Are You Burning Enough Calories For Weight Loss?
Weight loss is simply calories in verses calories out, right??
Yes and no…
I want to be clear…this blog post is about just seeing the numbers on the scale go down. I am a big believer in focusing on your performance in your workouts and inches more so than scale weight. But there are many women out there (and you might be one) that do need to lose scale weight. So this blog post is for the woman who has more than 20 pounds to lose or is over 40% body fat. At a later time, I will do a separate post on women that are leaner (those who are around 25-30% body fat) and are looking to take their physique to a new level.
How do I know I am burning enough calories?
There is a systematic way to get your correct burn of calories.
#1 Food Log
Write down what you are eating. You need to be very consistent and as exact as you can with this. No “eye-balling”. You need to weight EVERYTHING precisely. Anything you put in your mouth has to be calculated.
There are some great free apps available online. My personal favorite is My Fitness Pal. If you are not into apps, good old pen and paper work just as well (it’s just a lot more math for yourself). You can even put your foods into an Excel spreadsheet, it’s just not very portable.
The hardest part is just doing it.
#2 Find Out How Many Calories You Burn
Figure out how many calories you burn throughout the day. Again, there are many online programs you can use to “guesstimate” the number of calories you may burn through different activities. There is NO 100% way to figure out what you are exactly burning unless you are being monitored by a doctor in medical setting. Investing in a personal activity device can definitely get you a better idea of what you are burning on a regular basis (again these devices are not 100% accurate). I like the FitBit devices but there are others to choose from like Garmin, Apple watch, Striiv and Jawbone to name a few. The chest strap versions are going to be more accurate than just the wristband versions. But I know I don’t want to wear a chest strap all day, do you??
By the way , Shape It Up is in no way affiliated with any products listed here. This is just my own personal opinion and I do not get a cut from you purchasing any said devices :-)
Once you have your daily calorie intake and your daily calorie expenditure now you can figure out what you need to do to achieve weight loss. To lose one pound of scale weight you need to have a 3,500 calories deficit. How fast you choose to lose is up to you.
Here’s a breakdown:
- 250 calorie deficit every day will get you a one pound weight loss in 14 days
- 500 calorie deficit every day will get you a one pound weight loss in 7 days
- 750 calorie deficit every day will get you a one pound weight loss in 4.6 days
- 1,000 calorie deficit every day will get you a one pound weight loss in 3.5 days
***PLEASE NOTE THIS IS IN THEORY!! – There a bunch of factors that come into play when losing weight which is why I highly recommend you hire an experienced and knowledgeable personal trainer/health coach that will customize your program for you and your needs.
Here are some samples of exercises to help you get to your calorie burn:
Based on 180lb woman for 30 minutes
- Jumping Rope, fast – 514 calories
- Rollerblading – 514 calories
- Running (5 mph) – 343 calories
- Boot Camp – 343 calories
- HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) Class – 343 calories
- Stationary Bike , 150 Watts, moderate effort – 300 calories
Hidden Ways To Burn Calories
Let me introduce to you the magic of lifting weights. If done properly, you can get an awesome way to burn calories by lifting heavy weights. You will not burn much while actually doing the workout BUT the after burn is where you will torch calories.
Here’s the Take Away
Now, what I have told you is the bottom line…however, like everything else in life, there are different variables and factors you need to take in account. For example, how much sleep you are getting, stress levels, if you are on medications, any medical issues you may have, keeping yourself accountable, selecting the best foods for fat-burning and having a concern for lean muscle mass. Start with writing your food logs and getting in some great calorie burning exercises and you should see some significant changes! The important part is to just get started and if you need guidance go get some.