Our bodies burn an amount of calories everyday to keep us alive. This amount alone is called Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). To calculate your BMR just search BMR calculator on Google.
The next step is to find out your TDEE. This is the amount of calories you burn taking into account your BMR and also the extra calories your body burns from exercising or having a physically demanding job. I am NOT talking about the actual calories burned DURING exercise, but from the faster metabolism that you get from being active. You see, someone who does cardio every single day or has a physically demanding job, will have a higher metabolism (and therefore a higher TDEE) than someone of the same weight, height and age who is sedentary or works at a desk job. Metabolism refers to how fast your body functions, and therefore also how fast it burns calories. Someone with a higher metabolism burns more calories than someone with a lower metabolism (also heavier folks will also have a higher metabolism, which is why they tend to loose fat faster), which is why exercising or being active daily is important for weight loss.
You have to let go of the mentality of exercising to make up for the extra calories you ate. You also have to let go of the mentality that if you want to loose weight fast you have to destroy your body every single day with multiple workouts per day just to increase that daily caloric deficit (calories in vs calories out). Let go of the daily mentality and embrace the use of this TDEE approach. If you want to loose weight, calculate your TDEE online, and subtract 20-25% of your maintenance calories.
In my case my TDEE is somewhere between 2500-2800 calories (as long as I do 3 intense cardio sessions per week). I will be using a more Relaxed Approach to weight loss, meaning I will ALLOW MYSELF to eat to maintenance (2700 calories) every day of the week and not gain any weight, nor loose any weight (as long as I do my 3 days of exercise). For me 2700 calories is a lot of food, so I do not see myself binging or even over eating. In the past I would use an Aggressive Approach, restrict my calories to 1800 and not allow myself to eat anything more, which would give me cravings, and these cravings eventually built up and I ended up binging (not over eating slightly, but binging), and this went on for weeks. I want to highlight the word ALLOW, meaning I am allowed to eat to maintenance every single day, but that does not mean I HAVE TO eat to maintenance. If I am NOT very hungry a particular day, I will eat less. In fact this is what I am hoping and expecting to happen over time. Also, I am also hoping and expecting that I will naturally want to workout more, just for the sake of gaining athletic resistance and performance.
By doing this approach, worst case scenario I just do not gain weight, which is not so bad since right now I am trying to stop overeating so frequently. I believe this TDEE Relaxed Approach will help me stop stressing so much over weight loss, and will help me loose weight in a healthier way, at a healthier pace, and in a much more enjoyable way. Lets do it!