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5 Pieces of Weight Loss Advice

It seems like some of you have back-to-school weight loss plans because I have received quite a few question about dieting advice. And just like it takes time to move up a grade, it takes time to lose weight. Especially if you want to keep the weight off. Here are five pieces of sound advice for losing weight.

  1. You should eat at least 1200 calories per day. Eating less than 1200 slows down your metabolism, because your body thinks there is a famine and wants to hold on to calories and actually prevents you from losing weight.
  2. Aim to lose no more than two pounds a week. This means no crash dieting, just sensible eating and plenty of calorie burning exercise.
  3. Keep a food journal to make sure that you are truly eating a sensible diet and not over eating or over snacking. Try the FitSugar food journal since food tracking has been proven to help folks lose weight.
  4. You need to burn 3,500 calories to lose a pound of body fat. To lose a pound a week, you should have a daily calorie deficit of 500 calories. You can create a calorie deficit by eating less, by exercising more, or both. I recommend a mixture of both.
  5. Focus on losing fat not lean muscle. Since muscles not only keep you strong, they also burn considerably more calories, pound for pound, than fat. Be sure to add strength training to your exercise plan.


Join The Conversation
Spectra Spectra 8 years
I definitely can't function on less than 2000 calories a day or so. If you are active and work out, you should definitely eat more then 1200 calories a day. 1200 calories a day is like the bare minimum you should eat if you are sedentary.
Allytta Allytta 8 years
you say no more than 2lbs a week, but if after eating a lot of calories and being 158lbs i go down to 1200 i loose upto 8lbs the first week. i don't do it on purpose, that's just what happens.
juliefischer juliefischer 8 years
#2 (IMO) should read you shouldn't aim to lose more than 1% of your body weight.
urban-chic-101 urban-chic-101 8 years
Yeah, 1200 calories doesn't work for everyone and I don't think that BMR calculator works for everyone as well. Lately, I've been burning 1,000+ (yes, I have a heart rate monitor)and that wold just not cut it. I think the best formula for weight loss is the 5 or 6 small meals during the day. It keeps you from getting hungry and revs up the metabolism.
princess_eab princess_eab 8 years
you need to eat over 1200 cals to make sure your body adjusts to the weight loss, too. Sure, I've lost a bunch of weight really fast the wrong way (30 lbs in a month, anyone?) - who hasn't. The problem is that is does not stay off. I highly recommend joining - it's super easy to record in their journal, including exercise, there are forums and lots of support.
Renees3 Renees3 8 years
It really helped me to meet with a trainer (even just once) to get groundwork for losing weight. He figured how much I should be eating, what I should be eating more of, supplements I might need/like, a plan for exercising, heart rates I should stay within. It's helped me stay on track even when he's not around
Francoisehardly Francoisehardly 8 years
The 1200 minimum is the minimum someone can consume but it doesn't mean everyone is supposed to stick that lower number since the amount of calories someone needs isn't the same for everyone. My BMR is 1512.55.
melda melda 8 years
my BMR is around 1700 calories, that seems like alot. what should i do?
Red-Sharpie Red-Sharpie 8 years
If you exercise regularly, you probably want to eat more than 1200 calories. Just listen to your body. If you start getting really hungry, tired and grumpy, you are not eating enough and are basically starving yourself (trust me, I've been here.) If you go into starvation mode, your body will do everything it can to conserve energy, particularly your fat stores. Weight loss will become *more* difficult and more of your losses will come from muscle or bone instead of the fat you want. I don't think anyone should eat under their BMR ( unless under doctor supervision. BMR is the number of calories you'd burn doing absolutely nothing. Unless you are severely overweight, losing more than 1-2 pounds a week is too much and you will be more likely to gain it all back. Slow and steady!
katyharper katyharper 8 years
Question: Should the 1200 calories be your net calories? Let's say I eat 1200 calories, but I work out for 30 minutes and burn 300. My net intake is 900. Is that too few, or are we counting the actual 1200 I ate?
Ikandy Ikandy 8 years
Amy, it says "you should eat AT LEAST 1200 calories per day".
amycullen2 amycullen2 8 years
Is the first point supposed to say "shouldn't" instead of should? It says you should eat less than 1200 calories then says doing so can actually prevent you from losing weight...
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
thank you for these tips. it's always hard for me to see that i should eat 1200 cals even if i'm working out so that my body doesn't think that it's starving. i figure that if i eat less than i'll lose more. but i guess that's not the case. i always want to lose more than 2 pounds a week - but you're probably right that it's not healthy.
Kimpossible Kimpossible 8 years
Excellent post. thank you. so many people (women especially) go about weight loss the wrong way. Thank you for pointing out these healthy tips.
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