The Math of Weight Loss

Losing weight is really simple math. One pound of fat equals 3500 calories. Cut 500 calories a day out of your diet and you’ll lose a pound a week. Easy right? Well, yes and no. The fact is, it’s really easy to lose weight. But it’s also really easy to sabotage yourself.

I lost 25 pounds in 2 months. I didn’t change my exercise routine. I didn’t start doing more or less cardio. I just changed my diet. In fact, all I did was count my calories. I got myself a Bodybugg and figured out exactly how many calories my body burns every day. Most days I burn between 3200 and 3800 calories. I figured I burn an average of 3500 calories a day.  You don’t need a Bodybugg to do this.  Just figure out what your Base Metablic Rate is using any one of the many online calculators.

I set up my diet so that I would consume 2000 – 2500 calories a day across 6 meals. That’s about 300 – 500 calories per meal. I gave myself a range of flexibility so that I could maintain my sanity.

The results I got were exactly what the math suggested they would be:

Daily caloric deficit = 3,500 – 2,000 = 1,500 calories
Time on diet = 60 days
Total calories burned = 60 days x 1,500 = 90,000 calories
Total pounds of fat burned = 90,000 / 3500 = 25.7

Of course it’s not quite that simple if you start factoring in body fat percentage and actual fat loss. If you’re just trying to lose weight in a healthy and sustainable way, this is the most effective diet there is – it’s called common sense. Eat healthy, count your calories. I cannot stress how important counting your calories is. I had a rule: if I couldn’t figure out how many calories were in something, I couldn’t eat it. If you’re in a restaurant or preparing something that is so complicated you can’t figure out what its nutritional value is, it’s probably not going to help your diet. Nothing will make you lose weight faster than being aware of every single thing you’re putting in your body. That awareness is what prevents diet sabotage, specifically, eating snacks on the side that completely negate your diet.

Eating healthy is actually pretty simple. Drink at least a gallon of water a day and try to eat six times a day. My diet consisted of foods low in sugar and low in fat, with an emphasis on complex carbs and protein. Avoid fried foods and sugary sodas. When you eat, try to pick food from the following groups, always making sure to include at least one item from protein and one from starchy carbs or vegetables.

lean pork
lean cuts of beef
cottage cheese

Starchy carbs:
brown rice
whole wheat pasta
whole wheat bread

any sort of green leafy stuff

Good snacks:
grilled chicken breast
lean cold cuts

Add for flavor and texture:
light soymilk
plain yogurt

Before (4/4/2009)
Before (4/4/2009)
After (5/27/2009)
After (5/27/2009)

9 thoughts on “The Math of Weight Loss”

  1. Thanks for taking the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love learning more on this topic. If possible, as you gain expertise, would you mind updating your blog with more information? It is extremely helpful for me.I think you should try Colon Cleanse atleast once

  2. In the end, all you need is a healthy lifestyle, which not only helps you lose weight, but also helps you escape from various diseases, like cancer or others. As long as you pursue a good free diet plan your physical appearance will improve, and let’s not forget the importance of working out. Armed with these weapons, you can't go wrong.

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