If you are trying to lose weight, or are well on your way in the process, you either have or probably will reach a point where you are not losing weight. Despite your best efforts, the weight just doesn’t seem to come off. If this is happening to you, it might be time to know your net calories.
What are your net calories? The definition is simple, but figuring it out will take a commitment from you. Net calories is simply the calories you consume in a day less the calories your body needs to function and the number of calories you burn through additional exercise. For you mathematicians out there it would look something like this:
Net Calories = (Calories Eaten) – (Calories Needed to Maintain Weight + Calories Burned in Exercise)
Before we go on, I know that you don’t want to count calories. The truth is, nobody does, and if you have been losing your excess weight without knowing your exact net calories that’s great. Keep it up! But if you have reached a plateau or even gained a few pounds lately, it’s time to check up on the numbers.
Losing weight is a numbers game. For every 3,500 calories that you burn more than what you consume, you will lose one pound. It’s really that simple, but the math is easier than the effort. This means that to lose one pound in one week you would need your net calories to be negative 500, meaning you burned 500 calories more than you consumed. That, for 7 days, would be 3,500 calories in a week, and would equal one pound. Adjust as you will, try to lose weight too fast.
Instead of agreeing to count calories forever, why not do it for a week? That means really doing it. You will only get the benefit if you try to be as accurate as you can be. By counting net calories you might learn that you are consuming more calories than you thought, which will tell you exactly why your weight loss has stalled.
There can be different reasons why we reach a weight loss plateau, but one of them that is common is that a person does not change his diet as he loses weight. That means that the same 2,000 calorie diet that was working great when he was 250 pounds no longer does as much good when he weighs less. Your calorie needs should be recalculated once in a while as your weight and age changes.
After one week, you will have a great idea of where you daily net calories stand with your current eating and exercise habits and you can make a decision on whether a change to your diet or change to your workout routine will make a difference to get things moving again.
After all, it’s only a week.