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How Can I Burn More Calories Than I Eat?

Everyone knows that weight loss is about calories in and calories out. In order to lose weight, you just have to burn more calories than you eat. It's that simple. To do that, there are three easy options: eat less, burn more, or some of both.


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Okay, that actually over simplifies what it takes to burn more calories than you eat. If you are a repeat dieter, you probably have tried every method of burning more calories than you eat. You tried eating less, you tried eating differently, and you tried exercising more.


Eating less is quite hard because hormonal mechanisms push us towards eating. Some people have a stronger drive to eat than others. Most people can only withstand the urge to eat for so long before physiology overrides willpower.


Burning more might be even harder than eating less. To bridge the gap between calories eaten and calories burned, some people would have to spend hours exercising every day. For most people, that's no way to live life.


What about supplements to make you burn more calories than you eat? There are plenty supplements on the market that claim to do just this. But none of them are both safe and reliably lead to weight loss.


So what is the answer of how to burn more calories than you eat? As a dietitian, I want you to know that losing weight is more complex than a diet or exercise. Better questions to ask are why am I eating so much? Can I change my drive to eat? Is weight loss all I want? What other health goals do I have?


To have significant changes in nutrition, it takes buy in that the behavioral aspect of eating is a factor in how we eat. Then it takes a long term commitment to working on cognitive and behavioral changes. It often involves a new and more realistic perspective on what outcomes are possible. It might involve adjusting your goals to align with realistic goals.


I have been working with people who struggle with their eating habits for many years. It is hard work. My patients can tell you that better than I can tell you that. Cognitive and behavioral changes with eating can lead to a more calm and pleasant approach to food and eating. It can improve your health. But it might not make you lose the amount of weight you once hoped to lose. If you are interested in that, I may be able to help you.

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