I think everyone’s probably heard: “If you want to lose weight, eat less and do more.” It sounds pretty straight forward, right? But just how much less you should eat, and how much more you should move is a bit of mystery.
One of our clients (we’ll call him Elvis) recently had a DEXA scan performed. A DEXA scan (Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry) is used to evaluate bone mineral density and body composition. DEXA is currently considered to be the most reliable method of testing available.
(Interested in getting a DEXA scan? BodySpec offers the most affordable scans in Austin).
Let's focus on the information at the very bottom (red arrow).
The estimated expenditure (calories) required for a sedentary Elvis is 2108. If Elvis gets up and moves a little bit during the day (lightly active), he can eat another 458 calories and maintain his current weight. If he moves a moderate amount, he can eat an additional 601 calories and maintain his current weight. If Elvis is very active, he can eat an additional 1283 calories and maintain his current body weight. And if Elvis wants to drop a few pounds, he'll need to move more and eat less.
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY LEVEL
Activity is a little less straight forward. I mean, what exactly qualifies as lightly active? What's very active? (By the way, it takes A LOT of work to burn an additional 1283 calories.)
There are countless apps/gadgets that track caloric expenditure. Some are reasonably accurate, some grossly overestimate calories burned. Want to be on the safe side? Assume you're burning 10-15% less than what your device reports. And weigh yourself frequently. If the scale isn't moving, make some adjustments.
And for those of you wondering, there's no magic diet. If keto works for you, great. If intermittent fasting works for you, fantastic. Paleo your thing? Go for it. At the end of the day, they all result in the same thing: eating fewer calories. And being in a calorie deficit is the key to weight loss!
Still have questions? Email us - we'd love to help!