This is a guide on how to lose those unwanted pounds in 2010 and beyond. This is the time of year where many new folks are trying to find out how exactly to lose weight and a lot of the information floating around pertaining to such is downright confusing, contradicting, and occasionally outright lies.
I’m here to give you a short, but complete guide on how to lose weight — this is how I lost 125 pounds in under 12 months. No diet plans, fad machines, meal plans or any other marketing bull. There is only one way to lose weight as far as I’m concerned and it comes down to these three simple steps.
Here are the steps I took to lose 125+ pounds:
Step 1. Calculate Daily Calorie Needs
You need to calculate your daily calorie needs using a BMR Calculator. This will tell you, depending on your height/weight and daily activity, roughly how many calories you need to consume a day to maintain your current weight.
For example: At 344 pounds, 73 inches, and living a sedentary lifestyle the calculator said I needed roughly 3,576 calories to maintain my weight of 344 pounds. If on any given day I had more than 3,576 calories, I’d gain weight. If I cut back a little and ate less than 3,576 calories, I’d lose weight.
Here are my current daily calorie needs with moderate physical activity:
Step 2. Subtract Calories From Your Day
Professionals like doctors, trainers, and nutritionists recommend that you should aim to safely lose 1-2 pounds a week. One pound lost equals 3,500 calories. That means to lose one pound this week you would subtract 500 calories from your daily calorie intake (500 x 7 days).
It’s really that simple.
So, if you ate 500 less calories than you needed every day you’d lose 4 pounds a month and 48 pounds over the next year. I obviously lost pounds at a much greater rate, so my calorie deficit was much, much greater. It’s not generally recommended by professionals, but I simply found it hard to continue consuming so many calories on a daily basis once I started my healthy lifestyle.
I’ll leave it up to you to figure out how many calories to consume. A word of caution, though: don’t assume following really low-calorie diets are good for you, because they’ll end up being counteractive. Not only that, they’ll completely suck the energy out of you and are generally unhealthy. I don’t know the exact numbers, I’m just some guy with a blog on the internet, but a “low” amount of calories is considered around the 1,300 range or below.
Step 3. Burn Calories
If you’re not eating healthy, no amount of exercise or physical activity will replace a healthy lifestyle. With that being said, if you increase your physical activity you’ll burn more calories during the day. If you play around with a BMR calculator you will see that increasing your amount of physical activity changes the amount of calories you need to maintain your current weight.
Adding regular, physical activity into your life not only make it easier to lose weight, but also allows you to throw a few extra hot wings on your plate without them sticking to you. That’s a good thing on game day.
Those are the steps. They are short, simple, and will leave you wanting more — but nothing else is coming. Before discovering the “secret” steps to lose weight above I had tried the same diets, meal plans, and fad machines that you’ve probably tried. A lot of money is spent to make us think we need all of those, when in fact these short three steps are all we have ever needed.
I discovered this last year on January 15th, weighing in at 344.2 pounds. And, nearly a year later, I’ve never been so confident that those three steps are the only way to lose weight and keep it off for good.
You might have questions, so I’ll try to beat you to the punch:
What food do I need to eat to lose weight?
There’s no set meal plan or any particular food you have to buy to lose weight. You can check out the type of food I eat by taking a look back at when I use to count calories on the blog.
How do I know how many calories something contains?
If you’re at the grocery store and buying something that comes in packaging you’ll be able to find the calories and nutritional information somewhere on the label. If it’s produce or something from the deli, a quick search in your favorite search engine will tell you how many calories it has. If you’re looking for calories in a banana, for example, just search for “calories in a banana.” You’ll find a myriad of websites telling you how many calories a banana contains — this is how I found out the large banana I eat daily is roughly 120 calories.
Eating in a restaurant is its own beast. Some restaurants post nutritional information online — it would behoove you to visit the restaurant’s website you plan on eating at later and finding something from the menu beforehand that is light in calories. If the restaurant doesn’t post nutritional information (not all do), another quick search in your favorite search engine will help you.
How long do I need to exercise? What type of exercises?
You need to make sure you’ve used more calories than you’ve eaten on any given day. You shouldn’t look at exercise as the primary weapon to losing weight — that’s your diet — you should look at exercise as a way to burn some extra calories, live healthy, and maintain a well-oiled machine of a body.
Do you want to lose pounds in 2010 and have questions about the steps you should take? Post them in the comments and I’d love to answer them.
Posted by Shawn Tyler Weeks on January 4th, 2010