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The Secret To Losing Weight (That Isn’t Really A Secret)

SO FIRST year of University has hit you hard; you’ve gained a stone, you’ve lost your memory and a large part of your dignity due to Wetherspoon’s 3 for £5 Jagerbombs.

You swear you’ve learned your lesson from first year and you refuse to let your new found freedom ruin your body anymore, so it’s time to shed that Fresher’s Fat.

Losing weight is a simple concept that is confused by the fitness industry. Click bait websites will constantly fool you with things like ‘Personal Trainers hate this guy! He lost 14lb in two weeks and here’s how…’ or ‘Here’s the secret to weight loss that Personal Trainers don’t want you to know!’ etc. etc.

However, there’s no secret to losing weight. In its simplest form the most effective way to lose weight is to measure your calories in versus your calories out.

Calories are the units which are used to measure the amount of energy in your food. The more calories there are in something the more potential energy there is in it. Your body needs this energy every day to perform basic human functions, such as brain, liver, lung and bowel functions; without energy you would die.

Balancing the calories is the important thing. Using an online calorie calculator you can work out, based on your height, age and weight how many you should be taking in per day.

For example, I am 5ft 7, 21 years old and weigh 168lbs. Therefore, for my body to maintain this weight and perform all its bodily functions I need to take in roughly 2,675 calories per day.

When the body does not receive enough calories it makes up the numbers by taking energy from the fat stores in your body and turning it into energy, and you lose weight.

So, as the calculator says, for me to lose 1lb per week I would need to be consuming 2,175 calories per day.

It’s that simple.

If I eat less, or eat food with fewer calories in then I will in turn lose weight.

There’s no secret there, it’s a very simple idea but also a very effective one.

big mac

However, executing this while trying to live a student lifestyle is not always the easiest thing to do. Fast food (McDonald’s, KFC, Subway etc.) is cheap and easy but also contains a huge amount of calories.

For example, a McDonald’s Big Mac Meal with a Diet Coke contains around 845 calories. Add to that your 8 pints of lager while you’re out with your mates, (180 calories x 8 = 1,440 calories) and your post-night out Kebab (roughly 1,000 calories) and a typical night out lands you with 3,285 calories.

You can combat those big night out calories though. The best way to burn excess calories is exercise and different exercise helps burn different amounts of calories. Below is a list of how many calories you’ll burn doing an hour of each exercise (actual calorie burn will vary based on intensity & your own body);

  • Bowling – 273
  • Football – 728
  • Hiking – 546
  • Weight Training – 455
  • Running (5mph) – 755
  • Volleyball – 364
  • Yoga – 228