Here’s a short and simple write-up of how to lose, gain, or maintain weight.
First off, you have to figure out how many calories your body needs to maintain your weight. You can use this calorie intake calculator from bodybuilding.com: http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/macronutcal.htm
Let’s call your calorie intake the base rate. For example, mines is about 2,250 calories. So in other words, I have to eat about 2,250 calories everyday in order keep my body weight the same. After figuring out your base rate, you can decide to lose weight, gain weight, or stay the same weight.
If you want to lose weight, obviously you have to eat less. However, note that if you eat too little all of a sudden, your body may think that you’re starving and will go into starvation mode. This is bad because in starvation mode, your body’s metabolism will slow down which is the opposite of what we want. Your body will also try to conserve energy and store fat. A good amount to eat less is probably around 250-500 less calories. So if my base rate is about 2,250 calories and I want to lose weight, a good amount to drop it too is: 1,750 calories. Do this for about a week or two, then drop another 250-500 calories for the next week or two. Keep doing this until you’re at your desired weight.
For example, if I want to lose weight and I have a base rate of 2,250 calories. I’d have to eat about 1,750 calories per day. I’d continue doing this for about 1-2 weeks. If I’m happy with my weight, then I’ll just stay at this amount. However, if I want to keep losing weight, then I’d have to drop my calories even lower because by then my body has already adjusted to 1,750 calories. In other words, my base rate has now become 1,750 calories. Everyone’s body and lifestyle is different, so you might even have to do it for 2-3 weeks before making a change in your calorie count.
On the other hand, if you want to gain weight then eat more. If my base rate is about 2,250 calories, then I should eat about 250-500 calories more. So about 2,750 calories per day.
Obviously if you want to stay the same weight, then just eat the same amount of calories as your base rate.
Keep in mind that not all calories are created equal. Eating fat foods and healthy foods that have the same amount of calories will not give you the same results. What this means is that eating 1,750 calories of McDonald’s is not the same as eating 1,750 calories of clean eating. Obviously, we want to eat clean. So whether you’re losing weight, gaining weight, or trying to stay the same weight, do try to eat healthy.
There’s a lot more I can talk about but this is probably enough to get you started. Hopefully now you have a better idea on how to lose, gain, or maintain weight. To start, I recommend you actually count the calories you’re eating tomorrow. You don’t have to be 100% accurate (pro bodybuilders do because it’s their profession), just estimate using a calorie counter app or something. For example, if I estimated that I actually ate about 3,000 calories today. However, I calculated that my base rate is actually 2,000 calories so I’m eating an extra 1,000 calories. Which means I’m gaining weight! So I should make a change in my calorie intake But that doesn’t mean I should be eating 2,000 calories tomorrow. That’s a 1,000 calorie difference from yesterday. Again, this will make your body think you’re starving which is not good since your body will start storing food as fat. Instead we have to gradually decrease our calorie intake. So maybe tomorrow I will eat about 2,750 calories. Then slowly and gradually work my way down towards my base rate.
Types of Food
For protein, you should eat fish, skinless chicken, turkey, tuna, lean beef, eggs, whey protein, milk, yogurt, etc. For good fats, you should eat avocados, olive oil, nuts, etc. Good fats actually help you burn fat. And for carbohydrates, you should eat vegetables and complex carbs or slow digesting carbs such as brown rice, oats, whole wheat bread, etc. However, you can also eat fast digesting carbs such as white rice, noodles, potatoes, etc. but only immediately after you wake up or after your workout. Why? Because when you’re sleeping (you can’t eat while you’re sleeping so you need food as soon as possible upon waking) and after you’ve worked out (used up energy from an intense workout), you need to replenish your energy. If you don’t, the body will go into starvation mode and first target your muscles for energy which is not good. Unfortunately, the body doesn’t target our fat first.
Here are some simple tips:
- Drink a lot of water (this also helps you feel full)
- Eat a lot of meals, every 3 hours (what I do is eat 3 main meals: breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but in between those meals I’ll have a snack such as yogurt, nuts, protein bar, protein shake, etc.)
- Eat a lot of fiber to help digest food (fiber bars, cereal, etc)
- Never give up. If you’re feeling lazy to go to the gym, go watch a motivation video on YouTube.
If you’re in Japan, I recommend buying supplements online from iHerb.com. The prices are much cheaper than supplement products in Japan (honestly, I don’t think they’re that good either) and there’s free shipping (arrives within a week). Below are some links for your convenience. I’ve also attached a referral code so you can get a discount if you’re a first-time user. I buy all my pre-workout, creatine, whey protein, and other supplements from here and I’m definitely spending a lot less money if I were to buy Japanese supplements.
- Whey Protein (Muscle recovery/building)
- Creatine (Quicker muscle recovery and more energy)
- Pre-Workout (More energy and focus for an intense workout)
- Supplements (Helps body)
Please see this post and scroll down to the bottom for my tips on how to get a steal on buying whey protein. You can also use it for buying other supplements as well.