This past week, a special family member who has hit yet another plateau in her weight loss efforts (we all do), has asked a few questions that I’d like to address. To protect and not embarrass her, I will call her Judy.
Judy is a very attractive, talented and educated young lady who is different from me in many ways– except one– we both have the ‘family curse’ of becoming overweight and not being able to lose it quickly, if at all! Then when we do lose it, how to keep it off becomes a huge problem.
Judy asks– ‘How many calories should I be eating?’ That can be determined in two different ways. If you ask a health nutritionist, they will no doubt determine some facts about you- your height, weight, bone size (small, medium, large), and level of activity. Then they will tell you what they think and you both take it from there. That may work in the end, but for people like us in particular, it wastes a lot of valuable time and in the end, probably won’t give you a good answer. A better way to go for us, is to start by counting carbs. WHY, you ask, when everyone knows it’s calories that really count and we must burn more than we consume in order to lose weight! Well, yes and no. Please allow me to give you an example.
Let us say that we have two identical bodies and to reduce their weight, we tell them to eat exactly 60 carbs a day and 1200 calories. As they do that, they begin to lose the same amount of weight, so we tell one of them to increase the calories to 1500 calories a day. Now instead of losing the same amount, the one eating the fewest calories will lose the most weight. It is a proven fact that calories only count in this type of scenario.
Therefore, the best and quickest way to determine how many calories to eat, is to decide how many carbs to consume and it has been proven that 60 or less is the best place to start, because that is the point your body will stop being hungry and begin burning fat. Once you are burning fat, you learn how many calories you need to consume in order to lose at the pace that is good for you. You may eat all the calories you want as long as you keep your body in fat burning mode with a fairly low carb count.
In my next blog, we will address her next question– ‘What types of foods should I be eating?’