When we begin the desire to lose weight the first thing that comes to mind is the amount of exercise that we should do to drop whatever amount of pounds we feel we should get rid of. What many do not realize that many extreme fitness gurus believe that physical training is only 25% of what it takes to have proper weight loss. Guess what the other 75% is?
Now don't start to roll your eyes and think of starving yourself and eating a carrot and a glass of water 3 times a day. That foolish thinking is what causes people to fail their weight loss journey. In my experience the most successful way to start a healthy eating regimen that will not only cause you to lose weight, but will eventually become a way of life is to start counting your daily calorie intake and maintaining a food journal.
I know everyone has heard about calories but I will break it down as to what exactly a calorie is and the importance of understanding what it means to your weight loss and fitness goals.
Did you know a calorie isn't a thing right? It is actually a unit of measure of the energy contained in food and beverages that we consume. Calories are found in protein, fat, carbohydrates and alcohol. Take a wild guess which contain the most calories of the group? That's right, fat.
Look at it like this: calories contained in food and drink is the fuel that runs our bodies like gas in a vehicle. Just like cars we all have different tank sizes and we each have a certain amount of calories that we burn each day before our tank goes empty. This is our Basal Metabolic Rate. To calculate this it depends on several factors such as your level of activity and metabolism. Fortunately for us there are online calculators such as this one that will figure it our for us. Once you have this number then you can take a look at how to cut calories from your diet to obtain your weight loss goals then be able to maintain them.
Now here's a few other tips to keep in mind when you are trying to lose weight:
- One pound equals 3,500 calories. So if you eat up to 3,500 or more calories within a week, don't be suprised when you see the scale jump.
- The USDA recommends that the average recommended caloric intake for losing weight is about 1,500 calories a day. While this is true I believe that you should figure out your own before just going with this number.
- People who believe that dropping to 1,200 calorie diets is a sure fire way to lose weight, this isn't necessarily true because if you are following a rigorous workout regimen, that is nowhere near enough to properly fuel your body and you will lose energy and even possibly become ill.
Well since I'm all about making things simple, here are some awesome sites that will not only assist you in finding your proper calorie intake, but also be able to keep a food journal so you know how many and what kind of calories you consume each day.
My absolute favorite site is SparkPeople.com. This site has it all, nutrition, fitness, and motivation tracking all for free! You can find me under username LadySgt83.
Here are the other sites.
Well here you go, if you have any questions or need assistance on counting calories please feel free to leave your question in the comments. Next time I will go in detail with my own calorie intake and staying honest on the food journal.