You may have just hit 40 and want to get into better shape or you need to cut down a size or two for the wedding in 3 months time. Whatever the reason you wish to lose weight for, the trick isn’t more running. I often seen individuals going about their ‘weight loss plans’ by jogging every night. I can’t help but think how thirty minutes of research would change their approach to a more effective strategy.
It comes down to your daily calorie intake. If you are eating above it, you will gain fat (and muscle if you are training appropriately), if you are eating below it you will lose fat (as well as muscle). Running burns calories, I hear you shout. You are right, calories are burnt however running comes with a psychological switch that many find hard to turn off. How many times have you been for a run and promptly treated yourself to the blueberry muffin that was staring at you from over by the bread bin. It is also hard for the average person to calculate the amount of calories burned off, leaving the individual unsure if they’re in a calorie deficit or not.
For example; the average woman needs about 2000 calories a day to maintain their weight1 (work yours out using this calculator: http://www.freedieting.com/tools/calorie_calculator.htm). By reducing this amount to 1800, their would be a caloric deficit leading to weight loss. The holy grail. Any running on top of this will be a bonus.
Don’t confuse this post as an anti-running campaign. Running is fantastic for your cardiovascular system, which in turn helps with the flow of oxygen throughout your body. But if losing weight is your goal, record what you eat and ensure you are in a caloric deficit.
How to Record What You Eat
Nearly everything you eat will have an ingredient list where you can easily add up calories you are taking in. If you intend on eating a specific amount of protein, fats or carbohydrates every day then remember that one gram of fat is 9 calories, whereas protein and carbs are 4 calories per gram.
I Can Eat Whatever and Still Lose Weight?
Technically yes, as long as you are in a calorie deficit. It is, however, important to remember that eating the wrong foods can lead to problems further down the line. If your body is not getting the nutrients it needs, then you will suffer the consequences. In the short term, living off a diet of donuts and fizzy drinks can lead to lower energy levels as consuming the sugars will lead to a crash in blood sugar leaving you feeling wiped out.
When You StopLosing Weight
If you plan to lose weight over a long period of time, then it is highly likely that your metabolism will slow, studies have shown2. The weight will stop coming off and it will only continue to fall if you lower your calories again, 100 should be enough for the weight to keep dropping.
So you now have an understanding of what it takes to lose weight, you didn’t really like running anyway, right? Crete a meal plan, stick to it and achieve your desired weight.
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