Can weight loss be fun? This is a question that nearly everybody answers with a big NO.
I disagree. I actually believe that you can have some weight loss fun.
Most people want to lose weight. They may want to lose a lot, or just a little bit, but it seems that very few people are satisfied with where they are.
I could condemn the media for featuring all those skinny people and tell you should accept your body as it is. I could tell you to just enjoy your present moment, appreciate where you are, etc…but instead I will tell you…
Enjoy the present moment, appreciate where you are, because this is the start of a fun weight loss journey!
Now you may be wondering….”Fun? Since when is weight loss fun?”
Well, I am going to ask back, “why not?”
In this (fun) weight loss journey…
- You are going to learn lots of cool stuff about healthy eating.
- You may take advantage of it into acquiring healthy habits that will serve you for the rest of your life.
- You may increase your vitality by eating healthier.
- You may feel better with yourself because you know you are doing the right thing.
- You may get introduced to new foods and new sports that you love!
I call this fun. Weight loss fun.
Lots of people enjoy condemning “vain pursuits”. But why? Why should we not care about how we look?
Plus, you never know where those vain pursuits will lead.
E.g., Suzanne Ludlum, the yoga expert who was on the yoga or pilates podcast (and who will soon be featured in the upcoming “Do the Impossible” series…stay tuned) got into yoga because she saw how fit Madonna was and wanted to be like her.Her motives were pretty vain.
Well, she ended up getting rid of panic attacks that were burdening her for 28 years (and by that time considered as incurable)! And yes, she got hooked into yoga, became a yoga teacher, etc. And this healing journey started because she was vain!
So instead of trying to get rid of your vanity, why not follow it and see where it leads? Just make sure that you always err on the healthy side rather than the unhealhty one – no express diets, etc. The journey is not going to be fun if you end up in the hospital because of vain pursuits! The point is to increase your overall health, and thus, avoid hospitals, not to make yourself sick and gain hospital admission!
Btw, keep in mind that being thin does not guarantee health. And being fat does not mean you are unhealthy. The proof? This fat vs. thin example.
The basics of weight loss…or a guide to weight loss fun.
Step 1:Calculate how many calories you need to maintain your weight
Calories are a way to measure energy – the energy you need to live every day. You consume food to get energy and sustain yourself.
- If you get more energy than what you need, then your body will store it as fat.
- If you get less energy, then your body will use some of its reserves to sustain itself.
- If you exercise, then you will burn more calories, and need more energy than normal to sustain yourself.
Go over to Calorie King. There is a free calculator that tells your how many calories a day you need to sustain yourself.
This means that if you eat this amount of calories then you are not going to lose or gain any weight.
Step 2: Calculate how many calories you need to lose.
First, 1 pound = 3500 calories.
Thus, if you need to lose 5 pounds then you need to lose 5*3500 = 17500 calories.
A deficit of 400-600 a day will usually work fine for most people. You will probably feel just a little bit hungry.
With a deficit of 500 calories a day, you will need 17500/500 = 35 days to lose those 5 pounds.
A 500 calorie deficit would mean that you lose 14% of a pound every day and it’s a healthy goal to aspire to.
Suppose your maintenance calories is 2000. If you get a deficit of 500 calories daily, your goal should be 1500 calories.
Step 3: Determine the best combo of eating and exercising that works for you.
In the above example, the goal is to consume 1500 calories a day.
Well, there are actually two main options:
- Consume 1500 calories through food.
- Consume, e.g., 1800 calories a day through food, but exercise for one hour (= -300 calories). This should give you a grand total of 1800(food) – 300(exercise) = 1500 calories.
Exercise lets you eat more. This is one of the reasons I love exercise!
Step 4: Understand how many calories you are already consuming.
This is the part that most people hate, but it will teach you a lot about food. E.g., you will understand that vegetables are basically free – full of nutrients, but minimal calories. You will understand that eating a piece of chocolate pie as a dessert is 1000 calories, AND full of sugars.
Use an app like lose it to track what you eat. The app will tell you how many calories you get and will help you set goals.
Step 5: Set your goals, and go. Weight loss fun awaits you!
A very light weight loss plan involves a deficit of 200 calories a day. Yes, it may take like 2 months to lose 5 pounds, but you will barely notice you are on a diet.
Avoid deficits of more than 500 calories a day as they often lead to muscle loss rather than fat loss. You want to get rid of the extra fat, not lose your precious muscles!
Also, take care of what you eat. The fact that e.g., you need to get 1500 calories does not mean that you can eat a whole pizza by yourself and be innocent for doing so.
Even though just consuming a 1500 calorie pizza for the whole day adheres to your weight loss goals of a 500 calorie deficit, eating pizza is not particularly healthy….Take advantage of this weight loss process to eat healthier not worse!
I found the following weight-loss infographic that you may find useful:
Step 6: Maintaining your weight…and eating healthier for the rest of your life.
The best part about Step 4, i.e., understanding how many calories you get, and the breakdown of different foods, is that once your weight loss journey is over you will have a different understanding of what healthy eating means.
Suddenly when you go out for dinner, eating a 1000 calorie burger meal and then ordering a cheesecake piece (i.e., another 1000 calories), means that you get 2000 calories…for dinner only.
This amount of calories is not uncommon when it comes to restaurant eating.
However, having gone through a weight loss journey gives you the eyes of a hawk – you will find yourself able to spot what food is healthy vs. what is not.
You will suddenly start noticing all the sauces and oils that are put on your food, and maybe remove them, or ask for healthier alternatives.
You will know how to eat healthier and how to make better food decisions in your every-day life…which is priceless.
This kind of knowledge is actually one of the best consequences of weight loss, and you will carry it with you for the rest of your life. Isn’t it incredible?
What are your experiences with weight loss? Do you think it is fun or do you dread just the thought of it?