My goal on this blog is to show you how weight training can help you lose weight as well as how it can be fun and make you feel more feminine. However, I want to set something straight first-off.
THE ONLY WAY TO ACTUALLY LOSE WEIGHT IS TO EAT FEWER CALORIES THAN YOU BURN.
You can lift all the weights you want, do HIIT for days, these things can help you, but overall, you will NOT lose weight without controlling your food intake.
It’s a simple math equation:
Energy in (food) + Energy out (baseline + exercise) = Change in weight
As far as the “Energy out” part of the equation, the baseline amount of energy you burn every day is from your heart beating/lungs breathing/brain thinking, your body fighting off bacteria and viruses, your cells repairing themselves, and your intestines digesting food. This is also called your “basal metabolic rate” or BMR. It is how many calories you would burn every day if you simply layed in bed all day. It’s well known that the more muscle mass you have, the more energy you burn at baseline and the higher your basal metabolic rate (BMR). Muscle is hundreds of times more metabolically active than fat cells and so this only works for muscle mass, not fat mass. Certain exercises (like weight lifting) will increase the baseline amount of energy you burn every day because it increases the amount of muscle mass you have. You can burn however much (usually 100-600 calories) on top of that in exercise every day.
But whether you are burning a couple hundred calories more or less per day in exercise, if you are still eating hundreds more calories than you burn every day, you will not lose weight. For this reason, there is no weight loss at all without diet control. I highly recommend this BMR calculator to see how many calories your BMR actually is. Although there is an arbitrary 2000 calories per day recommendation, this is on the high side for most people (even for men) and your BMR is likely a LOT lower.
For your health, medically, you need to eat enough every day to cover your BMR. Whatever you do, make sure you continue to eat at least that number of calories daily.
If you eat only your BMR every day, you will lose weight based on how much exercise you do. You can (and should) eat more than your BMR every day but you need to be aware of how much more you are eating compared to how much exercise you are getting in every day. Since this is actually a pretty fine balance given the giant portion sizes of everything nowadays, I definitely recommend using a calorie-tracking app. There are hundreds and as long as it has a decent database of foods and exercises, it should work well. I personally like MyFitnessPal because I’ve found it has the largest database of foods of the ones I’ve tried and it’s free but any app with a large database will work just fine.
1lb of weight = 2500 kcal
Keep in mind that 1lb of weight = 2500 kcal. Many reasonable diets recommend losing about 1lb per week which means eating roughly 350 fewer calories per day than you burn. A 350 kcal difference is not a walk in the park but it is entirely doable which is why I am 100% in agreement. Aim to lose around 1lb per week max.
Overall, paying attention to how much you are eating is the ONLY way you will lose weight and/or prevent weight gain. With American portion sizes nowadays, is it way too easy to overeat by thousands of calories per day. So I want to stress that above all else, above all the workouts and tips and tricks presented here in the blog or any other, THE ONLY WAY TO LOSE WEIGHT IS TO WATCH YOUR DIET.
For more similar posts about getting and staying healthy, check out my Fitness Page.