Simple mathematics does the trick. Well, at least most of the time.
Now, consider your body as a bag of 20 apples. It weighs as much as 20 apples. If you take out 3 apples a day and put back 3 apples a day, how much heavier or lighter is the bag after a day?
Hmm... we didn't lose any weight in apples, did we? The bag still weighs 20 apples.
Okay, to lose weight, we can either take out 4 apples while keep putting back 3 apples every day, or keep taking out 3 apples but put back only 2 apples every day. Either way, the bag loses 'apple' weight!
If your body is a bag, the apples are calories. Calories keep getting in and out of your body every day. You simply tip the balance towards taking more calories out and getting less of them in.
You burn up calories by the simple act of living - breathing, brushing your teeth, smiling, blinking your eyelids! The amount of calories you burn by just living is called "maintenance calories". To stay alive, you will need to put back this amount of calories into your body every day. And you do this by eating.
You also burn calories by activity - any kind of activity. You can jog, you can swim, play tennis, do sit-ups, carry your child around the block, or even simply get up to turn the volume up (instead of using the remote), just going about your daily activity - walking to the market, climbing the stairs to your office, sweeping your verandah. These are your "activity calories".
There are many ways to burn calories. However, the only way to put the calories back in the bag is by eating (or drinking) them. Let's call the calories that you eat "intake calories".
The number of calories that the body gains in a day = intake calories - (maintenance calories + activity calories).
Obviously, if intake calories are equal to (maintenance + activity calories), we don't gain any calories, so our weight stays constant.
If intake calories are more or activity calories are reduced, we add more calories to the body, and gain weight.
If intake calories are reduced, or activity calories are increased, we lose calories from the body and lose weight.
Simple, isn't it?
Now, here are some facts.
1 gram of fat = 9 calories.
Therefore, half a kilo of fat (500 gms) = 9 x 500 = 4500 calories.
Assuming that you want to lose only fat, and not muscle, as weight (of course, you'd like to preserve those excellent muscles, ain't it?), you will need to lose about 4500 calories to lost half a kilo of your weight.
Ok, so why did I pick half a kilo of weight?
According to scientists, doctors and experts-in-what-not, losing half a kilo of weight every week is a sustainable goal. Try aiming for a rate of weight loss more than this and you may need to have a Herculean will power to carry on.
Which means, losing about 4500 calories in a week. Which is about 640 calories in a day. Well, again (perhaps to stay conservative in their estimates), the experts-in-what-not recommend a deficit of 500 calories a day (instead of the 640 that we calculated).
There - you now have your mantra to lose weight.
Hmm... how do you know that you are creating a deficit of 500 calories every day? Or, how do you count calories? How do you track your weight loss? How do you track how much extra you burn with each little increase in activity?
A one-stop solution for all your information and managing your health is healthalyze.com