Creating a calorie deficit is the only way to lose weight. Figuring out how many calories you will need to burn each day to take off additional pounds is a wise manner in which to approach weight loss. By breaking down the numbers, you can determine how long it will take you to lose weight, and how much work you will need to do to accomplish your goal.
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Number of Calories
For each pound you want to lose, you must create a deficit of 3,500 calories. You can accomplish this through diet, exercise or both. To move the needle on the scale from 165 to 130, you'll need to lose 35 lbs. If you multiply 35 by 3,500, you get 122,500 calories. While this may appear to be a daunting figure, if you give yourself enough time, it is entirely doable.
Time for Weight Loss
How many extra calories a day you will have to burn to lose 35 lbs. depends on how quickly you want to lose the weight. Keep in mind that a loss of 1 to 2 lbs. a week is considered a safe rate of weight loss. If you want to lose the weight within a six-month period, you will need to burn 680 calories each day -- a rate of 1.4 lbs. per week. If four months is your goal, you will need to burn approximately 1,000 calories each day, resulting in a weight loss of 2 lbs. per week. It may be better to be patient and create a 450-calorie deficit each day over a period of nine months, however, as slow weight loss tends to be more permanent.
Exercise for Weight Loss
Exercise will help you burn more calories than you will if you simply cut calories from your diet. The more strenuous the exercise, the more calories you will burn. For example, in one hour, a 165 lb. person can burn 247 calories walking at 3 mph, 374 calories doing aerobics or 636 calories riding a mountain bike. Keep in mind that as you lose weight, you may need to increase the time or intensity of your exercise. To illustrate, a person who weighs 135 lbs. will only burn 520 calories riding a mountain bike for an hour, as opposed to the 636 calories that the same person was able to burn when she weighed 165 lbs.
It is much easier to create a calorie deficit if you're not hungry all of the time. To beat the hunger beast, eliminate refined carbohydrates from your diet. This includes sugar, white rice and most baked goods. These carbohydrates can cause your blood sugar to go up and down, which can cause increased hunger. Replace refined carbohydrates with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Eat plenty of protein and foods that contain healthy fats and fiber, as they can keep hunger at bay longer.