Losing 10 lbs. in one month is a challenging but achievable goal. Most slow and steady diet and exercise plans have you losing around 2 lbs. per week. As you track your daily calories, remember that you can trim calories by changing your diet as well as exercising. Maintain your weight loss once the month is over by making lifestyle changes in your diet plan and workout schedule. Check with your health care provider before your begin any new exercise program or make changes in your diet for weight loss.
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The basic math of weight loss is that, to lose a single pound of fat, you need to burn 3,500 calories. Therefore, to lose 10 lbs. in one 30-day month, you would have to burn 35,000 calories during the month, or about 1,166 calories per day. This schedule offers no rest days from exercise and no cheating days from your diet. If you prefer one day of rest from exercise, aim to burn 1,346 calories per day the other 26 days in the month.
Burning over 1,000 calories per day is far easier if you engage in one hour of cardiovascular activity. In fact, if you do a vigorous aerobic exercise, such as running or rollerblading, you will already have burned between 900 and 1,400 calories in one hour. The more you weigh or the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn. Other fat-burning workouts that burn around 600 to 800 calories per hour include jumping rope, tae kwon do, jogging, playing football and climbing stairs.
Strength training does not burn calories at the same clip as an aerobic workout, but it does raise your resting metabolic rate. As you build muscle mass, you burn calories throughout the day. Try a circuit of resistance machines and free weights at the gym, or implement a routine of strengthening exercises that do not require equipment. Pushups, squats with bicep curls and abdominal crunches with leg lifts offer full-body workouts. Target your upper body with pullups and your lower body with lunges and lateral raises.
As you progress in your fitness goals, you burn less calories with the same workout. Increase the level of challenge in your exercise routine by doing interval training. In this model, you vary your pace and include short bursts of speed, which quickly raise your heart rate and keep it elevated even as you return to a recovery pace. Doing an interval workout can be as simple as cycling or running on a hilly route and pushing harder on the inclines. Turn any workout into interval training by increasing your pace every five minutes. Spend 30 seconds sprinting, skipping rope or doing jumping jacks; recover for one minute; and return to your workout.
You'll feel full by the amount of food you eat, not the number of calories you consume, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Increase the amount of nutrient-dense and fiber-rich natural foods you eat in place of high calorie processed foods and fats. A healthy eating plan to fill you up will include whole grains, fruit, vegetables, lean meats, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts. Some simple food swaps will help you trim around 1,000 calories per day from your diet. A piece of fruit instead of dessert saves you around 450 calories. Cut out that sweetened coffee drink and have unsweetened iced tea and you save around 400 calories. Eat berries instead of a snack bag of chips or a large order of french fries and you save another 500 calories.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Physical Activity for a Healthy Weight
- Harvard School of Public Health: The Nutrition Source: Strength and Flexibility Training
- New York Times: A Healthy Mix of Rest and Motion
- National Institutes of Health, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute:Food Exchange Lists
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Eat More, Weigh Less?