Weight Loss Basics ... Just the Facts

Weight Watchers 

How to Lose Weight Without Diets, Pills or Surgery

Every day of the year we are bombarded with advertising messages that tell us that this new weight loss pill, or that new weight loss plan will allow us to lose 2 dress sizes in a week (while we sleep) and live happily ever after.

And while popular diet plans may be effective for quick weight loss, the best weight loss programs are those that are based on the fundamentals of healthy weight loss. These fundamentals include an understanding of our basal metabolic rate, an accounting of the calories we eat, and the inclusion of physical activity in our daily lives.

How Fast Can I Lose Weight?

A healthy rate of weight loss is about 1 pound per week. The first few pounds will probably come off faster than that, since your body almost always loses water when you begin a weight loss program. It is a scientific fact that it takes 3,500 calories to sustain one pound of fat, therefore, to lose one pound per week, you will need to burn 500 calories more per day than you consume.

How Many Calories Can I Eat?

Before you know how many calories you can eat, you need to first calculate your BMR, or Basal Metabolic Rate. This is a formula that takes into account your age, gender, current weight and daily physical activity to determine how many calories you generally burn in a day without any additional exercise.

For example, a 50-year-old woman weighing about 135 who works at a desk all day will have a BMR of about 1,300 calories per day. If she wants to lose 1 pounds a week, she will need to combine diet and exercise to "lose" about 500 calories a day. Since the body needs at least 1,000 calories a day to maintain basic muscle mass, our 50-year old woman is going to need to burn another 200 calories a day through exercise.

What Are the Basics of a Weight Loss Diet?

Many of the best weight loss diets are calorie-restricted diets that provide sufficient protein while limiting carbohydrates and fat. The high protein component allows the dieter to feel full and satisfied for long periods of time without snacking, and the low carb component keeps the dieter's blood sugar levels low in order to avoid insulin spikes and cravings.

What Should I Eat to Lose Weight?

Try eating 4-5 small meals throughout the day that contain 200-250 calories, at least 10 grams of protein, and no more than 25 grams of carbohydrate per meal. This might mean 2 eggs and a whole wheat English muffin for breakfast, a chef salad for lunch (watch the salad dressing), a cup of cottage cheese topped with walnuts for a snack, and a 3 oz. serving of fish with 2 cups of sautéed Mediterranean vegetables for dinner. Eliminate all sugary beverages and try to drink at least 8 cups of water per day.

How Can I Burn An Extra 200 Calories Each Day?

There are many ways to increase your daily physical activity so you can burn an extra 200 calories. Remember, the more you weigh now, the more calories you will burn per minute of exercise, but as general example, a 135-pound woman will burn 200 calories by:

· Jogging for 30 minutes

· Practicing Ashtanga Yoga for 40 minutes

· Walking at a brisk pace of 4 mile per hour for 40 minutes

· Bicycling at a leisurely rate for 50 minutes

With a little bit of awareness and creativity, you can easily trim 500 calories a day and a pound of fat per week simply by getting daily exercise and following a healthy weight loss diet, such as Weight Watchers. And yes, your friends will be envious when you tell them that you met your weight loss goals without the use of pills, potions, or weight loss surgery.

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