I know not everyone is a calorie counter. I can see the benefits of not doing so, but I know without a doubt that had I not counted my calories, I would not have lost 100 lbs. I might have lost 50 lbs, but for me knowing what goes into my body and how much I need to burn makes complete sense. It helps me be more aware and realize that the piece of cake isn't worth the 450 calories that I don't have for the day.
That being said, I learned some extremely valuable information while at my stay a few weeks ago at Fitness Ridge. I touched on this in my last post explaining my week there, but I wanted to go into more detail because what I learned made compete sense and I knew that it could help you all too. I am very weary of quick fix diets. You know the ones that say to eat soup or juice for 3 days and you will lose 10 lbs. Those instantly give me a red flag and I start to lose trust in whoever is telling me about it. Harsh? maybe.
Jen Morton who is a life coach at Fitness Ridge taught us all several lectures. I even paid to see her for an hour one on one session to figure my crap out. Basically, I wanted to know what triggers my emotional eating and my need for food constantly. What she told me wasn't anything that I didn't already know, but it was more like things were being reaffirmed to me. I reach for candy or chocolate because growing up that's what I was fed and made me happy in moments of sadness and happiness. I am not saying thats all my mom stocked our pantries with, but I can remember many times being rewarded with candy or always thinking as a kid how that would make me feel better after any sadness.
This lady knows her stuff. She said one thing that will really stick with me: "We make weight loss so complicated." It really is so simple, but our mind gets in the way of it all and becomes overpowering telling us we don't want to do certain things. I am so guilty of this.
Well back to the point of the post. Calorie counting effectively and for long term results.
You first need to find what your RMR (resting metabolic rate) is. My Fitness Pal has a calculator where you can plug in your information and it will tell you. This number is a guess, but its pretty close. This number is what you would burn in a day if you laid in bed all day long. Doctors discovered this number for coma patients to know how much to feed them throughout the day. Interesting stuff, people! I will use my numbers as an example. My RMR is 1600 calories. Then we are given about 400 calories to that number for going the bathroom, running errands, doing housework, you know the usual. 1600+400 is 2000. If I eat 2000 calories a day and didn't exercise, I would maintain my weight. I want to lose so let me tell you how!
There are 3500 calories in a pound. If I wanted to lose 1 lbs a week, I could figure out how to do that. There are 7 days in a week. I would then divide 7/3500 which equals 500. I go back to my 2000 number and subtract 500 from that. If I wanted to lose 1 lbs a week, I would need to eat 1500 calories and that's not including exercise. If I eat 1500 calories a day plus burn 500 calories a day in my workout, I would lose 2 lbs a week.
Doesn't this sound too good to be true? False!!
I tested this out after being home from Fitness Ridge. I was a little scared to get back into the routine of my life and not be able to maintain my 8.5 lbs weight loss from being there. I decided to use this formula and after 2 weeks, I have lost another 5 lbs. I am losing the weight I never thought I could lose. AND I AM EXERCISING LESS!!! I am only exercising 1 hour a day. Before, I was exercising 1.5-2 hours a day, basically killing myself trying to get in a good calorie burn. However, I wasn't paying as close to my diet because I just assumed I had burned it all off in my workout. This equation has really opened my eyes and I hope it helps you. If you are confused or loss, I would love to help you figure out your calories.