I, like most people, always start out the New Year with "Get in Shape" as one of my top New Year Resolutions. And I, like most people, do super awesome for a month. Eating tons of green foods, working out 5-6 days/week. All the right things. But then February hits and you start slipping back into old habits, and before you know it, you put all that weight back on.
Why does this happen?
Because we didn't create a sustainable habit. We try too much, too fast.
But there's another problem, we don't know HOW or WHY we are changing what we are doing.
As I'm sure you've found out, there's a ton of information out there about working out and nutrition, and every other article conflicts with what the last article was telling you.
It can be confusing.
But I want to help simplify some things.
You need to ask yourself what you're trying to accomplish this year. Is it just getting that number on the scale down to a particular number? Is it putting on muscle? Is it training for a marathon?
When it comes to weight loss, the formula is actually VERY simple.
Calories in < Calories out. (CICO)
What does that mean?
It means that if you're putting less calories (energy) into your body than you are expending.
It's just physics. Well , to be more specific, the Laws of Thermodynamics.
"But Brian! It can't possibly be that simple!!!"
Well it is. And it isn't.
Here's why it's simple:
Not too long ago, my 6'4" frame was carrying 230 pounds. And not like an NFL player who is 6'4" 230 pounds of muscle. I was a pretty squishy 230 pounds.
But over the next 18 months, I dropped 40 pounds.
And I didn't change the foods I ate. I just ate less of them.
Still had my burgers, still had my pizza, but I just had less burger and less pizza.
Essentially, I only changed my eating habits, and by consuming less calories than my body was using, I started losing weight. Could I have lost that weight faster through a stricter diet and exercise program? Absolutely. But, because I didn't make any super drastic changes in what I was eating, I've been able to maintain that weight for over 2 years with very little effort.
Was it the healthiest way of losing weight? Probably not. But my goal was weight loss, and I met my goal (without starving myself or doing anything really unhealthy).
Here's why it's not so simple:
My 6'4" frame does make it easier for me to lose weight. Why? There's just more of me, and that means that there is more body that is using energy at any given moment. And that means that I can consume more calories.
Now it isn't by much, but it does make a difference compare to a more average sized person.
I'm also in my mid-20s. And I'm male. And I work on my feet for a living.
There are a lot of factors that go into the "Calories Out" portion of CICO.
The best information I could find on this is from Brad Dieter, PhD over at Science Driven Nutrition.
Check out his article: http://sciencedrivennutrition.com/body-weight/
All the science I want you to know is in that article, so do yourself a solid and check it out.
He goes in to a lot more detail about the other components that take place in your body that affect how you expend your energy. It's a little wordy, but it's well worth a read.
With all this being said, it comes down to the effort you're willing to put in to it.
Define your goal, and take steps in the right direction.
It's okay to stumble. It's okay to fall. But if you take small, consistent improvements, you'll get meet, and often times exceed, your goals.
Go out there and get it done.