If you take in more calories than you burn, you will gain weight. Simply speaking, you should create a calorie deficit. But, what many people don't know, is that if you don't get enough calories, your body's metabolism will slow down, to reserve energy. It will try to reserve energy because it thinks you are starving! Slowing the metabolism is the last thing most of us want to do.
So, how do you figure how many calories you need? A great way is to have a qualified personal trainer figure out your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) which is a calculation that tells you how many calories your body needs just to function. Then you can calculate exactly how many calories you need based on your level of activity and subtract 500 calories per day to lose 1-2 pounds per week. (1-2 pounds per week is a healthy amount, that is more likely to stay off).
A great way to increase your metabolism is to increase lean muscle tissue. Muscle is much more compact, and muscle actually burns more calories than fat while you are at rest! Don't worry ladies, our bodies aren't designed to "bulk up"! More on that later!
Photo courtesy of pharmpedia.com.
Elisa Dely is an NASM Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist with Genesis Fitness and Wellness, LLC. More at genesisfitwell.com.