Losing 10 pounds can make a massive difference to your physique and make you look leaner, more defined and toned. The best and fastest way to go about losing weight is to combine a healthy diet with an intensive exercise regimen. If you can't exercise, however, due to injury or because you simply don't want to spare the time, you can lose weight without doing much exercise by changing your eating habits and being a little more active from day to day.
Plan a timeframe for your weight loss and set yourself some smaller goals. A healthy rate of weight loss is around 1 to 2 pounds per week, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Losing 10 pounds therefore should take you five to 10 weeks. If you're currently overweight or obese, you should be toward the shorter end of this, but if you're just looking to trim the last 10 pounds to get really lean, then it may take closer to 10 weeks.
Determine how many calories your body uses each day at rest. The formula for this is different for men and women.
For women, multiply your weight in pounds by 4.35 and your height in inches by 4.7, add these together and then add 655. Multiply your age in years by 4.7 and take this away from your previous total.
For men, multiply your weight in pounds by 6.23 and your height in inches by 12.7, add these together and then add 66. Multiply your age in years by 6.8 and take this away from your previous total.
Factor in your activity levels to find out how many calories you burn on an average day. Take your final number from step 2 and multiply it by 1.2 if you're sedentary, or by 1.375 if you perform light activities on a daily basis. This will give you your maintenance calorie level -- if you eat this many calories every day your weight will stay the same.
Take 500 to 1,000 away from your number in step 3. It takes a calorie deficit of roughly 3,500 to lose 1 pound, so this will enable you to lose 1 to 2 pounds per week. If you're concerned about losing muscle mass, stick to a 500-calorie daily deficit, as large calorie deficits over a prolonged period of time can cause muscle loss, claims sports nutritionist Dr. Layne Norton.
Increase your daily activity. You don't necessarily have to exercise hard or go to the gym to speed up weight loss -- just being more active burns calories. The CDC recommends a minimum of 150 minutes of light aerobic activity each week, which you can get simply by walking, doing household chores or going grocery shopping.
Tips & Warnings
- Weigh in once a week. Always weigh yourself on the same day, first thing in the morning before breakfast and on the same set of scales. If you're losing less than 1 pound per week, lower your calorie intake slightly or step up your activity levels.
- Consult your doctor before making any dietary changes, and cease the diet if you feel unwell at any point.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Healthy Weight - It's Not a Diet, It's a Lifestyle
- BMI Calculator: BMR Formula
- BMI Calculator: Harris Benedict Equation
- Bodybuilding.com: A Unique Combination Of Science And Experience Based Pre-Contest Advice.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: How Much Physical Activity do Adults Need?
- Photo Credit BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images