Master the basics of weight loss

14 03 2011
Christiaan Abildso

Christiaan Abildso

The author Matthew Kelly has written that those who master the basics and perform them very well often do great things. This applies to weight management as well. What are the basics of weight management? First, get 300 minutes of physical activity each week in bouts of at least 10 minutes at a time. For the activity to “count”, you need to be working at a pace or intensity equivalent to a walk of at least 3 miles per hour. The next time you’re on the treadmill, strive for this speed.

Second, achieve a 500 calorie deficit every day. One pound of fat is the equivalent of 3,500 calories. So, to lose one pound per week the easiest way is to achieve a 500 calorie deficit each day through some combination of decreased food intake and increased exercise. Some examples to help. A 200 pound person burns 250 calories by walking 50 minutes at 3 mph. A McDonald’s hamburger is 250 calories. Do the former and cut out the latter and that’s a 500 calorie deficit. A Big Mac is 540 calories – that’s a pound of fat!

How do you know what you’re burning and what you’re eating? Track your food and calories using one of the diet and exercise tracking app links to the right of this page.
Master these basics – 300 minutes of physical activity per week and 500 calorie deficit per day – and track them daily using a log. Do these two things and you should meet the 12 pound in 12 weeks weight loss goal (for Phase I) of the PEIA Weight Management Program. What a great start to your journey! In you are off-track, you can simply return to these two strategies and re-establish your path to successful weight loss and improved health.
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