How to Lose 1 Pound

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Diet, exercise or a combination of both is needed for weight loss.
Diet, exercise or a combination of both is needed for weight loss. (Image: waist measuring in front of a mirror image by monamakela.com from Fotolia.com)

Losing weight is a struggle. Whether you have 50 pounds you’d like to lose or are just working to rid yourself of those stubborn last few pounds, it’s easy to lose steam, become discouraged and stop trying. A pound of body fat is approximately 3,500 calories. This means that a deficit of 500 calories (burning 500 calories more than you consume daily) will lead to a pound weight loss over a one-week period: 500 calories x 7 days = 3,500 calories.

How to Lose a Pound

Commit to the decision to lose a pound. In order to successfully complete a task, it has to make sense to you. Once you decide it makes sense, commit yourself to losing a pound, or however many pounds it is you want to lose.

Formulate a plan. Decide if you want to reduce food consumption, exercise more, or a combination of both.

Keep a journal or log of the foods you eat each day. Calories from a handful of peanuts or a chocolate bar add up, even if you don’t consider them part of what you’re eating daily. The log will help you pay attention to how many impulse food ideas you are consuming in addition to planned meals and snacks.

Increase your activity level. Keep track of what type of activity and how long you participated in the activity. With this information, you can figure out how many calories you burned. Free calorie calculators like those found on HealthStatus.com and CaloriesPerHour.com help compute calories burned for various activities.

Find a buddy weigh loss buddy. If you want to lose more than a few pounds, it’s common lose interest or give up on your weight loss goals. Having a workout or diet buddy can keep you motivated and offer incentive to stay on track.

Remember that muscle weighs more than fat. Working out is critical for a healthy lifestyle, and with exercise comes muscle stimulation and potential muscle growth. You can very easily lose a pound of fat, but build the same amount in muscle. Try not to be discouraged if you don’t see the number on the scale drop exactly a pound, even if you did have a 500 calorie a day deficit for the week.

Tips & Warnings

  • Limiting starch and sodium consumption will provide an initial quick drop in weight since the body will retain less water. Thirst is ofter mistaken for hunger. Consume plenty of water to avoid this confusion. Keep yourself busy to avoid eating because of boredom.
  • Don't decrease caloric intake too drastically. Less than 1,050 calories daily is unhealthy unless doctor-supervised. This type of calorie reduction is actually counterproductive since you need energy and muscle strength to appropriately exercise.

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