Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Guide: How to lose weight

Losing weight is a challenge that many overweight people need to accept in order to live a longer and healthier life.  I am going to give you all a simple 5 step-by-step guide on how to lose weight in a healthy manner.  If you follow these steps, you should be expected to lose around 5 to15 pounds in the first week alone (the range varies on where you are on the obesity scale). As always, if you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment or contact me through the "ASK FS" page.

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1.  Calculate how many calories you burn in a day 

First, you need to calculate how many calories you burn in one day,  you start out with your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate), this is the number of how many calories your body would be burning if you were in a coma (not moving for the entire day).

Normally you would have to multiply that number by one of the 4 numbers below.

1.2 - Sedentary
1.3 to 1.4 - Lightly Active
1.5 to 1.7 - Moderately Active
1.7 to 2.0 - Very Active

Fortunately, there is a calculator that will do this step automatically for us, here is the link.

So what you would do is choose the best one that would fit your lifestyle, in my case that would be moderately active, so I would take my statistics which is male, 185 pounds, 72 inches, 21 years old and moderately active and input these into the calculator.  The number that it gives me is 2493 calories per day.  This is a BALLPARK estimate which may not reflect the true value of calories burned but is reasonably close.

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2.  Set your target caloric intake needs to lose weight

Generally, you do not want to have a caloric deficit of 600 because if you do, you will be losing weight too fast and in some cases you might be losing some muscle.  What you will do is take the number which you calculated in step one and minus 500 to 600 calories from that number.  So, using the example, our target caloric intake will be around 2000 calories (2493 - 500 to 600 calories).

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3.  Eat the appropriate amount of calories and be within range of your target intake

You do not HAVE to be at your target caloric intake but within plus or minus 200 calories should be a good standard.  So that means from around 1800-2200 calories for this individual.  To track calories, just simply read the food label and see how many calories are in one serving.

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4.  Eat cleaner foods or try to incorporate "IIFYM" (Second blog post)

Try your best to eat 40% of your calories from protein, 40% of your calories from carbohydrates and 20% of your calories from fat.   This is a 40/40/20 ratio diet.  This is a target ratio and does not have to be followed exactly in order to obtain success.  In the beginners section of this blog, under nutrition, I have added a long list of "clean foods", so try to incorporate some of these foods in your diet.  If you do not like eating all clean foods or want to ease your way into changing your diet habits.  You can try the "IIFYM" approach which is incorporating some of the foods you love to eat in your diet (Link to second post).  If you do not want to even deal with protein, carbohydrates and fats, you can just solely calculate your calorie intake.  This is not recommended.

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5.  Try to incorporate some form of cardiovascular and weight training exercise in your life

Although cardiovascular exercise is not needed in order to lose weight, it is a good way to burn extra calories and keep your cardiovascular system healthy.  If running on a treadmill or doing cardiovascular exercise on a machine is not for you, try running or playing a sport that you love.  Lifting weights tear down your muscle fibers and your body uses energy to repair them.

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That is basically all you need to know on how to lose weight.  Following the steps in this will allow you to lose weight in a HEALTHY manner.  Sure you could eat less, exercise a lot and lose more weight faster but you will be more likely to put that weight back on.

Good luck!

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My father has overweight. He is worried about it and can’t easily daily work. I think he can lose weight through these steps. I appreciate your article. Keep posting!!!!!

Thanks for this post. Especially I appreciate the calories calculator, that you gave. Thanks again! I hope this tips will help me.

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