Okay. So you want to lose weight and you want to start today. Good news. This process is way easier than most people will lead on. Everyone wants to make it hard. They want something to be wrong with you, your metabolism, genetics, or your body. I’m here to tell you that nothing is wrong with you, that there is hope and you can lose weight.
Understand that your body operates on something called Calories. Calories are in most everything we eat and drink. These calories add up over the course of a day to be our “Daily Caloric Intake”… I know, super fancy stuff. Essentially, our body takes the Calories, or energy, that we give it and uses it. Simple as that.
If we give our body exactly the amount of energy it needs in a day, we won’t gain weight and we won’t lose weight. That’s called maintenance, or more commonly in goal terms: Plateau. Calories in equals calories out.
But wait! I thought my plateau was because my metabolism slowed down! That’s what my friend who says they know a lot about fitness said…
The good news is: your friend is wrong. Your metabolism is just the number of calories you burn. It’s not some magic function of your body that randomly accelerates or limits your caloric burn. There are multiple factors that go into this, but to GET STARTED there are only two that you need to know. Really, there are just two that are really relevant. Everything else is just something that you have to accept. Very minor things.
Number 1: Eat Less
I know, big surprise, huh?
Here’s the thing about weight control. If you eat less calories than you burn, you will lose weight. Period. Your body needs a certain amount of calories every single day no matter what.
Most of the calories we burn are just from existing. Every calorie we burn is our body’s effort to maintain itself. There are a few factors that make that more difficult for the body (requiring more calories). It’s a lot easier to eat 500 calories than it is to burn 500 calories. That’s where people struggle.
If we eat more calories than we burn, we gain weight. It really is as simple as that. So if you’ve gained weight in the last few months or years, it means that (all factors included) you have eaten more calories than you have burned. Your body takes the extra calories and stores them for future use. It does that to ensure our future “survival” when there isn’t extra food available. Well… Let’s just say we don’t need to save up for winter any more, so let’s all eat a bit less overall.
Number 2: Move More
Movement uses the muscles. Muscle tissue is high maintenance (it needs calories to exist). The more muscles you use the more calories are required to maintain them. Very simple.
This is why exercise is important. It helps us burn additional calories (aside from being good for just about every other function in your body). Strength training is the most important type of exercise because it helps build/retain our muscle mass, which allows us to burn more calories.
Basically, your body is always trying to reach energy equilibrium (it wants to be okay, neutral, comfortable). Your body wants your normal day-to-day intake to equal the expenditure. If we’re eating to much, we gain weight until that balances out. That results in gaining 50 to 100+ lbs. sometimes. At that point it takes so much more effort to move and maintain everything, that you burn some extra calories. If we reduce our intake, our body tries to reach a balance point. If you don’t strength train and eat properly, you will lose muscle in addition to body fat to make up for the difference. It really is that simple.
Okay… Got It. What now?
You need a program, designed specifically for your goals. You need an adjustment to your nutrition and your exercise routine. You need proper supplementation to support these practices. And most importantly, you need a coach. We have quite a few ways to get started. Check them out below.