The Secret to Losing Weight
by Monica Koon | The Fit Club Network
Did you come here expecting an easy secret to losing weight — like maybe a magic pill or a liquid cleanse that will melt the pounds off of you? If so, I am going to disappoint you. There is no getting around the fact that losing weight takes hard work and commitment. The good news is that I am going to empower you—the REAL secret to losing weight is creating a calorie deficit.
Being a 21 Day Fix specialist, I’ll be referencing this program throughout my discussion—but, this information applies to ALL programs. Even though we do not have to count calories on the 21 Day Fix program, I do want you to understand the process of creating a daily calorie deficit so you can be smarter on your weight loss journey. Knowledge IS power!
Creating a Calorie Deficit
Here’s a video where I explain the process of creating a calorie deficit, which is the REAL secret to losing weight:
The Secret to Losing Weight
In order to lose ONE pound of fat, the average person must burn 3,500 calories.
To lose weight, you need to 1) estimate your caloric baseline, 2) add on your calorie burn from working out to calculate your caloric needs, and 3) deduct a healthy calorie deficit so you know how many calories you’re going to eat to lose weight.
Nutrition is the most important component of your weight loss journey—you can’t out-exercise a bad diet!
Estimating Your Caloric Baseline
First, let me say that ALL of the numbers I’m going to use in this post are averages. Your actual numbers can be impacted by many things, including your level of normal activity, your metabolism, etc. For instance, if you are extremely sedentary or you have damaged your metabolism by yo-yo dieting, you will have to work a bit harder. (The good news is that your broken metabolism is fixable!) If you want to be more precise in your calculations, you’ll need to invest in a daily calorie tracker like FitBit.
So, let’s start! Your caloric baseline is the amount of calories your body needs just to survive—to make your blood pump, to breath, move around, etc.
Autumn estimates your caloric baseline by taking your current weight and multiplying it times 11. Another way is to use this Calorie Calculator.
Calculating Your Caloric Needs
To calculate your caloric needs, you take your caloric baseline and you add the amount of calories you’re burning from your workout.
When you’re doing the Fix workouts, you can figure you’re burning about 400 calories. Obviously, the actual number will be very impacted by how hard you push yourself during the workout.
If the calories you eat are equal to your caloric needs, you will maintain your weight. If you eat more, you will gain weight. In order to lose weight, you have to eat fewer calories.
Determining Your Calorie Target
To calculate your calorie target, you take your caloric needs and deduct a calorie deficit.
Autumn has you deduct 750 calories from your caloric needs to determine which of the following 21 Day Fix calorie brackets you should use:
- 1,200-1,499 calories
- 1,500-1,799 calories
- 1,800-2,099 calories
- 2,100-2,300 calories
I want you to be clear that more is not always better when it comes to a calorie deficit. If you create too much of a calories deficit, you’ll burn fat and muscle. And, you do NOT want to do this! So, you really don’t want go higher than a 1,000 and I recommend sticking with Autumn’s 750 number because a lot of knowledge from many scientific professionals went into this program.
Determining Your Calorie Deficit Goal
Again, in order to lose ONE pound of fat, the average person has to burn 3,500 calories.
So, let’s say you want to lose 20 pounds. You will have to create a 70,000 total calorie deficit—that’s 20 (pounds) X 3,500 (calories).
In order to do this, you will have to do a minimum of two rounds of the 21 Day Fix, more likely three. This should help you be realistic with your goals and expectations!
Bear in mind that weight loss is also affected by other various factors, such as how much water you consume during the program, how long it takes for your muscles to recover, etc.
An Example of Calorie Deficit in Action
Here’s an example using my own calculations:
I need about 2,200 calories a day just to survive. If I add a workout where I figure I burn about 200 calories (based on how hard I personally push myself), I have a daily need for 2,400 calories. If I consistently eat 1,400 calories from my containers, I will have a 1,000 calorie deficit for the day. This means I need about 3-1/2 days to reach a 3,500 calorie deficit and I can expect a 21,000 calorie deficit at the end of one round of the Fix.
This is factual science. In other words, if you follow the above guidelines to a T, you WILL lose weight. If you’re still skeptical at all, or just want to learn more, read this post—How Does the 21 Day Fix Work?
Muscle Vs Fat
I want to mentally prepare you for a couple possible scenarios—you either don’t lose weight as quick as you like or you actually gain weight.
Both of these situations can definitely occur, BUT they are not necessary bad news at all. One very positive reason this may happen is that you are gaining a significant amount of muscle, which is GREAT.
One pound of muscle and one pound of fat weigh the same, right? However, there is a BIG difference in their volume. One pound of muscle is roughly the size of a baseball and one pound of fat is about THREE times bigger. Also, muscle is denser while fat has the consistency of jello. You can read more about muscle vs fat HERE.
If you don’t think muscle gain is the reason you’re not losing weight as you had hoped, read my post on the possible reasons why you are not losing weight on the Fix.
Free 21 Day Fix Coaching
So, now you know the secret to losing weight! The 21 Day Fix is a great program that WILL enable you to reach your weight loss goals IF you do it right. I encourage you to give it a shot!
If you’re not already working with a Beachbody coach, I’d love for you to be in my 21 Day Fix Family accountability group. One of the wonderful things about Beachbody is that coaching and support is included in the price of the program, so let’s connect!