A calorie, is not in fact some kind of crazy monster, threatening to prevent you from doing up the button on your jeans or from strutting your stuff around the pool on holiday. A calorie, is simply a unit of energy which is found in food and drinks. Calories supply us with the energy to live and breathe.
Thanks to diets such as weight watchers, slimming world and others, calories have been demonized as the enemy – when in fact, consuming enough calories, is no different to making sure you have enough petrol in your car! The problem arises when we choose to consume too many calories for the body to utilise – in these instances, over time, we end up storing this excess energy as adipose tissue or as we commonly know it – fat.
So how do we lose that excess weight? Well, the basic principle is that you need to produce a caloric deficit – you need to be eating fewer calories than your body requires.
To work out how many calories you need to be consuming (or not consuming!) in order to lose weight you need to first work out your basal metabolic rate (BMR). Your BMR is the total number of calories that your body needs to perform basic, life-sustaining functions such as breathing and digesting. At MYPT Studio, we can work out your BMR for you as part of your health assessment.
We then need to multiply this BMR by your activity level - givings us the total number of calories you burn per day (Total Daily Energy Expenditure, or your TDEE)
Once you have this figured out, you’ll know how many calories each day you’ll need to ‘lose’ from your daily intake to put yourself into a caloric deficit. If you were looking to gain weight, you’d need to consume more calories than your TDEE.
As well as making dietary changes, you can also burn excess calories through exercise. If you choose the right type of exercise, (something which we know all about at the studio!) you can actually increase your metabolism – or calorie burning rate, so that your weight loss is more easily achievable.
In conclusion, if you can take in fewer calories than your body burns, you will lose weight. You have direct control over the number of calories consumed from food and drinks, and with exercise you can increase your body's metabolism and in turn increase the number of calories burned.