The Trick to Calorie Counting

Wed, 01/15/2020 - 09:22

Calories in / calories out. The literal, simple science of weight loss – otherwise known as the law of thermodynamics. 

The good news here is that if you can add and subtract you can lose weight! Woohoo.  

Now, although I said it’s simple, I didn’t say it was easy. In fact, I’m betting many of you who are reading this might be thinking “that’s bull. I counted calories and it didn’t work!”.  

Well, IF that has happened to you, in order to explain why I have to show you the math AND give you some perspective.

Let’s pick an example case:

Susan Kentor is 37, 5’5, and 175lbs. She wants to lose 40lbs. Her active metabolic rate (the amount of calories she burns living out her regular day WITHOUT factoring in exercise) is 1800 calories. In order to burn off one pound she must create a 3500 calorie deficit – as in she has to burn 3500 calories MORE than she is consuming to burn off a pound of stored fat.

So, Susan goes on a diet. And she is eating 1400 calories a day, down from the 2500 she was eating before she decided to lose weight. Here’s the issue, if she’s burning 1800 and eating 1400 her calorie deficit is only 400 a day – which means it could take her up to 10 days to lose 1lb. And, God forbid, Susan had a dinner high in sodium the night before she gets on the scale, she might even hold some water making it look like she has actually gained weight in a week despite eating way less.

Now, what Susan has failed to understand and celebrate is that she is no longer gaining weight! And this is awesome news. Plus, she is actually losing, just at a rate that is hard to see in the short term. So what do we do. She really can’t eat much less, it wouldn’t be healthy and still wouldn’t get her the results she’s after.

The key is exercise!!! This is how we take Susan’s daily calorie burn from 1800 to 2500. Exercise requires energy so it pushes your calorie burn up, not just while you are doing it but for hours after you are done. 

Now, the days Susan is exercising she is burning 2500 a day and if she’s still eating 1400 a day she is burning 1100 calories a day – which means she could lose a pound in as little as 3 days. 

So, you see, dieting alone will work, but VERY slowly. Dieting and exercising together will get you the results you want – healthily, efficiently and safely without messing up your metabolism. And don’t get it twisted, there is no cheat to this. Crazy diets like Keto or juice fasts only work in the short term because they drop so much water weight so fast, but ultimately they have terrible side effects that throw your body out of whack. You can lose weight and get healthy permanently with no side effects simply eating less, moving more, and using common sense with your food choices. I PROMISE.