Weight Loss Basics

thanks to thejonoakley

image by thejonoakley

Sometimes, we all want to lose a little weight. Whether its 30 pounds or 5 pounds, most of us may want to lose some weight. It can be to get rid of that holiday weight or just a decision to change your fitness for the better. Whatever, it may be, this short article will tell you the basics.

1. There is no shortcuts. You may hear alot of different diet and exercise plans, beliefs, and urban legends. Truth is? It’s all about calories. Almost everything we consume has calories and everything we do spend calories. Even while you sleep. So, its basic math really. As long as you are eating more calories than your body is exerting, the extra calories will be stored as fat. When you spend more calories than you eat, you burn stored energy.

While fad diets can work, most of them are not really sustainable. Being fit is a lifestyle. Its not a project. Ask yourself this before you try a fad diet next time, can you stay on that diet for the rest of your life? If your answer is no, then its not sustainable.

2. Drink lots of water. Water is nature’s miracle drink. The benefits are plenty, I can go on about how water flushes out your toxins, makes your skin more healthy by being hydrated, etc. But for now, I will just relate how water helps weight loss:

  • water helps with your metabolism. Liver is in charge of converting your stored fat to energy. Liver is also in charge of backing up your kidneys if they are not working optimally. Kidneys need water. So if the kidneys are deprived of enough water, the liver is not as efficient. By making sure enough water is taken, the liver is free to work at its best in converting those stored fats.
  • drinking water gets rid of excess water weight. What? Drinking water gets rid of water?.. Yes. You see, our body is made up mostly of water, and there is a thing called “survival mode”. This is when our body holds on to as much nutrients (including water). This is how malnourished and starving people get to survive. By drinking more water, we are telling our body that it doesn’t have to worry about a sufficient supply. Thus it expels the water weight it has been storing all these years.

3. Exercise. Remember how I said that its all math in burning more calories than you are consuming? Well, diet alone can make you lose weight. But why not speed up the process by working out as well? Any cardiovascular activity like jogging, running, jump rope, stairs, and anything that elevates your heart rate will help you burn. It has been said that you need to elevate your heart rate to 60%-70% for at least 20 minutes, 3 times per week. Check the chart below for your target heart rate.

Image by NuYu. Thanks!

image by NuYu. Thanks!

4. Build some muscles. You may ask that why are we building muscles when all you want is to lose some weight? Isn’t it about losing rather than gaining? The thing is, its all about burning more calories again. The more muscles you have, the more calories you burn. Imagine! Burning more calories while you are not working out! What a concept!

You don’t need to be hardcore like the muscle-toned weight builders. But you do need to start lifting. Start small and work your way up. The more muscles you have, the faster your weight loss.

5. You are what you eat. If you eat crap, you will look like crap. All the exercise in the world is not going to help you at all if you do not watch what you eat. Start by being more conscious of what you eat, the quantities you eat, and when you eat. Eat food with less calories and less fat, eat often but eat less each time.

Also, start counting your calories.  Find out what your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) is and subtract 500 calories from what you should be eating per day. Say your BMR is 2,500 calories per day. Then you should be eating 2,000 calories per day to lose weight. Use a BMR Calculator to figure out your BMR. If you do this consistently, you will lose weight guaranteed even without exercise. Any exercise you do is a bonus.  To help you keep track, you can use Calorie Count or Fitday. These are pretty good tools.

That’s it for now. If you like my posts, please share it and help me spread the word.

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