Three Ways to Effect Weight Change
I'm certainly no expert in the field of weight-loss, so all I can do is to offer you tips that have worked well for me. These tips, as with most other tips on this site, are based on simple, common-sense principles that don't require an expensive book, plan, or miracle cure to implement.
Weight management is a very simple concept.
Your body requires a certain number of calories (units of energy) each day to support its daily activity level.
If you take in fewer daily calories than your body needs for its daily activity level, your body will use stored body fat to subsidize your intake -- causing you to lose weight.
On the other hand, if you take in more daily calories than your body needs for daily activity, your body will add to its fat reserves -- causing you to gain weight.
This means there are basically three ways to lose or gain weight:
- Adjust your daily caloric intake.
- Adjust your daily activity level.
- A combination of #1 and #2.
The 80/20 Formula for Cutting Calories
If the 80/20 formula applies to caloric intake as well as it does to so many other areas of our lives, then that would mean that 80% of the calories we consume comes from only 20% of the food and beverages we consume. And if that's true, then we only need to identify and cut out the food and beverages that are in the 20% group.
As a real-life example, I love a certain name brand cookie and have a habit of having 2 cookies after lunch and 2 after supper. That one habit adds up to 213 calculators per day alone -- which is about 1/3 of the daily calories I need to cut out to lose weight at a desirable and safe rate.
Make Calorie Burning Fun or Profitable
For me, the secret to increasing my calories burned on a consistent basis is to choose calorie-burning activities I either enjoy, or I deem to be profitable.
I get bored to death on treadmills, but I love to golf. So instead of spending five lunch breaks per week being a zombie on a treadmill in the summer, I choose to burn the same number of calories by walking and playing one 18-hole round of golf with my family and friends.
In the winter when the golf courses are closed, I do spend an hour each weekday on my elliptical machine, but while doing so, I take lynda.com online training classes via my laptop. And while I don't typically enjoy spending time on the elliptical machine, I get so engrossed in the video lessons that I often lose track of the fact that I'm even exercising. Of course, since I'm increasing the value of my product (me) while studying concepts I'm genuinely interested in, my time on the elliptical is both enjoyable and profitable.
Combine the 80/20 Rule with Enjoyable/Profitable Exercise
For me, the best way to lose weight is to formulate a plan that combines exercise I enjoy and/or deem profitable, with cutting out a portion of the 20% of foods and beverages that account for 80% of my caloric intake. That way I'm attacking the extra weight from both fronts -- without giving up all of the foods I enjoy, and without having to dread going to the gym every day. But that's just me.
What To Do To Increase Calories Burned?
If your daily calorie consumption is above the target suggested by the calculator, and you prefer to make up the difference by increasing your activity level -- instead of by reducing your calorie intake -- visit the Exercise Calorie Calculator to put together a plan for increasing your calories burned.