Weight loss is not easy but it is not complicated either. You do not really need a complex diet to help you lose weight. It all comes down to the numbers and a thing called calorie balance. When you are in a state of calorie balance, your weight is stable. So take a look at your weight history and you can tell right away what your calorie balance has been like over the years.
When you gain weight or lose weight, you are out of balance. You put on weight when you consume more calories than you burn off and you lose weight when you burn off more than you take in. If your weight gain has been a slow gradual one over the course of several years, that means the calories you consume have only been significantly more than the ones you burn so you earned slowly, maybe at the rate of a pound per month or less .
When you look at your calorie balance in the long term, you can really see how little things can make a big difference in where your weight stabilizes. Simply taking a half hour walk every day is enough to burn off a pound per month or twelve pounds per year. Of course, when you want to lose weight, you certainly want it to come off faster than that, so you will adjust your diet and activity levels so you burn off a lot more calories than you consume each day.
Once you have lost weight and are at your goal, watching your calorie balance is still critically important or the weight will start creeping back on. An easy way to monitor your balance is to weigh yourself often. When your weight starts to climb, it means you are either taking in more calories or exercising less and burning off fewer calories. That should spur you into action so you can stop the weight gain.
But what about losing weight? How does knowing about calorie balance help? For one thing, it demystifies the whole process. If you want to lose one pound, you have to burn off 3500 more calories than you take in. It may seem old fashioned, but it comes down to counting calories ate and calories burned every day.
So rather than wondering if you have had too many carbs or fat grams, you should ask yourself how many calories you have ate, and is it worth it to eat a candy bar that has 240 calories? It is human nature to want a quick fix and a magical answer to weight loss. We hope that by calculating grams and percentages, we can finally break the code that will allow us to shed fat quickly and painlessly.
Unfortunately, what we have been told since we were kids is closer to the truth. Weight loss is about calorie restriction, portion control, and good old fashioned exercise. It is not the most glamorous approach to weight loss but it is one that has proved to work. Maintaining the proper calorie balance is key to losing weight and keeping it off.