Monday, October 29, 2012
You ask. We Answer. What about nutrition?
Q: How important is nutrition for weight loss?
A: Very, very important. Some say 80% of weight loss can be attributed to diet while only 20% can be attributed to exercise. So if you are working hard to be active and exercise be mindful of what you are eating.
Overall, in order to lose weight you must burn more calories than you eat/drink. Going to the gym will help you lose weight if you create a calorie deficit within your body.
For example, according to the Harris-Benedict formula I require approximately 1400 calories per day to maintain my current body weight. If I eat 2400 calories in a day and go to the gym and work off 500 of those calories, I still have a surplus of 500 calories which will be converted into fat and stored.
2400 calories consumed - (1400 calories required + 500 extra calories burned at the gym) = 500 calorie surplus
However, if I eat 1800 calories and go to the gym and work off 500 of those calories, I will have a deficit of 100 calories which my body will have to find from within. Burning some of the excess fat I have stored within my body.
1800 calories consumed - (1400 calories required + 500 extra calories burned at the gym) = 100 calorie deficit
So if you are looking to lose fat, its a good idea to get an understanding of how many calories you need and how many you are eating/drinking.
A great tool for this is FITDAY.COM which calculates and tracks your calories based on the food you eat and your activity levels. Use it for a few days or use it long term. At the very least you will gain some insight into how many (or how few) calories you are ingesting and at the most you will gain a useful tool for tracking your progress and weight loss.
Look for the answers to the following questions in upcoming posts:
Q: Does it matter WHAT I eat or just how many calories I eat?
Q: How can people target __________ fat (insert: belly/thigh/arm)?
If you have any questions we'd love to hear them, if we don't know the answer we will find it!