The Simple Mathematics Of Fat Loss!

Each month, countless questions about fat loss flood our email as readers are searching for the solution to weight loss. But, so few are willing to do what needs to be done in the process. Losing weight and keeping it off is NOT ROCKET SCIENCE!
The Simple Mathematics Of Fat Loss!

The cultural climate in today's society is one of extremes. Extreme bodybuilders, extreme make-overs and extreme TV. Just how far are you willing to go in order to get into shape?

Overweight, out-of-shape people take the business of fat loss to extremes each and everyday, spending billions of dollars on exercise equipment, gym memberships and diet books. Not to mention slickly marketed weight loss products that for $79.95 deliver a 30-day supply that provides the "secret" to weight loss.

At almost $80 per bottle, this secret weight loss product is just expensive enough to make you take notice. In addition, if you had any doubts remaining, "research studies" provide the proof of efficacy.

Billions are spent each year on weight loss, but obesity grows at epidemic proportions. How can this be, when we have the 'secret" to weight loss at just $79.95 per month?

Each month, countless questions about fat loss flood our email as readers are searching for the solution to weight loss. But, so few are willing to do what needs to be done in the process. Losing weight and keeping it off is NOT ROCKET SCIENCE!

    Richard: Years ago I owned a health club in Tallahassee, Florida. I knew it was time to get out of the health club business when I became frustrated with the same questions about dieting from my members.

    Everyone wanted some secret that I used to get the fat off and keep it off since I maintained low body fat all year around, including during the holidays. It got to the point that I would rudely sum up the answer to their questions with "You know what to do; there's no secret. You eat crap and you look like crap!"

    Invariably, all most people have to do is to eat nutritious food and cut out junk food. I became so tired of hearing things like "I just look at food and gain weight!" My rude answer to that statement was usually something like, "I never saw a fat person in Hitler's concentration camps!"

    I wasn't trying to be flippant about the horrible atrocities of the Holocaust (which human beings should never forget!). I was merely pointing out the fact that fat people don't get fat and don't stay fat without overeating.

Richard & Diane

    Diane: Hmmmm…. "You eat crap, you look like crap!" I believe I've heard that comment a time or two (maybe a thousand) around my house. So, let's consider what makes a person eat the wrong foods.

    Stress, time-crunched schedules, eating on the run, fatigue, boredom, celebration, cravings and easy access to empty calories are just a few examples that many deal with each day.

    You might not be able to reduce the stress in your life, but you do have control over the decision to eat junk food in response to the stress. Time-crunched schedules quite possibly will remain time-crunched, but you do have control over the decision to eat junk food in response to your hectic schedule.

    Eating on the run might be a requirement of your daily life, but you do have control over your food choices while on the run. Are you beginning to see a pattern here?

    You can control boredom through reading, volunteer work, taking classes and certainly the decision to fill your boredom with quality activities like resistance training rather than consuming empty carbohydrates. Celebratory activities and the pressure from family and friends to eat, drink and join the celebration……can you control your decision process?

    Of course you can! Cravings with easy access to empty calories, can you control this? Last time, I was in the grocery store, NO ONE was standing in the chips and cookie aisle filling my cart.

    Now, some of you are thinking, "It's not that easy!" I know it's not quite that easy, as many of you are aware of my own struggle and transformation many years ago. It wasn't easy, but it also wasn't rocket science. It was the "simple mathematics of fat loss!"

The Simple Mathematics Of Fat Loss

So what are the "simple mathematics of fat loss"? A pound of fat equals 3500 calories, so to lose a pound of fat in a week you have to ingest 500 calories less per day than you normally do OR eat 250 calories less and burn 250 calories more than you usually do. It's that simple!

How many calories do you need? Start with your resting metabolic rate (RMR), multiply your weight by 10. Now, multiply your RMR by 20% for sedentary lifestyle, by 30% if you are fairly active, or by 40 if you are active.

If you are very active, engaging in competitive sports, multiply your weight by 50%. Add the result to your RMR to determine the daily caloric intake to maintain your current weight level.

Caloric Needs Calculator

Your Bodyweight:
Activity Level:
Daily Caloric Intake (calories):

Meticulous (compulsive or "anal retentive") people will attempt to reduce body fat in a more scientific and systematic fashion by keeping a food log for a couple of weeks and then, after calculating their normal caloric intake, seek to reduce it by the precise 500 calories necessary to lose the pound a week.

The problem is that we do NOT eat exactly the same things every day (unless we have entered into the insane world of competitive bodybuilding of which I am so very familiar with myself).

Nor do we tend to expend the exact same number of calories every day by doing exactly the same activities every day. The wonderful fact is that our bodies have a number of homeostatic mechanisms that allow us to survive without such precision in eating and calorie expenditure.

IronMan featured Richard in 1979 and the current, July issue. Be sure to check out your newsstand!
    Richard: Even these simple calculations can be a pain. That's the reason I only advise my obese clients to bother with all that. For the average person that just needs to lose a few pounds, I have a very simple bit of advice: just eliminate the junk food!

    You would be amazed at how trim and fit you can be just eliminating junk food from your diet. Besides, to tell the truth, I have NEVER thought it was merely a question of calories consumed (unlike Mike Mentzer who is an infallible guru to his followers).

    It only made sense to me that carbohydrates, fats, and protein are metabolized differently in the body and therefore affect the accumulation of body fat differently. Does anyone really think a chicken breast affects the accumulation of body fat in the same manner as a glazed doughnut?

A good rule of thumb when attempting to control body fat levels has always been to focus on nutrient dense foods, so junk food (food high in fats and carbohydrates and low in protein, vitamins and minerals) is out. Empty calories are the major problem for Americans.

We are a hard-working people always on the go and have little time anymore for food preparation. This has resulted in a growth industry called "fast foods." The problem with fast foods, like junk food, is that they contain too much sugar, flour, fat, salt, and too little of the nutrients we need for healthy maintenance of our bodies.

The Truth About Fast Foods!
Learn the truth about your favorite fast foods. Find out how many calories, carbs, grams of fat, protein and how long it will take to burn off on a treadmill.
[ Click here to learn more. ]

    Diane: Now, let's discuss "fast foods" for baby boomers. Placing 12 chicken breasts on the grill at one time takes about 45 minutes from start to finish. This process provides several days worth of "fast food" chicken breasts for us.

    At the same time, a big pot of brown rice is cooking. Everything is packed, frozen or refrigerated in ready to go containers. One cooking and clean up session saves these baby boomers lots of time in the kitchen. Now, that's fast food!


So quit feeding it so many empty calories. Doughnuts, cake, pies, ice cream, candy, soft drinks, everybody knows what junk food is. One 12-ounce soft drink contains about 3 tablespoons of sugar! That's between 140 and 160 calories in just one drink!

Fruit juice is even worse! Having almost no nutrients, grape juice has 220 calories, orange juice 200! Eat fruit; don't drink fruit juice! One orange has only 100 calories and those calories enter your bloodstream in a more moderate fashion because of the pulp and fiber of the orange.

As far as burning calories, just walking a 13 minute mile will burn 80-100 calories per mile walked! So merely adding a walk of a couple of miles into your life could help you lose the weight you desire!

Weight training for an hour burns 200+-400+ calories, depending on how vigorous the training is. The beauty of weight training is that it raises the metabolism even after the activity ceases (more so for men) so that your body continues burning calories even after you've left the gym!

Baby boomers, you can do this! It's all about choices, so make the choice to redefine the aging process and create your legendary physique by choosing to utilize the simple mathematics of fat loss.

Simple Mathematics of Fat Loss
  • Consume fewer calories
  • Burn calories through activity
  • Keep a nutrition journal
  • Eliminate junk food
  • Prepare your own fast foods
  • Make resistance training part of your routine

Train hard, train smart and follow the simple mathematics of weight loss!

Diane: Newsletter note! If you have signed up for the weekly newsletter, but you are not receiving it in your email, you may need to contact your email and/or internet provider to re-set your spam filters. Hotmail accounts are particularly problematic with bulk emails, while Yahoo is a free account that regularly accepts our bulk email newsletter.

Be sure to check out Diane and Richards site

Train hard, train smart and make it a legendary week!
Diane Fields, Member. Legendary Fitness, LLC.
Richard Baldwin, Member. Legendary Physique, LLC.

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Copyright 2004. Diane Fields, Member. Legendary Fitness, LLC. All rights reserved.

The advice given in this column should not be viewed as a substitute for professional medical services. Before undertaking any exercise or nutrition program, Legendary Fitness, LLC advises all to undergo a thorough medical examination and get permission from their personal physician.