In another post I told you that you need to keep a food journal in order to lose weight and I provided you with links to a number of free online journals (including some journals with nifty iPhone/iPod Touch companion apps). And since you ‘re completely awesomesauce you ‘ve been doing that right?
Then I got to thinking … I forgot to tell you HOW MUCH to eat. It ‘s wonderful to know what you ‘re eating, but writing and recording all of the foods you ‘re eating doesn ‘t make you lose weight if the foods you ‘re eating have too many or too few calories.
When it comes to losing weight there ‘s a magic number of calories you need to consume. Eat too many and you gain weight, eat too few and you gain weight. Yes ” that seems counter intuitive doesn ‘t it? If you eat too few calories you gain weight. Why? It ‘s a rather complicated process, the main idea is that the body adapts to that and your metabolism slows down, your body stores calories in the form of fat because it thinks it ‘s starving and it has no idea when it ‘s going to get more calories.
So how do you know what your body ‘s magic number is?
To lose weight you need to consume less calories than your body’s basic needs, but not too many less. You should strive to lose weight slowly and not consume less than 85% of your daily equilibrium calorie needs. This is to avoid illness, and because if you eat less than this, your body goes into starvation mode, your metabolism slows down, and your rate of weight loss decreases.
The best approach to estimating how fast you should be losing weight is:
- decide how much exercise you realistically intend to do per week;
- estimate your equilibrium daily calorie requirement at that level of exercise, given your current bodyweight;
- work out how many calories a day you need to eat to lose weight without consuming less than 85% of your daily needs or losing more than 500g a week.