In today’s society, everyone nitpicks their bodies, comparing themselves to Instagram influencers or the people they see on TV. We follow countless diets and run for miles on the treadmill, but don’t see long-term success. What if I told you that weight loss is not as complicated as you think? Here are 5 facts about weight loss that I wish I knew when I started my fitness journey.
One, the most important factor in weight loss is being in a caloric deficit. This means that you are eating less calories than you a burning. Everybody burns a different number of calories depending on height, weight, age, activity level, etc. The easiest way to calculate how many calories you need to lose weight, without seeing a registered dietitian or a nutritionist, is to use an online calorie calculator. There are plenty out there, but the one that I have used is at gainsbybrains.com I think this calculator is great because it gives you macros as well!
Two, weight loss takes a lot longer than you think. On average, a person can lose between 0.5 to 2lbs per week. The longer that you are on your weight loss journey, the harder it is to lose weight, especially when your goal changes from losing ‘weight’ to losing ‘fat.’ This topic may be a little too complicated to explain in this short article so bottom line: stop expecting immediate results. Prioritize progress over perfection and one day, you will look back and be thankful for the journey.
Three, don’t give 100% on week one. In order to lose weight, you need to be exerting more energy than you are consuming. Overtime, our bodies adjust to our caloric deficits and then we need to lower our intake and up our activity levels even more. If you run two miles on the treadmill and drop your calories to 1,200 on the first day, in a few months, where else are you going to go? Start in a small deficit and slowly increase your activity level in order to continue weight loss when you have hit a plateau.
Four, no one food will make you fat or skinny. As mentioned above, being in a caloric deficit is the most important factor in weight loss. Cutting carbs or fried food is not a guarantee that you will lose weight. Instead of making yourself miserable, try to eat foods that make you feel good and make you happy. Eating an unsustainable diet will only make it harder to maintain.
Five, don’t compare your journey to anyone else’s. What might work for your favorite fitness influencer might not work for you and that’s okay. Stop comparing your chapter one to someone else’s chapter ten. You do not know how long they have been on their own fitness journey: it could be five years or ten. You will have days where you can see results and you will have days where you feel like you are back at square one. Take it one day at a time and you will achieve your goals!