The Basics of Healthy Weight Loss

Weight loss is always a hot topic, but healthy weight loss is not usually a part of the conversation. We are inundated with information regarding the latest and greatest diet trend and the best new weight loss pill. Not so long ago, fat was the bad guy, now carbs are public enemy numero uno. Weight loss pills are being transformed into the more trendy "herbal" weight loss products. The fact is that no matter what the latest trend, healthy weight loss never really goes out of style. Healthy weight loss methods are tried and true and clinically proven unlike the vast majority of the trends. Here are the basics.

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First and foremost, you must understand one very basic idea. What we put into our bodies must come out in order to maintain weight. If weight loss is our goal, we either put less calories in or increase (via exercise) the amount of calories burned. The best method is to do a little of both.

Understanding the above is crucial to healthy weight loss. The next step is to determine how many calories you require and what amount to deduct. To determine caloric needs, there are a number of online calorie calculators. The most accurate ones allow you to input age, sex, height, weight, and activity level.

Now, determine how many calories you will cut for healthy weight loss. Drastic calorie reductions will produce quick short-term results, but in the end, the weight will be regained and worst of all, you've lowered your metabolism making it more difficult to shed those new pounds. Think about it this way: One pound of body fat is equivalent to around 3,500 calories. In order to lose one pound of weight per week, you need to deduct around 500 calories per day. For two pounds per week, deduct 1000 calories. If you've determined that your caloric needs are around 1800 per day, you can see how it would be nearly impossible to safely eat 800 calories per day in order to lose weight. The better split is to deduct 500 of your calories through reduced eating, and burn 500 through exercise.

When choosing foods on a reduced calorie diet, pretend your calories are calorie bucks. As you go through the day eating, you are spending your calorie bucks, so spend wisely! With all the misinformation on what to eat and what not to eat, the choices can be mind boggling. Stop! Remember what you learned in kindergarten about the food guide pyramid? Guess what? It still works and the A.D.A. has ramped it up for you.

Burning those 500 calories a day is not as hard as you may think. Generally speaking, everyone should spend about 30 minutes a day, 5 times a week doing some form of cardio-blasting exercise. This could be walking, running, kickboxing, swimming or even dancing! In doing this, you are probably burning about 250 calories per day. Extend that time a mere 15 minutes and you'll be burning closer to 400 calories per day. Or, ramp up your work-out. Setting the incline on the treadmill, for instance, will raise your calories burned per work-out. Other little tips to increase calories burned are to incorporate a little extra exercise into your daily routine. Walk or bike to work or park as far away as possible in that super center parking lot. Just like I told you to consider your calories "bucks," treat the calorie burning like earning your "bucks".

Following these tips for healthy weight loss will set you on the path to losing those unwanted pounds and keeping them off.

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