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Do You Want to Know The Best Way to Lose Weight?

It's been called the obesity epidemic: the rising number of people in the developed world who are overweight. The weight loss industry is huge, bringing in millions of dollars annually (maybe more). The truth is, though, if you want to experience real, long-lasting weight loss, it's as simple as eating healthy meals and getting regular exercise.

Eating Habits

In order to lose weight, you must take in fewer calories than you expend. Even when you are just sitting on the couch, you're burning calories with all the body processes that are going on to keep you alive. This is called your basal or resting metabolic rate.

It is generally calculated as:

655 + (4.35 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) - (4.7 x age in years) for women

and

66 + (6.23 x weight in pounds) + (12.7 x height in inches) - (6.8 x age in years) for men

Because the formula doesn't take into consideration the ratio between fat and muscle, so it may not be accurate for those with a lot of fat or a lot of muscle. You can find online calculators which will do the math for you.

To use this number to figure out how many calories you would need to eat on a daily basis in order to maintain your current weight, multiply your BMR by 1.2 if you are sedentary, by 1.375 if you are lightly active, by 1.55 if you are moderately active, or by 1.725 if you are very active. The activity levels correspond to: light exercise 1 to 3 times a week, moderate exercise 3 to 5 times a week, or strenuous exercise 6 to 7 days a week.

Remember, this number is how many calories you need to stay the same weight that you are now. If you want to lose weight, subtract 500 to 1000 calories. Don't drop more than 1000 calories as this puts you at risk for health problems and will actually slow your weight loss, as your metabolism slows down to conserve energy.

You don't have to worry about counting your daily calories down to the last one. You do need to become familiar with how many calories are in the foods that you eat, but for most people the combination of eating healthier foods, controlling portion size, and increasing daily activity level will result in weight loss.

If you don't feel that you have time to prepare healthy meals for yourself regularly, try setting aside one day a week to prepare things which you can parcel out to have during the rest of the week. Prepare a variety of items which can be combined in different ways. For example, grilled chicken breast can be used in salads, wraps, or by itself with a couple of sides. A big pot of soup is another way to make yourself something healthy to eat that's easily reheated, and which can be used as a sauce for pasta. Avoid prepackaged meals, even those that claim to be for weight loss. They are often highly processed and contain preservatives and artificial colors and flavors. As much as it is possible, stick to fresh, whole foods.

Exercise Routine

When we talk about weight loss, we really mean fat loss. You don't want to lose too much muscle. Not only is muscle vital for your body's function, it burns more calories, so the higher your ratio of muscle, the higher your metabolism.

Unfortunately, when you are losing weight, your body doesn't distinguish between muscle and fat, so you lose some of both. In fact, the body tends to prefer fat because it's a ready energy source, while reclaiming energy from muscle takes extra work.

This is one of the reasons that exercise is so critical as a part of your weight loss program. Exercise promotes muscle growth. You won't get a lot of growth if you are on a weight loss regimen, but you will lose a higher proportion of fat relative to muscle, essentially breaking even on muscle.

Both cardiovascular exercise and weight lifting belong in your weight loss exercise regimen. Don't believe those who say that long hours of cardio is the only way to lose weight. You won't get the same muscle boosting effect that you do with weight lifting. Therefore, if you can't join a gym, you can still get a good workout at home, even with little or no equipment. You can use water bottles or cans of food, or use body weight exercises like push-ups, calisthenics, and yoga.

The important thing is to be more active all day long, especially if you haven't been. Take the stairs whenever you can, take a walk around the neighborhood in the evening, jog in place or do sit ups while watching television. Being active will soon become a habit.

Start Slow

Especially if you haven't been exercising in a while, don't push yourself too far too fast. Just stick with what you can do, even if that's just a five minutes walk or two sit ups. Don't be disappointed about what you can't do, and be proud of yourself for doing something.

At the same time, you do need to go a bit beyond your comfort level in order to improve. To that end, set yourself goals which you strive to reach. Choose small goals so you will be rewarded with success sooner. Then, set another goal a bit further on, and so forth.

Yoga is fantastic for weight loss. It builds strength and flexibility as well as improving digestion and circulation. As always, listen to your body and stretch only as far as you can go. As you gain experience and flexibility, you will be able to do more.

Forgive Yourself

If you slip up in your meal plan or miss a few workouts, don't berate yourself. It's just a minor setback, not failure. Acknowledge that, and then just get right back into your healthy routine.

On a similar note, you've probably heard this advice before but it does bear repeating: treat yourself once in a while. Once a week, let yourself enjoy your favorite dessert or special treat - just keep your portion small.

Gideon J. helps many people to achieve their desire for weight loss and host most of his teachings at http://weightlosschart.info

For more information click here.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Gideon_G_John

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