The Nitty-Gritty of How to Lose Weight Fast
The United States is one of the fattest countries in the world and it's been high on that list for over 50 years. The sad news is this unhealthy statistic only continues to grow as Americans hold on to their continued love affair with poor diet and nutrition. The health concerns related to obesity and excess stomach fat have brought the more health-conscious searching for the answer of how to lose weight.
A good weight loss program will comprise a low-calorie diet and ample amounts of exercise and physical activity. There's no shortage of weight-loss products and the media makes sure that we're continually inundated with a deluge of product hype, but effective weight loss always comes down to one basic principle: we must consume fewer calories than our body needs. There are no magic tricks or special potions that can bring about weight loss. If you want to know how to lose belly fat, it's simple â€¦weight loss will occur when our body burns the excess fat because it has not been provided with enough fuel to perform the functions it's been given. It really is that basic.
To figure out how many calories your body needs each day will require looking at three different factors: BMR, or Basic Metabolic Rate, physical activity, and the thermic affect of food.
The first item â€“ BMR (Basic Metabolic Rate), is the amount of calories or energy that your body requires in order to function at rest. This will be the number of calories needed to keep your temperature regulated, heart pumping and other organs functioning. As you'll see, physical activity will be looked at separately. BMR has noting to do with the amount of calories burned during exercise. The number of calories burned by your BMR will account for about 60 to 70 percent of the calories your body requires each day.
One very reliable formula used to determine your BMR is the Harris-Benedict formula:
66 + (6.3 x body weight in pounds) + (12.9 x height in inches) â€“ (6.8 x age in years)
655 + (4.3 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) â€“ (4.7 x age in years)
The next factor that will affect the number of calories our body needs is physical activity. Physical activity, or exercise, requires the second highest number of calories required by our body. Everything you do requires calories (energy) and this energy comes in the form of calories burned. No matter what you do, from brushing your teeth to running a marathon, your body will need fuel to perform the task and fuel comes in the form of calories. The number of calories your body burns during any given activity will depend on your weight, the more you weigh, the more calories your body burns.
The last item that affects the amount of calories our body uses is called the thermic effect of food. This thermic effect is the amount of energy your body uses in digesting the food you've consumed. When we eat, our body needs to work at digesting the food and breaking it down into usable elements. This process takes energy, or calories. The thermic effect of food is calculated at 10% of the calories consumed. So, approximately 10% of all calories eaten are burned by the body in the process of digesting it. Some foods have a higher thermic effect, such as legumes, but that's another whole article.
By understanding how our body utilizes calories and knowing how to calculate how many calories we need in a day, we can easily make changes that will result in the weight loss we're looking for. If you want to lose weight fast it doesn't have to be complicated; it's simply a formula of making healthy choices regarding the foods we eat and engaging in plenty of physical activity. Losing weight isn't all about reducing calories, it's also about burning calories and an equal balance will bring successful long-term weight loss.