Well, this is probably the most common question I've got. The reason might be that we are constantly bombarded with myths and lies about how it works. Please read the following article, slowly and thoroughly.
We can start with some misconceptions;
- Candy makes you gain weight – NOPE!
- Eating carbs make you gain weight – NOPE!
- Not working out makes you gain weight – NOPE
- Doing a lot of ab-exercises will get you a six-pack – NOPE
It MIGHT contribute to it, but it will never be the full truth of a weight gain OR loss for that matter. I will explain why later. I want to break down every part of it and educate, so when you have read this post you might have gained a bit of knowledge and by that, be one step closer to your goal.
So, first, everything we consume, consists of either protein and/or carbs or/and fat. They have different qualities but they share one thing in common; they are all energy.
This energy is what we call calories. Protein and carbs per 1 gram are 4 calories while fat is 9 calories. That is why fat food contains a lot more calories than food with more carbs and protein. For example nuts and oil. EVEN if some fat is very good for you in a healthy way. A big amount of calories is not the same thing as it is unhealthy. And low doses of calories are not the same as healthy.
Calories that we eat, is one half of the equation of weight change. The other part is the energy, the calories, you use as a human being in your daily life. To be able to function, your body and brain need energy. In order to sleep you need energy, to breathe you need energy, even if it is not much.
An average woman, consume, or “burn”, about 2000 calories per day, just to live, sleep and eat. What does that mean? Well, that person needs to eat 2000 calories per day to function and keep her weight steady. Think about the equation like this;
X (“What you eat”) – Y (“What you consume”) = Z.
In the case above;
X”You eat 2000 calories” – Y”you need 2000 calories” = 0.
This means that if you want to keep your weight you need to eat THE SAME amount of calories as your body NEEDS to function that day.
X-Y=0( If the equation is equal to 0, you will keep your weight).
In order to lose weight, the equation needs to result in a negative number. Let’s say you need 2000 calories but you walk on a treadmill for 1 hour and burn 500 calories. This means that your body needs 2000, + those 500 calories you just “burned” on the treadmill, calories in order to function and keep the weight, right?
In this case the equation is;
You ate = 2000 Calories
Your consumed = 2500 Calories
2000 – 2500 = – 500 Calories.
So, in this example, you have created a deficit, by adding that 1-hour walk.
You can also create a deficit on the other side; what you eat.
You eat 500 calories less, = 1500 Calories
Your consumption = 2000 Calories
1500 – 2000 = -500
The deficit is the same, but in the first case you add activity to create a deficit and in the other example you subtracted food, in order to create the deficit.
1 kg/2lbs of fat is 7000 calories.
This means that if you want to drop 1 kg in one week, you should eat 7000 fewer calories per week than your weekly consumption.
That means, in that case, you should eat 1000 calories LESS per day in 7 days.
1kg or 2lbs is a little bit too much to lose in one week since it will probably affect your body and brain functions negatively. I believe in a diet that is sustainable and healthy. Therefore I suggest NOT lose more than 0.5kg/1lbs per week.
This means that you should be around -500 calories per day, in order to lose 0,5kg/1lbs per week. In the first 1-2 weeks in a diet, it’s common to lose a bit more, since most of the weight is water. This will even out during the 2-3rd week.
Initially, I made some ignorant statements that were false. For example, carbs make you gain weight. Your body doesn’t really care where the calories come from, as long as we are talking about weight loss or gain.
Eating 2000 calories of candy, and at the same time on a deficit, will make you lose weight. BUT! This is not healthy or sustainable. Your blood sugar will go on a rollercoaster and you are missing vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that are essential for your well-being.
So, in other words you need to stay on deficit when it comes to calories. And you can do that by:
- Eat less, about 500 calories per day
- Be more active
- Both 1 and 2
In all cases, the key will be to create a deficit. It’s super important that if you are very serious and want to be sure about how to reach your goal that you follow this.
Build your own meal-plan or try my very own meal-plan app TasteLi. It will give you meals based on your preferences according to your goals. 100% personal.