The Daily Grind: Weight Loss Defined

We all know that “diet and exercise” is the typical answer to questions about losing weight. But how exactly do the choices we make throughout the day, every day, impact our weight. Weight Loss Defined untangles all the confusing weight loss information to provide a clear understanding of what weight loss actually requires.

Weight Loss Defined

Traditionally, if you want to lose weight, the common answer would be “diet and exercise.” Well, although there is some obvious truth to those two simple answers, there are a few additional factors that play a big part in your overall weight. In this presentation, we will explore those factors and their affect on each other and their affect on your weight.

1. Understand the reason

To know how to lose weight, you must identify and understand the reason you gained weight.

Weight change takes time. It can take a year to gain 10 pounds, and it can take a year to lose 10 pounds. The weight that you have gained is stored body fat. Why did your body do this? The fact is, because you consumed more calories than what your body uses.

2. Know your metabolism

It’s the number of calories your body routinely expends in a day. Consume more than you expend to gain weight. Consume less than you expend to lose weight. Consume the same as you expend and maintain a healthy weight. There are two main ways that your metabolism uses calories:

  • Resting metabolic rate – the number of calories per 24 hours that your body would use if it was in a complete resting state.
  • Physical activity (normal daily activity) and exercise (in addition to normal daily activity) – The average overall metabolism burns 2,000 calories per day; however, human metabolism ranges from as low as 1,200 to as high as 2,500. The most influential factors in determining daily metabolism are the amount and the condition of muscle tissue.

3. Controlling calories

Calories are your body’s source of energy. You quite literally “are what you eat.” Also, you must remember that sugar craves sugar. The calories that you consume every day come from two things: food and drinks. You must identify from where and how many extra calories you get in a day.

A banana is about 100 calories and a Snickers bar is 270 calories. The goal is not to starve yourself; it is to select foods and beverages that are healthy for your body and low in calories. Accept and understand the process and become aware and accountable for your daily decisions.

4. Physical activity and exercise

Most of your weight loss is going to be a direct result of calorie control and correct food and drink choices. Exercise has mostly long-term effects, such as improved metabolism (improved muscle tissue) and endless health benefits. Short-term benefits from exercise include increased calories used throughout day by burning them off or to create caloric deficit, feel better and sleep better. You can burn 250 calories in 60 minutes through vigorous exercise or you could choose not to eat the Snickers candy bar. Small changes can have a big impact in the long term.

Kevin Stanowick, Parma Hospital Fitness Specialist

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