Starting on a weight loss journey can be one of the most rewarding times of your life or it can be one of the most difficult. How you choose to lose weight can determine how difficult it is. When you think about weight loss, odds are you think about calorie counting. Before you start counting every calorie, here is what you need to know about the reality of it.
Learning the Science Behind Calorie Counting
Calories are the measure of energy within an item of food. The calories in your food and drink combine with oxygen in your body and release energy. Even at rest, your body consumes energy for its functions. You need calories to breathe, to grow, circulate blood and repair your cells. How your body burns them is dependant on three factors:
- Body size
On average, men burn more than women because they have less body fat and more muscle composition. Larger individuals burn more at rest than smaller people. Then, as you grow older, your body burns fewer calories because your fat composition increases while your muscle composition decreases.
Many people talk about calories for weight loss, but how many do you have to consume for weight loss?
A general rule is if you reduce your calorie intake daily by 500 fewer than what you need to maintain your weight, you can lose about one kilo per month.
Now everybody is different which includes, body shape, starting weight and metabolism so we recommend if you are going to track calories that you use app’s like My Fitness Pal to set your personal goals & progress.
On average women between the ages of 26 and 50 require about 2,000 calories per day just to operate normal bodily functions, if moderately active. To lose weight women may need to consume around 1500 per day depending on their goals and size. When you mix in light or moderate exercise (walking, bike riding or sports etc) you will need to consume around 2,200 or more to maintain their weight and eat around 1,700 to continue to lose weight.
Women over 50 generally require fewer calories but nutrients like Protein become very important later in life. They may need about 1,800 per day to maintain their weight and 1,300 calories per day to lose weight. But to reinforce, everyone is vastly different and their calorie intake will be dependent on many personal factors.
What we are really trying to say is that if you eat fewer calories per day (calorie deficit) your body will burn the stored fat into energy to operate which equals weight loss and more specifically fat loss.
But won’t I be more hungry? Not if you eat the right foods that are high in protein with all the nutritional goodness your body needs instead of highly processed empty calorie foods, which brings us to our next point.
Separating Good vs Bad Calories
Calories are not created equally. While the rule calories in and calories out is true of weight loss, it is also a little more complex than that. The difference between calories can make a difference in how you feel, how much energy you have and whether you feel satisfied.
You cannot survive on calories alone. Your body requires nutrients from your food. If you only eat highly processed or sugary foods with very little nutritional value but keep it under your calorie goal, you will lose weight. However, you will also suffer from nutritional deficiencies.
For example, oatmeal only has about 148 calories, but it is full of protein and fibre can make you feel satisfied for longer. Not only do you receive health benefits, but you may also feel less hungry for another meal than you would after consuming a bowl of dry sugar-filled cereal. If you compare a handful of almonds to a handful of candy, almonds may have fewer calories and more nutrients, while candy has no nutrients.
Good calories nourish your body. They provide you with energy, vitamins and nutrients. Empty calories are normally associated with junk food, soft drinks and fast food. You can reduce your bad calorie intake simply by making more mindful choices and eating empty calorie foods in moderation.
Debunking the Need for Calorie Counting
If you want to lose weight, you don’t have to count calories. There we said it!
We understand that time is precious and you don’t have to go through the struggle of monitoring every piece of food you put in your mouth. You do not have to measure your food by the gram or feel guilty when you eat more than your recommended calories for the day. You cannot know your basal metabolic rate or how much your body burns every day. You also don’t know how many calories your body absorbs.
Instead, you can lose weight by being mindful of what you eat. Focus on nutrients and what your body requires to nourish them, rather than the calorie intake. When you focus on whole foods, you are more likely to lose weight.
Your weight loss journey should represent your lifestyle, your tastes and ultimately, your choices. You do not have to panic over your calorie intake or painstakingly count calories.
Now everyone is different and if you have the discipline to count calories and that works for you then great! We can’t stress enough to find what works for you as an individual.
However, the beauty of The Lady Shake Progam is that we take out the hard work of thinking about what you eat, as each shake is only 204 calories but it will keep you full and it’s PACKED with all the nutrients, vitamins and minerals your body needs while consuming fewer calories.
Essentially allowing you to eat the foods you love (in moderation) and still lose weight.