I know this sounds pretty dumb.. but if my intake (say 1800 a day) is less than my burn rate (say 2800 day) I should be losing weight?
Is it that simple? Could I possibly be gaining weight if the above is true?
thanks guys! I'm a newbie dieter :)
Several possible reasons:
-It can take time to show on the scale.
-You could be overestimating burn/underestimating food
-Salt/water retention (can be caused by dehydration) can cause temporary weight gain
-Exercise can make weight loss not show up right away
I'm guessing Jim isn't female, so probably not that time of the month... :)
Give us some more info - your stats, how much you are eating, what you do during the day (active or sedentary), and what exercise you do. And how long you have been doing this. Also, double check portions, because people tend to underestimate what a cup of cereal (or whatever) looks like.
Thanks guys for all the info!
As far as my stats, I'm a 33 year old male, 6'1 and I weigh 229 and my target weight is 200 ish. My activity level is sedentary which at my height weight burns about 2400 calories according to my burn rate. I lift and/or walk/run every other day for 30 - 45 minutes and that burns usually another 300-400 or so.
My average intake for calories is about 1700 when I don't cheat :) I'm pretty meticulous about logging everything.
I have only been doing this for a week or so actually so I don't expect to lose weight right away. I'm more curious that if I keep my calorie intake below my burn that I will eventually lose weight. Say I ate 3 big macs for my calories in a day and that was less than burn, would I still lose weight? (not that I would think to do that, just trying to understand).
If you've checked all your numbers and volumes and everything is correct, then you could be losing fat but gaining muscle. I have heard this is a common 'problem' among men. Muscle weighs more than fat, you see, so if you're building muscle fast enough, you'll end up weighing more even though you're getting healthier.
Also, see everything everyone else said. ;)
As far as losing weight eating Big Macs - yes, if you were under your calorie count you would probably still lose weight. You could lose weight and eat nothing but butter all day, if you ate few enough calories of it. Ideally, of course, you eat as healthy as you can while you lose weight, but the joy of calorie counting is you can eat *whatever you want* and still lose weight if you eat fewer calories than you burn. It's just that usually the stuff you really enjoy eating has more calories.
I will say that personally, I *enjoy* eating healthy foods. I have a whole pantry full of healthy food and a fridge full of healthy veggies and they're all yummy. I don't force myself to eat food I don't like, and when people ask me how I keep up the willpower, I say - I put together meals I enjoy eating! Then it's not really about willpower, it's just about whether I eat the yummy doritos or the yummy sweet potato. After eating healthy for 3 months straight, my desire for less-healthy food has decreased dramatically. It's really weird! One day I walked into work, and there were two luscious chocolate cakes and a bowl of pistachios on the table, and I said 'ooh, pistachios!'
Like you all said, this is a great way to diet becuase you can basically eat what you want and counting the calories helps you do it in moderation. Of course I'm annoying my wife now always looking on the boxes and "measuring" portions :)