One of the most important aspects of losing weight is the concept of burning more calories than you put into your body. This notion is commonly referred to as calories in, calories out (CICO). Calories in is fairly straight forward and is measured by the number of calories consumed in a day. Calories out is slightly more complicated but can easily be estimated by calculating the sum of the number of calories your body consumes at rest or your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) and the number of calories burned through movement (Activity).
Sounds simple right? However, research has found that the common equations that estimate ones BMR are over generalized and often do not provide the most accurate information on an individual level. One potential source of error (and your insanity) stems from the thought that our BMR is a static number. You metabolic system is highly complex and there are far too many variables to try to account for each one individually. Rather than attempting to acquire a complete understanding of each component of metabolism, it is much more time efficient to monitor your weight while you manipulate individual variables.
It turns out that Mary Poppins was right when she said “in every job that must be done there is an element of fun, find that fun and snap the jobs a game.”
One question that is continually asked in the field of psychology is: “Why do people not do things that are in their own best interest?” We see this all the time in our daily lives, yet it is especially significant in our health behaviors. An interesting aspect of the decision-making process is that we usually know what we should be doing and yet, we continue to make poor decisions. For instance, we take the escalator when we know the stairs burn more calories, diabetics wait over a year to begin insulin treatment and patients at risk for heart disease resist changing their lifestyle.
Have you ever lost a bunch of weight just to put it all back on plus more? The main reason so many of us are stuck on this roller coaster of weight loss and weight gain is that we kill our metabolism with intense dieting and cardio.
The roller coaster begins when we get to busy to exercise, indulge in our favorite treats and eventually gain weight… Tick Tick Tick Tick Tick. One day you look in the mirror and realize where you have gotten yourself… the top of the roller coaster of course! So you throw your hands in the air in anticipation of the ride back down. You lose your stomach (pun intended) and the weight comes off with ease as you soar through the loops and twists of dieting and daily cardio.
Quick victories in decreasing that pesky number on the scale makes sever calorie restriction and countless hours on the treadmill seem like the best way to lose weight. However, you’re definitely not doing yourself any favors in the long run by over-training and under eating.