Written on January 1, 2008 – 4:39 pm | by Jeff Ainslie
If you never want to go on a diet again, the simplest way is to start eating like a person at your goal weight and keep doing it. You will lose weight faster at the start and it will slow as you approach your goal weight, but you will never be “on a diet” again.
First of all, you need to know your BMR (basal metabolic rate), which is how many calories your body burns in a day to stay alive. If you were asleep for 24 hours, your BMR would be the amount of calories you would burn.
To get a realistic measure of the total calories that you burn in a day, you need to multiply your BMR by a number that represents how much activity that you do in a day.
- If you get little or no exercise, multiply your BMR by 1.2.
- If you exercise lightly or take part in easy sports one to three times a week, multiply your BMR by 1.375.
- If you are moderately active — three to five times a week — multiply your BMR by 1.55.
- If you are very active — hard exercise or sports six to seven times a week — multiply your BMR by 1.725.
- If you are extra active — very hard exercise or sports and a physical job — multiply your BMR by 1.9.
Here are some ballpark figures that I worked out for a weight loss of 50 lbs.
5’5″ woman, 30 years old who exercises lightly (BMR x 1.375)
175 lbs – 2165 calories per day
125 lbs – 1850 calories per day
If this woman eats 300 calories per day less on a continuous basis, over time she will lose 50 lbs and maintain that weight. With eating 300 calories less per day, she can expect to lose about 0.6 lbs per week at the start.
5’10” man, 30 years old who exercises lightly (BMR x 1.375)
225 lbs – 2950 calories per day
175 lbs – 2550 calories per day
If this man eats 400 calories per day less on a continuous basis, he will also have a 50 lbs weight loss. With eating 400 calories less per day, he can expect to lose about 0.8 lbs per week at the start.
This is how most people put on weight in the first place. They simply eat a few more calories per day on a continual basis and over time they store more and more fat. They eat the calories of a heavier person, and gradually become that heavier person.
It is clear that diets don’t work because as soon as people go off of a diet, they start eating like they did before the diet. The best approach is to know your goal weight and then figure out how many calories per day you will need to eat to maintain that goal weight.
Start to eat your “maintenance” calories at the start of your weight loss. If you eat like a thinner person, you become that thinner person. You will gradually lose the weight and never feel deprived along the way. It’s not a sexy weight loss plan, but it works in the long term.
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