One pound of fat is equal to 3,500 calories, so in order to loose 1 pound you need to decrease your caloric intake or increase your caloric burn by 3,500. In other words, if you eat 500 calories less each day/week OR burn an extra 500 calories/day for a week, you'll lose one pound of fat (500 calories x 7 days = 3,500 calories).
Keep in mind the average person burns 60-75% of their daily calories just by being alive. Even while sleeping, your body is using up calories. You can calculate the
exact ballpark number- known as your basic metabolic rate- by using the formala found here. My BMR is 1411.
Anyway-- I'm already starting to complicate things, which is
making me hungry getting me off track.
Who has time to count calories? Who wants to count calories? Why are we trying to do math when we should be enjoying our meal? As a lover of all things edible- both healthy and not- I'd rather burn the calories than eat less.
Rewind to a few weeks ago when I was at the gym and had a revelation. According to the machines, I burned more calories on the treadmill than the stair-master. There is no way that this is accurate. After jogging at a pace of 5.5 mph for 10 minutes I was winded and sweaty, however on the stair-master I felt like I was dying after 5 minutes! Long story short- I realized this was inaccurate and I needed a solution to help me better understand the effectiveness of my workouts.
Enter the Polar FT4 heart rate monitor. I first heard about it via Fluff to Buff- my favorite fitspo facebook page. (If you haven't already, I would recommend checking it out! Her weight-loss journey is very inspirational.) The watch comes with an elastic band and heart rate monitor that you strap around your chest. The monitor sends a signal to your watch, which calculates calories burned based on your heart rate, height, weight, sex, and age.
Overall, this was a great purchase. It's easy to use, seems accurate, and comes in a variety of colors. My goal has always been to burn a minimum of 500 calories per workout and this helps me accomplish that goal. Furthermore, it's been interesting for me to learn which workouts burn the most calories in the shortest amount of time. Generally speaking, I tend to burn 10 calories/minute, but a solid workout of cardio and strength training works best.