To see our weight loss progress gain momentum, we’d do well to combine eating better (not necessarily “less”) and exercising more. According to the www.mayoclinic.com web site:
“Because 3500 calories equals about 1 pound (0.45 kilogram) of fat, you need to burn 3,500 calories more than you take in to lose 1 pound. So if you cut 500 calories from your diet each day, you’d lose about 1 pound a week (500 calories x 7 days = 3500 calories). Exercise along with cutting calories helps boost your weight loss. Exercise is also important for maintaining your weight and not regaining weight.”
The article goes a bit further with crunching the caloric numbers. In stating the recommendations from the Department of Health and Human Services for healthy adults, it suggests at least two-and-a-half hours of moderate aerobic activity weekly, which could average out to 30 minutes, five days a week. It also suggests we “include at least 30 minutes of physical activity in [our] daily routine”.
So think half-and-half to balance your calorie expenditure – half-an-hour of aerobic exercise (one that gets your heart rate up: brisk walking, swimming, jumping rope, jogging, bicycling, for example) and half-an-hour of other activities such as housework, shopping, or gardening…whatever “moves” you).
Wondering how many calories you burn with various activities? It really depends on age, weight, intensity and other factors, but here are a couple of sites that can help you gauge the effectiveness of your activity:
Consuming 250 calories less a day (it’s not hard – think approximately one 20-ounce cola, 1 large hamburger bun, 2 ounces of ranch-type dressing, or about 2/3 cup of ice cream, for starters) and burning 250 through an exercise you enjoy will result in the 3500-calorie weekly deficit required to lose a pound. Of course, results vary, but this is a helpful guideline to make sure your caloric output exceeds your input!
***A couple of questions from slimvictory: What are some of your favorite exercises? Do you find it hard to commit to a regular program of physical activity?