Weight Loss and Calorie Burn
Let’s talk about weight loss and calorie burn.
One of the universal weight loss truths is this—if you burn more calories than you consume, you will lose weight and, if you consume more calories than you burn, you will gain weight. Whether the weight you lose or gain is muscle or fat is largely a function of what you eat, but the truth remains that to lose weight you need to burn more calories than you consume.
But…how many must you burn?
How Many Calories in a Pound?
A pound is equivalent to 3,500 calories. So, every 3,500 calories you burn [beyond what you consume] will result in one pound of weight loss.
That sounds great, but you probably take in less than 3,500 calories per day, so that means this is going to take some time. This makes sense, because so does weight gain. It is unreasonable to expect it to take a few days to lose weight that took several months to put on.
What you need to figure out is how many calories you need every day and what daily deficit you need to run in order to lose the amount of weight you want to lose in the time you choose [please choose wisely].
The videos below will describe how this works and the spreadsheet that follows will help you crunch the numbers. This can be confusing, so don’t hesitate to contact us if you need help with any of this.
The Process for Weight Loss and Calorie Burn
In this video, Monica describes how she arrived at this process and shares her results after 30 days using a simple calorie deficit tracker that she uses every single day:
Dos and Don’ts for Weight Loss and Calorie Burn
DO the following:
- Track your daily intake and calorie burn using www.myfitnesspal.com. [Links to our MFP accounts are in the spreadsheet below.]
- Eat foods from the Nutrition Guide designed for your fitness program. [If you are doing P90X, follow the P90X Nutrition Guide. If you are doing Insanity, follow the Insanity Nutrition Guide.
- Eat to your calorie target. Do NOT under eat because you get obsessed with calorie burn. Food is fuel and your body needs it to thrive and become metabolically efficient. When you don’t eat enough, your metabolism starts working against you.
Don’t do the following:
- Weigh yourself daily. Your weight is going to fluctuate, which can be very frustrating, so don’t do that!
- Navigate in the dark. Get the info you need and ask questions.
- Cheat on yourself. Things happen and we know that. It is not always possible to be perfect and that’s okay. Document your intake [no matter how bad it is], forgive yourself, learn from your mistake, and MOVE ON.
Dave’s Weight Loss and Calorie Burn Spreadsheet
In this video, Dave walks you through using the weight loss and calorie burn spreadsheet that you can download below. The Calorie Calculator will help you estimate your daily caloric needs and identify the daily deficit you will need in order to lose weight:
Post-Workout Caloric Burn
Dave here. If you are tracking the calories you burn while working out, it’s also important to track your post-workout caloric burn. Next time you workout leave your heart rate monitor on for 10 minutes after you workout and pay close attention to what happens. Today, I did a 60 minute workout on my bike trainer and did just that. Here’s what happened:
So, how many calories are you REALLY burning when you workout? You might be burning more than you think.
Now, is 77 calories a huge deal? No, but what if you did this kind of cardio three times per week and burned 75 calories in the 10 minutes after each workout? That’s 225 calories per week, 1,125 calories per month and 13,500 calories per year. What’s 13,500 calories per year equate to? With each pound of weight translating to about 3,500 calories, that’s 4.8 pounds you’d lose just in the 10 minutes post-workout. That doesn’t include the calories you burn while actually working out.
Moral of the story – do your cardio! It’s good for you.
Free Fitness Coaching
Dave and I are both P90X Certified Trainers and we are standing by ready to coach you for FREE. This is a personalized level of one-on-one coaching where you’ll get to tap into our knowledge base with Beachbody programs and sound nutrition to fuel your body for optimal results.