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Science of Weight Loss

Weight loss is a science. While struggling with it, we think it is the most mind boggling, illogical, random thing ever. That it perhaps needed magical skills only a few possessed – the actresses who gain/lose weight at will for a role or the friend who shortly post baby gets into super shape, while the rest of us only had pointless struggle as our lot. But finally, after great struggle, we think we have decoded it:
Principle: Weight loss happens by creating a calorie deficit (burning more calories than you consume daily, so the FAT starts to burn).

Equation 1 (Exercise): 0.5-1Kg weekly = 3500-7000 extra calorie burn weekly = 700-1400 daily calorie burn (if you exercise 5 times a week)
Variables: Exercise type, duration, speed & body weight. All positively co-related. So if you weigh more you burn more. Yay!!

Estimates: Calorie burn for a 65Kg person exercising 1hr daily:

Brisk walk (@5.5km/hr) = 250 Calories
Run/Jog (@ 8km/hr) = 500 calories
Cycle vigorously (@20km/hr) = 500 calories
Zumba/Dance = 560 calories
Swim (vigourous freestyle/breaststroke) = 635 calories

So, to lose “x” weight you need to burn “y” calories by adjusting exercise type, duration & speed/intensity. Duration has greatest impact but those lacking time can up the intensity, but very slowly, though steadily to minimize risk of injury.
Equation 2 (Food): You can also reduce weight by reducing daily calorie intake. Do that ONLY if you are not at your ideal level currently, but again very slowly to minimize adverse health impact.

To know your ideal daily calorie intake basis your activity levels visit:

Conclusion : A 33 year old woman, weighing 65kg+ & 5ft 2″ tall would need to be on a 1250-1750 daily calorie diet & exercise vigorously 5-6 times a week (burning 500-1500 calories daily), to lose 0.5-1kg weekly. It seems simple, but it wasn’t, rather it was a saga of more misses than hits. Watch this space for more on that…

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