Many people believe that calorie control and weight loss are very difficult feats that can be achieved only through staunch self discipline and through super-human efforts. This is not the case – in fact, losing calories and losing weight can be a simple process if you approach it in the right way.
To lose calories and weight, the first step is to understand exactly what you need to do.
Steps to Lose Calories and Weight
The One Crucial Thing You Need to Do
The simplest way to lose weight is to focus on the fact that calories lost equal the calories you are putting in your body minus the calories you are burning everyday. This is the only thing you need to know to lose weight.
The calories you take in, come from the food you eat while the calories you burn, get used up through exercise and movement. To lose weight, you can do either of two things. You can either cut down heavily on your calorie intake or, you can maintain the same calorie intake and increase how much you exercise everyday.
I have myself lost weight and lost a large number of calories by keeping my diet intact and exercising more – and I would recommend that over simply cutting down on your diet. The reason is that cutting down on your diet reduces the amount of required nutrients you need to get – like proteins, fibre, different vitamins etc. Also, it can be very difficult to restrain yourself from eating more – all of a sudden. Exercising on the other hand, is an activity that can even become enjoyable in the long run and it can help you lose calories without any reduction in your diet.
Keep Food Intake the Same and Exercise
Choose an exercise routine that is easy to implement – something that won’t result in a radical change in your lifestyle. When I first started exercising, I chose to perform complicated exercise routines for half an hour everyday for the next four weeks. I gave up in the first week itself, because it was very tough for me to change my lifestyle so drastically, so suddenly. Later, I switched to the simple routine of taking a walk for twenty minutes everyday – and that simple act has helped me lose a considerable amount of weight over in a span of some weeks.
What I mean to say is – that you shouldn’t initially be worried about losing a large amount of calories everyday. Instead, be focused on losing a small amount of calories every single day for the next four weeks, consistently. If you lose just 100 extra kilo calories a day, you will end up losing 36, 500 extra kilo calories in a year – and that means you will lose a considerable amount of weight!
Some examples of exercise routines are walking, jogging, running, or playing a sport like baseball, cricket, tennis or football. When you first start exercising, you may feel uncomfortable for a day or two. However, after a few days, exercise will actually become quite enjoyable and you may even start feeling the ‘need’ to exercise everyday. Scientists say that this is because exercise leads to the production of a chemical in the brain called dopamine which gives us a pleasant sensation after exercising.
Do make sure however, that you perform whatever exercise routine you choose, every single day for the next 4 weeks. Consistency is what will help you lose weight, not quick bursts.
The Urge to Eat More
As you start exercising more everyday, you will inevitably feel the urge to eat more than you usually do. This is natural and some people who exercise end up even increasing their weight because they start eating more after exercising more. A friend of mine told me that after a few weeks of exercise, he actually noticed a gain in weight because he would succumb to eating fatty foods after coming back from his exercise session.
You need to take a lot of care to ensure that you eat just as much after starting your exercise schedule as you eat now. This will require a bit of self discipline but it should not be very difficult because you are not cutting down on what you eat. You are simply maintaining your diet.
Slowly Increase Your Time of Exercise
As you get used to exercising for a small amount of time everyday, raise your bar and increase the time you exercise for, after 4 weeks. When I first started exercising, I just started with a resolve to walk for 20 minutes everyday. Then, after I had walked for 20 minutes for more than 4 weeks, I raised the bar and decided to walk for 30 minutes everyday. This process might seem to be too slow for you – and you might want to exercise intensely to lose a lot of weight in a week. That is not sustainable in the long run.
You need not necessarily start by walking everyday. You can start by performing higher intensity exercises than walking, but do make sure that you start small and then gradually scale up. After 4 weeks of following a certain exercise pattern, increase the intensity of the exercise or the time of exercise. After the next 4 weeks, change the exercise again. Gradually, you will get used to performing high intensity exercises for a long period of time everyday.
Track Calories and Weight
To stay motivated ever day, measure your weight and track the number of calories burnt through exercise everyday. There are a large number of calorie counting websites that tell you how many calories, how many minutes of a certain exercise will help you lose. Time your exercises and count the number of calories lost. Similarly, measure your weight every day to see how much you have lost during the day.
Keep a journal where you can record the number of calories burnt and the amount of weight lost everyday. If you use an Excel sheet on your computer to record calories and weight lost, you can even plot graphs and have a good time seeing how you have improved over time.
As you can see, losing calories to lose weight is simply a matter of balancing calories burnt with calories consumed. Keep the calories consumed the same, burn more calories and track what you burn. Within a short span of time you will be surprised at how easy weight loss can be!