cravings to adapt to less food but productive change takes time and commitment, you can't sprint a marathon. This leads to another point that is important to keep in mind - Adaption. The body will adapt to nearly whatever you demand of it. If you eat less consistently, your stomach will adapt by shrinking and will use the food more efficiently, rather than storing the surplus as fat cells. This will cause your cravings and hunger to become less over time.
A good way to start a diet is by tracking what you're currently eating with an app like MyFitnessPal or Cronometer. This will tell you how many calories and macronutrients (Carbohydrates, Fats and Proteins) you're eating on a regular day. Track your meals for a week to see what your current average daily calorie intake is. Once you've figured out how many calories you're currently consuming, start by eating around 200 - 300 calories less per day until your stomach has adapted to smaller portions and then cut another 200 - 300 more calories when you feel that is easy to maintain. Eventually you should end up somewhere around 10 - 12 calories per pound of body weight for weight loss. You will see results from this style of diet and you will find that it’s not that difficult to monitor once you have an understanding of how many calories are in the foods that you eat on a regular basis.
To lose fat and maintain muscle, you should consume around 1 gram of protein and 1 gram of carbohydrate per pound of body weight, with fat calories comprising 25-35% of the total calories. Generally, if you are cutting weight, .5 to 1 gram of carbohydrates per pound of body weight will yield results.
Protein = 4 calories/gram
Carbohydrates = 4 calories/gram
Fats = 9 calories/gram
So, a 180 lb male would consume about 180 grams of protein (4 (calories/gram) x 180 = 720 calories), 180 grams of carbohydrates (4 (calories/gram) x 180 = 720 calories), and 30% from fats (1440 (protein and carbohydrate calories) x 1.43 (multiplier to equal 30% of total calories) = 619 calories /9 (calories/gram) = 68.78) or, 69 grams of fat. This would put the total calorie intake for this individual at 2,059 calories; 180g protein, 180g carbohydrates, 69g fat.
For long term maintenance, we don’t recommend eating less than 1,500 calories/day or more than 3,000 calories/day, unless you are a competitive athlete burning much more calories than the average person.
Burning More Calories, or Exercise - For some people, good tasting food is one of the greatest joys in life. Unfortunately, most good tasting foods are high in sugar or fat; which will greatly increase the amount of calories that you consume. As we stated earlier, you don’t need to cut out all the things you enjoy to be in better shape. A way around cutting calories is by burning more calories.
The equation is: Calories In (Food Consumed) - Calories Out (Calories Burned) = Calorie Surplus or Deficit.
So, this is great news if you absolutely cant get yourself to eat less but need to lose weight. According to the equation, if you burn more calories than you consume, you can lose weight simply by exercising more and not changing your diet.
If you aren’t currently active, start with 30 minutes of walking at a good pace (around 3.2 to 4.0 speed on the treadmill) three times per week for one week. For week two, up the time to 45 minutes or increase the intensity of the 30 minutes. Make sure you can push yourself past the point of comfortable exercise and to find a routine that keeps you consistent. A good starting goal would be 120-180 minutes of elevated heart rate (115-130 bpm) exercise per week. Once you can make a habit of that, you are now in good enough shape to enter the fat burning zone.
To determine your maximum heart rate, subtract your age from 220. For example, a 35-year-old woman's maximum heart rate is 220 minus 35 — or 185 beats per minute. To enter the fat-burning zone, she'd want her heart rate to be 70 percent of 185, which is about 130 beats per minute. If you can commit 180 minutes a week to exercise at 70% of your maximum heart rate, you will lose fat and notice a difference in the quality of your day to day life.
Strength training can also be added to a weight loss program to help build stronger muscles and distribute your weight better. If you're interested in a program designed to reshape and build more muscle while burning an ample amount of calories, stop by the front desk and ask us about creating a program for you!