Today everyone looks for the quick fix for everything. Losing weight is most certainly toward the top of the quick fix list. There are an endless number of weight loss programs and products and most advertise huge weight loss in a short period of time. What they don't tell you is that most people using these programs or products gain the weight back. Many times they end up weighing more than when they started the program. The only way to lose weight and keep weight off is to make a lifestyle change. That means eating healthy and exercising. The weight doesn't fall off in a week or even in a month. It's a process and losing weight too quickly is setting you up to gain even more back.
Slow weight loss is the healthy way to go. No one should lose more than an average of 1 to 2 pounds per week. If you are losing more than 1 to 2 pounds per week it's likely to be water weight. This type of weight loss only leads to feeling worse and can cause serious health problems. I realize that weight loss is frustrating when it comes off slowly. However, you didn't gain 20 pounds in a week or even a month. So don't expect to take it off that fast.
Weight loss comes down to burning more calories than you are consuming. It's that simple. A pound of body fat equates to approximately 3500 calories. So, if you create a deficit of 500 calories per day, you will have a deficit of 3500 for the week and lose one pound. If you are very overweight or obese you may be able to create up to a 1000 calorie deficit and thus lose up to two pounds per week. Any more than this just becomes unhealthy.
Nutrition is the key to any weight loss plan. The old adage, "Garbage in, garbage out", still holds true when discussing nutrition. Your nutritional breakdown should include 25% to 35% protein, 25% fats, and 40% to 50% carbs for a weight loss plan. Try to eat smaller meals throughout the day and eat more meals, at least 4 or 5 meals per day. What and how you eat will have the greatest impact on your weight loss.
Exercise is the other key ingredient to weight loss. Most think cardio is the be all end all of weight loss workouts. While a cardio workout is beneficial, resistance training will allow you to burn more calories for a longer period of time. With cardio training you may burn 500 calories during a workout but you are done burning calories shortly after you finish. With resistance training you burn calories during the workout and continue to burn for up to 48 hours after you've completed the workout. Don't just jump on your favorite cardio machine and think that is all you need to reach your weight loss goals.
There are several reasons resistance training is great for weight loss programs. As mentioned above, you will burn calories for up to 48 hours after a workout is completed. You're also building and adding muscle tissue which burns far more calories than fat tissue. The more muscle you have the more you stoke your metabolism and burn calories. As we age we all lose muscle mass. Resistance training counteracts the muscle loss associated with aging and keeps our metabolism higher. Resistance training can also improve cardiovascular function. Circuit training and high energy resistance training provides a great aerobic workout as well as building muscle.
Overweight statistics today are staggering. Obesity rates in the United States have more than doubled over the past 25 years. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 34% of US adults aged 20 and over are considered obese. The Journal of American Medicine reports that statistics from 2003 to 2006 estimate that over 16% of children and adolescents aged 2 to 19 are obese.
If you want to lose weight and keep it off, do it the right way. Exercise and a good healthy nutrition plan is all you need to reach your weight loss goals. No magic pill, super secret diet, or fancy workout equipment is going to pull the weight off. Remember that losing weight at a rate of 1 to 2 pounds per week is the healthy and lasting way to reach your goals. Get started today, create a plan, stick to it and find that better body. Get Fit & Stay Fit!