How to lose weight without losing your mind – Part 1

Want to know how to lose weight once and for all?

Tired of trying every single diet out there?

The reason you gain weight and get fat is that you consistently eat more calories than your body requires. Excess calories get stored in the form of fat reserves.

If you ate just enough calories to sustain your daily needs, you would not gain weight.

And you’re lack of willpower or focus is NOT the only culprit.

It’s not your fault.

We live in a world where fast food is in every corner, where junk food is packaged conveniently and where real food is a journey to the grocery store.

In the first part of this series, we’ll explore the most important concept you need to understand about how to lose weight.

According to Mayo Clinic, counting calories play a big role in weight-loss and is a basic strategy for sustained fat-loss.

The key to understand how to lose weight is to know what your body needs in a day to function. This is easy, as you’ll see below.

This daily caloric need is known as your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR).

Fit girl in workout gearLosing weight is more than just looking great, it's about your long term health and longevity.

Your BMR is all the calorie requirements your body needs to survive.

Knowing this will make you aware of how many calories you require, which means knowing how much and what types of food you can eat in a day. This knowledge will clarify how many calories will make you gain weight or the opposite, how many calories you should eat in a day to lose weight.

You need energy (calories) for breathing, digesting, thinking, moving, regulating your body temperature, sleeping, regenerating and healing, etc. This does not include the energy needed for exercise.

If you eat the exact calories your body needs you will maintain your weight, and if you eat more than what your body requires in 24 hours you will gain weight.

As you might have heard before, if you want to lose weight you will have to eat less than what your body burns for survival.

So, how many calories does your body need in a day?

Learn how to lose weight by knowing how many calories your body needs daily.

BMR is just the energy (measured in calories) that you need just to exist.

To calculate how many calories your body needs in a day, you need to know:

  • Your weight in kilograms (convert from lbs to kg using Google)
  • Your height in centimeters (convert again in Google)
  • Your age (easy, right?)
Scale with measuring tape and an apple.Different tools for different feedback. Both the scale and measuring tape should be used to get a better picture.

Knowing your BMR will forever change how you eat and how much you eat

To calculate your own BMR, do this simple math:

BMR = 655 + (9.6 x weight in kilograms) + (1.8 x height in centimeters) – (7.4 x age in years)

In my case, as an example, it would be:

655 + (9.6x149 = 1430) + (1.8x151 = 272) – (4.7x43 = 202) = 2,155 calories per day

This means that Cecilia needs 2,155 calories just to go about my day.

This is under the assumption that I do not engage in any type of exercise. If I did then I would need to adjust this to reflect this physical activity (more on that later).

So, if I need to eat 2,155 calories in a day, then what can I eat?

Menu 1:

  • Breakfast: iHop Southwest Scramble breakfast (1,450 calories)
  • Lunch: McDonalds Quarter pounder menu (800 calories)
  • Dinner: Denny’s Mediterranean Grilled Chicken (1,130 calories)

Oops!  1,450 + 800 + 1,130 = 3,380 calories – way over our 2,155 calories “daily allowance”

Menu 2:

  • Breakfast: 2 scrambled eggs with 2 slices of ham (200 calories)
  • Snack 1: 1 cup of oatmeal with candied nuts and an apple (250 calories)
  • Lunch: Grilled chicken, ½ cup of rice, roasted veggies (600 calories)
  • Snack 2: 1 banana, 1 cup cottage cheese, 1 cup berries (210 calories)
  • Dinner: Grilled salmon, 1 cup quinoa, salad + dressing (350 calories)

OMG! This adds up to 1,610! I still have 545 calories left over before I get to 2,155 calories!

I could have:

  • 2 portions of McDonald’s fries (230 calories each = 460 calories), OR
  • 7 apples (70 calories each = 490 calories), OR
  • 3 small bags of classic potato chips (160 calories each = 480 calories), OR
  • 17 cups of steamed broccoli (31 calories each = 527 calories)

You get the idea?

How to lose weight boils down to eating better quality food

This way, you can eat more and give your body the energy and nutrition it needs.

According to the National Cancer Institute, nutrient-dense food is food that is high in nutrients but relatively low in calories.

Nutrient dense foods contain vitamins, minerals, complex carbohydrates, lean protein and healthy fats.

In order to lose weight, I suggest you create a small calorie deficit, don’t go overboard.

In my case, I chose to stick to a minimum of 1,800 calories per day. If I were to go below that, my weight-loss stalls; the reason for this is explained in Part 2.

Most of the time we underestimate our calorie intake

Chicken as an example of protein rich food.A diet rich in lean protein (this chicken without the skin) nourishes and satiates you.

It is part of the wrong “logic” of overweight people.

We think we require so much more food than we really need.

And this logic stems from the fact that because we gravitate to “bad” food, of course we need more of it, because we are really undernourished.

If we ate the right kind of food, clean, nutritious food we don’t need so much of it because our bodies would be working properly.
According to the Harvard Medical School, choosing nutrient dense food is best as they contain abundant nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and fiber without excessive calories.

Weight loss can be a simple endeavor although not an easy task.

The secret is to understand how your body works, what you like to eat and how to organize your day for success.

The tricky part is to change our behavior so that we eat less without going into starvation mode, more on that in a little bit.

So, to answer the question, how to lose weight, the answer is to get into a calorie deficit. That means eating a little less than what your body needs.

This can be done with two basic strategies or a combination of both:

  • Eating less
  • Moving more

Also, if you are athletic and have good muscle mass, you’ll need more food. If you’re tall and skinny, you’ll need more food than a short and skinny person.

Moreover, as you lose weight, your food requirements will change as well. So you should calculate your BMR throughout your weight loss journey. As your body weight goes down, so will your energy requirements.

A mistake people make is to eat very little in the hope that this way they’ll lose weight quickly, and this strategy back fires all the time!

There is a little known characteristic of women’s health and fitness that is critical to your success.

How to lose weight is NOT about eating less, read on.

Part 2 – The secret to women, health and fitness

Back to Move

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Harvard Medical School, Add more nutrient dense foods to your diet,

Mayo Clinic, Counting calories: get back to weight-loss basics,

National Cancer Institute, NCI Dictionary of Terms,

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