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The basics of how we gain and lose body fat should be elementary school curriculum. Not knowing these causes you not only a lot of frustration, but self-blame and confusion as well.
In contrast, learning about these simple weight loss facts saves you tons of time because you can stop the endless game of hit-and-miss with fad diets and nonsense tricks.
As you know, media messages about the best weight loss systems are over-hyped, conflicting and skimpy.
Open any diet book: you need to count grams of fat or carbs, calories, percentages of proteins, glycemic indexes...
It makes you completely confused and frustrated!
You might have even given up trying to make a sense of it all.
But eating to lose weight shouldn't require an advanced degree!
Our nutritional needs are clear. Once you understand what caused your extra weight in the first place and how to set realistic weight loss goals that you can actually achieve - half of the "job" of losing weight and burning body fat is done.
So let’s get down to the basics.
Before anything else, you have to understand this.
When your caloric intake from food is larger than your caloric output, your body stores the extra calories for later use - as fat (fat is the easiest to convert from calories and back into calories as needed).
For all the energy you need, your body burns calories through a highly complex biochemical process: the metabolism.
When you eat more calories than your metabolism burns for your body’s immediate needs, you store this surplus as fat for later use.
Conversely, when you need to spend more calories than you’ve just eaten, your metabolism burns previously stored fat to provide these extra calories - provided you don't have any of the issues that may make you unable to lose weight.
You should know that the metabolic rate can be adjusted to maximize its function so it actually helps you in burning fat for weight loss.
...to about 2 pounds per week (0.9 kg). In fact, your body can’t burn more than 2 pounds of fat per week, it’s physiologically impossible.
Yes, under specific circumstances you could lose more than 2 pounds of weight per week, but that includes water, muscle or both - not only fat.
Water is shortly regained as soon as you re-hydrate your body.
As for muscle, you don’t want to reduce your lean muscle mass; this would make you gain even more weight in the long run. Why?
Because your muscle mass is your metabolic furnace. The more muscle mass you have in your body, the more calories you burn during exercise, at rest, even while you sleep.
That’s why not only maintaining, but actually increasing your muscle mass is vital for burning body fat at a higher rate.
How to build your muscle mass?
Aerobics alone won't do it. You will need to add strength-training or a calisthenics routine (body weight exercises) three times per week.
...to burn body fat takes you a long way to your ultimate weight loss goal. How so? Well, realistic goals are those that you can actually achieve by following a plan consistently.
Consistency is the key here.
For example, a realistic goal would be to lose 2lbs of fat/week and keep at it for how long you need. The equivalent of one pound of fat is 3,500 calories. Do the math... in order to burn 2lbs of fat/week, you'd have to create a weekly deficit of 7,000 calories, which means a daily deficit of 1,000 calories.
Based on an average of 2,500 calories/day, you can achieve half of this deficit (500 calories) by reducing what you normally eat by 1/5 or 20%.
The other 500 calories can be burned through exercises to lose weight quickly or through some other form of physical activity that you enjoy.
For example, you'd burn 500 calories with aerobic activities like:
This is a little simplified just to give you an idea. Also, to make you understand one of the most important weight loss facts: you do NOT need to count calories to lose body fat. Simply cut one fifth of whatever you’re presently eating AND include 15-45 min of physical activity daily - in addition to your strength training workouts.
Depending on how much weight you want to lose, maintain this deficit
of approx 1,000 calories daily and lose up to 8 lbs in a month, up to
24 lbs in 3 months and up to 48 lbs of body fat in 6 months. Of course, in the long run there's more to it, but that's how burning body fat basically works.
Whether you have a LOT of weight to lose or just a few pounds, find out the answers to your questions with these...
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