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How to Lose Weight

Six Parts:Eating RightLosing Weight BasicsExercisingStaying MotivatedBasal Metabolic Rate CalculatorsHelp Calculating Calories

Are you tired of carrying around extra pounds? You can learn the basics of weight loss, as well as ways to eat healthier, get more exercise, and keep yourself motivated to keep the pounds off the healthy way.

Part 1
Eating Right

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    Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. Fruit helps to satisfy your sweet tooth thanks to its natural sugars, while fresh vegetables help your stomach fill up more quickly. Fruits and vegetables contain fiber to help you feel full quickly.[1] Try some of these tips to introduce more fruit and vegetables into your diet:
    • Eat what's in season, and eat fruit and vegetables for snacks, or for dessert. When you eat apples in the fall, for instance, or cherries in late summer, it might as well be an indulgent dessert. Cut up celery, carrots, peppers, broccoli or cauliflower and dip them in a light salad dressing or hummus.
    • Use vegetables as a main dish. For example, make a stir-fry or a hearty salad and add just a few ounces of cooked chicken, salmon or almonds.
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    Eat more whole grains and cut simple carbs. Whole wheat bread, oatmeal, whole wheat pasta, sweet potato, and brown rice are all excellent sources of energy and sources of nutrition. Combined with the right combination of proteins and vegetables, whole grains are perfect all-around nutrition.[2]
    • Simple carbs are things like white bread, processed flour, and white sugar. This gives you energy quickly, but then comes with a crash. It gets transferred into fat very quickly.
    • Substitute whole wheat flour or oat flour into pancakes or baked goods. You might need to add additional leavening ingredients, like wheat gluten. Put barley in your soup instead of rice or try a pilaf with barley, wild rice or brown rice.
    • Eat only naturally-occurring carbohydrates instead of processed carbohydrates. Avoid processed foods, like white bread, semolina pasta or crackers, or processed sweets like candy bars or sugary vegetables.[3]
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    Choose lean proteins instead of fatty ones. Protein is important for organ function and building muscle while, if you plan on working out. Select lean cuts of beef or extra-lean ground beef when you're eating red meat. If you use different cuts of chicken, then remove the skin.[4]
    • Skip the fatty deli meats like bologna and salami. Choose lean turkey or roast beef as a replacement.
    • Vegetarians can get plenty of protein from soy, nuts, beans and seeds. Lentils, legumes, and beans are excellent sources of fiber and protein.
    • Eat low-fat dairy for a source of protein, including low-fat cheeses and nonfat yogurt. [5]
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    Try a formal diet plan. If you like the idea of following a more specific diet and putting the planning into someone else's hands, try following a new diet and exercise:
    • Follow a paleo diet and eat grass-produced meat, fish and seafood, fresh fruits and vegetables, eggs, seeds and nuts, just like paleo-humans did. Eat nothing prepackaged or processed.[6]
    • Try sticking to raw foods. The Raw Food Diet requires 75 percent of your dietary intake to be uncooked. Most people eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts and beans.[7]
    • Join a commercial diet plan. If you prefer to eat whatever you want and to meet weekly with other people who are losing weight, then try Weight Watchers. If you prefer prepared meals so that you don't have to cook, try Jenny Craig or NutriSystem.
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    Cut the salt from your diet. Eating more sodium causes your body to retain water, which can cause you to feel bloated and gain more weight. The good news is that you'll sweat that weight out very quickly, so an easy way of cutting some pounds is to eat less sodium in your diet.
    • Instead of salt, try spicing your meals with chili flakes, fresh salsa, or cajun spices and seasonings.
    • Lots of people claim that unsalted foods will taste much saltier eventually, if you cut it out for a while and let your taste-buds re-acclimate.
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    Don't skip meals. Lots of people think skipping a meal will help to lose weight, but the same study found that people who ate at least 3 meals per day lost more weight than people who didn't. When you skip meals, your body stops breaking down fat and starts breaking down muscle tissue. Muscle tissue burns more calories at rest than other tissues, so you're actually working against your goals.[8]
    • Make sure that you don't get hungry by eating small portions throughout the day at regular intervals. Between your meals, eat a 150-calorie snack to keep your metabolism burning and to stave off hunger. Be sure that you don't eat a fattening snack such as sweets or crisps. When you're hungry, your body conserves calories and slows down your metabolic processes.[9]

Part 2
Losing Weight Basics

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    Write down everything you eat this week. People who keep food diaries, according to a study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, lose an average of 6 pounds (2.75 kg) more than people who don't keep a record of everything that they eat.[10] So force yourself to write down the good, the bad and the ugly. Keep these tips in mind:
    • Be complete. Write it all down, including beverages, condiments, and a description of how the food was prepared. Don't pretend you didn't have that extra glass of wine after dinner. If it goes into your stomach, it goes into the journal.
    • Be accurate. Record your portion sizes in your food diary. Don't eat too little or too much - keep track. Also, read the ingredients list so that you can be accurate about serving sizes.
    • Be consistent. Carry your food journal everywhere that you go. As an alternative, you can use a diet-tracking app on your smartphone or tablet.
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    Figure out how many calories you should eat each day to lose weight. Losing weight isn't all about weight. The more aware you are of the calories in the food you eat, the more easily you'll be able to eat the right amount of food and do the right amount of exercise to drop a couple of pounds. Take your food journal and look up each item individually. Keep a running tally and add up your calorie total for the day.
    • Next, look up how much a person of your age, height, weight, and energy level needs per day in calories.
    • Add about 170 calories to your total. Recent studies estimate that we tend to eat slightly more than we're able to keep track of in a day.[11]
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    Make a meal plan, and stick to it. Decide what you're going to eat this week before you're standing at the fridge and trying to figure it out on the fly. Buy the right healthy ingredients to eat the way you want to eat, and plan it out by the calorie.
    • Be realistic. If you like to eat out a lot, don't try to totally eliminate eating out. Instead, plan on eating home-cooked meals six days a week.
    • Cut down on the snacking, or try to make them healthy snacks. Fresh vegetables with guacamole, unsalted almonds, or fruit make for great weight-loss snacks.
    • Let yourself have treats. Promise yourself that if you can follow this for six weeks and exercise (if that is one of your goals), you will treat yourself to a restaurant meal one day of the week.
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    Eat fewer calories than you burn. The only surefire way to lose weight is to eat less than you burn over the course of a day. Sounds simple, but it takes work and consistency. That means exercise. If you want to lose weight and stay healthy, you need to start exercising. Aim for 30 minutes of exercise 3-5 times a week to get started.
    • Try to tally your energy-output each day. It's helpful to keep track of these with pedometers, or other weight-loss tracking apps that you can use to make this easier. Read the section about exercise for more specific tips.
    • Set mini-goals. Instead of thinking that you need to lose 20 pounds, think that you want to lose 1 to 2 pounds this week. Or you can focus on non-pound goals like skipping after-dinner snacks this week or only drinking alcohol on weekends.
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    Drink at least 2 liters (0.53 US gal) of water each day. Water has the double effect of both hydrating your body and filling your stomach with a certain volume of a liquid that has zero calories. The Institute of Medicine determined that an adequate intake (AI) for men is roughly 3 liters (0.8 US gal) (about 13 cups) of total beverages a day. The AI for women is 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) of total beverages a day.
    • Drinking water about 30 minutes before meals can reduce the amount of calories people end up consuming, especially in older individuals.
    • Research showed that dieters who drank half a liter of water before meals lost 44% more weight over a period of 12 weeks, compared to those who didn’t.
    • Counting calories is the most important. Woman need 1,800 calories a day, men need 2,500 to maintain the weight, to lose 0.5 kg you will need to eat 500 less calories then you would need to eat, if you want to maintain the weight, that would be to women-1,300 and to men 2,000. You can eat sweets, junk food and also lose weight, it's the calories that matter.But when it comes to your health, you want to eat food which is full of nutrients, vitamins, minerals and good carbs.

Part 3

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    Start doing basic aerobic and cardio exercise. Start with a small goal of 30 minutes, 3 times per week if you aren't exercising at all currently. Try these steps to get yourself going:[12]
    • Buy a pedometer. Attach the pedometer to your belt and try to take 5,000 steps daily. Move up to a goal of 10,000 to 15,000 steps as you get in better shape.
    • Start by walking. Walking around your neighborhood costs nothing and is a great way to start moving. You can also try other low-impact exercises like swimming,riding a bike or slow running.
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    Try machines at the gym. You can use a treadmill, an elliptical trainer, a stationary bike, a rowing machine or a stair climber. Start with short sessions and gradually add minutes as you get more fit. Also, use the settings on the machines to increase the intensity as you lose weight.
    • Do a variety of different machines until you find something you like. Consult a personal trainer to make sure you're using proper form, to avoid injury. They're there to help, not to intimidate you.
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    Take an aerobics class. You can take a traditional aerobics class or try any number of movement-based exercise routines. This are great ways of keeping yourself motivated in a group, having fun moving around, and losing weight.[13] Try any of the following:
    • Kickboxing
    • Jazzercise
    • Zumba
    • Pilates
    • Yoga
    • Martial arts
    • Cross-fit or Bootcamp
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    Get into strength training. Start small, aiming for one or two 15-minute sessions per week until you feel motivated to do more. Exercise large muscle groups to burn more calories and lose weight, instead of focusing on specific muscles. Try some of these examples:
    • Start with squats paired with an overhead dumbbell press to work your lower body and upper body at the same time.
    • Perform resistance exercises while sitting or reclining on an exercise ball. You'll strengthen your core while simultaneously working on other areas.
    • Use machines and free weights. These tools tend to focus on particular muscle groups like the arms, shoulders, thighs, glutes and upper back. Do these more focused exercises after you work on exercises for multiple muscle groups.
    • Rest at least one full day between strength training workouts so that your muscles can recover. Recovery will help you to avoid pain and injury.
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    Play a sport. If you're not into the idea of exercise for the sake of exercise, try finding a fun activity that you enjoy, which has the added benefit of getting you moving. Find an intramural league in your town, or just get together with some friends to play a pick-up game every now and then.
    • If you don't like competitive sports, try doing something that you can do by yourself. Swim, or play golf, or go hiking instead of playing a game with a ball and a net.
    • Get a bicycle if you want to find a great way to get around and exercise at the same time. Don't spend all that time sitting down in your car when you could be burning calories.

Part 4
Staying Motivated

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    Find creative ways to eat less. While doing these things alone won't necessarily make you lose weight, they can be helpful little tricks to keep you moving on the right path. Try out the following to help your hunger cravings during the day:
    • Eat three fewer bites of each meal.
    • Put your knife and fork down between bites.
    • Use smaller plates, and fill your plate only once.
    • Wait to eat until you feel hungry, don't just snack when you're bored.
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    Find creative ways to manage your cravings. If you're used to big snacks and indulgent meals, it's no secret that dieting and switching to exercise is less fun. But learning to manage your cravings for a big slice of cake or a greasy hamburger is possible, with a little creativity.
    • Smell fresh fruit when you want a snack, instead of eating something.
    • "Close" your kitchen between meals.
    • Don't keep sugary or fattening snacks in the house.
    • Some studies show that the color blue is an appetite suppressant. Try getting a blue tablecloth, or blue dishes to eat on.
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    Eat at home. Going out to eat makes it too easy to cheat. Food sold at restaurants is commonly much higher in fat, sodium, and other weight-loss killers. The portions are also often much larger than what you might usually eat at home, as well. Instead of heading out, try to make your own meals.
    • Eat in a small group, instead of a large one. Some research shows that people eating at big tables tend to eat more than people eating alone.[14]
    • Don't eat while you do other things, in general. Watching television, or reading, or working while you eat often causes people to eat much more food than they normally would.
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    Eat cereal for breakfast. One recent study revealed that people who eat cereal for breakfast each day have a much easier time losing weight than people who eat other types of breakfast. Start your day right with a high-fiber, nutrient rich natural cereal, or oatmeal.[15]
    • Switch to skim milk with breakfast and for use in other dishes. Each lower-fat step you take down, you're losing 20% of the calories. Switching to a low-fat version of milk is an excellent way to cut down on the calories you're taking in, without having to sacrifice any of the nutritional benefits.
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    Decide to lose weight in a group.[16] Commit to losing a certain amount of weight by a certain date with the caveat that you'll pay up if you don't lose. You may enjoy starting up a Biggest Loser Club at work or with your friends, or you can investigate a weight loss betting website.
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    Give yourself a treat now and then. If you're attending a party or going out for a special occasion, allow yourself an indulgence. Just make sure that these indulgences don't become daily habits.[17] Don't let a single slip-up de-rail your diet and exercise plan. Get back to it, even if you forget for a day or two.
    • Try using non-food rewards as well. When you do something right with your diet and exercise, treat yourself to something. Go to a game with a friend, or get a manicure, a massage or a trip to the movies when you meet your mini-goals. Get yourself that new shirt that you've been wanting if you meet your goal of losing a pound this week.

Basal Metabolic Rate Calculators

Male Basal Metabolic Rate Calculator

Female Basal Metabolic Rate Calculator

Help Calculating Calories

Calories for Weight Loss Cheat Sheet

Calories for Weight Loss Calculator

Test Your Knowledge

Lose Belly Fat Quiz


  • Drink water before and after a snack or meal.
  • Whatever method you choose, eat slowly; it gets you satisfied with less food.
  • If you start gaining weight don't panic, it might be muscle weight.
  • Take a long relaxing walk in your favorite part of the day.
  • Don't eat at least an hour before you go to bed and make sure you drink lots of water. This will make you go to the toilet a lot, but it flushes out the worn out weight from your body. Take a little exercise and if you have a pedometer, try to walk at least 5000 steps each day.
  • Eat food from home. When you eat at a restaurant, you have limited control over your portions. As a result, you often eat more than you intended to eat. Try packing up half of it in advance and taking it home for tomorrow. Do this before you start eating so you're not tempted to finish your big portion.
  • Weigh yourself daily and then average your weight over seven days. Focus on creating a downward trend as opposed to losing a certain amount of weight per week. You may gain weight some weeks, especially if you're female (because of water retention related to your menstrual cycle), for reasons that have nothing to do with your healthier habits.[18]
  • After you exercise, drink lot of water. This will make you go to the washroom and flush all your worn out weight.
  • Avoid eating before you head to bed and drink at least three cups before you fall asleep and three more after waking up.
  • Cut soda-- for now and always. Make a permanent change.
  • Avoid thinking of junk food by putting your mind on something else.
  • It may be best to drink cold water because the body will need to expend calories to heat the water to body temperature.
  • Really do it, don't go back to your old ways again-or you'll gain back all the fat!
  • Quitting sugar alone can allow you to lose up to seven pounds (half a stone, 3.2k) per week!
  • Don't start a weight loss journey alone. Find support from friends and family members who may also want to lose weight, or join a weight loss support group in your community. You can also find support in many online weight loss forums.
  • Consume healthy oils.[19] If you cook with oil, use a teaspoon of a healthy oil such as olive oil or canola oil. Or instead of adding oil for flavor, add spices or vinegar.
  • Find exercise you enjoy so its not a job, don't deprive just control your treats, drink green tea sweetened with honey to boost metabolism and de-stress, eat calmly and slowly chewing and savouring the flavours, brush your teeth or chew gum after a meal to avoid eating more.
  • Instead of drinking 120 to 140 calorie milk, try 60 to 90 calorie almond milk.
  • If you're breastfeeding, talk to your doctor before starting a weight loss program. Losing weight too quickly could cause you to produce less milk.[20]
  • Do not drink concentrated juices.
  • Everyone's body is different due to genetics and past/longtime fitness levels, etc. Do not try to have the same body as anyone else. Your ultimate fitness goal should be to better improve the body you have. You would be amazed at how many people silently want your body while you're wanting to look like someone else.
  • Feeling good isn't just about weight loss. People who lose weight often find themselves wanting to not only shed pounds but also to shed old habits and feelings. Listen to what your heart is telling you, and do the things that make you feel good about yourself. You are more than just a number on a scale.
  • Don't eat at least an hour before you go to bed. Your body loses weight less at night because your body is resting, thereby not burning as much calories as in the daytime, when your moving around.
  • Buy jeans or a dress that is one or two sizes smaller so you can feel motivated to lose weight.
  • Buy a bike and go outside.
  • Plan your meals ahead of time, this prevents the "in a pinch trip to fast food".
  • The best time to weigh is after you wake up and have used the restroom. (Before Breakfast).
  • Remember to not be afraid of food. If you begin to be afraid of it, consult your doctor about your possible diagnose with Anorexia. For those 90% of girls the struggle to lose weight and later lose their period, consult your doctor about your diagnose with Amenorrhea. If you skip meals, consult your doctor about you being diagnosed with Bulimia.
  • Avoid soda, and just drink water; it has no calories and no sugar.
  • When exercising, try to listen to music. Research has shown that people who run while listening to music run further than those who don't in the same period of time.
  • Do not cut all of your unhealthy snacks at once, or it will never happen remember you are allowed treats.
  • Take at least 10,000 steps a day.
  • Be careful with cereals; they contain a lot of sugar.
  • Whenever you take a bite of food, try to chew for a longer period of time. There are 15 minutes between the time when you're full and the time where you know you're full. If you eat slowly, the chances of overeating are less likely.


  • Do not starve yourself.
  • You don't need to lose weight if you're already in your healthy weight range. Embrace a realistic body and focus on health instead of on perfection.
  • Avoid losing more than one to two pounds (0.5 to 1 kg) per week whenever possible. Faster weight loss may cause you to lose muscle mass instead of fat. Also, people have more difficulty maintaining rapid weight loss over the long term.[21]

Things You'll Need

  • Lots of healthy foods
  • Pedometer
  • MP3 player or iPod
  • VHS and/or DVDs
  • Good athletic shoes
  • Good athletic gear
  • Food diary
  • Food scale
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Lots of water

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