Lately, gym members have been asking me the same question: “How did you lose all that weight?”

I tell them the same three things: 1) I’ve got an awesome trainer, Keith Sims, who keeps putting me through the paces; 2) I get in to do my cardio everyday and; 3) I enter my foods into the Fatburn.com online program.

Now, this is where I get a strange look of consternation. There seems to be a vast number of gym members who either do not know about this program (which by the way is free when you have a gym membership and available to non-members for a nominal monthly fee) nor understand how it works.

Fatburn.com allows me to keep track of my progress and monitor my calorie intake. It’s not difficult and anyone can do it. The first step is to go to Fatburn.com and create an account. You can access Fatburn.com from the Burn Fitness website or you can simply type in fatburn.com on your URL line. If you’re a Luddite (and a member) you can chat with anyone at the front desk and they will be more than happy to walk you through the process. If you’re not a member and you want more info, please feel free to contact me and I’ll be happy to help you. That being said; take a moment to play around on the site. It will ultimately help you discover the ins-and-outs of the site and is a great way to gear up for your meal data entry.

Once you log in you will be taken to a page that allows you to set your weight loss goals. Don’t go crazy here. Don’t put in that you want to lose 50 pounds in one week. That’s unrealistic, yet you’d be surprised at how many people ask me, “Can I set a goal of 10 pounds in one week?” Well you can … if you’re mentally challenged. Look, when you are trying to lose weight and you want to keep it off the key is to lose weight slowly. You didn’t put on 50 pounds in one week so what makes you think you can take it off in one?

Weight loss is one arena where you want to be conservative. You can expect to lose a pound a week. If you amp up your cardio and training and combine with a strict diet plan you can expect to lose 1.5 to two pounds per week. Therefore, if you wish to lose 30 pounds you should be setting a goal of 20 weeks.

Once you set your goal, the program does the rest. It will tell you how many calories you may consume per day and still create a calorie deficit.

Let me explain about the calorie deficit because this took me a long time to figure out. One pound = 3,500 calories. Therefore, in order to lose a pound a week, you have to create a calorie deficit equal to 3,500 calories. Now, the rest of this gets very “mathy-mathy” so before I lose all you readers (myself included because I’m really not great at math), the program calculates what you need to burn each day in order to create that weekly calorie deficit. All you have to do is enter in your activities for the day, the food that you’re eating, and the program tallies up your: meal calories, activity calories, net burn, fat grams consumed, carbohydrate grams consumed, sugars consumed, and yells at you if you’re eating too much! Well, it doesn’t exactly yell at you, but if you are eating too few calories per day, it shows up in red and if you’re eating too much — well, it puts that in red, too! You don’t want to be in the red!

The trick here is to keep up with the day-to-day data entry. I will admit, there have been a few days where I got busy and didn’t do it; there have been a few days that I was sick and lost a little ground. None of us are perfect. The key is to try our best to keep up.

For those of you saying, “Well, I’ve been on diets before, they don’t work.” Fatburn.com isn’t a diet; it’s a way of achieving your weight loss goals. You can eat whatever you want, as long as you account for it. The database includes every food imaginable and if it doesn’t, an option allows you to create your own food item simply by entering the name of the food and several key components found on the food item’s nutrition label. For example, my one guilty carb is the Julian Bakery “smart carb” 65-calorie bread — but I noticed it wasn’t coming up in the search engine. A couple keystrokes later and voile´ my new food item is added not only to my personal data list but also to the master database for all to access.

So that’s the big secret at Burn Fitness — Tom Williams’ fatburn.com program. It works. I’ve lost almost 30 pounds now … slowly … and I’m continuing on, losing a little bit every day. It’s the way you’re supposed to lose!

Taylor can be reached at tailfish@roadrunner.com.

By the numbers

Starting Weight: 182

Pounds Lost: 27

Current Weight: 155

Goal Weight: 135

Pounds to Lose to Goal: 20

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