We read it time and time again, but one of the simplest rules of weight loss is often ignored: To lose weight, you need to expend more calories than you take in. There are plenty of dieting strategies to help you do this, from keeping a food diary to cycling calories. But the magical, yet simple, formula remains the same.
In a recent column on Yahoo Health, personal trainer Debbie Rocker elaborates on this quintessential weight loss equation with some common-sense reminders, which I can certainly use from time to time! To see Rocker's advice,
Rocker hammers home the equation with a few crucial points; here's more from the column:
- Adding (more) exercise, and not changing your diet at all, will cause weight loss only if you are burning more calories than you are taking in . . . So if you are exercising enough to push the equation over to the deficit column (where you are basically in the red with calories — spending more than you are taking in), then you will begin to lose weight.
- Reducing your food/caloric intake and not adding exercise will result in weight loss only if you have reduced food intake enough to tip the energy balance to the negative, whereby you are taking in less than you are expending.
- Obviously, adding exercise and reducing your caloric intake, will make it more likely that your equation will swing over to the negative — the weight loss side. And of course, the greater the difference between intake and expenditure, the faster the weight loss (or gain, depending on which way the equation swings).
What do you think: Is it really that simple?