In addition to negatively affecting your appearance, being 55 pounds overweight is dangerous. Certain cancers, sleep apnea, diabetes, high blood pressure and gallbladder and heart disease are more likely to become a reality. Losing weight can reduce your risk of these problems, but although you might be tempted to do it quickly, faster is not always better.
Quick, Safe Weight Loss
Fad diets that drastically cut calories can initially make you lose weight quickly, but in the long run, they're hard to keep up and can make you feel drained and sluggish. The weight you lose, which is likely to be water weight and muscle tissue, is quickly gained back, and when your body goes into survival mode, your metabolism can slow down. The Weight-Control Information Network recommends losing weight safely at more than 2 pounds per week through diet and exercise. This requires a deficit of 1,000 calories every day.
Burn Calories with Cardio
Cardiovascular exercise burns calories, and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute recommends doing one hour on most days to lose weight. Including high-intense intervals into your routine three days can optimize your results, because it burns calories even after you finish your workout. To do this, walk, jog or ride a bike for 90 seconds at a moderate, maintainable pace, and then speed up to a vigorous pace for 60 seconds. Alternate between the intensities for about 15 minutes.
Lean Muscle through Strength Training
Strength training on at least two days can preserve lean muscle tissue as you lose weight. You want to prevent losing muscle tissue, because compared to fat, your body burns more calories just to maintain it. Circuit training during which you perform one set of at least six exercises with minimal rest in between can really boost your results, because you optimize caloric burn while stimulating muscle tissue at the same time. A strength-training circuit can include bench presses, crunches, biceps curls, dumbbell lunges, overhead presses and bent-over dumbbell rows.
Eat a Reduced-Calorie Diet
Neglecting to change your diet can sabotage your weight loss. To prevent this, compare food labels and choose low-calorie, nutritious foods over high-calorie foods. Limit foods that are high in trans and saturated fats, sugar, salt and cholesterol, and plan meals ahead of time. Eat from smaller plates so you reduce your portion sizes and eat fewer calories. Your nutrients should come from whole grains, reduced-fat dairy, a variety of fruits and vegetables and lean protein.
- National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: Facts About Healthy Weight
- Weight-Control Information Network: Weight-Loss and Nutrition Myths
- Helpguide.org: Healthy Weight Loss & Dieting Tips
- Gaiam Life: An M.D. on How & Why to Do Interval Workouts
- 365 Ways to Boost Your Metabolism; Rachel Laferriere
- American Council on Exercise: Circuit Training