“After a lifetime of losing and gaining weight, I get it. No matter how you slice it, weight loss comes down to the simple formula of calories in, calories out”. Valerie Bertinelli
There is no magic formula; if we want to lose weight, we need to think about calories, the fuel for our body if you like, and how many we should be eating on a daily basis. There is no exact answer as it depends on our build, our age (we need less as we get older) and how active we are but, for a rough guide, it’s about 2500 per day for men and about 2000 for women. So, if you want to lose weight, you need to burn off more calories than you eat but, in order to do this, you need to know how many calories you’re taking in and how many you’re burning off.
The 200 calories in a small bar of chocolate will take about an hour to burn off if you are walking at normal pace of around 3 miles per hour. The same applies for a couple of slices of toast and butter or two large scrambled eggs or a salad (no dressing) with grilled chicken.
If you fancy a pizza and eat your way through the whole thing you will have consumed around 850 calories – to burn this off you will need to ride a bike at around 16-20 miles per hour for a whole hour. The same applies if you have a burger and fries, take away fish and chips or a korma curry. If you decide to have a pint of beer with dinner you can add another 200 calories!
So you can see that, if you don’t do any exercise to burn off all these calories, they can add up very quickly indeed. If you have fast food for dinner and opt for a take away curry and rice, with a couple of pints of beer followed by a bowl of chocolate ice-cream you could easily get through 1500 calories if not more; if you’re a woman, that doesn’t leave very many for the rest of the day.
If you decide that you want a healthier life and to lose a bit of weight spend some time working out how much sugar you have in your diet (don’t forget tea, coffee, soft drinks and alcohol) then work out how many calories you eat in a day. If the sugar is more than 25g (around 6 teaspoons) and your calorie intake is more than 2500 on an average day then think about changing something. You don’t have to live on lettuce leaves and water but maybe making different choices could change how you feel about your body. Add to that 30 minutes of fast walking a day and you’ll be surprised at the results.