The great debate:
Is weight loss just about calories in vs. calories out?
This is a hot topic in the fitness industry about weight loss. Is losing weight just about the number of calories you consume vs the number of calories you expend?
Yes it is but that doesn’t mean you should just eat twinkles and Oreos. What you consume actually impacts the amount of calories expended and changes your metabolism- let us explain!
Eating natural foods with a high protein diet will make your metabolism faster compared to eating the same amount of calories in junk food and refined sugar. This is because of a phenomenon called the “Thermic effect” of food. When you consume protein, this “Thermic effect” is a lot more pronounced and therefore burns more calories than you would if you ate a meal high in carbs and fats alone.
Refined sugar is the exact opposite. It takes almost no energy to break down. If you are eating low amounts of protein, high carbs/sugars, high fats, your resting metabolic rate will be greatly reduced because you aren’t making your body do much work to process them. Not only that you will eventually start to experience awful symptoms such as gas, weight gain, and severe heart burn over time. I’m not saying you can’t treat yourself with a burgers and fries every once in awhile but its important to understand that certain foods you eat will have a larger impact on your metabolism than others.
Here is the hierarchy for weight loss:
Calories – This is the number one rule for ensuring that you lose weight. If you consume less calories, than you burn, you WILL lose weight. It’s just the law of thermodynamics in action. A quick formula to calculate the number of calories that you need to consume every day is to take your Body Weight (lbs) and multiply it by 12. Obviously, there will be some trial and error associated with this number but in general it’s a great place to start if you’re looking to cut weight.
Macros – Macro-nutrients are just your basic protein, carbs, and fat numbers. These impact your metabolism and will aid in your journey to weight loss if you consume them in the right proportions (High Protein, High Carb, Low-Moderate Fat) is the diet that most people will see results on and is the most sustainable generally speaking. Not to mention the fact that eating a higher protein diet will make you feel more satisfied during your weight loss journey as protein in generally is more satiating and filling than carbs and fat.
It’s important to manage expectations when trying to lose weight. In general, a good number to shoot for is about ½ fat loss to 1 lb per week. Anything above that is considered more of a crash diet and is usually not sustainable. Come talk to the expert trainers at Houston Personal Training to get a better idea of how best to find a sustainable approach to weight loss!
Hi - I'm Ankur - Owner and creator of HPT - Houston Personal Training. This blog is here to share my most recent thoughts on subjects related to fitness. Everything that interests me, I hope you find it helpful. Please comment, share, and most importantly - have some serious fun!