Most people wouldn't mind losing a bit of unwanted weight or even some stubborn belly fat. Unless you are a world-class fitness model or one of the less than 5% of those in seriously fit shape, you most likely could stand to lose a pound or two: myself included.
While losing weight IS an exact science, it does not necessarily have to be complicated. In fact, there are ideological theories about losing weight; and then there are straight facts. For instance, sure, if you are running each and every day, there is a GOOD CHANCE you will be losing weight. However, ARE you losing weight AND are you losing FAT instead of muscle?
Although we'd like to lose the fat overnight and wake up looking shredded and sexy by tomorrow morning, the sure-fire way I have found to get back in shape just takes a couple of things: time, persistence, trust, and patience. That's right. Want to know the quickest way to get there? Well, it is the longest.
Fortunately, there are things you can do right now to lose weight and look great: these are simply steps that when added altogether, produce an exact outline of the science of weight loss. Of course, there are limitations to these steps that include your genetics, your health condition, and your hormones. But for the vast MAJORITY of people, this is exactly how to do it:
1) Determine your current body weight and then determine your ideal body weight.
How do you know your ideal body weight? Well, you might not. If you want an exact weight, you will have to get a body-fat test using calipers, electrodes, or water immersion (the most accurate way). For simple calculation, I highly recommend simply pulling out the body fat caliper and taking a pinch.
Once you've determined your ideal weight, you'll have a benchmark for where you need to be. For example, a 190 pound man at 20% body fat who would like to get down to 10% body fat will need to lose 10% of his weight in fat. Of course, since this will be be 100% muscle, he would have to shoot a little lower than the 19 pounds (10% of 190) at 171 pounds to get to his goal. This is NOT an exact science and depends on your diet and genetics. So, let's just say he is going to get down to 165 pounds. 165 pounds now becomes the goal.
2) Determine your Basal Metabolic Rate here: BMR Calculator.
Once you've defined your BMR (how many calories you'll need to get through a day at maintenance caloric levels without any exercise taken into consideration), you are ready to see where (and why) you are that has made you gain weight. So, next:
3) Determine your current daily caloric intake.
Here is where the VAST majority of people fail. You see, this one takes a little bit of dreaded journaling. That's right: never thought you'd be counting calories? Think again. Even if only for a week or a few days, you will NEED to log EVERYTHING (sauces and beverages included) in a journal or even easier yet, into a fitness app such as My Fitness Pal to track your daily caloric intake.
I know: you CAN'T do this one. But you can. You just do it. It takes a little time...but guess what, after a while you get used to it and even when you stop using an app such as this, for the rest of your life you will now be capable of much more accurately guesstimating your caloric intake per meal than you were before (people tend to grossly UNDER-estimate their daily caloric intake before learning the count calories).
4) Determine the amount of calories you will burn through exercise.
Again, here is another one that you will probably need the good old My Fitness Pal app for...at least for a short period of time. See, weight loss comes down to one thing really: caloric deficit.
Q.And how do you create a deficit? A. Take in less than you burn.
So, determining your caloric expenditure from exercise each day is important because you'll need to:
5) Track, track, track, and then track some more.
Let's put it all together: we've determined our current weight, determined our body fat levels, determined our ideal weight, determined our BMR, determined our current daily caloric intake, and determined the calories burned through exercise.
From here, the equation is simple: eat 250 to 500 calories below your BMR + Calories burned through exercise. At this rate, you will lose approximately 1 pound of fat per week...
For example, if your BMR is 2000 calories and you will burn 500 calories each day through exercise, you should be consuming right around 2000 calories per day as 2500 - 2000 = 500 (deficit of calories). It is important not to consume LESS than 500 calories in a deficit per day as your thyroid can really start to panic and slow down too quickly.
Once you've determined a sure-fire deficit, it's time to put everything on autopilot. From here, you simply eat at a deficit (types of foods are less relevant here) for your total weight loss goal in pounds X number of weeks.
For example, if you need to lose 20 pounds, you eat at a 500 calorie deficit for 20 weeks.
And that's it. Well, really, there is more complication to losing weight and gaining muscle as well (especially at the same time!), but by using this simple 5-step formula, you will scientifically achieve your weight loss goals while learning a lot about your nutrition and fitness habits as well.
Do I guarantee this to work? Well, I don't have to since it is science and it DOES work. However, of course given those nasty genetics, hormones, and other x-factors, your doctor should ALWAYS be consulted prior to starting any major weight loss.
I hope those tips have been helpful. Please make sure to subscribe to our blog and our social media AND share this article if you've found it to be helpful. I am looking forward to your comments and experiences BELOW. Thanks!