Are you on a dietary roller coaster right now?
Many people recognize the fact that they should lose a few pounds. Maybe you’ve found a good diet that works for you and those pounds drop off immediately. You feel good about it, but a few months later, you’ve gained more weight than when you first started.
So, you decide to go on that diet again. Maybe it works… but maybe it doesn’t.
If you want to know how to lose weight and then keep it off, your priority must be your lifestyle habits. Making permanent changes to your eating habits means taking a slow and steady approach. You must be willing to make a permanent change that results in a lifestyle that is healthier.
Part of that approach to change means recognizing what your body happens to need for sustenance.
How Active Is Your Current Lifestyle?
The amount of energy that you need is individualized, but there are some ways to determine if you’re eating too much (or too little). Much of it involves the type and number of activities that are present in your current lifestyle.
- If you don’t participate in regular physical activities, have a job that is sedentary, and the recreational activities you have are weekend-only, then your calorie needs are low.
- For those who have a pattern of aerobic activity that is at least 30 minutes each day for a minimum of 3 days per week, then your calorie needs are average.
- People who exercise vigorously for at least 60 minutes per day, four days per week, have higher calorie needs.
Once you have determined the category of your lifestyle, it becomes possible to determine how many calories are required to maintain your current weight. For someone who is overweight and has a low activity lifestyle, multiply your current weight by 11 to determine what is necessary to keep the scale where it is.
For someone who weighs 280 pounds in the low activity category and overweight, a daily intake of 3,080 calories is estimated to be necessary to lose weight.
Now you can begin creating a journey toward weight loss.
What Calorie Reductions Are Necessary to Lose Weight?
It takes a reduction of 500 calories to produce one pound of weight loss over the course of 7 days. Using the example above, an individual could cut their calorie intake to 2,580 calories and potentially lose 50 pounds over the next 12 months.
It is important to remember, however, that as you lose weight, your calorie estimations must change. Let’s say this person loses 20 pounds and hits the scale at 260, but still has a low activity lifestyle. Their calorie needs drop from 3,080 to 2,860 at the lower weight level.
That means to achieve one pound of weight loss, a total intake of 2,360 calories becomes necessary.
It is for this reason many weight loss plans fail. People change to new eating habits to make an initial change, but they don’t continue to make changes as time goes by.
How to Get Started on Losing Weight Right Now
You can begin to make the changes needed to lose weight and keep it off right now. Calculate your calorie needs using the example above and then determine how you can begin lowering that number every day.
Pay attention to serving sizes. Many items that are purchased today are intended for 3-4 servings, but are consumed in a single serving. Avoid high calorie, low-density nutrition foods as well to prevent “bombing” your system with foods that are difficult to process.
Then give yourself time. If you are overweight, it took some time to reach the number that’s on your scale. It will take some time to rectify that situation.