But here are my questions. Have we overly complicated weight loss and do we really need thousands of “miracle” fat burners? Well, I think we have complicated it too much and I don’t think we need thousands of products. Let me explain.
Weight is About Energy Management
You eat calories for energy to fuel your body systems and cellular functions. The number of daily calories that we need varies greatly from one person to the next. Factors like activity level and genetics determine how many calories you’ll need to survive the day.
Now here’s where your weight comes into play. If you consume too much food, the excess calories are stored mostly as body fat. This is known as a calorie excess, resulting in weight gain. However, if you don’t eat enough, your body will tap into stored fat reserves for energy. This is known as a calorie deficit and results in weight loss.
We can put all of this together in simple math equation: Changes in Weight = Calories In – Calories Out.
If you eat more calories than you burn (calories “in” are greater than calories “out”), the number at the end of the day is positive, indicating an excess of calories. Of course, the excess calories are stored as fat and you gain weight.
However, if you burn more calories than you eat, the number at the end of the day is negative, signaling a calorie deficit. This forces your body to burn stored fat as energy to make-up for the energy deficit. Now, you lose weight.
The Weight Equation is Simple …We’re Complicated
But I hear objections! Some of you might be thinking that I have tried to cut back on calories and exercise more – and that didn’t even work. And I want you to know that I hear you and understand.
The difficulty in losing weight and the complexity of the weight equation comes from the most confounding variable of all time – humans! Some of us have disruptions in hunger and satiety signals and hormones that result in eating too much. Others have metabolic issues that keep you from burning stored fat at any appreciable rate.
However, regardless of your particular issues, your weight is still determined on a day-to-day basis by a simple math equation. And this is where the 250:250 weight loss rule can help you. This rule is a simple manipulation of a simple equation that works.
The 250:250 Weight Loss Rule
This weight loss rule is a guide that you follow every day for one month, creating small daily calorie deficits. It prepares your body for more meaningful weight loss in the future – when you begin a specific diet program or pill or supplement.
Again, we’re complicated creatures. Most of us need additional help to lose weight beyond simple calorie counting. But let’s take a look at the rule:
- Eat 250 fewer calories a day.
- Burn 250 more calories a day.
- This creates a 500 daily calorie deficit.
- Do this 7 times a week for a 3500 weekly calorie deficit.
- A 3500 weekly calorie deficit equals 1 pound of weight loss.
Eating 250 fewer calories can be accomplished by cutting your bread servings in half or by replacing potatoes with leafy green vegetables. As far as burning 250 calories, use the exercise calculator at www.prohealth.com. Just plug in the type of exercise you want to do and how long you’ll do it for and the calculator produces the number of calories you’ll burn.
For more discussion on this topic, listen to Healthy Talk here on RadioMD.