You may often hear people say that dieting is the most important factor in weight loss. What really counts however is the caloric deficit that you create and how you can personally best accomplish this deficit.
If you consider that there are 7,700 calories (32,250 kilojoules) in 1 kilogram of fat then creating a 550 calorie (2,300 kj) daily deficit will result in a ½ kg of body fat loss per week.
This can be accomplished by increasing your level of exercise or restricting your calorie intake.
As an example, 550 calories are used in (based on a 70 kg person):
- running at 10 kph for 45 minutes; or
- walking at 6.5 kph for 120 minutes.
Note that a person who weighs less will need to exercise for longer to expend the same number of calories.
Examples of the calorie content of some foods are:
- 30 gm of Cheddar cheese – 115 calories
- 1 slice of bread – 65 calories
- 1x 100ml glass of wine – 65 calories
- 1 Banana – 105 calories
Once again, if you can decrease 550 calories from your diet (ideally by removing non-essential foods from your diet), you will accomplish the same goal. For most people, weight loss is best accomplished by a combination of increasing exercise and activity, and decreasing portion sizes and cutting out some high fat foods.
Another thing to consider in your quest to lose weight may require you to vary your calorie intake depending upon your level of activity on a particular day. For example, if you have a highly active day such as a long bike ride or bush walk, it may be necessary to eat more to sustain you. On the other hand, if you do not exercise at all on a particular day, your calorie intake should be adjusted down for that day.
My suggestion is to use a combination of increasing calorie expenditure via specific exercise or general activity, and decreasing your calorie intake through portion control and decreasing high-fat foods. Then, monitor your progress and adjust your exercise and eating plan accordingly.
David Blair is a personal trainer and weight loss coach who is driven to help people create their best life by choosing quality in all aspects of their lives, whether that is in relation to nutrition, exercise & activity, relaxation & rest or balance in their lives.