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Diary of A Fit Woman: The Numbers Game

I majored in journalism in college. Mainly because I love to write and partially to avoid math at all costs. But what elementary school teachers tell you is actually true. Knowing math is important for functioning in the real world.

Even though there’s science behind weight loss and being fit, a lot of the success in shedding extra pounds in my opinion comes from getting the math right.

If you’ve been researching weight loss then you probably know one pound of fat is equivalent to 3,500 calories. In order to lose at least one pound a week, you have to cut 500 calories a day. As simple as it sounds, the hard part is successfully creating the deficit to lose the pounds.

The challenging part for most is creating the right diet. The best way to begin is to start tracking what you’re eating right now. There are plenty of free food diary apps that help you log everything you’ve consumed over the course of a day. You will need to do this in order to figure out exactly how many calories you’re putting into your body. Most people don’t know and are probably overeating or are not eating healthy enough. Logging your food should reveal:

  1. How many calories you take in.
  2. The composition of the food you’re consuming. Is it mostly sugary carbs? Is there a lot of fat? Any healthy vegetables in the mix?
  3. If your portion sizes are too big.
  4. The mindless snacking you do over the course of the day.

Once you know this information, it’s easier to start shaving off calories in specific areas. Focus on decreasing the calorie amount. Tweak the composition of your diet to include healthier items. Even if you have a good diet, we tend to forget about the half of a bag of pretzel chips we consumed and only remember our main meals. Pay attention to the mindless snacking you may do during the day because those calories add up!

Another way to create a deficit in calories to get you closer to losing weight is to exercise. This is a fairly simple option as well, because as long as you get your calorie consumption under control, adding in any activity to burn calories will help you reach your weight loss goal faster. The key here is to do meaningful workouts. Actually make the effort to work hard while exercising. Pushing yourself will increase your weight loss that much more. Pushing yourself to do more each time will help you avoid frustrating plateaus.

The equation is pretty straightforward. Of the calories you take in, cut them by 500 a day to lose one pound in a week. Once you figure out the best way to create a deficit, you should see changes in your weight and be on your way to a healthier you.

Reneé DuBose is a Chicago media professional who was bitten by the health and fitness bug a few years ago. On her journey to get and stay fit, she started a health and wellness blog to share her tips with friends, family and anyone needing help. Visit The Fit Print and keep up with her on Instagram @theFitPrint.