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Personal Weight Loss Plan
Create a Weight Loss and Exercise Plan to Reduce Calories and Improve Fitness
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How to Make a Weight Reduction or Weight Management Program

Weight Loss Plan

Before You Start Losing Weight

As a prelude to making a weight loss plan, find out how many calories you consume in a normal week. To do this, keep a food diary for 7 days. Then calculate your current calorie-intake. This information helps you to plan a realistic weight loss diet.

How to Create a Weight Loss Plan

Your weight loss plan might list the following points:

Decide how much weight to lose. Set yourself a target.

Set a time frame to lose weight: aim to lose about 2 pounds a week.

Divide it into smaller weight loss steps of one or two weeks.

Maintain a plan of your progress, as your weight reduces.

How to Create a Weight Loss Diet Plan

1. Estimate Your Calorie-intake

There are several ways to estimate your calorie needs. You can start with the Quick Estimate. A Quick-Estimate-of-Calorie-Needs is exactly that. It doesn't allow for factors like metabolic rate, age or body fat percentage. So don't use it as an exact calculation of calorie requirements - it's simply a ball-park calorie assessment. If you want a more precise calculation of your daily energy needs, click Harris Benedict Formula for Calorie Needs

Quick Estimate of Calorie Needs for Women

  • If moderately active, multiply your current weight in pounds by 15.
  • If typically inactive, multiply your current weight in pounds by 13.
  • Example: if you weigh 170 pounds and lead an inactive lifestyle, your calorie needs are very roughly 2200 calories/day.

2. To Lose Weight Deduct 500-1000 Calories

Your calorie-needs are the amount of calories you need to MAINTAIN your weight. To lose weight, you must eat fewer calories than this. For example, 1 pound of body weight is roughly equal to 3500 calories. So if you wish to lose 1 pound of weight per week, you must reduce your calorie-needs by 3500 calories a week or 500 calories a day. To lose about 2 pounds a week, reduce your daily calorie-needs intake by 1000 calories.

(1) Whatever your weight loss requirements, it is best to eat a minimum of 1200 calories (women), or 1600 calories (men).
(2) Don't forget to factor in the calories you burn during exercise.

3. Create a Balanced Weight Loss Diet Plan Based on Food Pyramid Guidelines

Once you know how many calories to aim for, you can create an eating plan to help you lose weight. Write down a plan for your meals and a shopping list and stick to it. Without a written list you are vulnerable to impulse purchases which torpedo weight loss. Plan to shop after you've eaten and not when you're hungry.

Table 1. Food Pyramid Plan - Sample Weight Loss Diets at 3 Different Calorie Levels

Food Group 1600
Calorie Diet
Calorie Diet
Calorie Diet
Grains 6 servings 9 servings 11 servings
Vegetables 3 servings 4 servings 5 servings
Fruits 2 servings 3 servings 4 servings
Dairy/Milk 2-3 servings 2-3 servings 2-3 servings
Meats 5oz 6oz 7oz
Total Fat (30%) 53g 73g 93g
Total Added Sugars 6 tsp 12 tsp 18 tsp

Make a Weight Loss Exercise Plan

Exercise is essential for weight loss, diet-motivation and future weight maintenance. Make a realistic exercise plan for yourself and ideally find an exercise buddy to join you.

Physical Activity to Lose Weight

Any type of physical activity you choose to do - vigorous activities such as running or aerobic dancing or moderate-intensity activities such as walking or household work - will increase the number of calories your body uses. The key to successful weight control and improved overall health is making physical activity a part of your daily life.

Best Exercise Plan for Weight Loss and Health

  • For the greatest overall health benefits, experts recommend that you do 20 to 30 minutes of vigorous physical activity three or more times a week and some type of muscle strengthening activity, such as weight resistance, and stretching at least twice a week.
  • However, if you are unable to do this level of activity, you can improve your health by performing 30 minutes or more of moderate-intensity physical activity over the course of a day, at least five times a week.
  • When including physical activity in your weight-loss program, you should choose a variety of activities that can be done regularly and are enjoyable for you.
  • Also, if you have not been physically active, you should see your doctor before you start, especially if you are older than 40 years of age, very overweight, or have medical problems.

Record Your Weight and Activity Once a Week

Record your weight once a week. One of the characteristics of people who successfully maintain weight loss in the National Weight Control Registry (a research program involving dieters who have successfully lost weight) is that they weigh themselves frequently. Record your weight change, record your activity and make note of changes in aerobic fitness, strength and flexibility.

Remember most people underestimate the number of calories they consume and they overestimate the amount of exercise they do. Recording these details helps you get real.

Sources include: Dietary Guidelines (USDA). National Weight Control Registry (NWCR)


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