The Math in Losing Weight

Posted by Merritt Athletic Clubs

Dec 27, 2016

bigstock-Holiday-Dieting-3889044.jpgLosing weight is the goal of nearly everyone at one time or another: we’re a weight obsessed society. Whether you want to shed 5 pounds after the holidays or need to lose 50 to maintain your health, chances are you want to know the best way to do it.

The key thing to remember is that, while weight loss may seem difficult, it’s actually simple.

Why? You can think of it as a mathematical formula. One pound equals 3,500 calories. So, to lose 2 pounds in a week, you’d have to make sure you burned up 7,000 more calories than you ate. To enjoy a steady 1 pound a week weight loss, you’d have to make sure you used 3,500 calories more than you took in.

The average person can lose weight by eating no more than 1,200 to 1,800 calories a day. That shaves at least 300 to 500 calories a day off the intake of most people. You can count calories easily with the help of online fitness tools like My Fitness Pal or FitBit. One tried and true method is to simply substitute a lower calorie food for your usual. Do you usually have a muffin for breakfast? Have 1 slice of toast instead. Heavy on the salad dressing at lunch? Get low cal—and double up on the vegetables. Eat 3-5 servings of vegetables a day, 3 servings of bread or starch, and 3 servings of low calorie protein (turkey, cottage cheese, fish rather than steak or cheese).

Exercise is a key part of this, of course. Once you have controlled your eating, exercise is the driver of your weight loss. The number of calories expended while exercising depends on your weight. However, a stair treadmill burns 657-981 per hour. Swimming burns 423-632 calories per hour. Running an 8-minute mile uses up 861-1,286 calories.

Simple. Eat less; exercise more: you road to a slimmer self. It's also the road to a more healthy lifestyle.

Contact us to discuss an exercise program.

Topics: weightloss, holiday fitness