If we’ve learned anything from working with our patients, it’s that many people don’t understand exactly how weight loss works. And that’s okay; it does seem like a complicated formula at times! We often get confused over which foods we should be eating, how much we should eat, when we should exercise, how long we should exercise, and so on.
But at its core, weight loss is a simple matter of calories in (eaten) versus calories used (burned through exercise and daily activity). The reason it seems to get complicated is because we often overestimate the calories we burn through daily workouts, and underestimate calories consumed through food. And, of course, personal metabolism issues, stress, and other factors can play a role.
You might have heard that you need to burn 3,500 calories more than you consume, in order to lose one pound. Obviously you can’t accomplish this goal in a day, unless you’re training for the Olympics. So the best way to work steadily toward that 3,500-calorie goal is to ensure that each workout meets a significant benchmark. If you burn at least 300 calories at each workout, you can lose a pound in ten to twelve days (or faster, if you’re also cutting calories consumed by following an eating plan).
The challenge, then, is to make sure you’re not overestimating your workouts. The following forms of exercise should burn at least 300 calories, for an average-weight person:
Can you do one of these types of exercise each day, for about ten days or so? Then you can lose a pound! When you look at it that way, weight loss doesn’t seem so complicated. But if you want to boost your results or lose weight a bit faster, come see us to learn more about an appropriate eating plan. We can help you identify the types of foods and portions you should be eating, to successfully cut calories and reach your goal weight.