Eat fewer calories than your body burns, that’s how to lose weight right? Well yes, but it isn’t so simple. Trying to lose weight, and then keep it off in a healthy manner can be very difficult. An inactive person who wants to lose weight by just cutting a few calories will probably not have the kind of success they are looking for in the long run.
When we talk about weight loss, we are really referring to fat loss, and this doesn’t happen fast. Let’s talk numbers…..Let’s say you have a BMR of 2000 calories a day. BMR (or Basil Metabolic Rate) measures how many calories your body needs at rest. Or just to maintain your normal sedentary routine. If you want to lose weight, you may choose to decrease your total daily calories to 1500 giving you a daily deficit of 500. There are 3500 calories in 1lb. The easy math would tell you it will take 7 days to lose 1lb.
We should look further into what weight loss results you might get. Just because you cut your calories to lose weight doesn’t mean you will lose only fat. Some might be muscle tissue. If this is the case, you ability to burn calories will decrease, which will lower your BMR and you won’t be able to eat as many calories and keep the weight off.
By adding exercise and activity, you can raise your BMR which will increase your daily calorie needs. So in other words, you can eat more and with a faster metabolism, you can lose fat weight faster and keep it off!
Weight training will build muscle tissue and raise your BMR because muscle needs more calories to feed it. So for the purpose of illustration in this article, we’ll say that every 1lb of additional muscle equal 50 more calories added to your BMR. If you add 5lbs of muscle, which isn’t a lot, you could increase your daily calorie needs by 250.
Cardiovascular exercise will increase you BMR. When you perform cardiovascular exercise, you increase you heart rate, respiratory rate and metabolism. The increase is calorie expenditure is not only happening during the workout but for hours into the day, or evening. So, more frequent cardio exercise allows you to burn more calories at rest everyday, and this allows you to eat more. And with a high metabolism and high energy needs, you can eat more of your favorite treats without feeling guilty.
It is very common to hear people say “I’m on a diet.” But where is the exercise? While you can safely cut calories and lose some weight independent of exercise, you really increase your chances of success by adding an exercise program. It is truly the best way to achieve success with weight loss and maintenance.