Weight Loss 101

I’m not going to tell you why you should lose weight, what the benefits are and how important it is to be healthy – you already know all this. That’s why you click on this page. But what I can do is lay out some tools and advice for you so when you are ready, this will be a one-stop resource page for you.

I’ve visited every weight loss blog, I’ve used every app and I’ve ready every book. What I will lay out for you is what I used in the last few years to lose 30lbs. I’ve got my mind set on at least another 14lbs and what I recommend on this page will help me reach that goal. I write not as a professional – only as someone who has been there, done that and mastered it. I’m just a friend writing down what worked for me and can work for you.

Losing fat is a lot of work but the good news is that the bigger you are, the easier and quicker it is. It isn’t until you get to the final stone that you should feel like you’re pushing and even then with some motivation and hard work, you’ll get to your goal.

However it does take dedication and concentration throughout so ask yourself if you’re finally ready to take that next step – and if you are, carry on reading. Don’t wait until the perfect day to start comes; it will never come.

What Is ‘Body Fat’?

When we talk about weight loss 99% of the time, we mean fat loss. Your body is composed of a certain % of fat. This fat is either subcutaneous fat which is ‘exterior’ fat (for example a beer belly) and is actually not necessarily too hazardous to your health. However the fat in your body is also made up of ‘interior’ visceral fat. Visceral fat is harmful, unseen fat surrounding your organs. When you lose weight to fit into a new dress, you’re mostly looking at the subcutaneous fat for aesthetic reasons but what you’re actually, more importantly, working on is making your insides nice and healthy by reducing the visceral fat.

How Do I Lose Weight?

Simply, you burn more calories than you eat. As it’s easier to control the eating side then this is why we focus on that. Follow these simple steps below and the fat will drop off. This isn’t a fad diet, this is weight loss 101.

Step One: Find out how many calories a day you burn just being you. This will be our starting number. For example, I burn around 1,700 on an average day at my current weight so we will use this as an example.

Step Two: Create a ‘calorie deficit’ so that you’re eating less than you’re burning a day. If I ate 1,650 calories a day, I would lose weight but it would take forever to lose. You want to have as big of a decifit as possible without going below eating 1,200 calories per day (if you go below this recommended number, you’re opening yourself up to loss of essential nutrients that keep your skin, hair, teeth etc healthy).

Step Three: Just be you and eat your calorie limit. It takes a deficit of 3,500 to lose 1lb of fat. To continue using my example, if I ate 1200 per day, and I burned 1700 per day just being me, I have a deficit of 500 calories a day. 500calories x 7days in a week = 3,500 calorie deficit  or 1lb of fat burnt a week.

Step Four (Optional): Look for way to create a bigger calorie deficit. It’s ‘safe’ to burn 2lbs a week. Less than that and it’s frustrating to see slow results, more than that and you’re potentially going to get loose skin if you have a lot of fat to lose. You can create a bigger deficit by burning more calories by walking more, going to the gym or taking up a physical hobby. This step four will only help burn faster, but it’s not essential for weight loss.

How Do I Calculate How Many Calories I Burn in a Day (Step One)?

How many calories you burn in a day is called your TDEE which is Total Daily Energy Expenditure. Use this TDEE calculator to learn what you burn in a day. If you want something more accurate, invest in a sports band (I have a FitBit), wear for a week, add all the days together and divide by 7 to get an average day. Your result will be your ‘maintenance’ calories’ target. If you ate this number every day you would not gain or lose.

How Do I Decide My Calorie Deficit Number (Step Two)?

For a 1lb per week loss, go 500calories lower than your result in step 1. For 1.5lb per week loss, go 750calories lower. For 2lb per week loss, go 1000calories lower. Remember not to go below 1,200 as you may experience bad skin, hair loss and other side effects.

How Do I Know / Track How Many Calories I’m Eating (Step Three)?

Download the free MyFitnessPal app for logging your food intake, and create an account. Enter your current stats and set your goal to how many calories you need to eat per day to reach your goal. As a quick side note – some people I’ve introduced to this prefer to keep a weekly goal so if you’ve gone over by a few hundred calories one day by mistake, you take them back another day. I love this as a tactic because it still helps you reach the same goal but doesn’t make you feel like your day is ruined if you ate too much.

To accurately track your calories, invest in a simple kitchen scales – mine were £6 and I use them every day so weigh food. Soon you’ll be able to eye up what 100g of chicken or rice looks like so when you eat in restaurants, you’ll be able to track it easily.

How Should I Measure My Progress?

At the beginning of your weight loss / fat loss jounery, your progress can be measured on any scale. As you enter the final third of your journey, I would switch to a scale that measures body fat. This is because you want to ensure you’re not losing muscle and only losing body fat. These scales shoot an imperceivable electric current through your body to measure the body fat percentage. 

If you’ve never ventured into the world of fat loss before then this is as simple as I can make it for you. I recommend tracking your calories with MyFitnesssPal as you normally eat for the first week of your journey just to see how much you eat now so you can truly see how you’ve found yourself in a position where you need to lose fat.

Once you’ve done this, pop your new goals into this Weight Loss Calculator and see how much you’ll weigh by what date. This keeps me going when it feels like I’ll never reach my goal weight.

Some people I know find that publishing their weight loss journey through a blog or Facebook post keeps them accountable but in my experience, just getting on with it and letting the results speak for themselves is usually the route that leads to the most success.

Getting healthy won’t cost you anymore money, if anything you’ll save money due to the less food you’ll be eating. If you join up to any company such as Slimming World or Weight Watchers you may find results but you’ll be out of pocket and the same results can be achieved above for basically free. The only investments I see you needing to make are a kitchen scale and a home scale if you don’t already have them.

Only you can make this change – and whilst you’re reading this it seems easy. But trust me, the hardest park is the first month whilst you learn how your body responds to different food, what foods you can take to work to keep your full, what food you have to make sure you don’t have in the house etc. After you’ve mastered the knowledge, it’s just life as normal with a few changes.

Take control of your world and transform your life.

Further Reading & Resources

– Luci Olivia –

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