Playing The Numbers Game
There are plenty of “guaranteed” methods for weight loss out there that require no changes to your diet and no exercise at all. The problem with many of these magic methods of melting away excess pounds is that few, if any, of them actually produce any results. If you’ve got a decent amount of weight to lose and you’re tired of wasting time and money on fad diets and pills, you should probably start by closely examining the numbers.
A big problem that many people who are trying to lose weight have is that they have no idea at all how many calories they are consuming on a given day. Most people who think that they are following a reasonably healthy diet are consuming far more calories than they would have guessed in the form of beverages, side dishes and add-ons like toppings, sauces and dressings and that could be seriously jeopardizing your weight loss efforts.
Counting calories may not sound like a whole heck of a lot of fun, but it could be a quick and effective strategy for putting you on the right track toward your weight loss goals. On the up side, if you tend to eat the same or similar foods on a regular basis, you won’t need to do a ton of work to find out where you stand in terms of intake. Write down everything you eat and drink over the course of a typical day and hit the internet to find the caloric values. Once you’ve got this number, it’s time to do a little math.
If you don’t already know how many calories you need to maintain your current weight, you can find out quickly by hitting a free online calculator like the one here and entering the required information. Subtracting 500 from the number of calories you need to maintain your current weight will give you a target number for losing about a pound per week through diet alone. Once you’ve got your target number, compare it to the number that you came up with after tallying up the calories that you consumed during a typical day and you should have a good indication of why you aren’t succeeding in your weight loss goals.
Once you know how much of an adjustment you need to make to your current eating habits in order to hit your caloric goal for weight loss, take a close look at the foods that you consume on a day. There’s a very good chance that some very simple omissions or substitutions may be all you need to get to that target number. Switching full calorie sodas for diet sodas or water, changing from regular beer to light beer, passing on the salad dressing and sticking to fruit for dessert may be enough to help you hit your target number and start losing weight.
Though this strategy seems (and in all reality is) pretty simple, you will have to use your head when selecting the foods that you eat. If your target number of calories for weight loss is 1750 per day and you opt to eat all 1750 calories of Oreos every day, you might very well lose weight but you won’t exactly be doing your body good.
If you fill your caloric needs with plenty of high fiber vegetables, lean proteins and healthy fats, you should have no problem at all feeling full, despite creating the caloric deficit, and melting away the excess pounds. If you’re willing and able to increase your activity levels throughout the course of the week as well, you’ll be creating even more of a caloric deficit and you should be able to reach your weight loss goals even faster.
About Jeff Wilson Jeff Wilson has been involved in some form of sports and athletic training for more than two decades: as an athlete, a trainer and a writer.