Achieving your goal weight can be as easy as counting your calories. Often we hear that to lose weight you must take in fewer calories than you burn in your daily activities, yet you still need to eat enough calories for your body to be able to perform normal daily functions.
The simple fact is that 1 pound equal 3,500 calories. Simple fact, maybe. Simple process, not so much. Here are some tips that can help you determine how many calories you should eat and how many calories you should burn in order to reach your goal weight.
The easiest way to determine your caloric needs is to multiply your current weight by 11. This is a baseline of calorie needs to maintain your current weight. If you try to lose weight too fast by cutting your calories to 10 calories per pound, you could end up having the opposite effect by slowing down your metabolism.
Decrease Calories for Weight Loss
If 1 pound equals 3,500 calories, then logically to lose weight you want to cut down on calories. Most experts agree that you should aim to lose 1 to 2 pounds per week. Cutting 500 calories out of your daily diet, depending on your activity level, would help you lose 1 pound a week. Keep track of what food you are eating and track your calories. But remember to be honest with yourself.
If you are starting to focus on your calorie intake/burn, you need to understand balance. Although it is recommended to cut 500 calories a day for weight loss, that doesn't all have to be from your calorie intake. A healthier option would be to add activities that help you burn calories. Just adding a nightly walk to your lifestyle can burn a few hundred calories depending on how far a distance and how long of a time you are walking for.
The only way to truly understand how many calories you burn is to keep track of your activities. There are devices like pedometers and some work out equipment will tell you how many calories you've burned. But if you are trying to lose weight by burning calories, the most important tool you have is yourself. Keep track of what activities you are doing.
Increase Calorie Burn for Weight Loss
If you keep track of what activities you are doing for over a week you will soon be able to determine if you have some room for improvement. You will be able to set goals for increasing your activity. Be honest with yourself.
Once you've reached your goal weight you can maintain your weight by making sure that your final calorie count for the day. The total calories after you've added calories for the food you've eaten and subtracted calories for the activities you've participated in, your final count for the day should be 11 per pound. This is your baseline for maintaining your goal weight.