Know Your Base Line

If you want to lose weight, it’s obvious reducing your calories and increasing exercise is the way to do it. 

However, if you don’t know your ‘baseline’ before starting, you’re setting yourself up for failure.

What is your baseline? 

  • The maximum amount of food you can eat and you weight stays stable
  • The minimal amount of exercise it takes to keep your weight stable 

If you don’t know your baseline how will you determine the number of calories to cut or the volume of exercise to add in?

Calories:

If you’re currenting consuming 3000 calories (Cal) per day, cutting down to 1500 Cal in the hope of losing weight is a recipe for disaster. Such a drastic reduction, will initially give you rapid weight loss (fat, muscle and water) but eventually your metabolism will slow to a crawl, then you will be faced with two options, cut further, or rebound back, possibly to a worse position than you started. In the end you are going to fail using this method.

What should you do? Use an app like MyFitnessPal (link) track what you’re eating for at least a week (two better) without changing anything. From there start to adjust, a 10% reduction in calories is usually a good starting point. 

Exercise:

People usually have a similar ‘all or nothing attitude’ to exercise, going from hardly any or none, to jogging 5 – 7 days a week.

This approach, gives a response similar to crash dieting. Most people will usually see an initial reduction in weight, followed by it tapering off to a standstill, even if they are exercising 5 – 7 days a week. 

What should you do? Start tracking, use a Fitbit to find your base line of daily movement and look for a good strength training program.

Slowly increasing your daily steps (using the fitbit) and following a good strength program will reduce body fat, hold or increase lean muscle mass, while still keeping your metabolism running at a healthy rate.  After maxing out this approach you would strategically add HIIT and cardio training into the mix.

Summary:

Following this approach is harder, you need to track and plan, the results will also come slower. However, long term you will have sustainable weight loss, keep your metabolism running well, look and feel better.

Want to learn more? 

I’m always happy to help

Aaron