Committing to a Weight Loss Program
If losing weight were easy, we'd all be wearing bikinis to the beach and showing off our trim bodies. Of course, losing weight is one of the most challenging things a person can do, especially when it involves some major lifestyle changes. If you've tried to lose weight before and failed, don't be discouraged. When it comes to diet, weight loss is achievable by anyone with the will power to take a slow and steady approach.
Diets for Quick Weight Loss
One of the biggest mistakes people make trying to lose weight is choosing a fad diet. Any diet that asks you to change overnight, eliminate entire food groups, or starve yourself for days at a time is not going to be good for you or produce lasting results. In recent years, companies have invested a lot of money in trying to convince you that something as simple as a pill or sprinkles or hormone therapy will magically decrease your weight. The truth is, these products aren't effective at long-term weight loss, and they may even be hazardous to your health.
When it comes to real weight loss, it's a matter of simple math. Your body needs to burn more calories each day than it consumes. If you typically consume around 2100 calories a day, cutting that amount to 1900 will lead to gradual, steady weight loss that will likely be permanent as you slowly learn and implement healthier eating habits. Follow these steps to determine how many calories you should consume to lose weight.
Discovering Your Body Mass Index and Basal Metabolic Rate
First, establish your body mass index (BMI) and basal metabolic rate (BMR). Both these numbers help to paint a picture of your current health and caloric needs. A BMI is a measurement of your height to weight ratio. A BMR is a measurement of how many calories your body burns in a day. You can easily find these numbers using an online BMI calculator or BMR calculator.
Once you know your BMR, you can use it to help you lose weight. If your BMR is 1700 calories a day, that means your body will burn 1700 calories in a day just by being alive and functioning. In order to lose weight, you either need to consume fewer than 1700 calories or do enough exercise to burn off more calories in a day.
Choosing a Weight Loss Method
Be careful though. Eating too few calories will only slow down your BMR, making your body hang on to fat reserves because it thinks it's starving. The best option is to shoot for a pound of weight loss a week. This may seem too slow, but a pound or two a week is a sustainable weight loss that is likely to last over time. Any faster and you'll be in danger of hitting a weight loss diet roadblock, causing you to rebound and gain back the weight.
To lose a pound of fat, your body needs to burn 3500 calories. If we go back to our example of a BMR of 1700, you'll need to divide 3500 by 7 and subtract the resulting number from 1700: 3500/7=500 1700-500=1650.
So you'll need to eat 1650 calories a day for one week to lose a pound of fat. Small steps like this will ensure that your weight loss plan is achievable. As you watch the pounds slowly come off, you'll be rewarded with a healthier body and a sense of accomplishment. If you do enough exercise to burn 250 calories, about 30 minutes of moderate to strenuous exercise, you'll only have to eat 250 fewer calories. That's as simple as switching to skim milk and cutting out sugar sodas.
As your weight decreases, your BMR will change and losing weight may become more challenging, but by moving forward at a slow, steady rate, you'll give your body time to adjust and your new good habits time to be well and truly mastered.