While there are a lot of diets that promise to help you drop weight fast, if you really want to lose the weight and keep it off, it's better to take it off slowly. Losing 10 kilos, or 22 pounds, should take anywhere from three to six months, depending on your diet and exercise plan. Before embarking on your weight-loss journey, be sure to talk to your doctor to discuss any special diet or exercise needs that fit your specific goals and health.
Reduce Calories to Lose 10 Kilos
If you're trying to lose 10 kilograms, or 22 pounds, you need to eat fewer calories than your body requires. It's generally understood that 1 kilogram of body weight has about 7,700 calories. To lose 1/2 to 1 kilogram a week, you need to reduce your current calorie needs -- the number of calories necessary to maintain your weight -- by 550 to 1,100 calories a day.
Let's say a 35-year-old 5-foot, 6-inch woman who weighs 79.5 kilograms, or 175 pounds, wants to lose 10 kilograms. She uses an online calculator to figure her calorie needs. If she works out less than one hour a week, she needs 2,300 daily calories to maintain her current weight, and 1,200 to 1,750 calories to lose weight.
While you need to reduce your calorie intake to lose the weight, you shouldn't eat less than 1,200 calories a day if you're a woman or less than 1,800 calories if you're a man. Eating too few calories may cause your body to slow down calorie burning and derail your weight loss.
Eating Foods That Fill You Up
Hunger is enemy number one when you're trying to lose those extra kilos. To fight back, fill your diet with foods that keep you full. Low-energy-dense foods, which are foods that have few calories in a large portion, should be go-to foods on your weight-loss plan. Fruits, vegetables and broth-based soups are examples of low-energy-density foods. Small servings of whole grains, such as quinoa, barley and millet, are also good choices thanks to their fiber content. The fiber in the grains takes longer to digest, delaying hunger.
You also don't want to skimp on protein. High-protein foods, such as lean meat, poultry, fish, low-fat dairy, soy and beans, help satisfy hunger better than carbs, according to a 2008 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Be sure to include a serving of protein with each meal to keep hunger at bay. One egg has 6 grams of protein; a cup of milk contains 8 grams; 3 ounces of lean meat has 22 grams; 3 ounces of chicken breast has 26 grams.
Diet Plan Strategies
Like your food choices, how often you eat is an important part of your diet plan when your aim is to lose 10 kilos. For energy and continued hunger control, eat three meals plus one to two snacks each day. Keep each meal about the same size, and include those foods that keep you feeling full by filling half your plate with veggies and fruit, and then adding protein and whole grains.
For example, breakfast might be two hard-boiled eggs with a slice of whole-wheat toast and a bowl of cantaloupe. Minestrone soup with a grilled chicken salad makes a good lunch choice. At dinner, fill up with broiled salmon, a baked sweet potato and roasted asparagus. Nonfat yogurt, fresh fruit, cut veggies, low-fat cheese or whole-grain crackers make good snack options.
Also, be sure to limit your intake of junk food -- soda, sweet tea, cookies, cake, candy and fried foods. These types of foods up your calories without offering any health benefits. When it comes to drinks, water makes the best choice.
Exercise to Burn Off Kilos
Every good weight-loss plan should include physical activity. Aerobic exercise, such as a brisk walk or a spin class, is a good way to burn off calories. Aim for 60 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise five days a week -- a bike ride, fast walk or a water aerobics class.
One of the consequences of slimming down is loss of lean muscle tissue. You might be able to offset some of the loss by including strength-training as part of your exercise routine. Work out each major muscle group -- legs, abs, chest, shoulders, back and arms -- twice a week using free weights, weight machines or a resistance band. Leave at least one day between strength-training workouts to allow your muscles to rest.
Muscle helps your body burn calories, so limiting muscle loss may help in two ways. First, it may help prevent the plateau most dieters experience. Second, retaining lean body mass can keep your metabolism humming so you don't need to reduce your calories even further to continue losing weight.
- National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute: Healthy Eating Plan
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Low-Energy-Dense Foods and Weight Management: Cutting Calories While Controlling Hunger
- Helpguide.org: High-Fiber Foods
- Baylor College of Medicine: Adult Energy Needs and BMI Calculator
- The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: Protein, Weight Management and Satiety
- FamilyDoctor.org: What It Takes to Lose Weight
- American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: 4 Keys to Strength Building and Muscle Mass
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: How Much Physical Activity Do Adults Need?
- University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: McKinley Health Center: Breaking Down Your Metabolism