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Balance and weight loss: how to lose weight the healthy way

Counting Calories
Counting Calories
Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

When people hear diet they either cringe because it means they can't eat all the yummy foods they love or are accustomed to. Or they conjure up an image of their favorite fizzy beverage that is now offered with less sugar and calories.

In this case the word "diet' just mean healthy eating habits. By knowing the following one can be better equipped to make healthy eating choices and form long lasting healthy habits. Because, for long lasting results, it's true what they say about making a lifestyle change.

Nutrition is a Science and Weight Loss is a Mathematical Equation

Calorie counting may sound tedious, but in today's world of smart phones and ingenious apps it's as easy clicking 1,2,3. Myfitnesspal is a popular app to help keep track of not only your calories eaten but also calories burnt. First, let's check out the math behind it.

By knowing the healthy amount of calories to consume per day you can manage and lose weight at a healthy rate. This is ideal for long term results i.e. keeping the weight off.

Here is the breakdown for healthy weight loss:
Recommended Daily intake

  • Men 2500 cal.
  • Women 2000 cal.

One Pound equals 3500 Calories

  • 500 cal. x 7 days = 3500 cal. (or 1 pound) per week

Depending on the amount of daily activity, you want to find a way to lower your daily calories by 500. You can consume less calories or burn more calories, or the recommended method, a balance of both.

For example: a female in her mid 20's that normally eats 2000-2500 calories with little to no exercise. At this rate she is slowly gaining about a pound a month. Which isn't a big deal, especially for women, gaining a pound in a month is normal because of natural fluctuation. But if you are just gaining weight then you are not fluctuating. This type of weight gain is very common and sneaks up on a person as they get older. As you age your metabolism naturally slows down and if you are going at the rate of gaining a pound a month, you are looking at a 12-15 pound weight gain, at minimum, for the year.

Now if you apply a healthy balanced diet with exercise, you can turn this around without heavily obstructing your lifestyle. On the days that you exercise, lets aim for 3-4 times a week you do an activity that burns 300 calories and you intake 1800 calories. That's 500 calories right there. On the days that you don't exercise, lower your calorie intake to 1500-1600.

At this rate you will lose 1-2 pounds per week and 4-5 pounds per month. Let's say your goal is 15 pounds. You simply continue this regimen for 3 months. Once you have reached our goal you can maintain your weight at a normal intake of 2000 calories per day. But exercise is still recommended as it has great benefits for you physical and mental health.

Note: If you are just starting to exercise, it's wise to gradually work up your stamina and let your body rest every other day. This way you don't shock or injure your body and experience discouraging setbacks in your weight loss efforts. If you have any health problems or injuries, you can consult your doctor on safe exercises that are high in calorie burn and low impact.

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