Any weight loss plan, to be successful long term, should be done gradually, and, depending on the amount of loss needed, under a doctor’s care. Having said that, MOST people could stand to lose 10% of their total current weight, and that can be done safely, and surprisingly, fairly easily, totally on their own. I’ve done it. Here’s how.
The absolute first and most critical step is to adopt “responsibility, accountability and consequence”. There are predispositions for body shape, a genetic plan for you. I can not be 7 feet tall. Maybe you can not have a 30 inch waist as a man or wear a size 2 as a woman. But I can stand with better posture, wear heels and be taller than I am. And you (and me) can be thinner than we are. Whatever that is. What you eat, how much, and what you do activity wise determines your WEIGHT. NOTHING ELSE. Accept that, BELIEVE that, and you can lose weight.
Calories in, calories out. It is that simple. A pound of weight is 3500 calories of intake that exceeds your needs. Consume 3500 calories less than you need and you will lose a pound. How to eat 3500 less than you need is the trick. Use both sides of the equation. Eat less, need more. I have done three simple life style changes to help me consume fewer calories. First, reduce caloric drinks. I would rather eat my calories than drink them. Second, reduce bread, potato, pasta and rice consumption. Not eliminate (unless fat loss is the goal), but center every meal around vegetables and protein. Lastly, anything I can reach into a bag or bowl and grab to snack on is no where near me. Thats it.
How can you make your body need more calories? Increase activity level is one way. But not the best. While you are doing anything more physical than resting, your body is consuming more calories than it would otherwise. If this happens to be a cardiovascular workout, even better (makes for a healthier heart they say). Contrary to what you may think though, you can’t burn THAT many more calories doing cardio exercises. But it helps and you should do it (remember that healthy heart thing). The BEST way to burn more calories is to have more muscle. Two men, same weight, one with 10% body fat, the other with 25%, the more lean muscular man will burn 10-15% more calories 24 hours a day just living. Muscle mass requires 50 more calories per pound (should be protein) to exist on your body than fat.That translates into 500 MORE calories he can eat every day and NOT GAIN WEIGHT. Your metabolism rises after any workout. But within 2 hours of a cardio session its back to normal. After a weight training session it stays elevated for more than 24 hours.
To get the full benefit of weight loss, incorporate muscle building into your plan at some point. The people you see walking around with bodies you wish you had, were not born that way. They have CHOSEN to look that way. Responsibility, accountability and consequence.