Thursday, May 26, 2011

Why you need to EAT to lose weight (and LIVE)!

Yes, you read that correctly.  You need to eat to lose weight, and you need to eat often.  I have come across several blogs and post about women wanting to lose weight, so they decided they are going to fast or severly restrict their caloric intake.  Fasting is fine, if it is for the right reasons, like when you fast to become closer to God, but fasting can cause weight gain, severe health problems, and even death.

Every individual has a basal metabolic rate (BMR), which is the amount of calories a person needs to eat on a daily basis for bodily functions, such as digestion of food, blood circulation, and breathing.  Using a special formula, everyone can find out their BMR.  Click this link to use the BMR calculator.  To learn more about BMR, metabolism, and other items that may affect your weight, click this link.  For example, my BMR is 1,645 calories.  This means, I have to eat 1,645 calories a day to survive.  As your age goes up and your weight goes up or down, your BMR will change, although these changes will be small.

So, when you fast, your body will use the stored fat for energy, which will cause weight loss, and it can be dramatic for some people.  This is great, right?  Absolutely, not.  After fasting, individuals will begin to eat normally again.  Since these individuals have been fasting, their bodies will go into starvation mode, and when they start eating again, their body will store most of the calories that they eat because their body does not know when it is going to get food again, which leads to weight gain.

The best way to lose weight healthily is to create a calorie deficit by eating the right kinds of foods, cutting calories, and exercising.  This means eating whole wheats, vegetables, fruits, and lean meats, while drinking water, milk, and other low calorie/sugar drinks, such as Powerade Zero.  In addition to eating healthy, you need to create a calorie deficit.  This means that the calories you eat in addition to the calories you burn during exercise should be less than the calories you need to maintain your current weight.  To find out how many calories you need to maintain your current weight, click this link.  This link has many other calculators and tips for weight loss and staying healthy.

The main thing to remember is that 1 pound is equal to 3,500 calories, so to lose a pound a week, you need to create a calorie deficit of 3,500 calories.  If you want to lose 2 lbs a week, you need to create a calorie deficit of 7,000 calories. 

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