New Year Weight Loss

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Has anyone else noticed the obsession with the media for weightloss? If anyone didn’t make it their resolution to shed a bit of flab they’ll be guilt tripped into it by now! I’ve seen weight loss advice articles on TV, online, in the paper and in magazines in the last few days. All these offer advice about weight loss but it’s all really simple.

Weight loss or weight gain is all part of a simple equation…

energy in – energy out

If more comes in than out, you gain weight. If more goes out than in, you lose weight. To maintain the same weight you put the same in as goes out. It’s really simple but people always try and over complicate it.

You put energy in by eating food, the simplest way to lose weight is to lower your calorific intake. This means eating less food, or eating less high energy food. Seeing as there is roughly 9kCal per gram of fat compared to 4kCal per gram of protein or carbohydrate, reducing fat intake would be the most effective way. But obviously reducing your intake of everything is the way to go.

Energy out works the opposite way, you simply increase the amount to lose weight. Everyone has an amount of calories they would burn even if they stayed in bed all day because energy is needed to digest food, etc. and is lost as heat (this is known as basal metabolic rate). But energy out is then increased by how active you are. You don’t even need to exercise, just little changes like walking around more or standing rather than sitting for a few minutes can make a difference.

People always think there are exceptions but as far as I know there are none. Even with genetic differences people cannot put on weight if they take in less energy than they expend. It works the other way too, if you’re trying to gain weight, you need to eat more. I remember explaining this concept to a friend and he said that there were exceptions like weight lifting. But you actually lose weight whilst lifting. It’s the subsequent repair of muscles, using the nutrients you’ve eaten, that increase muscle mass and therefore weight. If you did not eat enough, your body would not sufficiently repair.

So all in all it’s simple. If you want to lose weight take in less energy and expend more. That means eat less and move more, simple!

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