Losing weight sounds like a good idea, until you see the menu you'll be eating from. You start to think about all the fast food places you frequent and how badly you crave a giant chocolate candy bar. Eventually you decide to give this restricted diet a shot and halfway through your program you give in to one of many temptations (or two... or three) and in the end you give up dieting and think you'll never lose weight. There are ways you can lose weight without giving up your favorite foods and they're a lot easier than you think.

Pay Attention To Calories

Determining Your Daily Limit

calorie counting
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I'm not saying you have to obsess over how many calories you're taking in, but it's going to help you get into the habit of being aware of what's being put into your body. Monitoring your daily calorie intake is helpful because you're going to have a much better grasp on how many calories you need to burn in a week, or a day, depending on how you prefer to keep track of things.

Every food product on store shelves have a label called nutrition facts, giving the consumers information about what's inside the food. People who can't eat peanuts are able to avoid products that were made with that ingredient and people paying attention to carbs and saturated fats are provided with enough information to make a better purchase based on their wants and needs.

I'm not going to tell you to only eat foods low in carbs or only pick items that are fat free. You're simply going to look at the calories, serving size and the servings per container section. This information is always first on the list, right beneath the words "Nutrition Facts"

How To Determine How Much Energy You Need

Food is energy, even if it's junk food. The amount of energy (food) you need on a daily basis is determined by how active you are. 

This is going to take a little math, so grab a calculator if you need to and have a pen and a piece of paper handy because you're going to want to remember these numbers. Men and women are different so I'm going to follow the rules and keep the "lady's first" saying alive, then the equation for men will follow. 

For Women:

  • Multiply your current weight (in pounds) by 10. 

For Men:

  • Multiply your weight (in pounds) by 11

Not too hard, right? These are just general equations that's don't factor in your age. Let's face it, age does matter when it comes to losing weight because there are factors that come into play like bone density and metabolism,etc. If you want to get a more accurate calculation, let's use a different equation that factors in your age. These equations require you to multiply your weight in kilograms instead of pounds like the first equations I've given.

Women's Daily Energy Equations Based On Age:

18-30 years of age: 

14.7 x weight + 496

Ages 30-60: 

8.7 x weight + 829

60 years and over: 

10.5 x weight + 596

Men's Daily Energy Equations Based On Age:

18-30 years of age: 

15.3 x weight + 679

Ages 30-60:

11.6 x weight + 879

60 years and over:

13.5 x weight + 487

There you have it. This is how much energy you need on a daily basis. It doesn't end here though. We still have to factor in your activity levels. Keep this first number handy. You're going to need it.




Consider Your Daily Activity

lazy guy
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How active you are on a daily basis is going to help give you a more precise answer as to how many calories you should be consuming daily. Losing weight comes down to one simple thing and that's making sure you burn more calories than you eat.

So, grab your pen or pencil and the same sheet of paper you did your first equation on and lets figure out how active you are.

Very Light Daily Activity: The number you want to write down is 0.2

People with office jobs that require them to sit all day.Reading, lying down and sewing are other examples of activities that are considered light so if you're someone who spends a majority of your day sitting or lying down then you're in this category.

Light Daily Activity: Your number is 0.3

This category includes people that work in a restaurant, play golf, do carpentry or garage work or light exercises such as walking for less than 2 miles. You get physical activity, but it's light enough to allow you to do it all day without passing out.

Moderate Daily Activity: The number you want to write down is 0.4

If you enjoy spending all day in your garden then you're in this category (gardening is harder than most people think). So are the people who play sports like tennis and who do housework or stop by the gym for a nice cycling session. You spend more of your day doing something and you agenda involves very little sitting.

Heavy Daily Activity: Your number is 0.5

You're exhausted by the end of the day because you either work construction, play sports that are extremely demanding such as football, or you enjoy rock climbing.

There are a lot more activies that fit into all the categories, but I'm sure you get the point.

Take the number from the activity list that best suits you and multiply that by the number you have written as you answer from your first equation. This number is how many calries you need for you level of activity. Obviously, the more active you are on a daily basis, the more calories you're going to need. Ask any football player.

Eating and digestion use about 10% of your daily energy needs and there is actually an equation used to help determine how many calories you need to maintain your weight, but today we're talking about how to lose weight without giving up your favorite foods.

Now that you have the calories you need to eat on a daily basis to have energy and you've based it on your activity level, let's get to how to lose weight.




Increase Your Cardio

cardio exercise
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Jogging, speed walking and anything that ensures your lower body is moving consistently is considered cardio. Your heart rate is going to increase and your body heats up, causing fat to melt and you to sweat. A good thing to keep in mind when you're trying to lose weight is if you're not sweating, you're not working.

This is the fastest way to lose weight since cardio workouts blast fat and with less fat, you'll have a smaller number on the scale. It's recommended that cardio is done at least two or three times per week for at least half an hour.

My personal favorite is jumping rope because it's simple and reminds me of how much more in shape I was when I was a kid. You can also turn the daily activities you already do into a cardio workout. Mowing the lawn and walking faster than you normally do is a nice way to turn your internal thermometer up a few notches.

Strength Training

strength training
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Yoga, weight lifting and anything that leaves your muscles flexed for a long period of time (like mountain climbing) is going to help you build muscle. Even if you're squatting all day wiping runny noses, it puts you in a strength training position because you're flexing muscles. Just like cardio, muscles burn fat.

Make sure to burn more calories than you eat. When you get to the grocery list you won't have to mark through any of your favorites as long as you keep in mind that when you add up your calories at the end of the day, make sure you've also done enough physical activity to have burned more than the amount you've eaten. In a few weeks, you'll start to see some positive changes and you didn't even have to give up that cheeseburger.