Burning more of the calories that you consume is the key to reaching your goal weight. The healthiest way to lose weight is to drop one pound a week. If you lose the weight any faster, you put your body at risk and are more likely to put the weight back easily. Create a 500 calorie deficit from your body’s caloric needs each day, and that will add up to the 3500 calories that it takes to lose a pound. You can cut calories or burn calories, just be sure you know what you need to start.
You need to consume calories for your body to maintain everyday function like breathing and heart function, not to mention the sophisticated work that you do each day. Unfortunately, you gain weight if you eat more than your body uses. Use an online calorie calculator to find out exactly how many calories you need. Your needs are based on your height, weight, activity level, gender and age. With so many factors, your exact calorie needs are difficult to determine, therefore you could easily be consuming in excess.
Use your measuring spoons, cups and some easy clues to cut your portions to actual serving sizes. Spend a week measuring out all of your foods so you know how much you should be eating. Plates and bowls can be deceiving–fill it up with pasta and you could be consuming 2 or 3 times the actual portion! Stick to 3-4 ounces of chicken, beef, and fish (the size of a deck of cards) and load up on your veggies for low calorie, fiber filled sides that will fill you up.
Cut it Out
Plan to cut out some unnecessary calories where you can. If you drink juice, soda, or sports drinks, switch them out for water, calorie free tea, or seltzer with lemon. By doing this, you’ll cut at least 100 calories. Put mustard on your sandwich instead of mayo and save 30 or more calories. Swap a second serving of veggies for your side of rice and save yourself another 100 calories. Eating chips for a snack? Trade them for popcorn or pretzels and save about 150 calories.
Burn ’em Up
When cutting 500 calories from your diet doesn’t work in a given day (we can’t always say no to pizza!), then reduce your net calories through exercise. Intensity is key to burning the number that you are looking for in record time. Add a few interval sprints by riding hard on the bike or increasing the incline on the treadmill and you’ll sizzle through calories at a more rapid rate. Keep in mind that the calorie counters on the cardio machines can be a little out of whack, so you may want to keep track of your calorie intake by using Websites like FitDay.com.
Know what you need and cut out the extra calories and fat, and you’re on your way to your goal. Celebrate each day that you cut out 500 calories and that goal won’t seem so far away!