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Everything About Counting Calories

2009-12-07

I've lost more than 25kg (55lb) over just a few months this way.

Losing weight is easy and I'm going to tell you how but you must first understand that however easy it is, it does take some time.  Don't fall for dangerous pills and crazy diets that promise to take your weight off quickly because that's just not how it works.

Overweight and obesity is certainly a huge problem around the world but to solve it we must first understand it and we do this by asking why, why do we gain so much weight?

Well food is energy and we need energy to function, our bodies have been constructed to collect as much energy as possible when it can so that we can survive when food is scarce.

But food is not scarce, not anymore.  In fact we have so much food that we can throw it away if we simply don't like it.  This is a situation our bodies have not been built for, we keep trying to build up an energy reservoir so we can survive when the food is gone, but there's always more food.

Additionally, we use much less energy today then we used in the past.  It used to be we'd live in harsh conditions having to work hard to simply survive.  By comparison, now it seems hard to die.  And we simply don't need all that energy that our bodies think we need.

But luckily, our success as a species is our brain and it's ability to learn and adapt, and that is what you must do in order to stay fit.  Here I'll tell you everything you need to know about weightloss and you'll see how easy it is once you know it.

Here's a lightweight guide on How To Lose Weight.

The Basics 

Food is energy, we use energy to function and to move our muscles.  When we eat more energy than we use our body stores it as fat and we gain weight.  In order to lose weight we must make our body use this stored fat by using more energy than we eat.  Our body's going to think this is a bad idea because it'll know "we're not eating enough" because we've gotten used to eating more than we really need.

About 70% of all the energy we use is only to run our internal organs such as the liver and the brain, and about 10% is used to keep us warm.  Only the remaining 20% of the energy is used for physical activity.  This is why eating less energy is so important but do note that we can increase the amount of energy used a lot by physical activity.

We need a unit to measure all this energy in, one commonly used is Cal (dietary Calorie) which is the same as an other common unit; kcal (kilo thermochemical calorie).  Both of these units are, however, officially deprecated and we'll use KJ (kilojoules).

1000 KJ = 239 Cal = 239 kcal

How Much Energy Do We Eat And Use? 

This is something we certainly must figure out so that we can make the appropriate changes.
first of all, how much energy do we use when we're not really doing anything?
just type in your weight, height and age and check M if you're a male.

metric imperial
kg cm y M

So if you're not exercising you use about ?? KJ every day to simply run your internal organs and do daily activities, and so you must eat less energy than that and/or increase your energy usage by exercising in order to lose weight.  It's certainly recommended to do both because it's both easier and more effective.

Different activities use different amounts of energy but generally, exercising more will lose you much more weight than exercising hard.  Also note that the more you weigh, the more energy your body will have to use to move you around while exercising.  It's therefor much easier to lose weight if you're obese and you'll be able to lose a lot quite fast.  As you get skinnier, however, you'll have to exercise more and more to lose the weight.

Here's some common activities and how much energy (in KJ) we estimate you'd use doing them for an hour, taking your weight into account.

walking 6km?? bicycling 20km?? playing football?? doing aerobics??

Now how much energy do we get from different foods.  There's really too many different foods and too many versions of them to make any sort of useful list without it using a whole page itself.  But all the food you buy is labeled with how much energy (in KJ) there is in 100g (3.5 oz) of it.  Rice and pasta is always around 1500 KJ/100g but bread can be around 1000-1500 KJ/100g.  Meats can be from 500 to 1500 KJ/100g mostly depending on how much fat is left in it.  Cheese range from 1000 to well over 2000 KJ/100g and butter can be found from 1000 up to more than 3000 KJ/100g.  Fruits, vegetables and yogurt can be 200-400 KJ/100g.  So always check the label.

Using More Energy 

First of all there are many casual ways of using more energy, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or walking or bicycling instead of driving.  You should try to incorporate these into your lifestyle and not be too lazy because it's more convenient than exercising.

Exercise.  If you wanna eat and stay in shape and be healthy you simply have to make use of that energy.  You don't have to go to any fitnesscenter or buy expensive equipment.  Take an hour each day and walk or ride your bike.  Don't exert yourself, get sweaty but don't push too hard.  The important thing is that you get your heart pumping an hour each day.

It's really helpful to get some great music that keeps you going while exercising.  It can make a cold walk in bad weather feel really good and the better you feel about your exercise the more you'll do it.

Build muscle.  Muscles weigh more than fat for the same volume so you might not lose as much weight but you'll look better and stay healthier.  Muscle is more expensive for the body to build and maintain so you'll increase your energy usage slightly even when you're not exercising.

Eat often.  A common mistake when trying to lose weight is to simply cut a few meals, this won't do.  Your body will think that there's a food shortage and will make you use less of it.  You will get tiered and won't exercise as much.  Eat often to keep your body active.

Eating Less Energy 

Have a look at how much energy there is in your different foods, is it really worth it.  It's often easy to switch out some really high energy foods in your diet for low energy ones and they're usually more healthy as well.  Cut down on cheese, butter and other fat.  You will also have to cut down on candy, eat fruit instead.

Eat less.  If you want to stay healthy and in shape but don't want to exercise too much you simply can't eat much.  But don't starve yourself, that never does any good.  Step one is to only eat when you're actually hungry and keep your meals small.

Dealing With Hunger 

The biggest problem with weightloss is that food is terribly tasty and we get hungry so quickly.  You're going to have to trick yourself to deal with this.  It's important to Decide to start losing weight Right Now, otherwise you might never.  Make schedules, this makes it easier for you to stick to your plan.

Augment your meals with vegetables, fruit and other low energy foods.  Be creative, make the amount of food larger without increasing the actual energy it contains.  Split your meals into smaller parts, save for later and eat several tiny meals over the whole day.  Learn to eat slowly, chew and swallow each little bite completely before taking an other.

Eat before you go shopping.  This will save you from getting the need to eat certain things, and will also save you money.  Eat fruit if you get too hungry not other fatty snacks.

Personal Plan 

The best way to lose weight is to create a personal plan, detailing how much, what and when you eat and exercise.  Our basic recommendation for your personal plan is to eat three meals a day of ?? KJ each and to take an hour walk each day.  We estimate that you'd lose about ?? fat in 5 days doing this.

You may want to create a personal plan yourself.  You may for instance want to exercise more or eat less.  Our recommendation is that you use 35% more energy each day than you eat.  This is both a healthy and quick way to lose weight.  Below are several tips on various aspects of weightloss.

Results 

You Will see results if you're doing this right but losing weight does take time.  Weigh yourself right after you wake up every morning; your weight will fluctuate a lot, especially during the day but also over the week.  Compare how your weight changes over a week.

Your biggest obstacle is yourself, but you have the power to decide your own weight you just have to dig deep and get it out.  Don't rely on dangerous pills or crazy diets, I've told you what weightloss is really about.  You know how it works now, you know what to do and you know why.  All that's left is to defeat yourself and conquer your own body.  You're the master of your own weight and now you have the tools to rule the shape and health of your body.

Here's a lightweight guide on How To Lose Weight.