As you may not know, every pound of bodyweight contains 3500 calories. So if you want to lose a pound a week, you've only got to consume 500 calories less than you spend every day (7 x 500 = 3500).
This is done by controlling your calorie intake and burning calories through exercise, day-to-day activity, and by raising your resting metabolic rate (RMR) through added muscle, frequent meals, and the post-workout rise in RMR.
Losing 0.5 – 1.5 lbs a week is optimal. If you are very overweight, you should be closer to 1.5 pounds a week (750 calorie daily deficit), and if you only have a few pounds to shed, 0.5 lbs a week is ideal (250 calorie deficit daily).
Taking your time will prevent muscle loss and maximize your chances of keeping the weight off permanently. Do not give in to the temptation of not eating or doing tons of aerobic exercise both of which will cause muscle loss, and therefore counteract your goal of long term fat loss. Ideally, you want to build muscle in order to increase your RMR. You must do everything in your power to prevent the loss of muscle while losing weight. If you try to lose weight too quickly, you will not only prevent muscle growth, you'll cause your body to break its existing muscle for fuel. This is going in the wrong direction.
Remember, it is not simply about weight. It's about body composition less fat and more muscle.
Key Points for weight loss:
– Lose .5 – 1.5 lbs per week by eating 250 – 750 less calories than you burn daily.
– Eat 5 meals per day, every 2.5 – 3.5 hours.
– Maximize your calorie expenditure by building muscle through consistent, short, intense strength training.
– Eat a diet that gives you 1.5 grams of protein per pound of your ideal bodyweight, and split the remaining calories between mostly unsaturated fats and carbs with a low glycemic index. Stay away from processed sugars; they're everywhere!
– Do not starve yourself and do not overeat.
Beside, going hungry to a restaurant or party is also a common pitfall that can lead to some major overeating. A great secret to not overeating at restaurants and parties is to simply eat a small meal right before you leave home. That way, when you get there, you're focused on having fun, instead of waiting for food to fill your belly. Focus on enjoying yourself, the company you're with, and the party or restaurant not on dieting or gorging yourself. You order less, save more money, and tend to really enjoy what you eat because you're eating to satisfy your taste buds, not your empty stomach.