Losing 100 pounds can seem like a mammoth challenge. Many people struggle to stay disciplined to lose even a few pounds, so you need to get in the right mindset to embark on your weight loss quest. Introducing exercise into your daily routine is a highly effective way to lose weight, though it's not essential. Don't try to run before you can walk -- stay away from the hardcore exercise for now and focus on making small, sustainable changes to help you drop those 100 pounds.
Set realistic goals for yourself. You won't drop 100 pounds in weeks, or even months, so prepare yourself for the long haul. A realistic, healthy goal is to aim for a 1 to 2 pound weight loss each week, according to MayoCinic.com. Do this each week and you'll lose your extra weight in around a year.
Reduce the number of calories you eat. No matter how much weight you have to lose, it comes down to how many calories you consume versus how many you burn. As you're not partaking in hardcore exercise, you don't have that safety net of burning off lots of calories through training. You will need to be extra careful with what you eat. Sedentary to moderately active women need 1,800 to 2,200 calories per day and men need 2,400 o 2,800 per day. Start in the middle of these recommendations and change your intake until you're hitting your 1 to 2 pound per week goal.
Pick healthy, nutritious foods at mealtimes. Following a certain calorie intake guideline is all well and good, but you need to feel full and satisfied to stay on track in the long run. Include a lean protein such as chicken, lean beef, tuna or cottage cheese at every meal, along with a small serving of whole-grains, beans or legumes and one to two servings of fruits and vegetables. Between meals, snack on unsalted nuts, low-sugar fruits like berries and apples or low-fat dairy products to stave off hunger.
Gradually incorporate light exercise into your routine. The American College of Sports Medicine advises that overweight or obese individuals complete at least 150 minutes of moderate activity every week. This could be something as simple as going for a walk, swimming laps at the local pool or going for a bike ride.
Ideally, you should build up to 200 to 300 minutes of exercise each week to burn around 2,000 calories, says the ACSM. You needn't start hardcore exercising yet. Slowly bump up the amount you do along with the intensity. Try to walk a little further in the same amount of time, or consider hitting the gym for some light cardio or participation in a beginner circuits class.
Tips & Warnings
- Take regular measurements of your progress. Weigh yourself once a week to check that you're on track and take progress pictures every couple of months.
- Always check with your health care provider before starting on a weight loss diet and exercise plan.
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