Tuesday, January 18, 2011

My Fat Secret to Weight Loss

     Last year after the Superbowl, I decided to challenge myself to lose 30 pounds. Not that I was huge, but I could afford to lose a little weight as most of us could/can. I started my program Feb. 2, 2010 and met my goal April 5, 2010. I  ate what I wanted when I wanted (This includes Red Velvet cupcakes!). A year later (present), I have managed to keep the weight off and subdued. Friends that have not seen me in a while often ask what did I do to lose the weight. I would LOVE nothing better than to give them some great diet fad someone made up, however I didn't follow a diet trend or fad. Instead I used my common sense (below) and a little Fat Secret. 
  •      Your body is like a car. To get somewhere the car needs fuel. Same with the body. If you want to get somewhere or do something your body needs fuel. Food = Fuel. The problem most of us have is filling the gas tank up until it overflows. Just like the mess the fuel leaves on your car, food leaves the mess on your gut, thighs, neck, or butt. 
  •      Your body's like a bank. A bank allows you to deposit money and withdraw money. Your body acts much the same, but instead of money, it's calories. To MAINTAIN  your account at the bank you need to keep "X" amount of money in the account.  When bills are due money will be coming out. Knowing this you have to deposit more money to maintain the desired balance. When applying this to the body it's pretty much the same. To MAINTAIN your current weight you have to consume "X" amount of food. Unlike the bank account though, we tend to borrow from China to fill our account/belly with a National Debt sized surplus.
     For example: I am 29 years old. 6' 1" and weigh 163 lbs and live an "active lifestyle".  To MAINTAIN this weight I must consume 3,100 calories and stay active. Staying active allows me to eat and burn the fuel needed. This works the exact opposite if I consume the same calories but burn less being less active.
     If I only slept and rested all day, my body would consume roughly 1,800 calories to keep me alive. (That's right, your body keeps working even when you don't.) If I ate the recommended 3,100 calories and only burned 1,800, I would have a surplus of 1,300  calories that would have to be stored somewhere since it's not being used. Now if I did this for one week (7 days), my surplus of extra fuel/money/fat would reach 9,100 calories = 2.6 lbs (1lb fat is roughly 3,500 calories). This excess would bring my weight to 165.6lbs. Not what you want, unless your goal is to put on weight.
     Next, say I want to lose weight at 163 lbs. In order to do this I must consume less calories than would be needed to maintain 163 lbs. For example if I was looking to shed about a pound a week I would need to have a calorie target of about 2,600.The key to knowing this less calorie technique now is to NOT starve yourself. If you cut too many calories and begin to starve yourself your body pretty much goes into storage mode. It starts keeping anything you eat, because it doesn't know when it will get fuel/food again. 
     You need to calculate what would be an adequate and safe amount of calories to cut from your diet. For example to lose about a pound a week at 163lbs my calorie goal would be to consume at/around 2600 calories a week. This should allow for about a pound of weight loss by the end of the week if I keep a moderately *active lifestyle. 
     So....where did I get my calculations? There are tons of diet and calorie calculators out there and on the internet. My choice... Fat Secret. Fatsecret.com is FREE and they offer TONS of neat features and even communities if you want to do a group weight loss thing. You have the choice to keep all of your information private or let others see what your eating habits are like. The tool will keep you honest, and it uses safe calculations to allow for safe weight loss. Hit the link to check it out. 

Keys to Weight Loss  Goal - Plan - Motivation
Set an achievable GOAL. Implement a PLAN to meet your goal. And most important, you must have MOTIVATION. Without motivation, you wont stick to your plan, meaning you will not meet your goal. Out of the three keys, the most important is motivation. Until you establish this, expect nothing to happen. Use the Fatsecret tools your advantage and be consistant with your input. Even when you really don't want to put in your calorie info... do it anyway. I recommend to do it everyday until you obtain your goal. Once you meet your goal you can continue or you can ease off. By this time you will have learned what you can and can't have to maintain. Lastly, CHEAT! Have a set cheat day once a week. Eat, drink, and be merry for one day out of the week. You deserve it! I'll get off my soap box now. Thanks for your time if you made it this far! 

Disclaimer: This is not a diet program, this is what worked for me. Everyone is different and should consult your physician before starting any weight loss program.   

*Active lifestyle – minimal sitting and/or resting and may work in an environment requiring standing and/or some physical work. Regularly perform moderate exercise, such as dancing, brisk walking or swimming.

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