Life requires energy, your body requires energy to keep all your organs functioning and keep you alive, it requires even more energy to allow you to move around, the more you move the more energy it requires. Your body’s fuel source for this energy is simply the food and drink you put in, your digestive system breaks down this fuel, releasing the energy to power your body.
When you provide your body with more fuel than it needs it stores the excess as fat to be used later, when you provide your body with less fuel than it needs it breaks down the internal stores of fat and uses them for energy. This principal is what all weight loss programs are based upon, either put less fuel in or take more energy out or ideally do both together.
What Is A Calorie?
A calorie is a measurement created to represent the amount of energy contained in either the food (fuel) we put in or the energy (life and movement) we take out. One pound of fat is equivalent to 3,500 calories of fuel / energy. Put in 3,500 calories more than you need and you will put on 1 pound of weight, take out 3,500 calories of energy more than you put in and you will lose 1 pound of weight.
All calorie controlled weight loss programs are based around:
- Understanding how many calories a day you need to eat
- Recording and understanding how many calories you put in to your body
- Recording and understanding how many calories you expend as energy output
- Ensuring your have a calorie deficit i.e. less in than out
The act of recording the calories makes us very conscious of what we put in and take out of our bodies. Being aware of the facts puts us back in control so we can make changes and build these changes into permanent habits, such as reducing our portion size or increasing our exercise level.
In today’s world with convenience food it is all too easy to end up providing our body with more fuel than it needs. Technology has also removed the need for us to expend as much energy in every-day routine tasks, just think about what we would have done before we had:
- Washing Machines
- Vacuum Cleaners
These are all essential elements of today’s life but each one of them means we don’t need to move as much or use as much energy as people would have done previously.
How To Lose Weight Safely & Sustainable?
How to Lose Weight Safely:
In order to effectively lose weight you need to do it in a safe controlled manor, any calorie values mentioned on this or any website are always averages, the safest way is always to start by consulting your physician.
That said, when you create a calorie deficit of the correct amount you will burn fat, however make that deficit too large (i.e. not eating enough) and your body will think you are starving and lower the rate at which it burns energy, your body will also start to burn muscle instead of fat, if in future you put weight on again you will end up with a higher fat percentage than you started.
Unless under medical supervision don’t drop your calorie intake lower than 1,200 calories per day for a woman or 1,800 for a man and do not try to lose more than 2lbs per week. The average ideal calorie deficit is typically between 500 and 1000 calories per day which equates out to 1 to 2 pounds of weight loss per week.
How to Exercise Sustainable:
Start with a routine you can maintain – Do not just start exercising madly 5 hours a day 7 days a week, it will not be sustainable, you will find you injure yourself meaning you can’t carry on exercising net result, less overall exercise. Your body needs time to heal in between workouts and you need to start any routine gradually. Start with just 2 workouts per week and increase it from there always trying to give your body a day to rest and recover.
The Reasons People Fail To Keep The Weight Off
Many people embark on weight loss routines, they eat healthily and they exercise, this creates the calorie deficient required and they start losing weight, but often they slip back and the weight goes back on again, why is this? The reason is they stopped the exercise and so the balance swung back the other way again.
There can be many reasons why people stop exercising including injuries but mostly it comes down to the fact that their exercise was an add-on to their life. What this means is they had their life routine; consisting of everything they do with work, family and friends then separate to that they had their exercise, which they tried to fit in around these other activities. In the busy lives we all lead, time is precious and when one of these things put higher demands on our time its all to easy to lose the time to exercise.
How To Lose Weight And Keep It Off
So what’s the key of how to lose weight and keep the weight off? The secret is that exercise has to become part of your normal everyday routine, to a degree where it is no longer a separate activity you do to lose weight, it is just you going about your life. The way to do this is to integrate your exercise routine with a minimum of one of these categories: work, family life or friendships. Once your exercise routine is so closely intertwined with one of these three there is no-longer the pressure to drop it and you simply live you life with exercise embedded.
Exercise As Part Of Work
Ideally do some work that involves exercise, see how to become a Zumba instructor you would be amazed at how the weight drops off. Failing that exercise with colleagues as a relaxed way to bond as a team or discuss work projects – this is not for everyone in all situations but just look at how much business is done on the golf course. You could for example arrange for a group of girls from the office to go along to a Zumba class together one evening after work.
Exercise With Your Family
Exercising with the family is a great way to spend time together. Find activities everyone enjoys that you can do together and make it a regular routine, keeping you all fit and healthy.
Think about this: if somebody told you your child was going to die this week but if you took a particular action they would live another 20 years, you would move heaven and earth no matter how difficult, expensive or time consuming to do whatever was necessary to give them those extra years of life.
A little extreme and hard hitting but now consider a fit and healthy lifestyle can literally be the difference between our children having an early death at 60 or living well into their 80s or 90s and all it takes, is for us to teach them while they are young how to eat healthily and to love exercise, making it a part of their life.
Exercise With Friends
This is a great one for Zumba, every class is a party with your friends, many people find it very easy to start making new friends during a Zumba class, nurture these friendships and they will continue to help bringing you back. Why not also get as many of your existing friends as possible to go along to classes with you as an evening out together, make this a regular routine and you’ll never again need to make that choice between seeing your best friend and getting some exercise done.
Build your exercise routine into a minimum of 1 of these 3 areas and you will never be a yo-yo dieter again, you will lose weight and keep it off for good.