Lots of people want to lose weight. More than two thirds of all Americans are considered overweight or obese. That means that there are more people in this country who are overweight than not.
There is no shortage of advice, speculation and research being done to help combat what has been dubbed the "American Obesity Epidemic." Obesity in the United States now rings up a total of $147 billion per year in direct medical costs. In fact, if you're obese expect to spend almost $1,500 more each year on health care—about 41 percent more than an average-weight person.
Yet the more we know about the epidemic the harder it seems to combat it or make sense of the recommendations which seem to change by the day. When The New York Times runs articles like, For the Overweight, Bad Advice by the Spoonful, and the dietary and exercise guidelines change seemingly daily, it can feel almost impossible to know what you're supposed to be doing.
If you're trying to lose weight, or even just get healthier or feel better, all of the information to wade through can all be a little overwhelming. However there's no reason to get bogged down in data overload or let your confusion keep you from started on the road to being healthy.
Use this advice to clear up all the confusion with these three simple ways to lose weight.
Understanding the BasicsYour BMR, also known as your Basal Metabolic Rate, is the number of calories your body burns in a single day from performing basic functions like breathing and pumping blood. When you create a deficit (lower than your BMR) your body will turn to your fat stores to function properly—burning those unwanted pounds away.
One pound of fat is 3,500 calories. So in order to lose one pound of fat, you need to create a caloric deficit of 3,500 calories. You need a deficit of around 500 calories per day in order to lose one pound per week.
There are three ways to create a calorie deficit:
- Change your diet and eat fewer calories than you burn each day. If you eat 500 fewer calories than your BMR each day for a week, you'll lose about one pound of fat.
- Introducing physical activity and burning more calories than you consume. If you eat enough calories to support your BMR, but exercise more, you'll create a caloric deficit simply by burning extra calories.
- A combination of eating fewer calories and exercising to burn more calories. If you cut just 200 calories a day from your diet and burned just 300 extra calories a day by exercising, you'd lose about one pound per week.
Exercise a Little BitIt seems like only yesterday that doctors and experts were telling you that you only needed 20 minutes a day of exercise - suddenly you're being told that you need over 90 minutes a day. Who knows what to believe anymore, and who has time for that much exercise?