Most people are likely to start a weight loss plan in the new year. However, most of the time, their goal appears again in the next year — because they failed to do so, or have never started at all. What makes weight loss appear so difficult is that people think you require a lot of willpower to achieve it. In fact, it doesn’t need to be.
Hi, tough soul. I’m Alyssa.
These are the exact steps for you to start your weight loss plan. Have your full gear on? Then let’s get started.
Step 1: The Only One Principle for Weight Loss
In weight management, calorie is the king.
Most people think that to change their desired weight they need to eat less processed food, start exercise, ban supper, and so on to get their desired weight. Of course, these changes are good for your health and it’s best to practice them. But if we talk just about weight loss or weight gain specifically, it’s only the calories that matter.
There is only one rule that determines whether you’ll gain weight or loss weight.
Expense > Calorie Consumed = Lose Weight
Expense < Calorie Consumed = Gain Weight
Expense Similar to Calorie Consumed = Maintain
Under normal circumstances, we remain at the same weight all the time because we are eating close to our maintenance calories. When you eat more than your TDEE, you’ll gain weight and vice versa.
Step 2: Find Out How Much You Expense
Use the TDEE calculator, but don’t trust it for 100%
One of the ways you can find out your TDEE is through the online calculator. This is the fastest way and will be helpful for those that have zero ideas of how they expend their energy throughout the day. HOWEVER, I need to tell you don’t fully trust the results of a calorie calculator, especially if you are a beginner.
The first reason is that the calorie calculator only served for reference purposes and is not accurate all the time. Especially if you are shorter or lighter, the calculation won’t give you a friendly answer. Like me, sometimes I get shocked by the results showing I only need 1200kcal per day (sob), of course, it’s not the case!
The second reason, is as these calorie calculators tend to show a lower calorie requirement for some people, it can lead someone that doesn’t have an eating disorder into one. For those that eat a lot, there will be a big gap between how much they currently eat and the recommended intake. As result, they cut down all the calories drastically. You probably could imagine what happens next, they ended up in the dieting cycle.
Try This Instead… Maintenance calories
For people that think formula calculation is less friendly to them like me. What I like to do is just to find out my current maintenance calories. Maintenance calories are the energy required for you to maintain your weight. If you had remained at the same weight over a period of time. Then this means you are currently eating near your TDEE so that your weight doesn’t change. Reversely thinking, thus we can know that the amount that you are currently eating will possibly be your TDEE.
To know your maintenance calories, observe how much you eat for a few days.
Do I mean food tracking? Yes. Although finding out your maintenance calories required more work, but you’ll get a more accurate answer based on your own eating pattern. It gives you a closer setback when you decide how much deficit to go. Instead of just cutting down all the calories suddenly because you don’t know where the threshold is, you can get a closer number therefore you don’t mess up everything.
Keep in mind that this method is suitable for those that had doesn’t have much weight change in the near 2 months, and have regular meals.
Step 2: Creating Deficit
If you wish to improve your physique, 70% of the work is done by diet, not exercise. You can have the best workout but still sees no result if you eat badly. In fact, exercise does little contribution to weight loss (no matter how hard your workout, you can only burn 10% of your TDEE at most).
What people mostly get wrong is that they added in exercise but didn’t improve their diet. I have an ‘err’ on it. Besides the effectiveness of exercise for weight loss, I’m not a big fan of relying on exercise as a weight loss tool.
Offset From Your Maintenance Calories Periodically
Instead of creating a huge deficit because you want to lose a lot of weight, we make it periodically.
What you need to do is to eat less than your current maintenance calories by roughly 150-200 kcal each day, and keep eating at that amount for some time. Until your weight had stable at a lower number for some time, then you can slowly introduce another 200kcal deficit.
Repeat the process and so on.
You might question the effectiveness of only creating a 200kcal deficit, but as long as you eat under your maintenance calories, you will see results. Remember you don’t need to go too much, just make it consistent.
Eat Better, Not Lesser
Two food of the same size might have a big difference in calories. Therefore, you still can create the deficit without feeling hungry all the time. Here are some ways you can create the 200kcal deficit without making an obvious difference on your plate.
Step 3: Stay Active
Some people stop here after reading the last section of my post. Stay on here! You should still stay an active lifestyle regardless of whether you wish to weight loss.
Although physical activity does not contribute much to weight loss, but that doesn’t mean it is not important to your health and fitness.
Your body is like a vehicle. Constantly moving it will make it able to use for a longer time. We all know someone that has a broken car because they never use it for a long time. That’s the same case for the human body.
Another good news for those that are physically active. You will have a higher metabolism because you have more lean mass than the others. In another word, your body will burn more calories at rest!
Step 4: Weekly Progress Check
Setting yourself a weekly benchmark can help you monitor how far are you going. To avoid your body leading into starvation or other negative impacts, it is best to target losing 5%~ 10% of your weight per week and not more than that.
If you’ve read through the post about the set point theory. You know that our body needs time to adapt to new things. The weekly progress check will tell you when your body had to get used to your current weight. It makes sure you’ll unlikely bounce back as you continue. Then you can move into the next stage of weight loss.
I usually don’t like to look at weight alone to track my progress. Because it’s unreliable and actually tells not much about do you actually lose fat. Sometimes, it might just be because of our daily weight fluctuation. So I usually prefer to take a waist measurement together when I weigh myself. Any increase or decrease in body fat will result in the waist measurement directly. And I can refer to the weight that time and get some idea of how I actually progress.
Let us grow together,