Another year in which thousands of us resolve to lose weight. Hands up if this isn’t the first time weight loss has been your New Year Resolution?
But what is the best way to lose weight? If we want to succeed at weight loss we really don’t want to choose the wrong method. We don’t want to be back again this time next year making resolutions to lose weight do we?
But why is there so much conflicting advice about weight loss? If obesity is the major health risk for the Western World, as we are told that it is, then why isn’t there a standard method of curing us? After all most other major health problems tend to have fairly standard treatments. So finding a diet that works can be very confusing.
How to Lose Weight
After many false starts I have finally discovered that what we were taught about weight loss is true; it s all about calories. There are some other factors but on the whole calories in being more or less equal to calories out is the answer to staying lean. Diets may prescribe various combinations of foods or even leave out whole food groups but the ones that reduce your weight are controlling calories, even if they do not say so. So theoretically all you need to lose weight is a calories counter.
You need to work out how many calories you need each day and check out all the foods you eat against that number. For a woman of average height 1200 – 1500 calories per day is about right. Here is a more precise way to calculate your calorie needs which I got from Facts About Fitness, Christian Finn’s brilliant membership only website.
“If you perform less than one hour of exercise each week, multiply your target body weight (in pounds) by 8. That’s how many calories you should consume daily. However, if you work out more than that, add one to the multiplier for every additional hour you train. So if your target body weight is 170 pounds and you exercise for 3 hours a week, you’d multiply 170 by 11 — giving you a target of 1870 calories a day.”
Double Your Weight Loss
In one of the longest running and largest weight loss studies ever conducted, Dr. Jack Hollis found that simply writing down the foods you eat encourages you to consume fewer calories, and that’s the key to losing weight. You don’t need expensive gym equipment or memberships to lose weight – you just need to keep track of what you eat. Keeping a food diary can double your weight loss.
“The more food records people kept, the more weight they lost. Those who kept daily food records lose twice as much weight as those who kept no records. It seems that the simple act of writing down what you eat encourages people to consume fewer calories.” Dr. Jack Hollis – Kaiser Permanente’s Center for Health Research
Tools For Calorie CountingMy Fitness Pal Calorie Counter
If you have an iPhone, iPod, Blackberry or Android, there is a great little app called ‘My Fitness Pal’ that holds the calories of just about any foods you can buy. It also lets you add new foods or just the calories if you know them, for foods that are missing.You can even add your own recipes.
If you haven’t got a Smart phone there is an online version of My Fitness Pal.
All you need to do is to fill in the calories you eat and the exercise you take each day. If you keep within your allowance then you will lose weight steadily.
Calorie counting isn’t cool or trendy but it is something that really works.