Losing weight does not have to involve complicated point systems or dieting rules that make it difficult to achieve your goals. In fact, some of the most effective weight loss plans are the easiest ones to follow. The keys to success when it comes to weight loss is eating a healthy, low-calorie diet and exercising on a regular basis — it’s as simple as that.
The easier a weight loss plan is to follow, the better your chances of achieving long term weight loss, according to MayoClinic.com. In fact, Mayo Clinic experts state that many fad diets that offer short-term weight loss often leave you feeling unsatisfied when it comes to eating and can even make you feel like giving up. An easy-to-follow plan can alleviate these issues for more successful weight loss results over the long term.
Several easy-to-follow weight loss plans are backed by scientific research to help you lose weight and get healthier. One such plan is called the MyPyramid Plan, developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This free online tool creates a personalized diet plan for you that is easy to read and follow. Another choice is the DASH Diet plan, recommended by the USDA and created by the American Heart Association. The DASH Diet was designed to help decrease your blood pressure, but it also has been shown to help people lose weight.
It’s important to be patient when you start a new weight loss program. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you should aim for no more than 2 lbs. of weight loss per week to do it the healthy way. Your body cannot safely handle weight loss any more quickly than that in many cases. At this recommended weight loss rate, you can achieve a substantial amount of weight loss in a year’s time — as much as 104 lbs. over the course of a year.
The CDC recommends that adults engage in at least 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week. That makes for a total of at least 150 minutes per week. For an even greater health and weight loss benefit, the CDC recommends shooting for five or more hours of exercise each week. You should aim to burn about 250 to 500 calories per workout, which is the equivalent of 1/2 to 1 lb. of weight loss per week.
To lose weight, you must take in fewer calories than you burn each day. A simple way to make this happen is to first determine your basal metabolic rate (BMR). Enter that figure into the Harris-Benedict Formula to determine how many calories your body needs each day to maintain your current body weight. Next, subtract 500 to 1,000 calories from that number, and that is how many calories you need to consume each day to lose 1 to 2 lbs. per week.