We have all heard this phrase before: “Calories in, calories out.” It’s basically stating that weight loss is predicated on taking in fewer calories than we burn. And weight gain is predicated on taking in more calories than we burn.
Can it be this simple? This may be the most underrated concept regarding weight loss and aesthetics, but may be the most important to understand.
Please do not take this message as a one-size-fits-all approach because each individual has unique nutritional needs. However, understanding this message and the facts will give you a better understanding of the concept that is calories in, calories out.
A calorie surplus is when we take in more calories than we use in a day. For example, if an individual ate 2,500 calories in a day and burned 2100 calories in that same day, they would be in a 400-calorie surplus. Do this consistently for a few weeks and it will lead to weight gain.
A calorie deficit is when we take in fewer calories than we use in a day. For example, if an individual ate 2,000 calories in a day and burned 2,300 calories in that same day, they would have a 300-calorie deficit. Be consistent with this approach and you would eventually see a gradual weight loss.
If the scale is not moving in the direction you want it to, a minor adjustment should be made. Simply cutting back on daily food intake by 5 to 10 percent could be the catalyst to losing weight.
Maybe more activity or exercise in the week is needed. Increase your daily activity and movement, and you will burn more calories, which could get you into a deficit and jumpstart that weight loss you are looking for.
Combine more activity with a decrease in overall calorie intake, and we just maneuvered the entire formula in our favor, if weight loss is the goal.
Understanding calories in versus calories out is important but also improving the quality of our nutrition will be a catalyst to maintaining a healthy and fit body.
This is not some extreme and restrictive nutrition plan. We need food for survival. We just need to be aware of how much we are taking in if we want to maintain a healthy weight.
Cut back on processed and sugar-dense foods. Increase your vegetables, fruits, and lean proteins.
Justin Levine is the owner of California Fitness Academy. If you are interested in learning more about a fitness program, please check out the CFA website. And while there, wish him a HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Justin turned 40 on Thursday, August 22, 2019.