Losing weight can be necessary to avoid myriad health consequences like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure or even some types of cancer, as well as to boost self-esteem and confidence. By eating the right foods and exercising properly, you'll lose the pounds while your lifestyle and energy levels improve dramatically. Weight loss is as simple as burning more calories than you consume, yet as challenging as finding the will power, knowledge, and determination to do so.
Break your weight loss goal down into smaller, more manageable goals. Losing 70 pounds in eight months means losing approximately 8 to 9 pounds per month. Broken down further, you need to lose 2 pounds a week.
Calculate the calorie deficit per day to lose 2 pounds a week. One pound of body weight is approximately 3,500 calories. Therefore, you need to eliminate 7,000 calories to lose 2 pounds per week, so you must create a calorie deficit of 1,000 calories a day.
Eliminate 500 calories a day from your diet. Plan a daily menu of 1,200 to 1,800 calories that incorporates 50 percent vegetables and fruits; 25 percent complex carbohydrates, such as whole grain bread, brown rice and sweet potatoes; and 25 percent low-fat proteins, such as chicken, lean beef and beans. Start your day with a protein-filled breakfast, like a hard boiled egg or whole wheat toast and peanut butter. Eat small meals throughout the day that include both protein and fat, which take longer to digest.
Burn another 500 calories by exercising regularly. Aim to work out four to six days a week with aerobic activities like brisk walking, jogging, jumping rope, bicycling or swimming. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends 60 to 90 minutes of aerobic activities daily, or 300 minutes a week, when you're working to lose weight.
Incorporate a strength training program into your exercise routine. Building muscles boosts your metabolism and keeps your body burning calories after your workout. Begin with a set of eight to 10 repetitions for each exercise, such as crunches, squats, lunges and pushups. Gradually add more sets and light weights or use an exercise machine. Strength train two to three times a week, allowing your body time to recover if you're sore.
Enlist in a support group and let them know what your goals are. Having a safety net of friends and family helps keep you on track and prevents you from giving up.
Pick one day a week to take your arm, chest, waist, hip and thigh measurements and weigh yourself. It's best to weigh yourself in the morning before you’ve eaten. Keep track of your diet, daily calories, measurements and pounds lost in a journal.
Things You'll Need
If you begin to plateau, change up your workout routine. After four to six weeks of the same routine, your body has adapted and it now needs to be refreshed.
Every burned calorie counts, so keep your body moving. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk or bike to work, or perform body weight exercises during commercial breaks on television.
When counting calories, don't forget about condiments and beverages. Calories can sneak into your diet in the form of sports drinks, sodas, mayonnaise, and salad dressings.
A trainer can help you plan an appropriate level of strength training and show you the proper form for each exercise.
Dizziness, loss of consciousness or difficulty breathing while exercising are serious conditions. Stop exercising if they occur.
Consult your doctor before you begin a new workout program or diet.
- American Dietetic Association: Back To Basics For Healthy Weight Loss
- Today: The ‘Biggest Losers’ Share Their Success Secrets
- Harvard School of Public Health: Healthy Eating Plate and Healthy Eating Pyramid
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Physical Activity for a Healthy Weight
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Getting Started with Physical Activity for a Healthy Weight