You want to lose weight…..Now what?

I have been getting quite a few requests on how someone should approach a fat-loss goal in terms of diet and exercise. The first thing you need to know; which I’m sure many of you do is that, in order to lose weight, you need to consume less calories than you burn; Period. Yes, it’s that simple. Even though we all know that, many of us fail. The reasons why we fail are endless.

Here’s a formula to help you reach your goals;

First and foremost, Caloric Deficit.

Now we know we need to burn more calories than were taking in. There are two ways to do that

I- Diet

Your diet is No.1 when it comes to reaching your goal. I highlighted the importance of having your diet in-check in this post; (Click Here).

One of my preferred ways of setting up a clients diet, is asking them to make a log of what they eat for a couple of days. Now, look up one of the many calorie-tracking sites and try to total the amount of calories you were taking in. Many will be surprised to see how much they were actually eating. Now from there you can start making changes to your diet. They don’t have to be drastic, but small changes here and there will eventually add up. You want to make it an easy transition so that you don’t get uncomfortable and quit.

A few examples;

  • Pack your lunch to work
  • Opt for low fat versions of your favorite foods (skimmed/low fat milk instead of full fat as an example reduces your intake by 60 – 72 calories per serving)
  • Order your food with the sauce / dressing on the side and dip ur fork in it instead of having it all (salad dressings tend to contain more calories than the salad itself!!!!)
  • Eliminate carbs from your diet (that itself can easily reduce your daily intake by half for some people)

Instead of…

Do this…

An afternoon Coke

Drink a glass of water. (calories saved: 97)

An Egg McMuffin

Eat a small whole wheat bagel +1 Tbsp of peanut butter (calories saved: 185)

Using your whole work break for lunch

Walk up and down a flight of stairs for 10 minutes (calories burned: 100)

Hitting the snooze button

Get up 10 minutes early and go for a brisk walk (calories burned: 100)

Watching TV after work

Do 10 minutes of yoga (calories burned: 50)

Total Calories Saved: 532

  • Familiarize yourself with the caloric content of the foods that you usually eat and start tracking your intake. For a read on counting calories and how to do it, read Counting Calories

If you don’t know how many calories you should be taking in;

Convert your weight to pounds e.g.: 80 kg x 2.2 = 176 lbs

Multiply that amount by 10 (176 x 10 = 1760 cals), this should give you a ball-park of your BMR* (Basal Metabolic Rate). Multiply that by an activity level factor;

– Sedentary (little or no exercise, desk job) multiply BMR by 1.2

– Lightly active (light exercise/sports 1-3 days per week) multiply your BMR by 1.375 – 1.4

– Moderately active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days per week) multiply your BMR by 1.45 – 1.6

– Heavily active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days per week) multiply your BMR by 1.65 – 1.7

Lets say you start exercising by walking 3 days / week putting you in the ‘Lightly active’ category;

BMR x Activity Factor = 1760 x 1.375 = 2420 calories.

What does that tell you? That means you need 2420 calories to maintain your weight. Deduct 500 calories from you maintenance and that should roughly allow you to lose 1lb / week (1/2 kg).

Note, that this will just be an estimate. Every one is different and everyone has a different metabolism, but this will give you an idea of where to start and make adjustments as you go.

Now that you’ve figured out how much you need to be taking it to lose weight, next comes factoring in your workout routine;

II- Exercise

Start adding in exercise. Start off with 3 days a week. I prefer resistance training (for benefits of resistance training, check out my posts on why you should pick weights vs. cardio (TBT Training and Weight Training for Girls )

Track you progress. If your not losing weight, add another day of exercise; can be cardio or an active day like football, tennis or whatever sport you like. For a better form of Cardio, read “Cardio Vs Interval Training


One thing that every1 lacks when it comes to committing to a diet, is the lack of patience to see results. You wont lose weight over night, and you wont lose chunks over a week. That will not happen in the real world. The only way to do that is through chronic diarrhea which  im bettting will not be an enjoyable experience ;). Be realistic and set SMART Goals.


Give it some time, be consistent and be honest with yourself. If you don’t see progress, reassess your diet and track again. Experiment with yourself and find that sweet spot. Once you figure that out, losing weight will be a breeze.

Dont forget to like and comment 🙂


7 thoughts on “You want to lose weight…..Now what?

  1. Pingback: Leptin: Chief of Fat loss – Part II « The Fitness Grail

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  3. Pingback: The 5 Pillars of Fat Loss | The Fitness Grail

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