To lose weight permanently is like the tortoise and the hare, slow and steady is better than speedily shedding a large amount of weight. When you lose weight gradually, over a period of time, you are more likely to keep the weight off. To do that, you need to be committed to a healthier lifestyle on a long-term basis.
The Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH, which specials in weight loss and in treating obesity, encourages you to keep a positive attitude. You can lose weight, but it takes determination, awareness and commitment.
The Math Behind Weight Loss – Calculate Your Maintenance Weight
A large part of the science behind weight loss boils down to simple arithmetic. If you start with 2,100 and subtract 2,300, what is the result? Negative 200. This is the goal in weight loss, to take in less calories per day than you burn off. If your daily diet totals approximately 2,100 calories, but you burn off 2,300 calories daily, then your calorie deficit is 200 calories. You will lose weight. By contrast, if you burn off less calories than you ingest through food, then you will more than likely gain weight.
For weight loss, then, for example, a typical daily maintenance diet for the average non-dieting population is approximately 1,700 to 2,200 calories, depending on your height and current weight. For a five-foot ten-inch tall 40 year old male who weighs 180 pounds, maintenance weight can be maintained on a diet of approximately 2020 calories daily with a light activity level. With moderate exercise, with the same scenario, maintenance weight would be slightly over 2,300 calories.
In this example, if the 40 year old male were to maintain his 2020 calorie a day diet, and increase his activity level to a moderate level by engaging in thirty minutes of exercise daily, he would likely start to lose weight, as the calories he burns off would increase to 2,300 daily. Consult a weight loss chart for your particular physical profile, gender and activity level and for the specific number of calories needed for maintenance weight.
Increase your Daily Activity Level – Initiate an Exercise Regimen
A second step in your weight loss plan, in harmony with the above, is to step up your activity level. Engage in moderate daily exercise to increase the number of calories you burn off. Especially if your job or daily activity level borders on sedentary, that is, you work on a computer or office all day, with little physical activity, then exercise needs to be incorporated in your daily routine. Brisk walking, aerobic exercise at home or at the gym, biking or riding a stationary bike, or using any number of aerobic machines typically at the gym, are excellent ways of burning off calories. To have value, it is best to engage in exercise at least 20 to 30 minutes daily. 30 minutes of riding a stationary bike, as an example, might burn between 100 and 200 calories, depending on the level of intensity with that you are able to maintain.
Some other simple ways of upping your daily activity level are, walk to work, school or to the store rather than driving your car. Walking 30 minutes a day to work or school, rather than driving, is enough to increase the number of calories you burn off daily by 100 or more. You’ve effectively increased your activity level from light to moderate. Take the stairs rather than the elevator if you work or live in a building with multiple floors.
Calculate the Your Daily Caloric Diet and Plan Your Diet for Weight Loss
Start to count calories. Based on your maintenance weight requirements, calculate and monitor the number of calories you need to eat in order to maintain and lose weight. Your calorie intake should be at least 100 or 200 less than what you burn off daily. If you want to lose a pound a week, which is a significant amount of weight, then your daily calorie deficit must be approximately 500 calories. To lose a half a pound a week, your calorie deficit needs to be approximately 250 calories. Avoid high calorie foods such as found in foods with high sugar content and added refined sugar. Avoid refined carbohydrates such as found in pastries, cakes, cookies and ice cream, etc. Substitute these with low calorie foods such as fruits, carrot and celery sticks for snacks, and drink water rather than soda and fruit juice. There are other ways to help curb your appetite as well.
Do your research, make your calculations, stick to your plan, and you will lose weight. It is all in the math. You can do it. Keep a positive attitude and be determined. If you find yourself backsliding, get back on the track again. Don’t give up and consider weight loss a long-term project.