Practical Advice

A few people have private messaged me and asked how I'm losing weight. I've talked a lot about the psychological stuff but hardly at all about my actual day to day method. It's simple really: More out than in.

I use an app called MyFitnessPal to track my daily food intake. I have the goal set to 'lose 2lbs per week' and I've enabled negative calorie adjustments.. This means if I don't move all day, the app takes calories off me so I can't eat as much. Nothing motivates you quite like a negative number on the calorie dashboard!

So how does it know how many calories I've burned in a day? i have a Fitbit charge HR that continually monitors your heart rate, number of steps etc etc all day long, and from your heart rate, resting heart rate and general activity it pretty accurately works out your calorie burn for the day. This is then automatically pulled through into MFP where the data is then used to work out how many calories I can eat for the rest of the day to still maintain the required deficit to lose 2lbs by the end of the week.

1lb of human body fat is roughly 3,500 calories, so a 7000 calorie deficit creates a 2lb loss. That works out at about 1000 calories a day that I have to burn above what I eat.. You don't have to worry about any of that though as MFP does all the calculations for you :)... Simples :)

I like it because it's simple science, I don't have to put my faith in weight watchers or slimming world and I don't have to worry about it 'not working for me'... Of course it works, it's MATHS.

Tracking makes you accountable for what you eat and there's no 'cheating the system'. As long as you input everything you eat, you'll lose weight :)

8 Replies

  • Thanks you for this knowledge - knowledge is powerful!!!

  • It's good to hear that this works for you, but our bodies are complicated systems, and what works for one may not work for another.

  • Very true, but the basic principle works for everyone, more calories out than in :)

  • Not if you are insulin resistant, unfortunately. What you eat can be as important as how much you eat.

  • Ok, but the basic principle still applies even then. If you eat foods with fewer calories and move more you will lose weight. That's basic chemistry and applies to absolutely everyone regardless. Unless you have some sort of physics defying, medical mystery illness that magically means more calories make you weigh less, it still works.

  • Certainly if you reduce your calories far enough everyone will lose weight, but there is a limit as to how far anyone can do this and for how long.

    The role that insulin plays in the body is crucial, this post explains it well.

  • Lol it STILL works, increasing your BMR (baseline metabolic rate) is done through increased exercise and better nutrition. The easiest way to control this is to track calorie and nutritional intake and your calorie output! Your BMR is a direct indication of your insulin processing power and as you lose weight this naturally improves. Increasing your metabolism is all about burning more calories, so it STILL APPLIES. Even if you are genetically a none responder to exercise you'll still benefit from a calorifically responsible approach to weight loss. No one is talking about starvation diets or catabolic states, I'm talking about a sensible calorie reduction for weight loss of max 2lbs per week. Yes, it DOES work for everyone, how you choose to package it or achieve a calorie deficit is up to you, but the basic chemistry of weight loss has the same theoretical weight as gravity; it's fundamental and applicable to absolutely everyone, regardless.

  • I hope your conviction translates into successful weight loss for you, watch out for adaptive thermogenesis on the way.

    There is currently a long term research project in America testing competing hypotheses on weight loss: energy imbalance or a hormonal and regulatory defect. It will be interesting to see what conclusions are reached.

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