I pity the fool who doesn't have abs like me! Image courtesy of iStockphoto/Thinkstock.

Alright, so you’ve probably read this a billion times, but the key to losing weight is diet and excercise.  No real secret.  Unfortunately, your body doesn’t come with an instruction manual so getting some direction in this department is pretty difficult.

Hopefully this article will break it down as simply as possible and it will get you to your goal weight before that summertime Vegas trip to the Hard Rock.

Step 1: Start a food journal.
Yep, start writing down everything you eat.  Including that kit-kat bar around 2:30 pm.  You’re going to start seeing what kind of crap you put into your body.

In addition, you’re going to want to put some units of measurement that relate to what you eat on a daily basis.  This is where calories come in.  Since I am a stat/numbers whore, calorie values really appeal to my analytical nature.  To get the value of what you eat, go to the Calorie King website.  It basically has everything you need in there.

(If you’re lazy to figure it out, try using this killer book: Eat This, Not That.)

Step 2: Figure out your baseline.
Now you need to know the following things:  your ideal weight and how many calories it takes for you to maintain your weight now.  You can figure out your ideal weight here.  You can figure out how many calories it will take to maintain your weight here.

Step 3: Learn the formula.
You may find this hard to believe, but there is a formula for gaining or losing weight:

500 Calories = 1 lb.

Mind boggling, huh?  What this means is that for you to lose weight you have to eat less than what it takes to maintain your weight and if you use the formula above, you will know exactly what you need to do to get to your goal.

There is a caviat, however – your body shouldn’t lose more than 2 lbs. a week otherwise it goes into starvation mode and you will bounce back quicker than a basketball.  That equates to eating about 1000 calories less a week.

Step 4: Rock out.
So now that you know you can only lose about 2 lbs. a week, you can start figuring out how long it will take for you to get to your fighting weight.

Pretty simple right? 

In theory it is.  The hard part is having the determination to get there.  But like all things, if it was easy, everyone would be doing it.


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