As you may be well aware of if you’re overweight, your body doesn’t expend every calorie as energy – not all of them burn off. Leftover calories, the ones your body doesn’t need, are stored in your body… eventually becoming unsightly and unwanted fat!
The average human body will use upwards of 75% of calories for bodily functions, like: digesting food, purifying the blood, allowing for brain activity and heartbeat, maintaining body temperature, etc.
The remaining calories stored may be burned off before becoming body fat if you’re an active person.
The rule: Burning off more calories than you ingest will equal weight loss.
The reality: Simply cutting back by a few calories will not allow your body to significantly burn energy reserves—fat—and cause you to lose weight.
Using Calories to Lose Weight
Now, let’s speak about how to use calories to lose weight. First, you have to know how many calories you’re ingesting. A moderately active person should be ingesting around 13x calories per pound. So if you weigh 160 pounds, you should be looking at around 2,000 calories (just a further explanation of the aforementioned ‘average’).
For reduction, the proper amount of calories left out in order to actually lose weight should be around 500.
You want to take a day or two and eat as you normally would. Except now, you’re going to count your calories. Leave out desserts and any type of treats that you wouldn’t eat every day. Simply take a count of your entire menu and come up with your calorie number
Let’s say you’re ingesting 2,200 calories per day and want to lose weight. You could drop down to 1,200, cutting by 1,000, but you may find yourself too weak to even get out of bed in the morning. Unfortunately, your body is just used to too many calories – it needs them.
Instead, drop by small amount (500 calories), exercise properly and adhere to your new diet. Your body will dip into its energy reserves to make up the difference.
As your overall body weight begins to drop, you can begin to reset your calorie intake. As you become smaller, you will need fewer calories; if you’re still looking to drop weight after that, you can decrease further.
The idea: you don’t want to deprive yourself – you just want to cut back on calories significantly enough that you’re able to lose weight. It will be different for everyone, but 500 fewer calories to lose weight is a safe formula.