Ready to Start Losing Weight? Don’t Make it Harder Than it Needs to Be!
Jun 19th, 2012
If you have a significant amount of excess body fat, it’s high time to admit that you need a positive lifestyle change so you can start losing weight and progressing toward having a body that wouldn’t cause you embarrassment if you wanted to go for a swim with your friends.
Unfortunately, I don’t think there’s any hope for Borat
I understand the struggles involved with making a switch to a healthy lifestyle and have allowed my own dietary choices get the better of me in the past, so I’m not here to judge you.
But I am here to help you by giving you some advice for getting started on your much-needed fat loss journey.
Don’t Over Think Things
As someone who has a degree in Electrical Engineering, I’m usually the first to over-analyze things.
This trait has been helpful in terms of enabling me to develop specific training and nutrition plans for myself (and others) to lose fat, while maintaining or even building additional muscle mass in the process; or to construct specific nutrition plans for those who are ready to dial it in and get rid of those final five or ten pounds of stubborn body fat.
But for someone with unhealthy levels of excess fat it just isn’t necessary to complicate things with a bunch of nutritional rules that they would have no chance of sticking to for more than a few days anyway.
If this describes you, you needn’t be concerned with anything other than getting your weight under control. You can always hone in your efforts on other personalized goals later.
For now, your goal is simple – lose the excess weight. Keep things as simple as possible and be consistent.
The Simple Weight Loss Formula
People are peddling programs all over the internet that are specifically designed for reaching certain fitness goals.
As someone who sells a program that is formulated for enabling others to get ripped by simultaneously building muscle and shedding fat, I fully understand that there are a number of individuals out there in need of such programs.
However, for those that have the immediate need of losing weight and getting healthy, you only need to understand one simple formula:
Weight Loss in Pounds = (Calories Burned – Calories Consumed) / 3500
The bottom line… If you want to lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you consume. For every 3,500 calorie deficit you create you will lose one pound of body weight.
Hopefully it is clear that your goal is nothing more than to create a consistent caloric deficit. Do this and you will continually lose weight on a weekly basis.
How to Create and Maintain a Caloric Deficit to Start Losing Weight
There are two ways to create a daily deficit in calories:
- Burn more calories
- Consume less calories
The most efficient way to drop the pounds is to combine both of these methods by keeping a food log to track the number of calories you eat each day and being intentional to exercise for 30-60 minutes five or more days per week.
If you can track your calories burned through exercise, this is obviously a plus, because then you’ll know for certain that you’re creating a daily caloric deficit and it gives you a greater sense of control.
There are a number of smartphone apps that contain a database of different foods that will help automate the process so you don’t have to calculate everything by hand and write it down.
The LiveStrong Calorie Tracker app is what I would recommend. It has a massive nutrition and exercise database and calculates the calories burned for each activity based on your bodily measurements, ensuring a high level of accuracy.
Once you’re off and running tracking your daily caloric deficit you will be in complete control of your weight loss. All you’ll have to do is create a deficit of 3,500 calories for each pound you want to lose each week.
Just be sure not to overdo it and go around starving yourself. The goal is to create a healthy lifestyle that will allow you to get down to a healthy weight in the short-term, while giving you a realistic way to keep it off for good.
Dealing with Slowing Weight Loss
As you get closer to your ideal weight your ability to create a significant caloric deficit will decline. This is because the amount of calories burned during exercise will decrease as your body weight is reduced and the amount of “maintenance calories” required by your body will also go down.
Even though your weight loss results will slow as you drop the pounds, as long as you continue to track your calories consumed and calories expended, making sure to maintain a deficit each day, you will continually lose weight each week until you reach your goal weight.
Set Realistic Weight Loss Expectations
One of my biggest pet peeves is when a client comes to me disappointed because they’ve only lost 2 or 3 pounds in a week. I always think, “Are you kidding me?”
I’m not sure if they’ve spent too many nights watching The Biggest Loser or what. Losing 2 or 3 pounds in a week is a great accomplishment that they should be proud of; not wondering what they’re doing wrong.
Unless you have 100 or more pounds to lose, and your entire life is structured around exercising 3 or 4 hours every day, you aren’t going to go dropping six or seven pounds in a week.
Believe me. I understand the desire to get extremely fast results. But the composition of the body can’t be changed overnight.
You didn’t gain all of your excess body fat in a week or two and it won’t come off that way either.
You Can Start Losing Weight, Get Healthy and Improve Your Body
I hope I’ve helped you to see that losing weight doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, it’s actually quite simple.
Remember that everything I’ve explained in this article is geared toward those with a significant amount of weight to lose whose primary focus should be weight loss.
When the goal is to build lean muscle mass, or get ripped by simultaneously building muscle and shedding fat, this will require a strategy that’s more finely tuned to these specific goals.
One of the creeds I live by is not making things any harder than they need to be.
If you want to lose weight, monitor your calories consumed, track your calories expended, and make sure you’re always ending the day with some magnitude of deficit.
Any details beyond that aren’t worth sweating.
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