Drinking miracle coffee or necking juice plus? Or maybe you joined a group such as slimming world or weight watchers?? Please (with a cherry on top) stop wasting your money.
All of the above hide a simple common denominator in the form of a calorie deficit, simply put you eat less than what you output. Or in a easier format, you've earn £50 but spend £55 taking you overdrawn and viola you lose money or in this term weight. I'm not going to say lose fat as you can't pick and chose what you lose, if you're in a calorie deficit chances are you will lose muscle mass too, this is where nutrition comes into it too, as if your protein intake is adequate then your muscle loss will be minimal, but we'll get to that another time.
For today I want to teach you the basics. Firstly you need to workout your BMR (basal metabolic rate). You use energy no matter what you're doing, even when sleeping. This BMR calculation will calculate your basal metabolic rate; the number of calories you'd burn off if you were to stay in bed all day.
If you've noticed that every year, it becomes harder to eat whatever you want and stay slim, this is because your BMR decreases as you age. Likewise depriving yourself of food in hopes of losing weight also decreases you BMR. However, a regular routine of cardiovascular exercise can increase your BMR, improving your health and fitness when your body's ability to burn energy gradually slows down. Once you know your BMR, you can calculate your daily calorie needs based on your fitness level.
Here's a couple of ways to work out your BMR...
An easy way is to find out your weight in pounds and multiply it by 10.
So a 150lb woman would do this (150 x 10 = 1500 calories)
another way is this...
Multiply bodyweight in Kg by 24.2 (males) or 22 (females)
So 150lb is 68kg and you would do this (68 x 22 = 1496)
So as you can see above both ways work out nearly exactly the same, I personally prefer working in lbs but it's totally down to your personal preference how you do it.
These are perfect base numbers to start at if you're just starting out trying to lose weight but you'll probably find the more active you become the more calories you will need. You'll need to multiply your calorie needs you've just worked out by one of the figures below, depending on which category you fall into.
Lightly active = BMR x 1.3
Moderately active = BMR x 1.5
Very active = BMR x 1.7
So you now have an idea of what your daily calorie intake should be. I highly recommend downloading a food diary app, my personal favourite is Myfitnesspal, I've been using this app for a few years now and find it fantastic for a free app, and excellent value for money if you also upgrade to premium.
A calorie counting diet allows for extremely flexible dieting. Basically you can eat whatever the fock you want. You want the cake, eat it. You want pancakes and ice cream for breakfast go for it. Want a few drinks on the weekend and a kebab at the end of the night? Gooooooo gurl!!
Just make sure you log all the foods you've eaten on the app and don't go over your daily BMR. Winning.
Another piece of advise is this, if you know you like to have a blow out on the weekend and a few drinks try this...
For example if your daily calorie allowance is 1500, try working towards 1300 calories sunday-fri that gives you an extra 1200 calories to play with on the saturday night on the town with the girls.
Do not weigh yourself more than once a week!!! If you know saturday is going to be your blowout day after the week, don't be a dick and weigh yourself sunday morning as the scales will not be your friend after a blow out. Weigh yourself instead on a saturday morning before your blowout after a good week of sticking to your allowance.
I will go into more depth about flexible dieting and macronutrients in future blogs, but all the above is your bog standard starting line. If you have any questions or need any future help or advise, pop me a comment below or drop me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org
Hope this helps, much love, Steph TWL xxx