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The Average Joe’s Guide To Losing A Few Pounds

1 Man's Opinion 62
Calorie Counting

The Scenario:

Been putting in the overtime at work and sacrificing good meals for snacks? Perhaps you’ve been partying a lot recently and those beers are starting to show on your frame? Whatever your reason is for putting on weight – you’re not alone. We all gain weight from time to time, simply because it is all too easy to do, but what people tend to struggle with is losing it.

Losing weight is actually pretty simple when you know the right stuff. I’m not going to sit here and tell you to eat a salad every day for a month, or consume all your foods in liquid form… There’s plenty of that kind of shit already knocking around the Internet, and it’s usually with an aim of selling you something. Instead I’m going to fill you in on a few things I’ve picked up over the years from useful sources and knowledgeable people about how to lose weight.

You Don't Need To Eat Healthy:

Firstly, I believe anyone should eat what he or she wants. When people say stuff like “to lose weight you need to cut [insert unhealthy food here] from your diet” that’s pretty much an instant giveaway that they know absolutely nothing about weight loss. You’ve heard about people losing weight by eating McDonalds right? What about the guy who literally lives on Big Macs and eats up to 3 or 4 a day? – The guy barely has an ounce of fat on him. So what’s the big secret to losing weight?

Gaining and losing fat is all relative to the amount of calories that we consume. A calorie is the unit we use to measure energy. So you might consume 2,500 calories a day, and while that’s pretty average for a grown man, if you’re not active you simply won’t burn 2,500 calories in a day. So if you eat more calories than you burn you’ll gain weight, if you eat the same amount of calories as you burn you’ll maintain weight and if you eat less calories than you burn, you will lose weight.

Burning Calories:

The good news is that on average, a man burns 1,662 calories a day by doing absolutely nothing, so burning off those extra calories isn’t too hard. This is where the options come in: you can eat less food, eat healthier food, or exercise more to lose weight – it’s entirely up to you and your eating habits. If you eat a low calorie salad three times a day, chances are you’ll be burning much more than you’re eating, however if you eat McDonalds three times a day, you’ll want to make sure you get in some extra activity.

Now let’s talk about how to work out how many calories you need to burn to lose weight. You should always begin a weight loss journey by calculating your Base Metabolic Rate (or BMR) – this let’s you know exactly how many calories you burn naturally and can be calculated using the following formula:

BMR = 10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) – 5 x age (years) + 5

So, once you’ve calculated this, you then need to track your calories for the day. You can do this by either checking the nutritional info on foods you’re eating and writing it down, or by using an app to input data (which I consider the best option). A good app to track calories that can search nutritional info for you is called MyPlate.

With you’re BMR calculated, and keeping track of how many calories you’re eating, you can then give yourself an idea of how many calories you need to burn when eating a certain amount, and increase or decrease your activity depending on where you stand with needing / not needing to burn extra energy.

And it’s pretty much as simple as that. I should also mention that while many magazines and mens health sites will have you believe that you can lose fat from a certain area by exercising that area (e.g your abs) this isn’t true. Fat in your body is like a bucket of water, the more you fill it, and the more it will just even out to fill the space available. Genetics are what cause some of us to gain weight in one area more than another, and the only real way to lose is to burn it.

So forget these endless diets of green leaves and water, forget these pointless workouts that are supposed to target specific body areas, and focus on the main principle of burning more calories than you eat to really shed some weight. Look out for my next article where I’ll let you know how to gain / lose weight whilst maintaining muscle mass.

Aaron B is a quintessential Englishman. Having spent two years travelling through Australia, South-East Asia and Africa, he has tried a variety of cuisines and developed a passion for cooking hearty but healthy meals. As a writer and graphic designer he likes to take his imagination to the kitchen and get creative. Aaron enjoys running, eating at new places, and Jameson Irish Whiskey. It is said that his great-grandfather invented the sausage roll in Newcastle Upon-Tyne, England over a century ago.

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