Who doesn't? Unfortunately there is no easy or quick way to do any of these things, but there are things you can do starting right now that can help get your moving in the right direction. It won't be completely effortless, but if you do it correctly and stick to it, it certainly has the potential to feel that way. Here's how to lose weight, burn fat and say good-bye to that belly fat without starvation, pills or hours at the gym.
The Role of Calories
Calories may seem like daunting little things, but they are nothing more than a measure of energy. Every time you eat, you take in calories (read: energy) and in almost any other state, you expend energy. Make no mistake, you need calories just to keep your bodily functions going. Even during sedentary activities such as watching TV or sitting at your computer, burn about eighty calories an hour if you're about the size of the average male and around sixty calories an hour if you're about the size of the average female. So, in reality, it's not really as difficult to burn calories as people think. Strenuous activity can burn much more calories, much faster than sedentary activities. Where then does the problem come in?
You Really Are What You Eat
The trouble comes when we consume more calories than we can expend--more calories than we actually need. The type of food you eat comes into play here. Calorie rich foods take longer to burn off than low calorie foods. If you eat more calories than you can burn off, your body will store them as fat and you will gain weight. This doesn't mean that you have to give up taste for a lifetime of crudites, but you should eat less healthy foods in moderation. The key is a good balance between your caloric consumption and your level of physical activity.
Exercise Counts Two Fold
We can see then that burning off calories is important to keep you healthy because it gets rid of any excess energy you might have consumed throughout the day. The best exercise regimen is one that meets your needs, allows you burn a decent number of calories and works with your lifestyle. Not everyone is suited to spend hours at the gym, and the good news is not everyone should. There are a variety of activities that are enjoyable and good for getting your blood pumping. Swimming, belly dancing, cycling, hiking and almost any sport you can think of will do the trick just fine. Choosing something you like is worth more than a gym membership if it is something that you will be motivated to pursue and commit to. Who says exercise has to feel like work?
You should also remember that the number of calories burned in the course of a week add up. Even if you feel as though your two hundred a day calorie burning workouts are not doing enough, they're actually contributing to a very big deficit by the end of the week. If you do this seven days a week, you'll be burning a total of 1,400 calories. That's a day's worth of food for a petite woman.
The Thing about the "D" word
Our culture in particular gives the word "diet" a bad rap. While the connotations can be bothersome, we should remember in our weight loss endeavors that a diet is merely a food plan. Anything can be in a diet. Cheeseburgers can be part of a diet (although a pure cheeseburger diet is not recommended). With that in mind, we can move along to creating a suitable food plan. What will yours include? A good place to start is to figure out your BMI and from there look up how many calories are needed to maintain the weight you're currently at.From there, you can figure out how much less you need to consume to get to your ideal weight. How many calories are needed to maintain a weight ten pounds lighter than you are now? Twenty pounds lighter?
Losing the Weight
The rest of your game plan can fall into place from calculating your ideal weight's caloric needs (but please take into consideration your body's natural structure--we're not all meant to be a size two!). If need to be eating five hundred calories less a day than you currently do in order to reach that goal you have three options of getting there.
It's much less of a shock to your system if you burn off 250 with exercise and reduce your calorie intake by 250. That's like cutting out a single snack. Within a week on this system, you'll have saved and burned 3,500 calories, the energy equivalent of a 1lb. That's a loss of a pound a week. It's steady, but the results will be stable. You'd lose about 30 pounds in 30 weeks--and not worry about gaining it back. The key is to keep it balanced.
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