Losing weight is definitely a worthy goal of an exercise program, but it shouldn’t be your main goal. You have to burn approximately 3,500 calories per week to lose one pound. That breaks down into a 500-calorie-per-day deficit. So, how can you create that deficit? By focusing on having a healthy lifestyle. Here are three things you can do to lose weight and to be healthier:
Increase Your Muscle Mass
A good exercise goal is to build muscle through strength training along with burning calories through cardio training. The more muscle mass you have, the more calories you can burn by just simply doing your daily activities. So, some of that 500 calorie deficit could come from your muscles burning more calories. Plus with more muscle, you’ll have an increase in self-confidence and in your energy levels. If you feel good, you look good.
Change Your Diet
If you don’t change your diet, it’s difficult to have a 500 calorie deficit day-in/day-out. In most cases, it would mean at least an additional hour of moderate intensity exercise. As the old saying goes “You can out-exercise a bad diet program.”
Healthy eating should be an integral part of your healthy lifestyle. Concentrate on eating more fiber by eating fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grain, lean meat and plant protein. Not only will this diet keep you full because of the extra fiber, but these foods tend to have fewer calories. That means you’re eating fewer calories without having to reduce the size of your plate. Most diets fail because they focus on making you eat less. They usually make you hungrier and more tired. If you have less energy, it’s more difficult to exercise. So, focus on the quality of your food and less on the quantity.
Be sure to keep hydrated. Drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day. More if you are exercising outdoors in a hot climate. Not only will fluids keep your body functioning better, but they also help flush out waste from your body, which can also help with weight loss.
Adding everything up for a Healthy Lifestyle
The final goal of your exercise program should be living a healthy lifestyle. If you are badly out of shape, it will take a while, but still doable. Through a combination of reducing your calorie intake by 250 calories and burning 250 more calories through extra muscle and exercising, you have your 500 calorie deficit for the day and probably only had to exercise an additional 30 minutes or so.
Concentrate on building muscle, burning calories through exercise, eating a healthy diet and the weight will naturally come off and stay off.