Here are some things that I’ve learned along the way, but they are also things I also need to remind myself of as well. As I’ve said before sometimes the process of keeping the weight off, after you have lost it is as much of a challenge as losing it in the first place.
Calories are the fuel that keeps us going and they are so important to our bodies. Although it seems like depriving yourself of calories to the extreme will yield positive results in the weight-loss area; that is far from the truth. Calories are a critical part of the weight loss equation. You just need to know how to work with them.
So how do you determine exactly what calorie intake is right for you? Here’s a little trick I learned.
To determine your approximate caloric needs, you can easily figure out your “basal metabolic rate” or BMR. This is the number of calories your body needs to maintain its basic functions and to maintain your current weight. So if you figure out this number, then you know how to adjust your food and calorie consumption to achieve weight loss results.
Calculate your calories on a daily basis and record your weight at the end of each week. If your weight is the same as when you started, then you are at your BMR. If it is higher, then you are eating more than your BMR. This is a helpful way to assess where you are and where you want to be.
To determine your BMR just multiply your current weight by 10. So if you weigh 180 pounds, then eating 1,800 calories a day would be your BMR. If you want to maintain that 180 pounds, keep your calories at that same level. If not, adjust it accordingly but reasonably.
It’s important to know however, that this simple calculation doesn’t take into account exercise or your activity level. Someone who exercises on a regular basis can consume more calories and still be at their maintenance weight. So keep that in mind when you are doing your calculation. But in general, this is a good rule of thumb—and a good place to get started.
I think it’s a great idea when you are just getting started on any kind of weight-loss regime to keep a food journal. Write down everything you eat and drink every day.
A food journal is also a great way to help you plan your meals with your allotted calories in mind.
Any deduction in calories will eventually lead to results. Don’t go overboard. And be smart about your decisions. Remember, this is your health we’re talking about. And also remember, the slower you lose the weight the better your chances of keeping it off.
But just consider this fact: 3,500 calories is equal to one pound. So if you reduce your caloric intake by as little as 250 calories a day and exercise enough to burn an additional 250 calories a day you could lose approximately one pound per week. And that’s a great reality!
Just remember, anything worth having is worth working for. And a new healthy you is certainly one of those things!