|Weight Loss Made Simple|
By Natasha Vani, MSc., ATCP
Once again your New Year’s resolution was to lose weight. You set your goals and started working toward them, but now, after less than a month, you find that you have fallen off your schedule more times than you have stuck with it. What are your reasons?
Other than the common complaint of lack of time, let’s be honest—the most common reason is that watching your diet and exercising just seem like too much effort.
What if I told you that you can lose weight with minor adjustments?
What if I told you that people only fail when they try to make huge changes in their lives? Sit back and look at your goals. You probably told yourself something like this: No chocolate, no candy, no chips, no pop, no eating before bed and (of course) exercise, exercise, exercise! Well who truly follows that?
Here’s what I want you to do: instead of feeling guilty every time you fall off your plan, follow these two simple rules and make minor adjustments. In doing so I guarantee you will achieve your goals.
Set a realistic weight loss goal. Do not attempt to lose more than 2 lbs of weight in a week. If you aim for more, you will fail to keep the weight off in the long term. Besides, 2 lbs per week is a solid 10 lbs of fat lost in less than a month and half. Not bad!
Understand what 2 lbs per week means in terms of calories. Since 1 lb of pure fat equals 3,500 calories, 2 lbs equals 7,000 calories. So, each week you need to create a caloric deficit of 7,000 calories. Divide this by seven and you have 1,000 calories a day that you need to somehow get rid of. That may sound like a lot, but you know the best approach to losing weight is through diet and exercise, so, take 1,000 calories and divide it by two.
Your new goal is twofold:
a) to burn 500 calories a day through exercise, and
b) to eat 500 calories less.
f this still sounds like too much, no problem, just aim to lose 1.5 or 1 lb per week. To lose 1 lb a week you only have to burn 250 calories a day through exercise and eat 250 calories less each day.
Let’s assume you are aiming to lose one pound a week. The next step is to come up with activities you can do every day to burn 250 calories, as well as foods that you can eliminate or reduce to decrease your intake by 250 calories.