Get Your Abs In The Kitchen!
I heard this line recently from an interview with a young woman who went from an obese teen, lost over 80 pounds, and is now getting ready to compete in the Ms. Texas competition. Love it! I also loved hearing her trainer chime in that weight loss is about 80% what goes in your mouth. I’ve always been conservative and said 70% of weight loss is diet but I believe for some it is higher. Sometimes I just need to hear it again to remind myself how important it is to focus on your diet if you’re trying to lose body fat. Here is my best description of why that is. A pound of fat is roughly 3500 extra calories you’ve stored that your body didn’t need in the past. (People who eat an extra 100 calories a day above what they need will gain 10 pounds in a year). If the average person works out 3x per week for 60 minutes they will likely burn about 1500 calories for the week. If diet stays the same you’re looking at about 1/3 of a pound drop. Dropping a pound in 3 weeks for most people is discouraging.
Best bet if you want to lose 1lb a week is to find an exercise you enjoy that you’ll continue with in the long-term AND start tracking what you’re eating. Just the act of tracking or writing down things will help you reduce the mindless eating and decide if the calories you’re eating are really worth it. Most women will be in a 1lb weight loss at about 1500-1800 calories a day and most men around 2000 calories a day.
Keep in mind that varying your calories from day to day can help you prevent a weight-loss plateau. If you find yourself hungrier on workout days, eat more. If exercise makes you hungrier the day after, eat more that day. Learn to use special occasions to your advantage by eating less the next day. It’s all about the average of calories at week’s end.
Another key point is that you need to eat breakfast. Something is better than nothing – a banana, yogurt, protein bar. If your metabolism doesn’t wake up it’s going to be hard to lose weight.
If you need some extra support, aka “accountability”, you’re welcome to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Often, a half hour session plus an additional follow-up is all you may need to get going in the right direction toward sustainable weight loss.