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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Number One Rule You Must Follow to Lose Weight

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One of the interesting things about running this site is that I get to see what people who end up here are searching for. Yesterday, someone asked the question: What is the number one rule the you must follow if you want to lose weight?

The answer: You must burn more calories than you consume. That's it. Whoa there, Scott? What about dieting? What about exercise? What about fat-torching weight loss pills? Well, here's why they are a secondary concern.

I've started to exercise, but I'm not losing weight. Why not?

Great. Starting an exercise program is a great start and you may lose weight as a result, but it isn't a guarantee. If you burn 1500 calories per day including your new exercise program, but continue to eat 2000 calories per day, you WILL NOT LOSE WEIGHT. That's the bad news. The good news is that you aren't gaining weight as quickly as if you didn't exercise. If this is you, and weight loss is a goal, you must eat less and/or exercise more.

I'm eating healthier, but I'm not losing weight. Why not?

Again, eating healthier foods is a positive change but eating "healthier" doesn't mean that you will be in a calorie deficit. If you are sedentary or only exercise a small amount, then your daily calorie requirements are quite low. Switching to healthier choices is a good start, but may not get you to consume fewer calories than you burn.

I'm taking the miracle pill being hawked by Richard Simmons. Why am I still not losing weight?

That's what you get for listening to Richard Simmons. Even the prescription medications available for weight loss, require that you follow a "sensible diet and exercise" program to work. If you are following a "sensible diet and exercise" program in the first place, you wouldn't need the medicine! So what is causing the weight loss, the pill, or the sensible diet and exercise program.

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3 comments:

Dave said...

im turning 60 soon. I thought that was old until I saw stallone in the new rocky movie. He's in better shape than most 30 year old that I know. Im thinking of buying some fitness equipment from york. I've been working out most my life and now that I can see that age doesnt reallt matter I wanted to go out and buy a treadmill. Are york reliable? I know they offer good discounts, but should I compare the market? Thanks

Fit Club Scott said...

Congratulations on deciding to get in shape. Everyone, regardless of age can live a healthier, more fit life if they just make the decision to get out and do it.

York is renowned in the strength training industry as being a top-of-the-line equipment supplier. Their equipment is bulletproof, high quality equipment. The only downside is that they are a bit pricey, but you won't be disappointed with the quality.

They are new to the cardio market and I don't know anything about their treadmills, ellipticals, etc. As a general rule, I wouldn't skimp on price for one of these. Under normal use, treadmills really take a beating and a cheap, low quality treadmill will not last very long. Read some of the reviews in Consumer Reports and at Runners World on the treadmills in your price range.

The most important suggestion that I would give is make sure that you try out the treadmill before buying it. Go down to your local sporting goods store and try out the one that you are thinking of buying. If it feels flimsy during a quick 1 minute jog, it isn't a deal...at any price.

Good luck.

Shawn Fumo said...

The only thing I'd add is to be careful of relying too much on the scale. If one starts exercising and especially strength training, initially they may gain muscle while losing fat.

Be sure to check your measurements, since that's the real indicator of progress. If the inches are shrinking, who cares what the scale says..