With summer fast approaching and swimsuits on the brain, a lot of my clients are changing their fitness goals from maintenance to weight loss. The first step I tell them to take is to make sure they are keeping track of their calorie intake. Working out plays a huge part in losing weight, but often times, it’s not your workout that keeps you from shedding pounds, it’s how much you eat.
I’m a pretty active person. On a daily basis, I run around the city from client to client, I workout with some of my clients, and I usually try to squeeze a workout in on my own; but even though I’m doing that much work, once I let watching my calorie intake slide, I start to see the pounds on the scale go up. So, what I do for myself and recommend to my clients, is to keep a food journal. One easy way to track calories is to use myfitnesspal. It’s free, easy and you can access it through an app on your Android or iPhone. That way, you have no excuse because, let’s be honest, our phones are like additional appendages and are always with us. With the app at your fingertips, you can hold yourself accountable. Also, myfitnesspal has almost every food known to man in its searchable database. Had a samosa at your favorite Indian restaurant with dinner? That samosa’s calorie count and nutritional information are in the database. Even if you’re eating out, you won’t miss a beat when tracking calories.
How many calories should you eat to lose weight? Losing weight is a simple math equation-calories in vs calories out. If you eat more calories than you burn, you’ll gain weight, if you eat less calories than you burn, you’ll lose weight. It’s that easy.*
This is how to find out how many calories you should be eating a day to lose weight (1-2 lbs per week–a healthy amount of weight to lose that you will have an easier time keeping off rather than quick fix/fad diets that will have you shed a lot of pounds quickly, but that you will instantly gain back once you start eating normally again).
1) Go to this link to find out your BMR (basal metabolic rate): http://www.bmi-calculator.net/
2) Then multiply that number by: 1.1 if you’re super sedentary during the day (i.e you sit at a desk all day and you drive to and from work); 1.2 if you move around a little bit during the day (i.e. you’re doing more than sitting at your desk all day or you walk to and from work); 1.3 if you move around a moderate amount (i.e. you’re like me–you’re a fitness trainer and you’re standing a lot of the day); and 1.4 if all you do for your job is move (you’re a construction worker).
3) Then subtract that total by 500. Cutting 500 calories per day will help you lose 1-2 pounds per week.
4) If you are exercising on certain days, add the number of calories you burned from your workout to the final total so that you aren’t under eating. Under eating will stall your metabolism and will cause you to hang onto fat.
5) Cut out processed foods. Eating natural foods like fruits, veggies, organic meats, nuts, and dairy is a great way to aid in your weight loss. You can eat more of these nutritionally dense foods for less calories, too. Who doesn’t like to eat more for less?
Those are the basics to get you started. Stay tuned for some additional summer weight loss tips in my blogs to follow.
*Be sure to see your physician before starting any weight loss or exercise program.
For more healthy living tips, visit my site at www.natalierado.com