Lots of people join our gym with a weight loss goal. Many are former athletes who want to reclaim lost fitness, many are parents who have discovered they are having a hard time keeping up as their kids get older, and many are working to reverse years of being sedentary and all of the health issues that go along with it. Anyone who walks through our doors looking for help is already winning!
This time of year means being bombarded by ads with promises of quick and easy weight loss. But one thing I know from being a trainer for years, is pressing the easy button rarely works.
Last year, a research team found that our metabolism doesnt actually slow down until we reach age 60 or older. The main reason people gain weight after high school and as they raise a family? They are moving significantly less.
The cold hard truth is, most adults need to move more and eat less.
The simplified formula for weight loss is….be in a calorie deficit. Thats science :-).
Your body burns a specific amount of calories each day to perform your bodily functions, like pumping blood, brain function, and digestion (including chewing). This is your Basal Metabolic Rate. In addition to your BMR, your body uses calories while moving around and exercising. If you consume more calories than your body needs for those functions, it will store the excess as fat (with some exceptions).
So…how do I lose weight then?
#1. Track your food and movement and burn more calories than you eat. There are lots of great apps out there to help with tracking, like My Fitness Pal. MFP will also estimate your daily caloric needs and let you track all of your food. This approach works well for some people. However, some people have a hard time tracking everything, and understanding what to eat to hit their daily totals.
#2. Change general eating habits until you are in a calorie deficit. This can be tricky, but also an effective place to start for someone just starting out with healthy eating, or someone who is not great at tracking. A great first habit is eating more non-starchy vegetables.
#3. Increase your physical activity. If the key to weight loss is to be in a calorie deficit, then increasing your activity levels is likely part of the puzzle. Find ways to get up and move more, get out for a long walk and workout with high intensity for 150 minutes per week or more.
#4. Increase your BMR. Remember, your BMR is the amount of calories you need to fuel your bodily functions. In general, the more muscle you have, the more calories your body will burn throughout the day. So including weight training into your daily activity is a great option! Also remember that your body burns calories each time you eat, during the digestive process. If you eat once a day, you are potentially losing out on the thermogenic effect of food.
There are lots of different approaches to weight loss that utilize some or all of these concepts. What’s the best one? The one that will work for YOU over the long term.
There is a lot of noise out there. A great nutrition coach can help sort through all of that for you, and help you discover what could work for YOU. Not to mention the accountability help that comes with having a coach.
Not sure where to start? Or have you started on your own and got stuck? Schedule a No Sweat Intro. We will talk about your goals and how we can help you get on track.