Think there's a magic formula for weight loss? Well, the reality is that there's a pretty simple formula.
In order to lose weight, you need to create a calorie deficit, which means that you are using up more calories that you are taking in.
Every person has a set number of calories that they burn every day in order to keep their body functioning. This is called your basal metabolic rate.
To lose a pound of fat, you need a deficit of 3,500 calories. If your goal is one pound per week, this works out to 500 calories per day.
While you could just try to eat 500 fewer calories every day, that much of a change in your food intake could feel like a major sacrifice, leaving you feeling hungry and making you more susceptible to gaining the weight back once you start eating normally again.
But if you add exercise to your plan, you can create the necessary caloric deficit by cutting just 250 calories from your diet and burning off the remaining 250 calories through exercise.
And there's another benefit to using exercise as a weight-loss tool. If you lose weight by only reducing calories from your diet, you also run the risk of losing muscle and water in addition to fat. But exercise not only burns calories - it can also help you to increase your lean muscle mass. Since muscle burns more calories than fat, even when you are at rest, adding exercise to the mix can help make you a lean, mean, calorie-burning machine!