Have you ever heard the phrase “Calories in, Calories Out” before? I am positive you have. Before I try and break it down, let me just say I am not a fan of calorie counting. I do not preach it to my clients nor do I do it for myself. I will be talking more about how I eat and how I teach my clients to eat in later posts. The following is my best attempt at explaining this cliche.
Calories In: Basically, your body uses a number of calories to function for one day-its called you BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate). Lets say its 1400 calories. That means your body needs that many calories to function all of its processes on any given day.
Calories Out: On top of what you burn simply existing, when you raise your heart rate with the intention of burning fat and gaining muscle, your body burns more calories than just your BMR.
Conclusion: You have energy (glycogen) stored in your body from years of eating more food than you needed and not using up that energy. The idea is that you consume the amount of calories you need to live, then burn extra calories through extra exercise-let’s say, 300 for walking at a fast pace for an hour then another 300 for lifting some weights for 30 minutes. Now, with extra calories burned on top of you BMR, you have created a caloric deficit.
At the end of this proverbial day of eating your exact BMR (I pray it was all healthy food and not processed carbs) and exercising, you have naturally burned your BMR of 1400 calories, with no extra effort, plus an additional 600 calories, for a total burn of 2000 calories. Since you ate 1400 calories, your “caloric deficit” is 600. At this rate, you will burn about a pound a week, since to lose a pound one must burn an extra 3500 calories. The interesting thing about that number is it is about the same rate most people put on weight. Gaining weight doesn’t happen overnight, neither does losing it (without compromising health through surgery, that is!)
NOTE: Starving yourself only works temporarily, and the negative effects greatly outweigh the loss of a few pounds. Also, avoiding one of the major macronutrients (Carbohydrates, Proteins, and Fats) is a HORRIBLE idea and only leads to other problems. The idea that avoiding carbs is good for your health is utterly ridiculous considering your carbs provide the body with glucose, its key source of energy for the brain, red blood cells, and the nervous system. (Consumed glucose that is not used up is turned into glycogen for later use, aka the spare tire around your waist.) Don’t believe me? Look it up. Without carbs, your body will use muscle (protein) for energy and you do not want that. Plus, muscles burn more calories than fat! (Studies are inconclusive about how many calories muscles vs fat burns, but all agree the percentage is substantial.) The reason American culture thinks carbs are bad is not because of the carbs found in fruits and vegetables, its the processed carbs like cake and cookies. Munch on some natural carbs like nuts, fruits, and whole grains and watch your health sky rocket and your weight plummet.
You have to eat nutritiously dense food and burn extra calories every day to see significant weight loss that will last.
Here is the link to where you can go to to calculate your BMR www.bmi-calculator.net/bmr-calculator/
The side effects of taking a “pill for every ill” are exponentially more dangerous than the side effects of a nutritious diet and exercise. There is no law that says you cannot eat healthy foods, only the rules you have decided to live by.
Change your rules.
In a comment below, tell me what “Nutrition Rules” you live by that you made up. Things like “I don’t eat tomatoes” or “salad is not for me,” or “Fruits and I don’t get along.” What changes do you know you HAVE to make in order to be healthy and lose weight?
Now let’s go and sweat it out!