Weight Loss 101

Weight Loss 101

Whether you are aiming to lose 300lbs or 10lbs, this is the section for you. Keep these tips in mind before and during your weight loss journey.

Fuel your body
To work out how much you should be consuming daily, follow these instructions:
1. Multiply your weight by 10 (to find your maintenance level)
2. Burn off 500 calories a day through exercise and/or eating less

If you burn off 500 calories less than your maintenance level- where you don’t lose or gain- then you will lose a pound each week.

E.g. If I weigh 200lbs
1. 200×10 = 2000
2. Option one: burn off 500 calories through exercise and eat 2000 a day
Option two: eat 500 calories less without exercise, so I would consume 1500 a day
Option three: burn off 250 calories through exercise and eat 250 calories less, so I would be consuming 1750 a day

NEVER eat less than 1200 calories a day. Women need at least 1200 calories a day to survive. That is the minimum amount the body needs to function, or it’ll start to shut down and go into starvation mode. This is why people with eating disorders lose their hair, menstrual cycles and healthy appearance. Instead of eating less than 1200, you’ll need to exercise more.

0-2lbs a week
Aim to lose up to 2lbs each week. If you lose more than that, you risk burning not only fat but water and muscle too. Losing water is not a big deal, but remember that lost water is replaced by the body, so lost water weight will return. Muscle loss is more serious. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn throughout the day. If you lose muscle, your metabolism drops making weight loss harder.

Exercise or eat less?
Preferably, do both. If you want to choose one, do the one that appeals to you the most. If you choose to exercise, start small. Eventually your body will get used to exercise, so you will need to exercise more often, for longer and lift heavier weights. If you choose to eat less, don’t cut out too many calories. Eventually your body will get used to your calorie intake, so you will need to reduce it. IMPORTANT: Some people find that eating less doesn’t work, so they increase instead. Experiment to see what works for you.

Target specific areas of the body
Not possible. You cannot burn fat from particular areas. Whilst losing weight, the body burns fat from your entire body. This is why the areas you love being big may get smaller. Judging from my personal experience and what others have said, the body burns fat from the places you really, REALLY don’t want it to. For example, a woman with b-cup breasts would probably lose enough fat to go down to an a. Meanwhile, a woman with g-cup breasts would barely lose a thing, possibly stopping around e. You can never tell what is going to happen, so just focus on the positive side. Yes, your favourite spots on your body may change forever, but a flat stomach, to die for definition and a whole new wardrobe are worth it.

Eat less, exercise more?
For many this is true, but there are exceptions. Some people eat too little food, which leads to starvation mode. This is when the body assumes you’re starving, so it holds on to the food, especially fat, you eat. This in turn leads to weight gain. I know weight loss programmes often show contestants barely eating while exercising for hours and hours, but many of them regain the weight when the show has ended. Do a little of both- eat a little less and be a little more active.

Flabby skin
The excess fat stretches your skin, so when you lose weight flabby skin is left behind. It’s like a skinnier you in your ‘fat clothes’- suddenly there is a lot of space not being filled. Before you consider surgery, give yourself more time. Expect your skin to readjust up to a year after you have met your weight loss, keeping in mind that it could take even longer than that.

Flabby skin is more common in people who lost weight quickly, like those on fad diets, but I have seen one or two who lost slowly and were still left with flabby skin. The amount of time you were overweight and how overweight you were are also factors in the amount of saggy skin you will have. A pregnant woman’s body is more likely to bounce back over time than an obese woman who has been large her entire life.

To prevent saggy skin:
-Lose weight slowly
-Brush your skin with a body brush. Do it daily, gently, and brush towards the heart
-Do strength training to fill the void left by the fat with muscle

At the end of the day, what will be will be. It is upsetting to work so hard to get into that bikini only to be hiding your body all over again because of the saggy skin, but surgery is an option. Save up enough money, just in case. Set aside a few dollars/pounds each month so you are prepared for surgery if the time comes. If your skin bounces back, spend that cash on a fantastic new wardrobe.

Be realistic
People who are maintaining need to continue with the same amount of exercise or do even more. This is why it’s so important to be realistic when gaining weight. Whatever you do must be for life. Will you exercise for 2hrs everyday forever? Will you stuff your face forever? Ask yourself before making important decisions. If the answer is no, don’t do it, and find an alternative.

Support others
On weight loss websites, maintainers are few and far between. Yes, some have regained the weight, but others are so busy enjoying their new dress size that they forget the rest of us. Never forget. Use your experience and knowledge to help others. You never know, one day you may need their help in return.

These tips will get you started on shifting the pounds for good! Just keep your final goal in mind until you achieve weight loss success. It’ll be worth it in the end.