As a 21-year-old man, being overweight can have numerous effects on your health. These effects can include the risk for developing diabetes and heart disease as well as implications on your mental health -- including poor self-esteem. With lifestyle modification, regular exercise and a change in diet, if you're a 21-year-old man, you can develop a weight-loss plan that works for you. Contact your doctor prior to beginning any weight-loss program.
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Regular exercise is an important part of any weight-loss plan. The Centers for Disease Control recommends participation in 60 to 90 minutes of physical activity, five days per week for individuals looking to lose weight. Physical activity can be any exercise or combination of exercises of your choosing. Exercises should be intense enough to cause you to break a sweat and your heart rate to become elevated. Consider choosing one or more of the following activities: running, jogging, engaging in sports, aerobics, yard work, swimming or cycling.
Strength training can help you to burn calories while toning your muscles and increasing your strength. The National Academy of Sports Medicine indicates that strength training should occur in 30-minute sessions, two to three days per week. Strength training should focus on your upper body, lower body and your core. Use body weight exercises -- such as pushups, situps, lunges and squats -- or use dumbbells, barbells or weight machines.
A well-balanced diet is an essential factor in any weight-loss program. The National Academy of Sports Medicine indicates healthy weight loss occurs at a rate of one to two pounds per week. One pound of fat is equivalent to 3,500 calories. When it comes to your diet, you should reduce your caloric intake by 500 calories per day. This will lead to one pound of fat loss based on your diet alone. Reduce or eliminate snack foods, sweets, sodas and alcohol from your diet. Replace these unhealthy foods with plenty of water, low-fat dairy products, fruits, vegetables, low-calorie drinks, lean meats, whole grains, carbohydrates and proteins.
As a 21-year-old man, there are plenty of small actions you can take on a daily basis to help promote weight loss and overall good health. If you are a student, opt to walk instead of taking a shuttle or driving your car from class to class. If you hold a job, take the stairs instead of the elevator and get up and walk to talk to a coworker instead of sending an e-mail. Pack your lunch for school or work. This makes for healthier food choices instead of visiting a local fast food restaurant or grabbing a quick meal from a vending machine.
- National Academy of Sports Medicine; Essentials of Personal Fitness Training; Scott Lucett
- Centers for Disease Control: How Much Physical Activity Do Adults Need?