Body Mass Index (BMI) is calculated as the mass of a person divided by the square of a person’s height in the units of kg/m^2. If your BMI is above 30, you are obese. This isn’t good for your health. Being fat is associated with elevated risk of heart disease and diabetes. In addition, you don’t look nearly as good as a normal weight person. Luckily for you, if you are fat, it’s easier to lose weight than if you are skinny. And if you are the type of person who likes to count things, it is even easier. You can lose weight simply by counting the number of calories you eat. We’ll go through this concept and then talk about other ways you might be able to lose weight.
Count your Calories
Every day for a week, keep track of exactly what you eat. You can use an app like MyFitnessPal or even a simple spreadsheet or notebook to keep track of your calories. To be extra precise, weigh the raw ingredients of everything you eat and don’t go to restaurants where they don’t tell you how many calories are in the food you eat. This will be easier if you live alone and don’t get served meals by other people. If someone tries to give you a meal without telling you how many calories are in it, tell them that they are killing you and walk away. Even if it’s a loved one, like a wife or husband. Get everyone around you to figure how many calories are in the food they give you. If they do tell you how many calories are in the food that you are served, they truly love you.
In that same week, weigh yourself every day. You most likely won’t lose or gain weight during this week. Your goal this week is to figure out how many calories you eat on average in a day to maintain your weight. Assuming your weight was constant for the week, you can take the average calorie intake during this week as your baseline metabolic rate.
Once you know how many calories you need to maintain your weight, take that number and subtract 700. Eat that many calories per day and continue to keep track of how many calories you eat. If you can keep the number of calories you eat to 700 less than the amount you need to maintain your weight, you will lose one pound of fat every five days.
As you implement the above strategy, you may find that you are very hungry, especially in the first week of reduced calorie intake. To combat this, you will need to eat foods that are highly satiating, but also low calorie. Examples of such foods are most vegetables and some fruits. Berries, broccoli, cauliflower are all great. Potatoes, apples and bananas are less good as they have around 100 calories each. I personally find pickles to be very satiating and tasty, especially when spiced. Over time, you will get less hungry and get used to the diminished calorie intake.
Some foods are not satiating and very high in calories. Avoid these foods. Examples include
- Desserts like cakes and cookies
- Alcoholic beverages
- Sodas with sugar
Instead consider having protein bars, no alcohol and sugar-free sodas.
While marijuana can be a substitute for alcohol that is calorie free, it may make you hungrier and cause you to gain weight. Therefore, it is not recommended.
Count your Macros
If you are going through the trouble of counting your calories, you can get extra healthy by also counting the amount of fiber, protein, carbs and fat you are taking in. As a general rule of thumb, there you want to make sure you get enough fiber and protein and not too much saturated fat. (Though, some lucky people have genetics that allow them to consume saturated fat without consequence. You may be such a person if you don’t have a history of heart disease.) Try to get at least 40 grams of fiber day and 0.8 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight. Keep saturated fat to under 10% of your calories, which is typically 25 grams per day.
But, I Hate Math
If you don’t want to count your calories, you can still lose weight, but you’ll need to take extra steps in what food is brought into your house. Specifically, you will need to fill your house with no very tasty, high calorie foods like pizza and desserts. All the food in your house should either be low-calorie or not tasty. You will also need to get out of the habit of ordering food from restaurants as such food is likely to be very tasty and high in calories. If you do this, you will likely find that you can’t get enough calories to maintain your weight and you will lose weight.
If you do want to eat the occasional dessert during this diet, you will need to count calories. You either need to count or never eat desserts.
It is ok to have cheat days where you eat up to your maintenance calories on a specific day. Doing this still requires you to count your calories. If you do not count on a specific day, it is very likely you will overeat by thousands of calories without realizing it. Humans will naturally tend to eat enough to maintain their weight. Therefore, you must make sure you don’t cheat by too much on a cheat day. Cheat days can also be beneficial as they may raise your metabolism causing you to lose weight in the future.
This guide assumes you don’t change the amount of exercise you do during your diet. However, you can raise your base metabolic rate by weightlifting. Once you have gained some lean muscle mass, you may be able to eat more than if you hadn’t.
If you can keep track of your calories every day, you’ll surely lose weight. Make sure to weigh your food and be honest with yourself on how much you eat. If the above guide doesn’t work for you, you are probably lying to yourself. It might be easier to meet people in NYC if you lose some weight.