The ONLY Reason You Aren't LOSING WEIGHT (or fat)!
Fat loss. Weight loss. Tone up. Get shredded. Those are the things that people want for the summer, right? But how do we do it?? There’s a lot of health & fitness misinformation in the world. Half-truths and myths often work their way into mainstream media, creating the next fitness trend or craze that may not actually be that effective. But here, I want to answer and clarify perhaps one of the biggest, yet simplest, fitness questions out there: How do I lose weight?
The answer is extremely simple--you probably already know it but just haven’t really considered it. But yo, check this out. There is only ONE way to LOSE WEIGHT, and this is it:
You MUST consume fewer calories than you burn.
Let that sink in. Seriously. Pause for a moment. Read this again. You have to eat less than you burn, also known as a caloric deficit.
The body functions on calories--our units of energy that come from what we consume. Depending on our bodies, age, gender, lifestyle, and other factors, we need different amounts of calories. There are two important caloric numbers that you need to know if you want to lose weight. Here’s the first one:
Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR): Your BMR is the amount of calories that your body needs to maintain and perform it’s life-sustaining functions (like breathing, heartbeat, etc). If you sat and did NOTHING all day, your BMR is how many calories you would burn.
Of course, most of us don’t just sit down and do nothing all day. Some of us go to work or internships, take our dogs for walks, go to school or the gym, and everything else in our lives. These activities require additional calories to perform, so in addition to our BMR, we also need calories to do our daily activities. That’s our second number:
Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE): Your TDEE is the total number of calories you need per day to perform all of your activities and bodily functions.
So, now that we know what these two numbers are, we’re going to use them to lose weight. But first, we’ll define one more term:
Caloric Balance: Your caloric balance is how many calories you consume vs how many calories you burn.
As such, a caloric deficit is when we eat fewer calories than we burn. Caloric maintenance is when we consume (roughly) the same number of calories that we burn. And a caloric surplus is when we consume more calories than we burn.
As I mentioned, if we want to lose weight, we must be in a caloric deficit. That is the only thing that matters. If we’re at caloric maintenance, we won’t lose weight. We are supplying our bodies with enough calories to maintain and do all of our activities. If we are in a caloric surplus, we are providing our bodies with more calories than we need to maintain and do all of our activities. This will result in weight gain (good or bad). This means that if we provide our bodies with fewer calories than they need to perform our activities and maintain, our bodies will break down their own stores for energy (preferably fat), which is how we lose weight.
No matter what diet or new exercise routine you might try, the absolute most important factor is if you are burning more calories than you consume. Whatever your health and fitness goals are (maintenance, weight gain, or weight loss), success will come from your caloric balance.
Now you probably want to know how to calculate your own TDEE! I’ve included some links to do so below. BUT, these calculators are based on different methods and formulas. Each one isn’t going to be 100% accurate, but they aren’t bad places to start. If you really want an accurate measure of your TDEE, weigh yourself week to week and figure out if you’re gaining, losing, or maintaining weight with a specific caloric intake. If you aren’t losing, eat less. If you’re not gaining, eat more. If nothing is happening and that’s what you want, then you’re good! Be patient and see what works for you!
Be Greater, fit fam.
- Khalil Jones
For more info on caloric balance! https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/calories/index.html