How to Get Started Losing Weight

With the recent rise in obesity levels, the number of people wishing to lose weight has increased dramatically.  Given the staggering amount of information regarding weight loss, however, it is understandable why so many find it difficult to get started losing weight.  Developing the right plan which incorporates diet, exercise, and proper motivation will guarantee your success in starting a weight-loss program.

Determining one’s diet is perhaps the most crucial step in establishing a weight-loss plan.  The first thing that needs to be determined in establishing a diet is how many calories it currently takes to maintain one’s weight, and also how many calories it will take to maintain one’s desired weight.  There is a simple formula that is useful in determining these two figures.  Simply take your current weight in pounds and multiply it by 14 for sedentary people, 17 for moderately active people (moderately active is defined as 3-4 aerobic sessions per week), or 20 for active people (active is defined as 5-7 aerobic sessions per week).  This will give you the amount of calories necessary to maintain your current weight.  To arrive at the number of calories necessary to maintain your desired weight, simply replace your current weight in the formula with your desired weight.  Now you can see exactly how many calories per day you need to shave off of your diet in order to achieve your desired weight.  It is important to note that doctors generally do not recommend cutting your calories by more than 15% at a time.

The next important step in beginning a weight-loss plan is figuring out which exercises you will incorporate.  Any good weight-loss plan will incorporate a combination of cardiovascular exercises and muscle building exercises.  While your implicit goal may not be to build muscle, building muscle increases your metabolism and will aid in burning fat off your body.  Some examples of good cardiovascular exercises include running, walking, aerobics, riding your bike, or swimming.  Some examples of muscle building exercises include lifting free weights, push-ups, or pull-ups.

A third important aspect of starting a weight-loss program is figuring out how you will stay motivated to lose weight.  Many people start off on the right foot and are well-intentioned in their efforts to lose weight, however, they often lose motivation early on and do not reach their ultimate goals.  One very powerful way to become motivated is to set clear and reasonable goals for your weight-loss program.  By doing so you will be able to empirically chart your progress and thus will be encouraged to continue.  Another technique in keeping your motivation up is to embark upon your weight-loss program with a group of friends.  This group will both hold you accountable for your progress, and lend you support as you attempt to lose weight.

There are obviously a number of important aspects in starting a weight-loss program.  However, the above general steps will be sure to start you in the right direction.  Of course, you should consult with your doctor before starting any new weight-loss program.

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