Diet is the most important aspect of the weight loss process. The word diet is haunting and usually associated with negative feelings for many people.
However, going on a diet does not have to be a treacherous experience. If it is done the right way, it can be an enjoyable and rewarding process. By educating yourself on healthy ways to lose weight, the word DIET can be associated with a new beginning! Are you ready to learn more about diets?
Basal Metabolic Rate
You can exercise day and night but if you continue to eat more than your body needs, you will not lose body fat. We tend to forget that food is not just for our enjoyment but also to provide our body fuel. Every person based on their individual characteristics such as gender, height, weight, and daily activity level has a specific amount of fuel or calories their body needs daily in order to run, which is called the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). Basically, if you lay in bed all day and do nothing, your BMR is the amount of calories you will burn. You can find your individual BMR by clicking here.
Total Daily Calories Needed
Considering the average person does not lay in bed all day long, BMR is not an accurate indication of how many calories we burn a day. Once you determine your BMR, you can use the Harris Benedict Formula to determine the Total Daily Calorie you burn a day based on your activity level.
Harris Benedict Formula
Total Daily Calorie = BMR x Activity Factor
- Sedentary (little or no exercise) = 1.2
- Lightly Active (light exercise/ sports 1-3 days/week) = 1.375
- Moderately Active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/week) = 1.55
- Very Active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days a week) = 1.725
- Extra Active (very hard exercise/sports and physical job or 2 a day workouts) = 1.9
Keeping Track with Technology
Nowadays, keeping track of how many calories you burn a day could not be easier. Technology provides us with the luxury of wrist devices such as the Fitbit. I personally recommend purchasing a Fitbit or another calorie tracking device because it is an easy way to keep track of your daily activity level without having to consciously think about it throughout the day.
To Lose Weight
In order to lose weight, you need to consume less calories than you burned that day. If you burned 2000 calories and consumed 1500 calories, you would have a deficit of 500 calories. Your body would use your body fat to fill the deficit to fuel your body. In order to lose 1 pound of body fat, you need to burn 3,500 calories.
Kimmi Dao, PT, DPT, CSCS
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