Remember the days where a cup of coffee was just that – a cup of coffee? That cup of coffee has about 5 caloires to it. Now, a fancy cup of coffee may have up to 450 calories. That burrito the size of a small football – over 1,000 calories. Maybe this is why we’ve all put on a bit of weight – so here’s some weight loss secrets that may help you both loose weight and also get back in shape!
On average, men burn about 3,000 calories per day, and for women, the average is about 2,400 caloires per day. We eat out more, and what we eat has more calories than in the past, yet our caloric requirements per day have stayed the same. And our body takes those extra calories and packs them away as fat. Plus, as we age, our metabolism slows down. So, if you wonder why you’re carrying a few pounds more than you did a few years ago – it comes down to a need to reverse what is happening now – instead of taking in more than you use, you need to burn more calories than you take in.
Weight Loss Secrets #1 – Plan Ahead
Too many times, we have a quick breakfast, get hungry and overeat at lunch, and then have a big dinner. IT’s better if you move away from the “3 Square Meals Per Day”, and instead plan out a menu that has smaller, heathy portions in the proper combination of carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Then fill in the spans between your meals with small, healthy snacks that can help curb your appetite and avoid overeating during your main meals.
And, this means calculating what you need per day in calories. There are plenty of online calculators that can help you calculate your daily caloric needs. But, as mentioned above, if you go with the 3,000 calories per day for men, and 2,400 per day for women, that’s a good starting point. Now, to loose weight, you need to make sure you take in less than that per day – your body will get the extra calories it needs by burning stored fat.
The best way to calculate this – if you want to loose 1 lb per week, cut 500 calories per day. 2 lbs per week, 1,000 calories per day. But don’t go below 1,200 calories per day – this way you won’t sacrifice good nutrition (and it keeps your body from thinking you’re starving, and slowing your metabolism down to conserve fat).
Weight Loss Secrets #2 – Balance Your Diet
When you cut back on what you’re eating, you are also reducing the amount of healthy nutrients your taking in as well. But it’s possible to minimize that effect with the right balance of the proper foods. Combine that with a good multivitamin, and you’re ensuring you’re getting the right nutrients even as you cut calories. Here’s what you need to be eating:
- Whole Grains: Whole grains provide fiber, trace minerals and antioxidants and slow-release carbohydrates that keep your body and brain fueled. Aim for 4 to 9 ounce-equivalents per day.
- Fruits & Vegetables: Fruits and vegetables are low in calories, but high in vitamins, minerals and other phytochemicals which help to fight disease-causing free radicals while increasing enzymes that clear toxins. Choose a variety of colors for the widest variety of nutrients. Shoot for 1 to 2 cups of fruits and 1½ to 3½ cups of vegetables per day.
- Lean Proteins: Studies show that, gram for gram, protein can keep you feeling fuller than carbohydrates or fats do. For overall health, choose sources that are low in saturated fat like seafood, poultry, lean meat and tofu. Eat 3 to 6½ ounce-equivalents per day.
Weight Loss Secrets #3 – Start a Regular Exercise Program
Reducing calories is only part of the plan. Increasing how many you burn is the other part. And, there are two ways to do this. Cardio workouts burn calories both during your workout, and for a short time after as your body cools down from your workout. Strength training ads muscle that keeps your metabolism burning at a higher rate for long after your workout, while also burning calories during your workout. Combining both cardio and strength workouts during the week means that you’ll benefit from both short and long term fat burning and metabolism gains.
The other benefit of adding exercise to your weight loss program is that you’ll tone and shape your body, decrease stress, and sleep better! As you start feeling better, you’ll also find that your body starts to crave healthy foods that provide energy. As muscle takes up less room than fat, you’ll find that after a few months, when you look in the mirror, you’ll look better as well. Which can be a great motivator to stay on your diet and workout plan!
And, if you want to get the most out of your workouts, working out in the convenience of your home is the way to go – especially if you have a busy schedule. At Fitness 4 Home Superstore, we have a wide varity of home fitness equipment that can help you achieve your weight loss and fitness goals. Visit any of our three Phoenix-area locations to see our full selection, and find out what will work best for your home!