How many times have you told yourself that you need to lose weight?
I’m not talking about a couple pounds either – I’m talking about 20 or more pounds of extra fat that you’d like to see disappear.
I’ve come to notice a trend. Most people psyche themselves out before they ever start losing the weight. It’s as if the enormity of their goal simply puts them into shut down mode, and they give up on the idea entirely.
Has this ever happened to you? You try out a diet or exercise plan for a week or so, and then you get frustrated when your body looks the same as before. So you give up.
Weight loss isn’t a speedy thing. It takes time to gain weight – many people put on weight for years and then expect to lose it in a few weeks or months. It doesn’t work that way.
So instead of pressuring yourself into losing 50 pounds in two months, how about sticking with a realistic, proven way for long term weight loss: Small changes to your lifestyle over time will make the difference.
In practical terms, make it your goal to drop one pound a week.
Now, this may not seem like that much, but if you did this consistently for one year it would result in 50 lbs lost. All it takes are small changes in your daily lifestyle. Let’s break the process down…
How to shed a pound a week: Burn 3500 extra calories.
It really is that simple. Try the following three steps:
- Record your normal weekly exercise – look at everything from walking to participating in sports to exercising in the gym. This is your starting point. You need to burn an additional 3500 calories on top of your normal weekly exercise. If you don’t currently exercise, then this step is really easy for you, a simple blank page will do.
- Record your normal weekly food intake – this may be hard to do honestly, but remember that you are only cheating yourself by not recording everything. Calculate the total number of calories that you eat in an average day. In your quest for dropping inches you shouldn’t exceed your normal daily caloric intake – you should, rather, work at slowly decreasing that number. Remember, we are going for a 3500 calorie deficit each week – this can be done by a combination of increased calorie exertion (exercise) as well as a decrease in calories consumed (eating less).
- Chart the difference – now that you know your starting point for both calorie exertion and calorie intake it is time to turn the tables in your favor. Take every opportunity to exert more calories by increasing your physical activity, and to decrease your calorie consumption by eating fewer calories and by making healthier selections. Record your progress in a notebook and refer back to it often. You will be surprised how encouraging it is to see your progress written down on paper.
Remember, if you burn up 500 calories a day you will drop a pound in a week.
Here are some practical ways to lose calories:
|If you normally…||Do this instead…|
|Drink regular soda pop||Drink water or diet soda pop (160 calories lost)|
|Eat a snack from a vending machine||Enjoy an apple (180 calories lost)|
|Hit the snooze button in the AM||Jog for 30 minutes before work (150 calories lost)|
|Skip your workout||See me for an invigorating workout (changes your life!)|
Weight loss doesn’t have to be allusive. Make small changes each and every day toward a healthier, fitter you. Remember that small changes make a big difference.