Health Resources

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

How to lose weight

As we saw in previous post How to lose weight, pitfalls to avoid , we will look at how we can lose weight in simple, easy steps that requires some control on our part.

The Lazy Girl's Guide to Losing Weight and Getting FitLosing weight can be a huge struggle that we start thinking we may have to do something drastic to see results I know I have such as  extreme and questionable diets, pills or those product from infomercials that promise instant weight loss while you are sleeping. The one thing that I know that has worked for me and true for many is to make small changes each and every day and you will lose those extra weight. There is no instant success, key is to start small and continue. I am sorry, there is no magic pills or overnight weight loss.

Steps to successful Weight Loss
 
The experts have said that to lose one pound of fat, you must burn approximately 3500 calories above what you already burn doing daily activities. That sounds like a lot of calories and you surely can not be expected to burn extra 3500 calories in a day. However, by breaking it down in small steps, you can lose those extra 3500 calories in step by step process. Let's explore further.

  1. Calculate your activity level. Use a calorie calculator to figure out how many calories you burn while sitting, standing, exercising, lifting weights, etc. throughout the day. It helps to keep a daily activity journal or you could even wear a heart rate monitor that calculates calories burned.
  2. Keep track of how many calories you eat. You can use a site like Calorie Count or use a food journal to write down what you eat and drink each day. Be as accurate as possible, measuring when you need to or looking up nutritional information for restaurants, if you eat out.
  3. Add it up. Take your BMR number, add your activity calories and then subtract your food calories from that total. If you're eating more than you're burning, (your BMR + activity is 2000 and you're eating 2400 calories) you'll gain weight. If you're burning more than you eat, you'll lose weight.
Example:
Mary's BMR is 1400 calories and she burns 900 calories in daily activity with regular exercise, walking around and doing household chores. To maintain her weight, she should be eating 2300 calories but, after keeping a food journal, Mary finds that she's eating 2550 calories every day. By eating 250 more calories than her body needs, Mary will gain one pound every 2 weeks.
This example shows how easy it is to gain weight without even knowing it. However, it's also easy to lose weight, even if the process itself can be slow. You can start by making small changes in your diet and activity levels and immediately start burning more calories than you're eating. If you can find a way to burn an extra 200 to 500 calories each day with both exercise and diet, you're on the right track. Try these ideas:
Instead of... Do this...
An afternoon Coke Drink a glass of water. (calories saved: 97)
An Egg McMuffin Eat a small whole wheat bagel +1 Tbsp of peanut butter (calories saved: 185)
Using your break eat sweets Walk up and down a flight of stairs for 10 minutes (calories burned: 100)
Hitting the snooze button Get up 10 minutes early and go for a brisk walk (calories burned: 100)
Watching TV after work Do 10 minutes of yoga (calories burned: 50)

Total Calories Saved: 532 (based on a 140-pound person) How Much Exercise Do I Need?
Exercise is an important weight loss tool, but how much you need varies from person to person. The ACSM's weight loss guidelines suggest at least 250 minutes per week, which comes out to about 50 minutes, 5 days a week. If you're a beginner, start small (3 days a week for 20 to 30 minutes) to give your body time to adapt. Don't forget, things like walking, taking the stairs and household chores can burn more calories as well. Learn more about getting started with exercise.

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