Not only would that be near impossible for the average person (burn 1200 cals/day), you'd also probably pass out only eating 1200 cals while doing it! Breathe a sigh of relief; weight loss is not *that* hard.
Your body burns a certain amount of calories just to stay alive; breathing, creating new cells, organs functioning, etc. This is called your basal metabolic rate (or BMR). It means you burn calories just existing, even if you laid in bed all day and didn't lift a finger, you'd still be burning calories. Your BMR is estimated by your age, gender, body weight and height. There are other factors that can effect it but all you really need is a rough estimate. The average woman's BMR is around 1500 cals and the average man's is around 1650 cals. Sparkpeople already calculates your BMR when you enter your personal information into your account and they use this to calculate a calorie range for you that is based on the minimum amount of calories you should burn through exercise. If you burn more than Spark recommends, enter your weekly burn into your "fitness setup" and this will give you a more appropriate calorie range.
Your body burns a certain amount of calories through every day activities; showering, getting dressed, running errands, housework, standing, light walking, working at your job, etc. Spark automatically awards you about 300 cals extra a day for activity. You *can* change your activity level through your "account settings" on your "Start Page" if you work an active job.
Lastly, you burn more calories through exercise. An elevated heart rate in the cardio zone.
I'll put it into numbers. Say your BMR is 1500 cals and you add 300 cals for your daily activity. You burn 1800 cals a day without any exercise whatsoever. If you eat 1200 cals and you subtract it from the 1800 cals a day you burn, you get 600 cals. It takes 3500 cals to burn 1 lb of fat. If you ate that amount every day for a week, you'd create a deficit of 4200 cals/week which is equal to a 1.2 lb/week loss.
If you added exercise and burned an extra 400 cals, you'd now be burning 2200 cals that day. If you ate 1200 cals, you'd be creating a deficit of a 1000 cals. If you did that every day, you'd lose 2 lbs/week.
The safe amount for weight loss is 1-2 lbs/week. The more you weigh, the faster your loss will be (you have a higher BMR and burn more cals through exercise). The less you weigh, a slower loss should be expected.
Edited by: JENNILACEY at: 10/24/2013 (10:24)
Take your focus off the Marshmallow. www.leangains.com/2010/01/marshmallo
"Toning" is marketing muscles to women who are afraid if they pick up a barbell, they'll leave the gym looking like She-Hulk. It doesn't happen, what does happen is you get results. Lifting Barbie weights does nothing but waste time.
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