Many of us have weight loss goals.
My first question to you is what is the magic number (your weight) you feel you should be at, and why.
Once you establish a healthy weight loss goal, then I will give you the following steps you can follow to lose weight in a healthy way.
Remember don’t try to do too much too soon. If you start by increasing your activity, increasing your water intake, along with slowly cleaning up your diet, the weight-loss will happen naturally.
I will however give you a basic overview of weight loss.
A general rule of thumb is that 3500 calories equals 1 pound. This is a general rule. There are many variables, lets keep this KISS (keep it simple stupid)!
If you increase your calorie expenditure through activity, and you cut calories through your diet, you will have a calorie deficit.
To lose weight in a healthy way you should have a deficit of around 500 – 1000 calories each day.
Now let’s do some math.
If you increase calorie expenditure through activity by 250 a day, and you decreased intake by 250 a day, that would equal a 500 calorie a day deficit.
500 cal a day multiplied by seven days a week is 3500 calories. This equals out to one pound each week of weight loss. Half a pound to 2 pounds a week weight loss is the most people usually can lose and keep it off. Think long term.
The weight did not go on overnight! So don’t expect it to come off overnight!
Anything more than this is very hard to do and to maintain for an extended length of time.
Cutting calories more than 250 per day in the beginning is a huge change.
Also cutting 250 calories per day doesn’t have to be hard. If you replace junk food with good nutritious food, or replace alcohol and high sugar drinks with good ‘ole H2O, that alone could give you the deficit you need.
Adding 250 calories per day to our activity is very doable, but you’d be surprised how much activity it takes to really take to burn 250 calories. For an example. Fast Walking or Running burns about 100 calories per mile. Now this is approximate, because it depends on your weight and how fast you run but this is an average. Remember KISS.
Let’s Get Started!
First add activity do your daily routine. Throughout your day just be more active.
Second schedule workout time 3 times each week. Start small with a walking program. I also encourage people to keep an activity log for you right down the number of minutes you spent being more active. At the end of each day and each week you can look back and see how many calories you have burned by adding activity.
Next, the food piece.
I suggest not changing anything yet.
Start a food log of everything that you eat. Everything!
Do not change anything. Track everything you eat for three weekdays and one weekend day. From this we get a base of what you normally eat. This is our starting point. From here is where we deduct the 250 calories per day.
Some people use their phone camera to log what their eating.
It is a great idea! Just take a picture of everything you eat or drink, I suggest placing your hand in the picture so you can get an idea of portion size. (More on that later).
Here are some ideas on how to add activity to your daily Schedule. Add activity to your day by standing up and moving around periodically throughout the day while you are at work. You can do the same thing when you are at home. If you’re sitting down watching TV, every commercial just get up and stretch or walk to another room. If you have stairs all the better! Take a walk with your family or friends in the evenings. Play with the kids or the grandkids by moving around and being active with them. Kids have a tendency to give us energy, at least for a short time, until they wear us out. Take a dog for a walk, your dog or volunteer at the local shelter. Perform 3 to 5 minutes of deep breathing exercises in the morning and evening. I’m sure you can think of many more ways to add activity to your day without thinking of it as burden.
Schedule Workouts 3-5 times each week for 10 -20 minutes each session.
Here are some ways to cut 250 calories from your diet. Stop drinking sugary drinks, sodas, fruit juices, and alcohol. This is one of the easiest ways to cut calories. We don’t realize how many calories the drinks that we drink have in them. If you replace junk food with good nutritious food, or replace alcohol and high sugar drinks with water, that alone could give you the deficit you need. Replace known junk food with a fruit or vegetable. I usually have people replace sweets with a favorite sweet fruit. If your favorite junk food is more of a crunchy snack, I would have you replace that with a crunchy vegetable that you like.
You’re in this for the long-haul. Quick fixes do not usually work for any length of time. If you have a substantial amount of weight that you’re trying to lose 40 to 60 pounds give yourself at least one year to lose that amount of weight.
Losing weight is not easy however if you write down your goals, and write down the reasons why you want to achieve that goal, you will have more motivation to continue on your journey.
So if weight loss is your goal, breakdown your goal into daily, weekly, and monthly plans.
One more time:
- Every day write down your goal weight and the date you will be at that weight.
- Every day write down at least 3 reasons why you want to be at that weight.
- While writing your goal and the reasons, visualize yourself at the your goal weight. Feel the feelings of being at your goal weight.
- Make a plan.
- Work your plan every day!
Get outside your Comfort Zone and make things happen!