Monday, 27 February 2012

Weight Loss Facts

I think that it is fair to say that some people just do not ‘get’ weight loss. Weight loss is not as difficult, in principle, as it is sometimes made out to be. Some things that I have mentioned in previous blog entries will also be discussed here but it never hurts to refresh the memory.

Calories are the key – the really key to weight loss is calories. The simple science is that to lose weight we must use more calories than we consume and it really is as simple as this. To lose weight we need to create a calorie deficit (burn more calories than we need). To lose a pound we must burn off 3500 extra calories, so a 500 calorie deficit a day will see us lose 1 pound per week.

Fat does not make us fat – this is a common misconception that is still around today and ‘low-fat’ food products are being produced. The simple truth is that we need fat in our diet. It is true that not all fats are created equal (avoid trans fats for example) but we must not cut fat from our diet.

Fat contains the most amounts of calories – although we should not cut fat out of our diet, it is true that, per gram, fat contains more calories than protein and carbohydrates.

Excess energy is stored as fat – when we eat more calories than we need we store the excess as fat. So basically, do not overeat!

Crunches does not lose belly fat - we can do as many crunches as we want, but the calories we burn from this will simply not be enough to burn belly fat and/or lose significant weight. This rule applies to other abdominal exercises too. 

Reduced risk of diabetes – through weight/fat loss, we reduce the risk of developing diabetes and for men, it is suggested that weight loss reduces the risk of heart problems.

You should eat when you are hungry – this is such a key one for me. I have heard so many people say they skipped a meal or that they felt hungry but didn’t want to eat because they are trying to lose weight. This is so ridiculous to me. Our body is giving us a sign that we need to eat, so we should eat. A major problem of skipping meals is that we send a sign back to our body that food is not available when we need it. Starving ourselves leads to the body storing fat for other times when we do not eat.


  1. I agree, I try and keep it simple: I eat when I'm hungry, I stop when I'm full... don't even need to count calories so far!

    1. It is that simple really. For people struggling with weight loss, calorie counting is important.