Tim Collins is a certified personal trainer based in Omaha. He blogs every Thursday for LiveWellNebraska.
Most of us, at some point in our lives, have had a weight loss goal. And we’re often given a false sense of hope in pills, no-carb dieting, surgical treatments — the list goes on and on — that we can in fact lose weight without exercising. Unfortunately, these methods can be unsafe and may lead to bigger health problems down the road.
The best way to lose weight safely involves healthy eating, exercise and discipline. Duh, right? But it’s surprising how often this path is the last resort for people (probably because it actually requires hard work). But if you ask me, recovering from liposuction seems more painful than 30 minutes on the treadmill each day. And many people who get these procedures often go back to the same unhealthy habits.
The bottom line: Move more and eat less.
Start an exercise program that consists of strength training and cardio 3-4 times per week. This will not only lead to healthy weight loss but weight maintenance, too. Having lean muscle (as opposed to a lot of fat tissue) and good heart function means the difference between burning three calories per minute and 20 calories per minute while resting. If you’re going to sit and watch an episode of (insert favorite TV show here), you might as well burn more calories while doing so!
Weight loss is all about energy balance. You must burn more calories than you consume. First, figure out your basal metabolic rate (BMR) — how much energy (calories) your body uses daily, assuming you do no physical activity at all. In other words, how many calories you must eat to maintain your current weight. The following formula will calculate your BMR:
- Men: (Weight / 2.2) X 24
- Women: (Weight / 2.2) X .9 X 24
Then use one of formulas below based on your personal physical activity level.
- Sedentary: (BMR x .20) + BMR
- Lightly active: (BMR x .30) + BMR
- Moderate: (BMR x .40) + BMR
- Active:(BMR x .50) + BMR
- Intense: (BMR x .60) + BMR
Subtract 500 from your number. This will tell you roughly how many calories you need every day in order to lose weight. Because one pound is equivalent to 3,500 calories, cutting out 500 a day will make for roughly one pound of weight loss per week. Start a nutrition journal to keep track and measure your progress. Keep in mind that your number is an estimate and you should always consult a doctor or dietitian before undertaking an extreme weight loss program.
Take control and lose weight the right way. All things worth achieving will be challenging, so accept weight loss as a challenge, and you’ll be rewarded in the end.
Try the fat burning workout below, and, as always, document your progress. Perform circuit style. Complete as many sets as possible in three minutes. Rest one minute and then complete one more three-minute interval. Run or walk one mile when finished.
- 10 alternating lunges: Start in a standing position. Drive one leg forward, flexing front and back legs to 90 degree angles. Swap legs and repeat.
- 10 box jumps: Choose a box with comfortable height to jump on. Jump vertically on top of box. Modify with jumping jacks.
- 10 curls with shoulder press: Hold a comfortable weight in each hand. Perform a bicep curl and then push weights above head.
- 10 bent-over rows: Stand with feet shoulder -width apart. Bend to a 90-degree angle at the waist. Holding dumbbells, pull them up towards your chest, keeping elbows in. Make sure shoulder blades pull back and pinch.