By: Chad Ruf, Director of Personal Training

Hello Lose Weight Challenge Participants!  Congratulations on getting to week four of the challenge.  This week I want to share what I consider the secret to weight loss.

To lose weight you have to take in fewer calories than you burn! - Period

1.    If you eat 2000 calories and burn 3000 calories, you lose weight
2.    If you eat 2000 calories and burn 1000 calories, you gain weight
3.    If you eat 2000 calories and burn 2000 calories, you don’t move


Most people are at a maintenance level when they begin an exercise routine. This means that in example #3 above they are taking in the same amount of calories as they are burning. If you know you are at a maintenance level, all you have to do is write down what you eat for a few days and figure exactly how many calories you are taking in on average. We have a free calorie tracking tool in mysnapfitness.com for you to utilize to track your calorie intake, should you want to use that. Once you know this information, you have a couple options.

  1. You can eat fewer calories. When you eat fewer calories you will begin to lose weight as your caloric input number is lower than your output. However, by dieting alone, your body will adjust to this and lower your metabolism, eating away at your muscle to get there. In the end you have lost weight but most of it will be muscle mass. This is why DIETING ALONE DOES NOT WORK.
  2. You exercise more and eat fewer calories. This is good in that you are creating a larger caloric deficit.  You add 20 minutes of weight training and 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise and the numbers start to move. (I.e. 1500 calories coming in with food and 3000 calories being burned through exercise).  Because you are at a 1500 calorie deficit you will begin losing about 2 pounds per week. This is because 3500 calories equals one pound of body weight. Weight training will help you burn more calories and help you maintain lean muscle mass which increases your metabolism. Cardiovascular fitness will help you burn more calories and will help you begin burning stored body fat. By eating less and healthier you will not be adding any more stored fat.

  
To summarize this whole idea, it can simply be said to, "Eat less and exercise more." Don’t overcomplicate it.  Be consistent - especially during the weekdays when you are on a strict routine. Keep your eating clean and don’t let anything get in the way of your workout. It really isn’t rocket science; it is consistency and dedication to make the right decisions each and every day.

Once again, hope the challenge is going well for you and best of luck in your finish.

Chad

Reminder: At 7:00 p.m. CST on April 11th I will be hosting a live Facebook chat on the Weight Loss Challenge. "Like" the Snap Fitness page on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/snapfitness247 for Lose Weight Challenge tips, motivation, and to get in on our live chat!

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