Want to lose weight? Here is how much you need to lose a week to be healthy
Although you may be getting anxious to lose some weight before beach season, it might be a good idea to take your time. Studies show that those who lose 1-2 pounds a week do better in the long run at keeping it off. Making minor nutrition and lifestyle changes over a longer time period is less of a shock to the system and it is easier to incorporate into your current routines. Furthermore, if you start restricting your caloric intake too heavily, your body adapts by causing you to stop burning them as efficiently.
Are you ready to do some math?
A gram of fat contains 9 calories. A pound of fat contains over 3500 calories. If you want to lose 1 pound of fat a week, then you’d need to subtract 500 calories daily from your diet. If you want to lose 2 pounds a week, then you’ll have to subtract 1000 calories daily from your diet. Alternatively, you could burn off an extra 500-1000 calories a day. Some good calorie trackers are MyFitnessPal, Cron-o-meter, and Lose It!. The National Institute of Health developed a great website that can help to calculate your caloric intake with your weight goal and timeline in mind, and it can be found here. It takes into account the fact that your body adapts to a restricted caloric intake.
It’s important to know that diets below 1200 calories can have you burning muscle in addition to fat, so be sure to have a source of protein with every meal. Also, your body requires a certain number of calories as well as a variety of vitamins and minerals to perform basic functions. Without the proper nutrition, you may run the risk of harming your body. This is why extreme dieting and restricting calories too much is not a healthy way to lose weight.
I find it easiest to tell people to start altering their nutrition with one meal a day. For instance, instead of grabbing a muffin or granola bar for breakfast, aim to have a source of protein and a good fat. This may involve preparing breakfast the night before. Some options are egg muffins, omelets with cheese made the day before and stored in the fridge, overnight oats with protein powder and ground flax seed, and chia seed puddings. Next, I ask people to change their dinner and to make enough so that there are leftovers for lunch the next day.
1. To lose weight in a healthy manner, aim for 1-2 pounds a week
2. Decrease caloric intake
a. Reduce portion sizes, avoid snacking, knock out that one high-calorie food that is putting you over the edge (fast food, sweets, pop, juice)
3. Increase the calories that you burn
a. Aim for at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity exercise. Aerobic exercises (running, classes, swimming, and walking) are great calorie burners. Weight and strength training will help you to look leaner and to increase your muscle mass and will increase your resting metabolic rate (what you burn with basic activities of life, i.e. not moving)
4. Start changing your nutrition by changing one meal. Usually, breakfast is the easiest to change
If you need to lose weight quickly, give us a call so that we can guide you. We also have experience working with people who do fitness competitions and shows, and athletic competitions with weight classes. If you’ve tried losing weight in the past without success, there may be other metabolic factors at play, such as stress, hormones, and a digestive issues. We can help with that too!