Any weight loss process consists of 2 phases:
The Weight Loss Induction Phase - where you are actively loosing weight (shedding pounds)
The Weight Maintenance Phase - where you are stabilizing and maintaining the new weight level you have achieved
Let's take a closer look at what each phase entails. First, here's the fundamental law of weight control:
|CALORIE INTAKE - CALORIE OUTPUT = CHANGE IN BODY WEIGHT
What this means is the following:
Whenever your daily calorie intake exceeds your daily calorie output, your body weight will increase.
Conversely, if your daily calorie intake is below your calorie output, your body weight will decrease.
And if your calorie intake is equal to your calorie output, you will maintain your current body weight.
During the weight loss induction phase, your goal is to keep your calorie intake below the level of your calorie output, day after day. In other words, you must run a calorie deficit in order to loose weight, and this calorie deficit must continue over time.
During the weight maintenance phase (after you have achieved your target weight), your goal is keep your calorie intake equal your calorie output. And of course, this balance must continue over time.
So how do you juggle your calorie intake and calorie output to achieve the above?
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Well, there are quite a number of ways you can do that. As a rule of thumb, the best approach to weight loss is a combination approach. Whenever possible, the weight issue should be tackled from several different angles.
This means combining measures such as:
- proper nutrition (improperly, in my opinion, called dieting)
- physical activity (exercise)
- weight loss supplements, vitamins, and omega-3 fatty acids
- several other less common modalities, which are discussed elsewhere on this site
The right balance of all these factors constitutes what I call the "art of weight control". Ideally, the combination of weight control methods should be tailored to your individual situation, so as to integrate in your life with ease. This is very important, and can mean the difference between failure and success. More about this in the Self Evaluation section, where I show how to set realistic weight loss goals and how to define your weight loss plan.
Let's talk about calories for a moment:
What is CALORIE INTAKE?
Calorie Intake is simply the number of calories you put in your body, via the food and drink you ingest each day. Essentially, food and drink are the only source of calories that enter your body. So naturally, by reducing your food and drink intake, you are reducing your calorie intake.
How can you reduce the number of calories you ingest? By:
a) Decreasing the quantity of your food and drink.
b) Changing the quality of your food and drink - which is the smart way to go about the problem, since different types of food have very different caloric content and a different propensity to be stored as fat. The results accomplished this way can be amazing. This presupposes, however, some knowledge of the caloric content of food. More about this in the section Eat for Success.
A number of weight control methods work by decreasing the Calorie Intake. These methods are:
- Nutrition changes (Dieting)
- Appetite Suppressants
- Bariatric Surgery (which reduces the volume of the stomach, thereby decreasing the amount of food a person can take in)
What is CALORIE OUTPUT?
Calorie Output is the number of calories consumed (or burned) by your body in order to:
a) stay alive (maintain cellular function)
b) perform certain activities such as walking, talking, etc.
The number of calories burned by the body in order to stay alive represent the BASAL METABOLISM - in other words, how many calories you would require in order to maintain your body weight if you were entirely at rest (e.g. sleeping), without any other superimposed activity of any kind.
The Basal Metabolism is an extremely important factor in the weight loss process. In fact, it is the largest daily calorie consumer. Regardless how much dieting and exercise contribute to the weight loss process, the basal metabolism is guaranteed to contribute more.
Find out more about the basal metabolism here...
A number of weight loss methods work by increasing the calorie output of the body. These methods include:
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