Summer is approaching quickly. For many of us, that means shedding our cozy winter sweaters and jackets and trading them in for tank tops, shorts and bikinis. If that last sentence scared you, have no fear. Shedding your winter weight is easier than you think. All you need is a little (or maybe a lot) of willpower and a little bit of knowledge.
If you have tried losing weight before, you should know that there is no magic pill or miracle diet foods that will cause the pounds to drop off overnight. The equation is actually quite simple in theory: take in less calories than you burn.
Figure out how many calories you would need to eat in a day to maintain your current weight. Calorie counters can be found all over the web. Merely perform a basic Google search for “calorie calculator”. Caloriecount.com is also an excellent resource for determining daily caloric needs. You will need to enter information about yourself such as your age, height, current weight and activity level.
Losing two pounds each week is a considered by most health professionals to be a healthy weight loss rate. In order to lose at least two pounds in a week, you will need to take in 500 calories less than you expend or burn. You can do this by eating 500 less calories than what is needed to maintain your current weight each day or you could opt to eat 250 less calories and burn 250 calories through exercise.
Incorporate exercise into your daily routine to see faster results. Regular exercise will get your heart rate up, help you build lean muscle and give your body tone and definition. As you lose weight, the amount of calories needed to maintain your current weight will decrease. To avoid experiencing the dreaded “weight loss plateau” use a calorie calculator to adjust your calorie needs once a week. As long as you are taking in 500 less calories than you expend, you should continue to lose two pounds per week.
The best way to stay on track with your daily calorie goals is to closely monitor your potions and keep daily food journal. Calorie content and serving sizes are written on most food packages. Use measuring cups and a food scale to make sure that you are not cheating or “approximating” servings. Keeping track of your calorie intake will allow you to chart your progress and stay on track with your weight loss goals.