WEIGHT LOSS F.A.Q.!
Q: How do I lose 5-10 pounds a week?
A: This is unrealistic. A far more realistic goal is losing 1 to 2 lbs per week. There isn’t a miracle pill. Exercise machines aren’t the complete solution. Eliminating carbs isn’t the answer. Journal your foods and activities and burn more than you eat.
Q: How do I lose weight off my face, butt, thighs, or stomach?
A: The process of losing weight anywhere is the same. There is no such thing as spot training. There isn’t an exercise in the world that will take excess body fat off an area of your body you consider a problem spot. When you lose weight it comes off all over the body in equal amounts.
Q: Is better to be given a meal plan of what to eat to lose weight?
A: No, most people can’t stay on this type of diet for any length of time. No one really wants to be told what to do. In the end they say “screw this” and revert to their old habits.
Q: Do I have to give up candy in order to lose weight?
A: You can eat just about anything you want and still lose weight. To lose weight all you have to do is be in a calorie deficit—which means you have to burn more calories than you eat daily. All you have to do is know how many calories are contained in the candy you eat. As long as you stay in a calorie deficit, you will lose weight.
Q: Does wearing extra clothes or coats while exercising to increase the amount of sweat help you lose weight?
A: No, Sweating has nothing to do with weight loss. Sweating is a mechanism for your body to cool itself off. If you deprive your body of this ability by wearing extra layers, you risk overheating your body and serious injury. The only way to lose weight is to consume fewer calories than you burn.
Q: How do I burn all of these calories?
A: Fortunately for all of us, your body burns most of the calories you need to burn by just living! For example, a typical woman burns about 1,300 calories per day—even if she slept or read a book all day. If you are trying to lose weight, you will need to add some exercise to your daily routine to reach your goal of losing a pound or two per week. Once you reach your goal, you can probably trim some of the exercise—as long as you burn about the same calories as you eat.
Q: How long does it take to lose one pound of body fat?
A: The answer is a simple math equation. You must burn 3,500 calories to lose one pound of body fat. If you burn 500 more calories than you eat for seven days, you will lose one pound of body fat. If you burn 1,000 calories more than you eat for seven days, you will lose two pounds of body fat. The key is to know how many calories are going in and out each day so you can accurately track your progress.
Q: How long will it take you to lose weight?
A: The rate of weight loss varies for each individual. Some will see results right away while others may not see if for a few weeks. It is important to stay consistent and stay on your plan.
Q: How many calories make a pound of weight?
A: 3,500 calories are in a pound of weight.
Q: How many calories should I eat a day to lose weight?
A: The answer is as individual as you are. Each person will have a different caloric intake total, each day of the week, to reach the required 3,500 calorie deficit to lose one pound of body fat. If you burn 500 more calories than you eat a day, for seven days, you will burn 3,500 calories. On a day that you burn 2,500 calories, you can eat up to 2,000 calories. On a day that you burn 2,800 calories, you can eat up to 2,300 calories. Each person will be different and each day will be different.
Q: How many carbohydrates (carbs) should I eat a day?
A: The FDA recommends that you get 50% of your calories from carbohydrates. The NAS (National Academy of Science’s) Institute of Medicine, based on thousands recent of scientific studies, recommend a slightly different approach. They recommend that adults get 45-65% of their calories from carbohydrates. But, they both agree on the kind of carbs you should eat.
Whole grains, starchy vegetables, beans, soy foods, green vegetables, and fruits—foods served as nature grew them—are the carbohydrates that pack the highest nutritional octane. They’re rich in compounds that support good health, including fiber, nutrients, and phytochemicals. A dietary pattern based on these foods lowers the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and many major cancers.
Highly processed carbohydrates, which are stripped of their nutritious germ and fiber, are another story. Unhealthful diets often contain too many carbohydrates processed into concentrated forms (corn syrup, white flour) that provide calories and little else. The bottom line: when you fill up with carbohydrates, only nature reliably pumps out high octane.
Q: I have been overweight all of my life. Do I have to stay this way?
A: Of course not.
Q: I usually skip breakfast? Is this bad?
A: For weight loss, yes. One of the best natural calorie burning tools you have is your digestive system. It takes 6-8 hours to absorb and fully digest a meal. This requires a ton of energy (calories burned). If you eat dinner at 7:00 p.m., your digestive tract will be functioning until around 3:00 a.m. Now if you get up and eat again a few hours later the whole process starts over. But, if you don’t, two things will occur. First, your digestive system will lie dormant until you eat again, probably a full nine hours later. This causes you to lose a large part of you basal metabolic rate (the amount of calories your body burns on its own). Second, your body thinks it’s starving and will slow the rest of your metabolism down as a survival instinct. The end result is that you burn fewer calories naturally, making it harder for you to lose weight.
Q: I’m trying to lose weight. Is fast food bad?
A: Fast food is typically high in calories and low in nutrition. But quite a few fast food chains are incorporating healthy menus. Balance is the key here. If you love fast food and can’t live without it, then learn how much of it you can eat and still lose the weight you want.
Q: Is a high protein diet good for me?
A: No. Too much protein in your diet can cause very serious side effects. In an overly high-protein diet, this acidic environment actually stimulates cells called osteoclasts, which loot bone mineral. Calcium is taken from the bones and can lead to bone disorders such as osteoporosis.
Q: Is alcohol bad for losing weight?
A: It can be.
Q: Is it better to eat before or after a workout?
A: Eating before or after you work out is totally your choice.
Q: What about all of those ads? Lose 5 pounds a day without exercise or changing my diet?
A: Those ads are just wrong. Do not waste your money on dreamy results. That’s not how it works. The dreamy results happen over time.
Q: What is my Daily Metabolic Rate?
A: It is the sum of your basal metabolic rate + your stress levels + your work day activities. Each takes energy (calories) to get you through your day. In other words, it’s the amount of calories you burn each day for just being you.
Q: What’s the fastest speed I can lose weight?
A: It is generally excepted that you can lose up to two (2) pounds per week. If you go faster than that, you are either doing something unhealthy or temporary.
Q: Why does my BMI (Body Mass Index) seem high?
A: The BMI chart isn’t for everyone. It overestimates body fat in people who are muscular or athletic because it doesn’t distinguish between body fat and lean body mass. It doesn’t take into account location of body fat. It can’t accurately classify elderly individuals who are frail and sedentary, and it’s not a good index for adolescents or children. The BMI chart shows percentile statistics, so you can compare your weight to others of the same age and height.
Q: Why should I journal my foods and exercises?
A: It’s like asking “why keep a checkbook”? When you eat a dozen jelly donuts or eat a bag of potato chips—its like you just wrote a ton of calorie checks. Instead of your body sending you a “you ate too much message”, it just stores the excess as fat. After the years go by, the body will “collect” those calorie checks with heart disease or diabeties! You need to see the numbers yourself to see why your gaining weight. Once you see that, you will be able to adjust your “spending.”
Q: Will I gain weight if I quit smoking?
A: Smoking doesn’t make you gain or lose weight. Nicotine does increase the rate of your metabolism, so by quiting you will burn fewer calories during the day. Plus, the physical action of smoking becomes an oral fixation and when one quits he or she may replace that with eating. But the only way you will gain weight is when you eat more calories than you burn.