People who are trying to lose weight often become discouraged if they set unrealistic goals, such as losing weight very rapidly. One pound of body weight accounts for 3,500 calories, so eliminating 500 calories each day can help a person lose 1 pound in a week. However, many people find it difficult to cut that many calories each day or they hit "plateaus" during which they don't lose weight for a while even though they're dieting. Therefore, losing 1 to 2 pounds each month is a healthy, manageable goal.
Things You'll Need
- Flavored Water
- Diet Sodas
- 8-inch plates
Replace high-calorie beverages with water, diet soda or flavored water. Soda and sweetened tea add a lot of calories to your diet. If you drink 36 to 48 ounces of Pepsi daily, for example, replacing it with Diet Pepsi or unsweetened iced tea creates a 450- to 600-calorie deficit.
Exercise aerobically for 30 to 60 minutes a day. Walk, run, jog, swim, bike or use a treadmill. Aerobic exercise burns 200 to 600 or more calories per hour, depending upon your weight and exertion level.
Eat more fruits and vegetables. They are loaded with water, vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants and low in calories. Plan to eat 5 to 6 servings daily. Instead of eating potato chips that have approximately 150 calories per ounce, have 1 cup of vegetable sticks, which are only 25 to 50 calories.
Cook with low-calorie ingredients. Skim milk, low-fat cheeses, skinless chicken, water-packed tuna and nonfat spreads are good alternatives to their high-calorie counterparts. For example, 1 cup of whole milk has 150 calories, whereas 1 cup of skim milk has only 90.
Use smaller plates. Ten-inch dinner plates encourage you to eat more than you really need. Eight-inch plates, such as salad plates, limit the amount of food you can put on them.