Weight loss is one of the most popular topics at MyFitnessPal and were here to help. For starters, youve got to believe in yourself and realize losing weight requires small changes you can stick to so they build up over time, eventually leading to a healthier lifestyle and a trimmer you.
Calories in minus calories out: Thats the simple, age-old equation for creating a calorie deficit to lose weight. Burn more calories than you consume and youll lose weight, right? If only it were that easy!
The key to creating a calorie deficit is to burn a little more (or eat a little less) than your body requires for weight maintenance. The calories burned through exercise + non-exercise activity + basal metabolic rate need to be more than the calories consumed through food to produce weight loss. In general, youll need to create a deficit of 250500 calories per day to lose 1/2 to 1 pound per week.
Since your basal metabolic rate (the calories you burn at rest) accounts for 6070% of the calories burned throughout the day, its important to calculate that as a starting point if youre wanting to create a deficit. How much your body burns at rest depends on many variables such as genetics, age, hormones and muscle mass. See our Essential Guide to Your Metabolism for starters.
OK, so now you know about creating a calorie deficit; lets talk about how to achieve it. There are two ways to lose weight: changing what you eat and changing how you move. Most people find a combination of the two leads to the most effective weight loss.
1. CHANGE WHAT YOU EAT AND DRINK
Reducing how much you eat and turning to more healthful foods are the prime directives for anyone looking to lose weight. To get started, check out our Essential Guide to Healthy Eating. That said, if you dont just want to eat healthy, but want to lose weight, youll want to consider these five tips as well:
2. BURN THOSE CALORIES (EXERCISE)
Reducing how many calories you eat is the best way to create a calorie deficit, but working it from the other way burning more calories works, too. Plus, regular exercise can boost metabolism, making creating a calorie deficit easier.
To start, try one (or more) of these 10 workouts for weight loss. If you try one and dont love it, move on to the next until you find something that works best for you and your motivation. One thing that works for lots of people: Do it with a friend.
You may be surprised, but the simple act of walking can be enough to lose weight and get in shape. Walking can help you build fitness and lose weight by helping you create a calorie deficit. Even if youre a regular exerciser, upping your daily step count through walking increases non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT), which has been a big area of research because it may be an answer to how body weight is maintained, gained or lost.
Its easy enough to say eat less, move more, but often more difficult to do. We have a few ideas on how to make it easier:
1. REMOVE TEMPTATION
If youre trying to set yourself up for success, keeping donuts and chips around isnt doing you any favors. Give your pantry and fridge a little makeover to stay on track with your goals. See how to spring clean your pantry and then get back on track with these 5 Ways to Make Your Kitchen an Oasis of Healthy Eating.
2. STOP EATING AFTER DINNER
Late-night noshes are usually high-calorie, large portions or snacky foods (Read: cookies, ice cream, chips and candy) eaten mindlessly out of enjoyment to unwind from the stress of the day. Its a recipe for weight gain and disaster. Learn what midnight snacking is doing to you.
3. LEARN HOW TO ORDER AT RESTAURANTS
Eating out can rack up the calories, so knowing how to make healthy menu swaps is key. Whether youre dining at your favorite taqueria, steakhouse, Italian trattoria or ordering Chinese takeout, this guide gets you on the right track toward making the healthiest selection. Be smarter at restaurants but still enjoy yourself.
4. MASTER CALORIE SWAPS
Whether its swapping hummus for mayo or zucchini noodles in lieu of traditional spaghetti, the calories you save really add up when youre trying to create a calorie deficit. Here are 10 simple tricks thatll help: Arm yourself with hacks to save calories.
5. CONSIDER NON-SCALE VICTORIES
Your weight is determined by a variety of factors, including hydration, climate, when you last ate, bathroom habits and exercise. In other words, weight fluctuation is common, and theres much more to good health than a number on a scale. Heres why you should stop weighing yourself every day and how to figure out a scale schedule that works for you.
6. GET ADEQUATE SLEEP
Sleep is undervalued. Getting enough quality sleep is holistically tied to your health and weight-loss goals. Sleep offers our bodies a chance at restoration and rejuvenation. When were sleep-deprived, we tend to eat more, exercise less and make poor food choices. Here are the hows and whys behind our need for sleep, along with five tips on how to get a better-quality dose of those cherished zzzs.
Get right back on track as soon as you can. We get it, we all fall off the wagon sometimes. Its OK whats more important is understanding why you blew it and getting back on track. Try, fail and adjust its a journey.
READ MORE ESSENTIAL GUIDES
> Portion Sizes> Macros> Getting Moving
Originally posted here:
Essential Guide to Losing Weight – MyFitnessPal