In the U.S., over 66% of adults are either overweight or obese. Reducing your body weight by 2-3% can produce health improvements in chronic disease risk factors. In order to lose weight, you must expend (or burn) more calories than what you consume. The chart to the right shows how many calories it takes to lose anywhere from .1 to 1 lb of body fat. Implementing daily activity and healthy eating habits are the factors that will lead to reaching your goals in your weight loss journey.
Planned Activity vs. Unplanned
Something you mentally prepare for and expect to participate in. Examples are exercise, yard work and walking in the mall.
An impulsive action that results in additional movement. Examples are parking farther away in a lot, taking the stairs vs. elevator and standing at your desk vs. sitting.
Exercise and Diet: The Best One-Two Punch!
1. Eat wholesome foods such as fruits, vegetables, complex carbohydrates, lean protein, and healthy fats.
2. Exercise most days of the week (minimum of 150 minutes per week).
3. Recognize that 1 ounce lost is better than 1 ounce gained.
4. Realize this is a lifestyle change, not a race. Trying to lose in a month or two what was gained in 5-10 years isn't realistic.
5. Your body composition (lean body mass vs. fat mass) is more important to your health than your overall weight number. Muscle weighs more than fat, so as your body composition changes, the scale will not always reflect what is going on inside your body.
If you need help with setting goals, making a wellness plan, or even specific exercises look into signing up for a Wellness Works consultation. The Wellness Works program connects you with a trained and professional wellness coach who can help you set and meet your weight loss goals.
A version of this post was originally published in the Exercise is Medicine Patient Notebook.