Uncategorized,  Wellness

What You Might Not Know About Weight Loss

It’s that time of the year when we set out with our New Year’s resolutions and since the #1  New Year’s resolution is to lose weight, I thought we’d start there.  Last year I wrote “How to Lose Weight in Four Steps” and while it still applies, for the month of January, I’m including a tip per week of something you might not know about weight loss.

 

Installments
#1: Understand the Math Behind Weight Loss (below)
#2: What should I eat? A review of the current diet trends
#3: So…what do you eat?
#4: Exercise

 

#1: Understand the Math Behind Weight Loss
While there are hundreds of diets and food lifestyles, the fundamental math of weight loss is always the same:  you need to consume fewer calories than you burn in order to lose weight.  Since it is a mathematical equation, it’s useful to know the basics.

 

It takes a deficit of 3,436 to 3,752 calories to lose a pound a weight. Why such a big range? You can read about that here.

 

If you are trying to lose weight, you can use this handy calculator to help you understand how many calories you should be consuming daily.  You will want to use this calculator often as you start your weight loss program. Why? Because the body “adapts” as you begin to lose weight and become leaner. Weight loss is not a linear process. This is why some people lose some weight quickly and then plateau and struggle to lose more. Your body adapts to running on fewer calories so you need to adjust your strategy as you lose weight.

 

For most, the struggle to lose weight centers around feeling hungry, so understanding the building blocks of food is important.  Food is broken down into three “macros.” They are protein, fat and carbohydrates.  What you eat is some combination of these three things. As the chart below illustrates, protein, followed by fat, makes you feel the fullest. Of the three building blocks of food, carbohydrates make you feel the least full. If you are eating a high carb diet and feeling hungry all the time, you might want to swap some of those carbs for protein.

 

Macro
Calories per gram
Ranking in “satiety” (makes you feel full)
Fat
9
Middle
Protein
4
Highest
Carbohydrate
4
Lowest
In my own diet, I eat about 20% carbs, 30% protein and 50% fat. I’m not necessarily recommending this for you, but it works for me. If you don’t know your own macros, this is a great week to figure it out.  🙂 You can use an online tracking tool like MyFitnesspal.com to track your food for three or four days to start to understand how you are eating. I’m not a nutritionist but you can send your info in to me, and I’ll help you interpret the results.  The math is simple.

 

Protein:  your daily grams of protein x 4 calories per gram= total calories of protein.  Divide this by your total calories.
Fat:  your daily grams of fat x 9 calories per gram=total calories of protein.  Divide this by your total calories.
Carbohydrates:  your daily grams of carbs x 4 calories per gram=total calories of carbs. Divide this by your total calories.  For the carb calculation, I’ve given you the super simple version. A more refined calculation is to remove insoluable fiber. I talk about that in this Keto post I did last year.
Once you know your starting point, it will be easier to decide what to change.  The goal isn’t eating less as much as it is eating differently.
Next week we’ll look at the different diets out there and which one might be right for you.  Get ready to hear about keto, paleo, Atkins, Whole30, vegan, pescatarian, the alkaline diet, vegetarian, and pegan! Yes, pegan!
For anyone who wants some extra support to help in their weight loss efforts, I’m teaching an online yoga class available worldwide to boost your metabolism.  If you can’t attend during the live class, you can get the recording. Register here.
Happy eating.  🙂