Americans spend billions of dollars a year on various weight loss products, yet almost 40% of adults in the country are obese. This is in part because, while some of these products can be helpful, many of them are downright scams.
Weight loss isn’t as hard as the billion-dollar weight loss industry would have you believe. In fact, by knowing the science behind weight loss and making a few lifestyle changes, you’ll be on the way to your goal weight in no time.
To learn everything you need to know about how to actually lose weight, keep reading!
The Science Behind Weight Loss is Simple
Weight loss isn’t easy, but it is simple. There are no hidden secrets or magic tricks, it all comes down to the science of weight loss. More specifically, your energy balance.
Most weight loss comes down to the energy balance equation: your calorie intake minus your calorie output. If the answer is a positive number, you’ll gain weight. If it’s a negative, you’ll lose weight.
It truly is that simple.
The best way to calculate your calorie intake is to count the calories you consume in a day. There are a variety of free apps available to help you do this, but be sure you count them all, including calories from drinks.
Calculating your calorie output is a little more complicated. First, you need to determine your basal metabolic rate (BMR). For an average person, BMR will make up 60-75% of calories burned in a day.
The BMR equation is somewhat complex, but don’t worry. You can find many BMR calculators that are free of charge with a quick internet search.
The last 25-40% of your energy expenditure comes from physical activity. Once again, use technology to help you! Input any physical activity you do into a weight loss app or website and it will give you the approximate number of calories you burned doing it.
Tips for Weight Loss
Now that we’ve discussed the science behind weight loss, let’s get into some ways to lose weight that actually work. As we mentioned above, your main obstacle is going to be nutrition. After you have that down, the rest should be a breeze!
Improve Your Diet
It’s almost impossible to overeat if you’re eating whole, nutrient-dense foods. Think of it this way, you would have to eat over three cups of broccoli before you hit 100 calories and would likely become full long before you finished.
On the other hand, one store-bought cookie contains about 100 calories, and obviously, you can’t satisfy hunger with one cookie.
That’s not to say that any of your meals should contain so few calories as 100, but it should give you some perspective on how much of an impact food choices can make.
It’s best to cut junk food out of your diet entirely, especially sodas and other sugary drinks. Build your diet around fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins. Mix in some healthy fats and carbohydrates and you have a recipe for weight loss!
If you’re concerned that you aren’t getting all of your vitamins and minerals through your diet, supplements such as those from Truvy Weight Loss can be a huge help.
If you’re eating a highly nutritious diet, counting calories is almost unnecessary. However, it can be helpful when you’re first getting started understanding weight loss.
This is where weight loss apps come in handy, but after a while, you won’t need an app—you’ll just know!
Remember to keep track of everything you’re consuming, including drinks. Although for the fastest results, you should stick to water, tea, and coffee. Sodas and sports drinks are absolutely loaded with calories and sugar and do nothing to satisfy hunger.
Get More Physical Activity
While diet is 90% of the battle, going that extra 10% with exercise will not only improve your results but make you look and feel a thousand times better.
Aim for a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week. When you participate in moderate-intensity exercise, you’re burning three to six times more calories per minute than you would be sitting still!
Don’t feel pressured to go out and buy an expensive gym membership. Physical activity is anything that gets your body moving and your heart rate up. Spend an hour at the park with your children, take an evening bike ride, or swim a few laps in the neighborhood pool.
Choose activities that you look forward to doing each day. You’ll have fun, relieve stress, and lose weight all at the same time! Not to mention, if you view physical activity as a treat rather than a chore, you’re much more likely to stick to your new routine.
So many of us undervalue a good night’s sleep. “Sleep when you’re dead” might seem like a motivating mantra, but is actually extremely harmful to your health. Lack of sleep can lead to a variety of health problems, including obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
According to the Sleep Foundation, adults between the ages of 26 and 64 need between 7 and 9 hours of good quality sleep per night. This doesn’t mean lying in bed for a total of 8 hours, it means sleeping soundly.
If you find that you struggle to fall asleep, adjust your nighttime routine. Stop drinking caffeine in the early afternoon and put away any electronics an hour or two before bed. Instead of scrolling your phone at night, take a hot bath, read a book, or practice meditation.
Begin Your Weight Loss Journey Today
Getting to a healthy weight can feel impossible, and unfortunately, there’s no overnight solution. If you use the science behind weight loss and a little bit of hard work, you’ll be amazed by how quickly the pounds come off!
Remember, focus on calories and nutrition first. Then, as you’re creating a healthy diet for yourself, make an effort to get moving for at least a few minutes every day.
Looking for more health and fitness tips? Check out our blog!