The amount of weight you lose with an exercise program depends on several factors, including the intensity and duration of your workouts, starting weight and diet. Although 250 minutes of exercise a week may produce moderate weight loss, it generally takes even more to accomplish significant weight loss, according to the American College of Sports Medicine. A daily 60-minute workout -- equivalent to 420 minutes -- should help you lower your body weight, as long as your diet stays in check.
A Brief Window
Two weeks is a relatively short period in terms of weight loss potential. Still, you can lower your body weight slightly in 14 days if you balance regular exercise with a healthy calorie intake. The size of your calorie deficit determines how much weight you lose.
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If you take in more calories than you need, your hard work over the next two weeks may produce very little weight loss or simply help you maintain your current weight. To ensure weight loss, refer to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans for your general calorie needs based on age, gender and current activity level. Adjust your diet accordingly, if needed, in addition to increasing your activity to support weight loss.
Although daily exercise is safe for most people, your health and current fitness level affect which types and intensities of exercise are appropriate, as well as how long you should work out in one session. Consult with your doctor before starting an exercise program if you have a history of heart or orthopedic problems or if you generally lead a sedentary lifestyle. While 60 minutes of daily exercise may help you lose weight and improve your health, if you've been inactive, start with 20-minute sessions. You need to start gradually and increase the length of your exercise sessions to build a healthy fitness and weight management program.
Calorie Burn Targets
Once you work up to 60 minutes of daily exercise, the number of calories you burn depends on the intensity of the activity. Walking, for example, burns around 280 calories per hour, based on a body weight of 154 pounds. Jogging, on the other hand, burns roughly 590 calories per hour. That translates to a calorie expenditure of 3,920 for walking and 8,260 for jogging over the course of 14 days. Over a two-week period, you can expect to lose 2 to 4 pounds through exercise alone, as long as you keep your calorie intake at maintenance level.
Modifying Your Diet
Although exercise plays an important role in your health and in weight loss, your diet will impact your weight loss potential during the next two weeks, as well as over the long term. The American Council on Exercise recommends that you combine a regular exercise program with a modified diet to support healthy, long-term weight loss. Setting your calorie target just 250 below maintenance level, for example, leads to an additional pound of weight loss over a two-week period.
- American Council on Exercise; Experts Debunk Myth About Exercise, Weight Loss; August 2009
- American Council on Exercise; ACSM Position Stand on Physical Activity and Weight Loss; January 2009
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Physical Activity for a Healthy Weight
- American Council on Exercise: Weight Loss: Diet vs. Exercise
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