We have all heard it. It is likely you have said it. That you are struggling to lose weight. No matter why it hasn’t happened yet, I want to help you find out why it is a struggle and get us on the path toward success. Weight loss is not a simple objective. Humans are unique and while there are some constants in weight loss not everyone will be able to succeed with the same plan. For this first installment of this summer series I want to talk about the key driver of weight loss and one of the hurdles I see most often.
How to lose weight, step 1. Consume less calories then you burn. This is known as a caloric deficit and is mandatory to lose weight. While ignoring the nuance, this is the key. Let us look at a very real example of how many people try to reach a caloric deficit and ultimately struggle to lose weight.
In this example someone is eating in a manageable deficit Su-Th. Lets say that is 2000 Calories and the person burns 2400 Calories per day. Over those five days it is a 2000 Calorie Deficit. Friday this person goes out to eat, adding 500 calories, eating 2500 calories. For the week this puts us at a 1900 calorie deficit. Looking at Saturday this person eats 4000 calories. A combination of eating out (hard to account for added fats), enjoying some alcohol and snacks, and eating a slightly larger breakfast this is very possible. This brings our deficit to 300. While still in a deficit this person has lost almost any wiggle room and while possible, it is very improbable that they were 100% on those five days. The other obvious issue here, is a 300cal/week deficit is not going to produce any measurable results in the time frame most people are looking for. This ultimately leads to frustration and relapse to bad habits.
The key is consistency. There are lots of ways to get into a calorie deficit, but if you cannot sustain it for months at a time and remain decently happy, the reality is you are likely to fail. While there are other factors at play, understanding how much you are eating is a powerful first step that we need to not be afraid to take. Our health and goals are worth it!