The Real Way to Lose Weight

imagesI think Jack LaLanne said it best, "The only way you get that fat off is to eat less and exercise more." Jack was a world famous exercise expert and is credited heavily for the proliferation of weight training facilities and gyms in America. While the quote is very simple to understand, there is a lot of math that goes unexplained.

Math and Weight Loss

Determining how much weight you are going to gain or loss on any given day or week can be found be performing a few simple equations that relate directly to Mr. LaLanne’s quote.

Calories you consume – calories you burn exercising – the calories you burn at rest = how much weight you’ll gain or lose on a given day.

Calories You Consume

The calories you consume each day is actually very easy to calculate. On the internet or in a book, you are easily able to find out how many calories are in the foods you have eaten. Simply add all of those up for the day and you’ll get the calories consumed number. Don’t forget to include any calories from things that you drink.

2011-01-26-jacklalannefingertipCalories Burned From Exercise

Exercise directly burns more calories than what is burned at rest. Fortunately, there are also many sources that tell you roughly how many calories you can expect to burn based on your weight for a given exercise at a given exercise level. For individuals that walk or run, it is even easier to figure out. On average, you burn 100 calories for every mile covered. This means if you went for a four mile run or walk, then you burned about 400 calories.

Resting Metabolic Rate

Your resting metabolic rate is the amount of calories your body has to use each day just to remain functional. Your body builds new cells every day, you breathe, you digest food, and anything else you can think of that your body does require energy. While you can delve into some very complex equations as it relates to RMR, you can simple utilize some averages to get your formula started. Just remember, males burn more calories at rest than females, taller individuals burn more calories at rest, and individuals who weigh more burn calories at rest. The average resting metabolic rate for males is 1700 to 1900 calories per day while females is 1300 to 1500 per day.

math_equation2Putting It Together

For instance, let’s assume you are a female and you ate 1500 calories and ran five miles.

1500 – 500 – 1500 = -500 calories for the day.

With this formula, it is predicted that you burned 500 more calories than you took in for the day. Since a pound of fat contains 3500 calories then you lost 0.14 lbs for the day. If you were to keep that up for a week, then you would have lost a whole pound by the end of that week.


The short answer is no!  Even if you were to workout more, you would not necessarily lose more weight… I mean it could happen but the truth of the matter is that you body is very resistant to letting go of stored fat, so when you lose to much to fast your body will essentially roll into preservation mode and will actually lower its metabolism so that it can hang onto its precious fat stores.  This is why working with a skilled fitness professional such as myself can be so important to helping you with your fat loss efforts.

As always….leave your questions and comments in the space below!  I really appreciate when you do!  In fact, your comments and questions are what fuel me to continue writing for you!

  • To Your Continued Success
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  • JJ Brawley N.C.P.T.
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