A weight-loss rate of 1.5 pounds per week is realistic and falls within the expert-recommended range of 1 to 2 pounds per week. To lose 1.5 pounds a week, a caloric deficit is required. Since 1 pound of fat has 3,500 calories, you must create a daily deficit of 750 calories to reach a deficit of 5,250 calories in seven days. Integrating dietary changes and a regular exercise routine can help you lose weight.
Perform 60 minutes of cardiovascular exercise on most days of the week to burn calories. In an hour, a person who weighs 150 pounds can burn 410 calories by riding a bike at a speed of 12 mph, 440 calories by walking at a speed of 4.5 mph and 400 calories playing tennis.
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Incorporate two or three 30-minute strength-training sessions into your schedule on nonconsecutive days. Strength-training stimulates muscle tissue, which takes up less space and burns more calories than fat. According to Harvard Health Publications, it can boost your metabolism by 15 percent. Perform exercises that target your major muscle groups. Start with one set of 10 repetitions and work your way up to two or three sets. Include exercises, such as bent-over rows, push-ups, bench presses, squats, crunches and lunges.
Eat smaller portions so that you consume fewer calories. The American Council on Exercise suggests decreasing your portions by 10 to 15 percent. It also advises against skipping breakfast and recommends eating small meals throughout the day to avoid hunger.
Swap out high-calorie, weight-loss-sabotaging foods for healthier, low-calorie alternatives. For example, instead of eating cookies, chips, candy and fast foods that are loaded with transfats and saturated fats, choose vegetables, fruits or mixed salads. Drink water instead of sodas or alcoholic beverages.
Focus on eating a nutritious diet that consists of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, reduced-fat dairy products, lean meats, fish and poultry.
Get about seven to eight hours of sleep each night to avoid weight gain. According to Harvard School of Public Health, lack of sleep influences appetite-stimulating hormones in your body, making it likely that you'll end up with hard-to-combat cravings for unhealthy foods that are high in fat and carbs.
Start exercising slowly. For example, do cardio three times per week for 15 minutes, and as your cardiovascular fitness improves gradually increase the frequency and duration of workouts.
Consult your doctor before starting a new workout routine or diet, especially if you have a medical condition or an injury.
- Helpguide.org: Healthy Weight Loss & Dieting Tips
- American Heart Association: Losing Weight
- University of Rochester Medical Center: Lifting Your Way to Weight Loss
- Strength and Power Training; Harvard Health Publications
- American Council On Exercise: Trimming Off the Fat
- Harvard School of Public Health: Obesity Prevention Source: Sleep