How to Regain Your Ideal Body Weight

Weight loss is not magic, despite the claims of numerous fad diets and exercise program advertisements. Eating the right amount of calories, regular exercise and healthy eating are the keys to weight loss. Losing weight can be difficult as we get older because our metabolism slows as we age. But with a little determination, you can change your lifestyle enough to regain your ideal body weight and live a healthier life.


    • 1

      Calculate your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). The human body burns calories all the time, even while asleep. Your BMR is how many calories you would burn if you stayed in bed and did nothing. BMR is determined by age, weight and height. Use an online BMR calculator to determine your current BMR (see the link in Resources).

    • 2

      Determine your daily calorie needs. Using the Harris Benedict Equation, multiply your BMR with your activity rate: 1.2 for sedentary, 1.375 for lightly active, 1.55 for moderately active, 1.725 for very active and 1.9 for over active.

      The results will tell you how many calories you need each day to maintain your current body weight. To reach your ideal bodyweight, you must have a calorie expenditure, achieved with diet and exercise. As a reference, 3500 calories equals 1 pound of fat. This means you must have a calorie deficiency of 3500 calories to lose one pound of fat.

    • 3
      Changing your diet to include lean protein, whole grains and vegetables will help you lose weight.
      Changing your diet to include lean protein, whole grains and vegetables will help you lose weight.

      Change your diet. The aim of a diet change is to change a lifestyle, not to "diet." A diet often fails because it is not a permanent change, or it is too drastic of a change to realistically stick to. Remove items from your diet that you know you can live without and replace food cravings with lower calorie items. Increase your intake of lean proteins, vegetables, fruit and whole grains, which will give you energy and help you feel fuller longer. Because whole foods are best for health and weight loss, ditch the refined flours and sugars, and avoid items with many preservatives and additives.

    • 4
      Bike riding is an excellent form of cardio exercise.
      Bike riding is an excellent form of cardio exercise.

      Begin cardio exercises. Cardio, or aerobic exercise, is what burns fat. Exercises like jogging, speed walking, tennis, bike riding and swimming are cardio exercises that can help you burn fat. Exercise for at least 30 minutes per day or 45 to 60 minutes three times per week.

    • 5
      Toned muscles will help you burn fat and look thinner.
      Toned muscles will help you burn fat and look thinner.

      Begin weight lifting exercises. Lifting weights will help build and tone muscles. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn. Toned muscles will also act as a natural "girdle" and make you look thinner than you weigh. Perform weight lifting exercises about three times per week. Rest your muscles at least one day in between each session.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you follow these steps and you're still not losing weight after a few months of trying, it may be time to see your doctor. You may have an underlying medical condition, such as hypothyroidism, that is making it difficult for you to lose weight.
  • As you lose weight, you need to decrease your calorie intake. Lower body weight equals fewer calories required.
  • If you are going out to eat with friends or otherwise know you're going to consume more calories than normal in an evening, try to balance this out by exercising more and eating less during the day or the days prior and following.
  • If you're a woman and afraid of building too much muscle during weight training, know that it is difficult for women to put on a great deal of muscle because the female body lacks enough testosterone.
  • If you have a preexisting medical condition, see your doctor before significantly changing your diet or fitness routine.
  • When lifting weights, begin at the lowest weight that will fatigue your muscles at about ten reps. Even if you used to lift heavier weights, lifting too much too soon can result in injury.
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  • Photo Credit loss weight image by gajatz from turkey sandwich image by Elke Dennis from bike ride in the park image by robert mobley from a set of dumbbells of different weight image by Sergii Shalimov from

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