Shedding the Weight: Understanding Weight Loss
Welcome to the first installment of our weight loss journey series! If you're here, you're probably considering or have decided to embark on a weight loss journey. This blog will help you understand the basic principles of weight loss and provide the knowledge foundation you'll need to succeed.
So let's start with the basics: What does losing weight mean?
Energy Balance: The Foundation of Weight Loss
At its most fundamental level, weight loss comes down to a simple concept: energy balance. Your body requires energy (calories) to perform its basic functions such as breathing, digestion, and physical activities.
When you eat and drink, you take in calories. When your body digests food and carries out daily activities, you burn calories. If the amount of calories you consume is equal to the amount you burn, your weight stays the same. If you consume more than you burn, you gain weight. And if you burn more than you consume, you lose weight.
The energy balance principle is sometimes simplified as 'calories in vs. calories out' (CICO). If you want to lose weight, you need to create a calorie deficit, which means your 'calories out' should be higher than your 'calories in'.
What Does Losing 14 lbs Look Like?
Losing 1 lb of body weight is approximately equivalent to burning 3,500 calories. So, if you're aiming to lose 14 lbs, you're looking at a total calorie deficit of 49,000 calories (14 lbs x 3,500 calories/lb).
Rate of Weight Loss
It's generally accepted that losing 1-2 lbs per week is a healthy and sustainable rate of weight loss. This rate equates to a daily calorie deficit of 500-1000 calories. If we do the math, losing 14 lbs at a rate of 1-2 lbs per week will take approximately 7-14 weeks. Remember, these are approximations and everyone's body reacts differently.
Factors Influencing Weight Loss
Numerous factors influence weight loss, including:
Diet: What and how much you eat plays a major role in weight loss. Choosing nutrient-dense foods over calorie-dense ones can help you feel satiated while maintaining a calorie deficit.
Physical Activity: Exercise can help create a calorie deficit by increasing your 'calories out'.
Metabolism: This is the rate at which your body burns calories for basic bodily functions. It varies from person to person and can be influenced by factors like age, gender, and muscle mass.
Sleep and Stress: Lack of sleep and high stress levels can affect your metabolism and hunger hormones, making weight loss more difficult.
Genetics: Your genes may affect your susceptibility to weight gain and how your body stores fat.
Remember, the weight loss journey isn't just about shedding pounds, but also about making sustainable changes towards a healthier lifestyle. In the upcoming blogs, we will delve deeper into each of these topics. We will talk about setting realistic goals, mastering nutrition, understanding exercise, dealing with emotional aspects, and much more.
Stay tuned for the next blog where we will discuss setting realistic goals and expectations for your weight loss journey. Remember, every small step counts and consistency is key to achieving sustainable weight loss. You're already on your way to a healthier you!