One of your first priorities upon vowing to lose weight is to set a realistic goal to guide you on your fat-loss journey. If you plan to spend the next month exercising and eating carefully in an attempt to shed a few pounds, your goal must be attainable. The exact about of fat you lose depends on your diet and the exercises you perform, but a fat-loss rate of 1 to 2 pounds per week is reachable for most. Always consult your doctor, though, before beginning any diet, exercise or weight-loss regimen.
Slow and Steady
If you're able to successfully burn fat at a rate of 1 to 2 pounds per week, expect to lose in the neighborhood of 4 to 8 pounds of fat over the course of the month. To do so, you must burn significantly more calories than you take in through food and drink. This process is known as a calorie deficit, and creating a deficit of 3,500 calories means you'll lose 1 pound of fat. If you want to lose a pound per week, your overall deficit by the end of the week must be 3,500 calories.
Combine Diet and Exercise
Losing weight over the course of the month isn't solely a matter of exercising more or eating right. To give yourself the best chance of success, you must be conscientious about both parts of your lifestyle. According to the National Weight Control Registry, nearly nine of 10 people who lose weight and prevent it from returning do so through positive changes to both their diet and exercise habits, rather than focusing on only one area.
Get Moving and Forget About the Soda
When developing your workout regimen for the month, ensure it has a combination of aerobic exercises and strength training. Both forms of exercise contribute to fat loss and improved overall health. Each week should include at least 300 minutes of medium-tempo aerobic exercise and two or three strength-training workouts, during which you work all your major muscle groups. When considering your diet, strive to remove high-calorie items from your meals and snacks. For example, replace soda and potato chips with water and fresh fruit and vegetables.
Weight Loss for a Healthier Body
Losing weight isn't just about building a body that looks better in front of the mirror or at the beach. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, losing only 10 percent of your body weight can contribute to a long list of potential health benefits. These benefits can include reducing your chance of such serious weight-related health conditions as heart disease, diabetes, cancer and high blood pressure.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Losing Weight
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Balancing Calories
- American Council on Exercise: Weight Loss: Diet vs. Exercise
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: How Much Physical Activity Do Adults Need?
- USA Today: Weight-Loss Tips: 25 Ways to Lose Weight, Keep it Off
- National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: Aim for a Healthy Weight