Losing weight and keeping it off does not have to be a risky or costly process. All you need is motivation, perseverance and a commitment to a new lifestyle. Weight loss pills and medications often come with some risky and/or unpleasant side effects, and diet programs can take a big chunk out of your pocket book with the cost of special foods that must be purchased. In fact in most (or at the very least many) cases all that is needed to lose weight and to keep it off is a change in diet, a routine exercise curriculum, and a commitment to follow your new plan every day. Naturally to lose weight very quickly would be ideal, but research shows that people who lose weight gradually and steadily are more successful at keeping it off in the long run.
The first step in any weight loss regime is to determine your BMI (Body Mass Index). Use the formulas and charts below to determine where you stand. This will help you to find a healthy, calorie friendly diet and an exercise curriculum that works best for you. Then to find out how many calories you are consuming each day, write down all of the foods and beverages you consume each day along with the calorie count of each item as listed in the nutrition section on the product container. By writing this down you will become more aware of what you are putting in your mouth. Also write down any physical activity you do each day, and for how long you do it.
Imperial Formula to determine BMI
(weight in pounds x 703) divided by ( height in inches²)
1 foot = 12 inches
inches² = inches x inches
Metric Formula to determine BMI
(weight in kilograms) divided by (height in meters²)
1 meter = 100 cms
meters² = meters x meters
BMI Weight Status Categories
Below 18.5 ———- underweight
18.5 – 24.9 ———- normal
25.0 – 29.9 ———- overweight
30 & above ———- obese
The bottom line of losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight is calorie count. It’s all about balance, balancing the number of calories consumed with the number of calories burned. A calorie is a unit of energy supplied by food regardless of its source (carbohydrates, fats, sugars, or protein), a calorie is a calorie. If you are gaining weight then you are consuming more calories than you are burning. Your body stores extra calories as fat, thus causing weight gain. Approximately 3,500 calories equals 1 pound, so in order to lose 1-2 pounds per week, you need to reduce your caloric intake by 500-1000 calories per day.
Cutting down on calories is only half of what is necessary to achieve healthy weight loss. Physical activity or exercise is the other half. Physical activity is not that difficult and does not require much time each day, though it does take a strong commitment and self discipline to do it on a regular basis to achieve desired results. Recommended activities include but are not limited to 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (such as brisk walking) every week, as well as muscle strengthening activities that work all major muscle groups (arms, shoulders, chest, abdominals, back, hips and legs) 2 or more days a week.
In short if you reduce your caloric intake by 500-1000 calories per day and allow 5-6 hours per week for moderate-intensity aerobic activity and muscle strengthening activity, you should see a gradual but steady weight loss of 1-2 pounds per week as well as being able to keep it off without diet pills or costly weight loss programs. It will take effort, commitment and self discipline, but if it helps you to achieve your weight loss goals then it is all worth it in the long run.