The "tricks" behind losing weight can seem confusing and diverse. When looking at all the blaring body media around us, whether it be from commercials advertising weight loss supplements to magazines showing women with the "perfect" body and gyms promising results if you workout at their gym weekly, it can all seem very overwhelming and unsettling. So let's take a moment to step back and look at the basics behind losing weight.
First and foremost let's get something clear, DIET PILLS DON'T WORK. Don't even try them. All they are going to do is make you feel sick to your stomach, change your body's normal responses to hunger to the point where you don't know when you're actually hungry or not, and mess up your metabolism. In addition, most of those diet pills cost a lot of money and if you read the labels or reviews online, have no scientific evidence to back up their claims. While I could write an entire post about the negative consequences of diet pills, I will not do that today because this post is about the basic facts behind losing weight that, if followed with patience and persistence, WILL provide you results. (Perhaps some day in the near future I will write about diet pills and my experience with them).
Losing weight is as simple as this: the amount of energy we consume, must be less then the amount of energy we expend. In simpler terms, we must consume fewer calories and expend more calories in order to drop weight. Plain and simple. So let's look at the numbers behind losing weight that will get you to your goals.
In reality, losing anything above 2 lbs in a week in considered unhealthy and dangerous. (Unless you are considered severely obese, then in those instances, losing weight quickly in the beginning of a new exercise/diet program may happen naturally) If you lose weight too quickly the likelihood that you will put the weight back on in a few months doubles. You must find the right balance for your body and understand that it is a lifestyle change that will take time and patience. So in order to lose 2 lbs in one week, you will need to maintain a 1,000 calorie deficient. This means that you are burning 1,000 MORE calories then you are consuming. This is pretty challenging for many people and I would only recommend this for people who have made a very serious commitment to lose weight as quickly and safely as they can.
Take a look at this chart:
2 lbs per week: 1,000 calorie deficit per day
1.5 lbs per week: 750 calorie deficit per day
1 lb per week: 500 calories deficit per day
.5 lb per week: 250 calorie deficit per day
You can workout in a gym seven days a week for hours on end, but if you are not eating correctly (i.e. the right amount of calories for your goals, the right type of nutritious and healthy food for your body), all the time and effort you put in at the gym is wasted. Let me reiterate the importance in that statement in simpler terms: If you eat like crap, you will feel like crap. Doesn't matter how much or how little you workout. And that's a little tough loving from me to you.
A lot of people tell me that they really hate counting calories… well, so do I! However, before we start a weight loss program or new exercise program, we must get an idea of how many calories we are putting into our body so we can decide where we need to go from there. I definitely do not recommend counting calories for the rest of your life, but try keeping records of the foods you eat (i.e. in a journal, on an app on your phone, on a word document on your computer) for a few months. By doing this you can establish what is the right amount of food for your body based on your goals. It is also sometimes a big surprise for people when they actually take a step back and see how much they are eating.
The best and most powerful thing you can do for yourself is set realistic goals for your body and your schedule, and then acknowledge the fact (and remind your self daily, sometimes hourly) that true, long lasting results take time, persistence, and most importantly patience. You didn't put all that weight on in 2-3 weeks, so don't expect it to come off in 2-3 weeks. It is so easy to get discouraged because of that, but through your weight loss journey, you MUST keep reminding yourself that RESULTS WILL HAPPEN as long as you are patient and persistent.