When it comes to self-improvement, weight loss comes very high on the list for millions of people in the Western World. With obesity a common problem, a problem that can lead to poor health, it is hardly any wonder that weight-loss plans, weight-loss books and weight-loss diets are abundant. There are also millions of people who are overweight but not yet obese, who see weight-loss as a key to their own fitness goal.
People can be interested in weight loss for several reasons: health, vanity, and self-confidence are all common motivations for weight loss. This guide on weight-loss intended to provide a range of approaches to weight loss, together with background information on various weight loss techniques.
Weight Loss – A Simple But Effective Plan
The Background Facts about the calorie/weight relationship are worth considering and remembering before you set off on a weight-loss crusade.
The figures are quite simple:
One pound of fat equals approximately 3500 calories. It follows then that if you want to lose a pound a week, then you need to consume 3500 calories less per week than you utilize. Think about it and take it in (I don’t mean take in all those calories, I mean REMEMBER): that means about 500 calories a day you need to cut from your diet. What that boils down to is: if you can set out to cut 500 calories a day from your usual daily diet, while keeping your activity level the same, you should be able to register a weight loss of approximately one pound a week.
That should be an encouraging start for you, since it does not sound very much, and in reality is an achievable target. Many studies have shown that those people who lose weight gradually, say at a rate of 1 to 2 pounds per week, are much more likely to make that weight-loss permanent.
Achieving the Weight Loss Target through Foods
What are 500 calories?
Do you know precisely what constitutes 500 calories? If you are going to reduce your daily intake by 500 calories you need to know what you need to cut out of your diet to achieve your calorie target. These are examples of how easy it is to lose 500 calories a day through food intake:
- If you like fried potatoes and will not give them up? Instead of the thin fries, just use thick ones. The chunkier, the better. This is easy, and the thick ones taste much better anyway! (Calorie savings: 50 calories per 4 ounces serving. % of daily weight-loss target = 10%)
- Omit the butter on your baked potato. (Calorie savings: 100 calories per potato. % of daily weight loss target = 20%)
- Do you like packets of junk food, like potato crisps? An average snack size bag of crisps has over 300 calories. Yes, 300 calories! (Calorie savings: 300 calories per packet. % of daily weight loss target = 60%). Now there’s an easy target for you in your weight-loss campaign.
- Eat your corn on the cob. A 1 cup serving of corn from a can has 165 calories. An ear of corn on the cob only has 85. (Calorie savings: 80 calories per serving. % of daily weight loss target = 16%)
- Try to drink fruit-flavoured water or plain mineral water instead of a 16-ounce carbonated soda type drink. (Calorie savings: 200 calories per drink. % of daily weight loss target = 40%)
- Cut out large burgers and have a salad instead. A large burger can contain 460 calories. A fresh salad with a light dressing has under 100! (Calorie savings: 300 calories per meal. % of daily weight-loss target = 72%)
- Use a low-fat cream cheese on your bread roll. (Calorie savings: 90 calories per ounce. % of daily weight-loss target = 18%)
Achieving the Weight Loss Target through Exercise
If you would like to consider achieving the same weight-loss with exercise, then consider some of the following suggestions. Remember, increasing your daily activity level by 500 calories a day will help you lose a pound a week.
Also Read: How to 40-Year-Old Male Weight Loss Workouts
How easy is it to achieve weight loss through exercise?
Here are the suggestions:
- Swimming is great for you, and very enjoyable too. What an excellent way to start the day! The water resistance means you burn more calories, and you avoid the stress impact on joints that you experience with aerobics, dancing or walking. Do a few lengths of the swimming pool at a slow crawl. If you can swim for up to an hour, you will be doing very well! (Burn: 510 calories. % of daily weight loss target = 100%)
- Go for a walk for around 30 minutes. Walk at a pace that is a bit quicker than a stroll, but not fast enough to be breathless.
- Are you sporty? Have a game of tennis. Get together with a friend for a weekly tennis game, and you will be delighted at the difference. One hour of energetic tennis is one of the best calorie burners you will find. (Burn: 800 calories. % of daily weight-loss target = 160%)
- Go dancing, and get up and dance your heart out. The longer you’re on the dance floors, the more you’ll get out of it. Dancing that makes you breathless and warms up your body will net you a big calorie saving. (Burn: 400 calories in an hour. % of daily weight-loss target = 80%)
- Go into your garden and do some gardening. An hour of gardening tasks, which include bending and stretching, can burn up to as many calories as a brisk walk. Burn 250 calories. (Burn: 250 calories. % of daily weight-loss target = 50%)
- Get out your bike and go for a cycle. Include a few moderate hills and aim for about five miles total, or you can do a HIIT workout on an exercise bike. Burn: 250 calories (Burn: 250 calories. % of daily weigh- loss target = 50%)
It is imperative to bear in mind that all the exercise/calorie numbers based on a woman who weighs 130 pounds. If you weigh more, you will burn more. There’s also a bonus to burning calories through exercise. When you exercise, you build muscle. The kind of body tissue that burns most calories, even when you’re not applying, is muscle. Yes, your body uses more energy to maintain and feed muscle than it does fat.
For best results, mix and match food savings with exercises that burn calories. Do keep in mind that eating less than 1000 calories a day for more than a few days will slow your metabolism. Keep calorie ranges reasonable, and always consult a doctor if you want a quicker, more drastic weight loss than a pound per week.