Thursday, January 12, 2012

Easy 20 Pound Weight Loss Plan

While it may be tempting to try to shed excess pounds rapidly, gradual weight loss may be easier to maintain in the long run. People who lose weight slowly and steadily tend to keep it off more successfully, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC. Set realistic, manageable goals when trying to lose weight and keep it off.
Weekly Rate
The CDC recommends trying to lose weight gradually, at a rate of about 1 to 2 pounds per week. At this rate, you could lose 20 pounds within two and a half to five months. Maintaining this weight loss rate requires consistently burning more calories than you consume.
Caloric Deficit
For every pound you want to lose, you must burn 3,500 calories more than you consume. To lose 1 to 2 pounds per week, therefore, you must create a daily caloric deficit of 500 to 1,000. You can create this deficit with a combination of calorie-burning exercise and a reduced-calorie diet. For example, if you burn 400 calories per day through exercise and reduce your caloric intake by 100 calories, you can put yourself on track to lose 1 pound per week.
Lifestyle Changes
Healthy weight loss requires making lasting changes to your lifestyle, including choosing healthier foods and getting more physical activity. A healthy diet should include plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains and some low-fat dairy products and protein sources. When trying to lose weight, choose foods with low energy density so that you can eat larger portions with fewer calories. Most fruits and vegetables have a high water content and low energy density, and they provide good sources of fiber, meaning they’ll leave you feeling full for longer. Add enjoyable exercise to your routine as well. Try to get 60 to 90 minutes of moderate physical activity on most days of the week.
Health Benefits
Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight can lower your risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and diabetes, and it may also reduce your risk of some cancers. Losing as little as 5 percent of your body weight can significantly reduce your risk for obesity-related diseases, notes the CDC.

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