What it takes to lose/gain weight

I have been inspired by a client this week to talk a little more about what it takes to put on and lose weight. 

Let's talk numbers first:
Calories in a pound (lb) of fat = 3500
If FAT was purely FAT (it is made up of other stuff too), it would take 3500 Calories, or 500 Calories per day in a 7 day week to burn a single pound (of fat). 
Average BMR (daily Calories needed to survive) of US citizens:
--Men: 1,662 (eh, probably a little higher than the reports showed for the average male)
--Women: 1,492

To lose weight: Calories OUT must be GREATER than Calories IN
That means:
- (YOUR BMR + YOUR Activity, in Calories) MUST BE GREATER than (Calories you eat)

For example: Say my BMR is 2200 and I burn about 700 calories a day form working out. I have to eat less than 2900 calories a day to lose weight. 

THIS DOES NOT MEAN YOU SHOULD STARVE YOURSELF to lose weight. It means to take it like a staircase of calories. Start with cutting down 200 net Calories a week, then 200 Calories less the next week. This is how we prevent Yo-Yo dieting. 

The opposite is true for gaining weight.
(YOUR BMR + YOUR Activity, in Calories) MUST BE LESS than (Calories you eat)

SAME IDEA. Adding 200-400 calories to your daily regimen weekly is the best way to gain weight without getting fed up with overdoing it for a little bit and slingshotting back. Luckily, what I find happens when bulking however, is that your stomach is a good guide. Pushing a little past the point of satisfied is a good way to gauge if you're eating enough when starting to bulk. 

You might be able to tell that I am not huge on working around numbers as I find that it can be exhausting, time consuming, and due to poor measurement devices/Calorie reads, a bit imprecise anyway, but this is there for anyone that likes that type of guide. Personally, I am all about the small lifestyle changes that accumulate to weight loss and weight gain, but all ways are good! Whichever one works for you is the one that you should pursue!

Ah, that part is the (relatively) easy part. Calories in versus Calories out. Next, I want to explore the difference between eating junk food and eating healthy food when dieting/gaining weight. Additionally, exercise TYPE has a bit of a roll as well, which we have talked a little bit about, but will go into more to continue this discussion.

Fun Fact: If you are wondering why I keep capitalizing the C in Calories (not sure if I mentioned this in the past):
1 calorie = the amount of heat required at a pressure of 1 atmosphere of pressure to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water 1 degrees Celsius. 
In other words, it is a TINY amount of energy

1 Calorie = 1000 calories. We measure our food and energy consumption in the 1000s - saves a lot of zeros being written down and makes MATHS a little easier. 


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What do you think about when you hear those words? 

I almost guarantee you, the average person in our society thinks negatively about fat. On the contrary, fat is quite important to you, AND it can dramatically affect weight loss (specifically fat loss) results. 

Watch me keep this post super short, but super informative!

What is fat?

  • Efficient energy storage (9kcal/g of energy in fat vs 4kcal/g in carbohydrates or protein)
  • Transported through the blood as fatty acids (3x Carbon-Hydrogen chains attached to 1x glycerol)
  • Essential to the human diet in the form of Omega-3s and Omega-6s
  • Needed for fat-soluble digestion of Vitamins A, D, E, K

    Types of Fat (based on structure and chemical response within the body)
  • Saturated (No double bonds in C-H chain, solid at room temperature; i.e. butter)
  • Unsaturated (At least 1 double bond in C-H chain, liquid at room temperature; i.e. oil)
  • Trans (Double bond gets hydrogenated and shaped like a saturated fat, solid at room temperature; i.e. Crisco) - Just stay away from these (you can tell if it is in the ingredients if it says anything related to 'partially hydrogenated ______ oil'

All good so far - mandatory science out of the way. How do we strategically use fat in our diet?This is why we talked about Insulin previously. Say you are trying to keep your body in a 'fat burning zone' and want to make sure you aren't stimulating your insulin response, thus maintaining your fat burning rather than fat storing systems. Well, what else would you eat to stave off hunger and get the job done? I hope you don't say "Well, I just wouldn't eat."

You've got it! FAT (and protein)!

On top of low glycemic veggies, fat and protein are your best friends when trimming fat off of your body.

This saying goes a long way in the fat burning world (because there is one?): 

"In the presence of protein, your body will opt for fat as an energy source"
-This is the case because your body prefers to use fat over protein for energy.
-So make sure you are getting your protein, and maintain a relatively low insulin response to get your body to do the fat loss work for you. 


No need to continue from here, but I am going to go into some of my favorite fats because it makes me happy AND they are a huge part of my diet (and therefore life).

  • The almighty Avocado (fun fact: Avvocato in Italian is 'lawyer').
    -I eat probably a whole avocado every day. True happiness right there.
  • Bacon and red meats.
    -Relatively fatty (saturated), but do not be afraid of these fats as they can still be used in your diet strategically
  • Eggs. 
    -THE ENTIRE EGG TOO. Cholesterol talk to come soon - let's just say that there is a lot of bad information out there. My cholesterol levels are great btw.
  • Nuts, nuts, nuts - especially the expensive ones! Mmmm cashews

    PLEASE don't hesitate to click on the title of this post and comment your faves! 

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