How much Exercise for Weight loss?

Interestingly, the answer to this simple question is anything but simple.
Having said that, we're going to try to answer it as simply as possible so we can all determine the right amount of exercise for us and take one step closer toward achieving our weight loss goal.

Isn't twenty minutes of exercise, three times a week enough?

Most of us have heard that exercising three times per week for 20 minutes each time is enough.

But is it really?

The answer for most of us with weight loss goals is no, here's why:
  • This recommendation is actually a 'minimum' of three times per week for 20 minutes each time.
  • This recommendation was made to encourage people who get no real exercise at all to do just enough to improve their cardiovascular fitness (increase the strength of their heart and lungs).
  • This recommendation was made knowing that to recommend any more exercise would serve to discourage rather than encourage the least active people to get more exercise.

For those of us who believe that this amount of exercise can help us lose a significant amount of weight alone are in for a bit of a shock.

The amount of exercise needed for significant weight loss is far more than that needed by otherwise average weighted people who work at computers all day and drive everywhere who want to slightly improve their fitness.

For significant weight loss this amount of exercise alone just isn't enough.

So how much exercise is it going to take?

To answer this question we first need to ask another "what is your goal?", or more specifically, "how much weight do you want to lose and by when?"

Once we have the answer to this second question, we can simply calculate how much exercise is needed based on an understanding of how much energy different exercises burn per minute.

Here's an example of how we do this assuming that our goal is to lose 10 kilos in 20 weeks, or ½ a kilo per week:

The amount of exercise needed to lose ½ kilo of body fat per week

Before we begin this example, please note that the figures used are guides only that have been rounded slightly up or down to make them easier to read and remember.

It has been estimated that ½ kilo (1 pound) of body fat equals around 16,000 kilojoules (or around 4,000 calories).

So to lose ½ kilogram of body fat each week through exercise, we need to burn off approximately 2,500 kilojoules (600 calories) extra each day.

So based on this figure, the answer to how much exercise is easy: that amount of exercise which burns an extra 2,500 kilojoules (kJ) per day, or 16,000kJ per week.

Using the energy charts provided on this website as a guide, the amount of exercise needed for a 100kg person (the amount of energy burned during exercise varies depending upon the body weight of the exerciser) to burn the total 16,000kJ per week equate to:
  • Approximately 10 hours of walking at 5kph (3mph) per week - or 90 minutes per day.
  • Approximately 4 hours of jogging at 10kph (6mph) per week - or 35 minutes per day.
  • Approximately 4½ hours of cycling at around 20kph (12mph) per week - or 40 minutes per day.

So, if the same 100kg person walked only three times a week for twenty minutes each time, they would only burn 1,500 kilojoules. That's more than just a few short of the 16,000 needed isn't it!

Even if they walked for 30 minutes everyday, they'd still only burn 5,200kJ per week!

Of course, these amounts assume that we want to lose all of our weight by exercising alone. If we are happy to rely on dietary changes to contribute half the energy required (8,000kJ per week) for example, we can halve the amounts of exercise listed above.

The 'complex' part of the answer

Remember at the outset of this article, we said that the answer to the question "how much exercise?" was a complex one, but the answer provided above isn't really that complex.

The reason for that is the above example is only part of the answer.

Because peoples lives are so different, weight loss can't realistically be reduced to a simple equation like it has been above.

There are other variables to be considered in the amount of exercise for weight loss equation that weren't adequately catered for in the above example.

For example, none of these factors were taken into consideration:
  • Our individual weight loss goals
  • Our individual levels of motivation
  • Our individual fitness levels
  • Our individual energy levels
  • Our time availabilities
  • Our priorities in life
  • Our preferred exercise program
  • Our commitment to exercise progression
  • Our attitude towards exercise
  • How consistently we exercise
  • Our general physical abilities
  • The law of averages
  • How many kilojoules or calories less we are prepared to eat each week

Before we take a brief look at each of these in turn, it's also important to remember that for every one of us, all of these factors are subject to change from day to day, week to week, month to month and year to year.

Our Goal

Because each of us has different goals, the amount of exercise which is right for each of us will be different.

Some of us may want to lose a total of 20-30kgs in 12 months while others may only want to lose 5-10kgs over the same time frame for example.

Our level of motivation

There are many different motivations to lose weight, such as looking better, feeling fitter and stronger, overcoming or avoiding weight related illnesses and medical conditions, wanting to be able to play with children, fitting into the ideal wedding dress, to name but a few.

What, and more importantly, how strong our motivation levels are will help to determine how much of the exercise we know we need to do we actually will do.

Our current fitness level

How fit we are today determines to a great extent the amount of exercise we can realistically do and just as importantly, at what level of intensity.

Of course, this variable can change significantly if we do exercise even a little bit and build progression into our workouts (exercise longer and/or at greater levels of intensity) as we get fitter.

Our individual energy levels

Like our fitness level, our energy levels will help determine how much exercise we can cope with each day.

Ironically, the more we exercise the more energy our bodies will have available to exercise.

This is one of the reasons not to get depressed by the amount of exercise required to lose weight - because although we won't be able to do all of that exercise right now, if we do what we can, that amount will grow over time.

Our time availabilities

Some of us have more time to dedicate to exercise than others.

If we can and would like to exercise for an hour or two each day but don't physically have the time available, we might need to get a little smarter (such as including the family in our exercise , exercising before the family wakes up in the morning, during our lunch-break, or after the kids have gone to bed), exercise more efficiently (for example jogging instead of walking) or reevaluate and set new priorities.

Our priorities in life

Many of us believe that there are more important things in life than exercise.

With this believe, is it any wonder that many people don't exercise at all?

Some people even think that time spent exercising is selfish and extravagant.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

The reality is that nothing is as important as our health and wellbeing, because with these in place we can literally do anything.

And just as importantly, anything we do do will be done and enjoyed that much more because we can do them that much better when we are physically fitter and stronger.

Our individual exercise program

The exercise we chose to do also helps determine how much is necessary long-term, and how much we will actually do.

Some exercise burns more energy than others and some have a longer lasting effect on the amount of energy our bodies burn even while resting.

For the best possible long-term benefit, a program that includes aerobic type exercises (like walking, jogging, bicycling, swimming, martial arts, etc) and strength training exercise (like weight training, isometric exercise, resistance band exercise, circuit training, etc) works best because the aerobic workouts burn the maximum amount of calories during the workout and the strength training increases our resting metabolic rate (or the amount of energy our body burns at rest and during everyday activities).

In addition, how stimulating our exercise programs are mentally and physically will help determine how much we want to do and how much we actually do.

For this reason, it is important to find exercises we enjoy, that challenge us, that can be progressive in terms of intensity and that are as varied as possible.

This is where personal trainers, having a variety of exercise equipment, joining a gym or fitness centre, or building up a library of exercise videos or DVD's and the like can help.

Our commitment to exercise progression

We've already touched on this one briefly, but it is important to know why progression is such an important part of any exercise program, particularly when it is designed for weight loss.

Exercise progression is important for weight loss because:
  1. As we lose weight, we burn less energy doing the same exercise - because we are physically carrying less weight around.
  2. The fitter we become, the more efficient our bodies become and the less energy they use to do the same volume of exercise.

Our attitude towards exercise

Our attitude towards exercise is one of the most important determining factors in how much exercise is right for us.

If we have a negative attitude towards exercise, we need to undertake a little bit of self-discovery and uncover exactly why we have a negative attitude towards it, and then set about turning our negative attitude into a positive one.

For example, if we don't like exercise because it's too hard, we need to take it very easy to begin with and not be too hard on ourselves to progress too soon.

Remember, doing something is better than nothing and it is far easier and more likely that we will progress from doing a little bit of exercise to a little bit more, than it is from doing nothing to doing a whole lot!

How consistently we exercise

Not too many of us will be able to do exactly the same amount of exercise each day or each week.

Within the constraints of life's natural daily, weekly, and monthly cycles, we need to be as consistent as possible for the best long-term affects.

For example, it would be better for us all if we walked for twenty minutes everyday for the rest of our lives than it would be to run 20 kilometres today and then never exercise again.

While exercise consistency will mean different things to each of us, the most important things we can do to ensure that we exercise consistently are to:
  • Make exercise a habit and part of our daily or weekly routine.
  • Make sure that regular exercise seamlessly fits into our total lifestyle.
  • Make sure that exercise is a high priority in our lives.

Our physical abilities

When it comes to exercise, some of us have physical disabilities that prevent us from doing some forms of activity.

Sometimes these disabilities are permanent or long-term, and sometimes they are short-term (such as those that result from soft-tissue injuries for example).

The key to dealing with any disability is to try and find ways around them as best we can given our individual circumstances. To do this we may need some help from specialists like doctors, osteopaths, massage therapists, etc.

The law of averages

The law of averages suggests that if we need to average 60 minutes of exercise everyday (for example), we should perhaps do 70 or 80 minutes per day knowing full well that it is unrealistic for any of us to be able to exercise every single day.

One great way around this dilemma is to do double the amount of daily exercise we need on one day per week (such as Sunday for example) when the demands on our time are a little less or a little more flexible.

How much we are prepared to cut down the kilojoules or calories we eat

The most effective and efficient way to lose weight is by combining the effects of eating less and exercising more.

How much of the total burden each of these elements contributes to us achieving our ideal weightwill depend solely on personal circumstances and preferences.

For some of us, the path of least resistance will be to rely mostly on diets to help us achieve our ideal weight.

For others, sever dietary changes are not the preferred option and these people will be happier to exercise more in order to continue enjoying their favourite foods (but hopefully a little less of them!).

The most important thing here is to understand how much energy in total we need to be in deficit (shortfall) each week in order to achieve our weight loss goal in the timeframe chosen, and then plan accordingly.

To help us with the dietary side of the equation, we might consider consulting with the likes of aweight loss specialist, registered dietitian or nutritionist.

One great way to keep track of energy in and energy out each week is by keeping a weight loss journal, or an exercise or food diary.

To understand how much energy your body needs to maintain its current weight, please visit our Daily Energy Needs Calculator page.


A new member to the weightloss forum recently asked what the recommended amount of daily exercise is to successfully lose weight.

Interestingly, the answer to such a simple question is anything but simple.

Slimming clubs helped me lose weight

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When Cheryl Taylor, 36, was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2007, she vowed that if she pulled through she’d lose her excess weight once and for all.
The mother-of-four from Aldershot tells how weight-loss classes helped her drop nine dress sizes in two years and turn her life around.
How did you put on weight?
As a child I was overweight. At school I was two stone heavier than the other kids and I was picked on. The bullying turned me into a comfort eater. Whenever I felt low or worried I’d graze and binge on food. It just became a way of life. My husband and I both worked long hours and we lived on junk food. And with each pregnancy, I put on more weight.
How did it affect your health and wellbeing?
When I decided to lose weight I was 19st 3lb. My legs and feet ached and I had trouble breathing. People thought I had asthma. My doctor told me I should slim because I also had high blood pressure. I had no self-confidence. I didn’t feel happy with myself so I avoided going out.
Did you try dieting and exercise?
Every now and then I would get the motivation to go on a diet, but when I stopped I’d just put the weight back on again. The problem with fad diets is that they’re a short-term and radical change to your diet which you can’t keep up over the long-term. I used to hate exercise. I thought exercise meant going to a gym but I’m not a gym person. I find gyms extremely boring.
When did you decide to lose weight?
I tested positive for cervical cancer in 2007. I decided that if my life was going to be shortened, I wanted to make sure I spent the rest of it healthy, fit, slim and happy, rather than unhealthy, unfit, fat and miserable. Cancer made me take control of my health. I joined a Rosemary Conley diet and fitness club in my area.
How did you find the group sessions?
The classes made a real difference. I was a little apprehensive on the first day. I was worried about being the fattest person there or being singled out. But everyone at the class was so friendly. We were all in the same boat. There were people of all shapes and sizes. In fact, seeing slimmer members acted as a motivation to stick with the programme. The classes gave me the support and motivation to keep going. There was also a strong social element. The classes were like a social event itself and I’ve made some really good friends, who I now see outside the classes.
How does the programme work?
When you first join, you’re given a diet pack, which includes advice and information on portion control, motivation and healthy recipes. After registering, you are discreetly weighed-in by your class instructor and given your personal weight-loss target. Then there’s a motivational information group session followed by an optional 45-60-minute exercise session.
What’s the key to keeping the weight off?
You have to accept that you’ll have ups and downs. I have good weeks and bad weeks but I know how to get back on track now. I like to keep a food diary to keep track of my calorie intake. It helps me to refocus if I’ve had a bad week. I also keep a photo of my former self on the fridge to remind me of how I used to look. When I get a craving, I remember the photo and I ask myself, what do I want more, that biscuit or to be slim?
How has losing weight affected you psychologically?
I have my confidence back and I love being able to wear fashionable clothes instead of the frumpy tents I was forced to wear before. I feel a lot happier. I feel in control of my body. Before, it felt as though food dominated my life, but the weight-loss programme gradually changed my attitude to food.
Has your attitude to exercise changed?
I walk everywhere. I do a school walk three times a day, and that just about covers my 10,000 steps. I go to aerobics classes three to four times a week and I sometimes walk to the classes and back. My exercise classmates have nicknamed me the Duracell Bunny because of my new found energy. I’m also training to become a fitness instructor so I can help motivate other people to become fitter and lose weight.
Has losing weight improved your health?
My health has definitely improved since losing the weight. I no longer have high blood pressure or any breathing difficulties, and my resting pulse rate, which is often an indication of how fit somebody is, is also much lower. My immune system in general seems to be much better, and I rarely seem to suffer from colds or infections, whereas before I lost the weight, I seemed to have one illness after another.

Ten-minute workouts

Adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity every week. But you can reach this minimum target by doing three 10-minute sessions, five days a week.

Physical activity provides a wide range of health benefits, including a reduced risk of heart disease and stroke, maintenance of mobility, control of body weight and increased mental wellbeing.
But for many of us, finding the time to fit exercise into a busy schedule isn’t easy. If you find it difficult to spare time for physical activity, don’t give up. You can achieve your weekly minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity by splitting 30 minutes of activity each day into three sessions of 10 minutes.
Moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity means an activity that causes your heart rate to rise, and you to break a sweat: for example, fast walking or cycling. Learn more in Physical activity guidelines for adults.
If you're looking for ways to fit more activity into your day, try these 10-minute workouts:
Home exercise workoutsBurn calories, lose weight and feel great with our 10-minute home workout routines.
  • Exercise your heart and lungs with a 10-minute home cardio workout.
  • Get into shape with a 10-minute home toning workout.
  • Burn fat from your tummy, hips, thighs and bottom with a 10-minute legs, bums and tums home workout.
Play with the kids
“Go bike riding, play football or use a trampoline,” says Professor Ken Fox from Bristol University’s Exercise, Nutrition and Health Sciences department. Finding time every weekend to do something active with your kids helps to keep the whole family fit.
Skip yourself fit
Skipping is good for the heart, bones, flexibility and co-ordination. And it's not expensive: all you need is a skipping rope, a pair of trainers and a safe space. Depending on the intensity of your workout, skipping will typically burn between 70 and 110 calories in a 10-minute session.
Swap the sofa for cyclingIf you don’t fancy braving the gym or the traffic, why not set up a stationary bike in front of your TV? Pedal away in front of your favourite shows, and before you know it you’ll have done 10 minutes. This works just as well if you prefer using a treadmill for fast walking or jogging. For a 60kg person, 10 minutes of moderate-intensity cycling will burn around 60 calories, and 10 minutes of fast walking will burn around 50 calories.
Take the stairs You’d be amazed how many staircases you can take in during the day, and choosing to use them rather than a lift can help you burn calories as well as toning up your legs and bottom.
Get walking
Fast walking is one of the easiest ways to fit a bit of exercise into your day. Stride around the block in your lunch hour, walk the kids to school or take the dog for a walk. Try using a pedometer to keep track of how many steps you do. For tips on how easy this can be, watch our 10,000 steps a day video.
Dance the night away Energetic dancing, whether at a class or home alone with your headphones on, is great fun and good exercise. If you enjoy what you’re doing you’re more likely to stick with it and exceed your 10-minute target. If you do join a class, you’ll find exercising with other people a great way to keep motivated. For a 60kg person, 10 minutes of energetic dancing burns around 65 calories. To find classes near you, visit Dance Web.
Park and walk
If you have to drive to your appointment, you don’t have to miss out on exercise altogether. When you park, leave the car further away than usual from your destination and walk the rest of the way. If you’re shopping, leave your car in the space furthest from the shops, and you’ll benefit from the added bonus of carrying your bags back to the car park.

How to lose weight the healthy way

Healthy lose weight

The healthiest way to lose weight is neither crash diets nor bursts of exercise. The body likes slow changes in terms of food and exercise.
For example, someone who hasn't exercised for years shouldn't rush into running miles a day or pounding the treadmill. Not only will the struggle to do so leave you feeling disheartened and demotivated, you're also far more likely to injure yourself and set your fitness levels back further.
The same goes for people who suddenly start starving themselves. Diets that severely restrict calories or the types of food 'allowed' can lead you to be deficient in the nutrients and vitamins that your body needs.
So, if you need to lose weight, what should you do?

Energy needs and weight loss

Your body uses food for energy. It stores any excess energy as fat. This means if you eat more food than your body needs for daily activities and cell maintenance, you'll gain weight.
To lose weight, you need to get your body to use up these stores of fat. The most effective way to do this is to:
  • reduce the amount of calories you eat
  • increase your levels of activity.
This is why experts talk about weight loss in terms of diet and exercise.

Introduce changes gradually

Small changes can make a big difference. One extra biscuit a week can lead you to gain 5lb a year – cut that biscuit out of your diet and you'll lose the same amount.
You're also more likely to stick to, say, swapping full-fat milk for semi-skimmed or making time for breakfast each morning than a diet that sets rules for all foods.
You should think of weight loss in terms of permanently changing your eating habits. While weight-loss goals are usually set in term of weeks, the end game is to sustain these changes over months and years, ie lifestyle change for life.

Increase your activity levels

Someone who increases the amount they exercise, but maintains the same diet and calorie intake, will almost certainly lose weight.
No matter if you hate gyms – even light exercise, such as a short 20 minute walk, will be beneficial if done most days of the week.
Every single time you exercise more than usual, you burn calories and fat.
There are lots of ways to increase the amount of activity you do. Team sports, racket sports, aerobics classes, running, walking, swimming and cycling will all improve your fitness levels.
Find something you enjoy that's easy for you to do in terms of location and cost. You're then more likely to build it into your routine and continue to exercise, despite inevitably missing the odd session through holidays, family commitments, etc.
  • Get out and about at the weekend. Leave your car on the drive and walk to the shops. Try to incorporate longer walks into outings to the park, coast or countryside and take a picnic, so you're in control of what you are going to eat that day.
  • Every extra step you take helps. Always use the stairs instead of the lift, or get off the bus a stop before the usual one and walk the rest of the way.
  • Use commercial breaks between TV-programmes to stand up and do exercise, or consider using an exercise bicycle in the living room while watching your favourite programme.

Reduce your calorie intake

What is overweight?

Doctors use BMI to assess weight.
A BMI of 18.5 to 25 is healthy.
If you have a BMI of more than 25, you're overweight.
Over 30 is obese.
Over 40 is morbidly obese.
To calculate your BMI, you'll need to know your weight in kilos and your height in metres, then follow the example below.
1. Multiply your height by itself, eg 1.7x1.7= 2.89.
2. Divide your weight (eg 80kg) by this figure.
3. 80 ÷ 2.89= 27.7.
27.7 is the BMI.
If you're overweight, you can't continue with your current eating habits if you really want to lose weight.
It's not possible to reduce body fat while eating lots of food, cakes and sweets. This doesn't mean you can never have any treats, but you need to learn how to limit these foods to small quantities – say, for special occasions.
In terms of weight-loss, you can get your body to use up existing stores of fat by eating less and making healthier choices.
This doesn't mean crash diet (anything less than 1500 calories), which usually ends up with you either getting weaker or giving up in desperation. Quick-fix diets can lead to a yo-yoing effect of drastic weight loss followed by weight gain, resulting in a vicious cycle.
There are no shortcuts to losing weight in a healthy and reasonable way.
Eating 300 to 500 calories less per day should lead to a loss of between one and two pounds per week. This is a realistic target. It may seem slow, but it would add up to a weight loss of more than three stone in a year.
Fat contains the most amount of calories out of all the food types (protein, carbohydrates), so a good way to achieve this is to cut down on fatty foods and eat more wholegrain bread, fruit and vegetables.
Below are ways to reduce calorie intake without having to alter your diet significantly.
  • Replace fizzy drinks and fruit cordials with water.
  • Swap whole milk for semi-skimmed, or semi-skimmed for skimmed.
  • Eat less lunch than usual. For example, make your own sandwich and limit the use of margarine or butter and full-fat mayonnaise (store-bought sandwiches often contain both).
  • Stop taking sugar in tea and coffee.
  • Have smaller portions of the food you enjoy.
  • Avoid having a second helping at dinner.
  • Cut out unhealthy treats – such as confectionary, sugary biscuits and crisps between meals.
  • Cut down on alcohol intake.
All these things will influence your health in a positive way.
Finally, don't be tempted to skip breakfast – or any meal to lose weight. While skipping a meal will reduce your calorie intake for that hour, it will leave you much hungrier later on.
Not only are you likely to overeat to compensate, but you'll often make bad choices to fill the gap: a cereal bar is not as healthy as a bowl of cereal or as filling, leading you to 'need' something extra for lunch.
Irregular eating habits also disrupt your body's metabolism, which makes it harder to lose weight in the first place.

Write down your plan

Food diary

If you're not sure what's wrong with your diet, try keeping a daily diary of everything you eat and drink.
You can use a notebook or an online diary.
At the end of the week, review your entries for problem areas.
Look out for processed foods, alcohol, fast food, roasts, creamy sauces and fried foods.
If your diet seems largely healthy, look at portion sizes.
If you're not sure what's meant by 'healthy diet', read our series on nutrition.
Once you've decided on what changes you're going to make, write them down. For example:

Week 1

  • Exercise: one 20 minute walk every lunch hour.
  • Alcohol: none in the week, two small glasses of wine on Friday, Saturday, Sunday.
  • Food: no chocolate or biscuits in the week, choose healthy snacks such as fruit, trim all fat from meat, eat no fried or fast food.
  • For each week list your targets concerning alcohol, exercise and your food plan.
  • Each day should then be listed in a simple chart and items you have had should be written down. It is also important to make a note of your mood and any comments you would like to get off your chest for each day.

Be patient and persevere

It might take a week or two before you notice any changes, but they will steadily appear. After the first month you'll be able to see the results and measure them in terms of looser fitting clothes.
Keeping your motivation up is one of the most difficult aspects of dieting. There will be days when healthy eating goes out the window, and there will be weeks where you may not lose any weight – or put a little back on.
This is normal for everyone – dieters or not – so don't let it undo your plans for a slimmer you. You're not doing anything 'wrong', but you may need to look at your plan. Do you need to increase your activity levels? Make a few more changes to your diet? Put more effort into sticking to your current plan?
The other side of this is to make sure you celebrate your goals. While there's joy enough in stepping on the scales and seeing them dip lower, be sure to mark long-term progress with a reward – such as new clothes or time off from domestic chores.
Celebrating is also a way to involve your nearest and dearest – it's up to you whether you want their encouragement in the form of gentle reminders not to eat certain foods. But support from other people can get you through the bumpy patches.

Health benefits of weight loss

Studies show that overweight women who lose between 10lb and 20lb halve their risk of developing diabetes. For men, the risk of heart problems reduces considerably.
Generally, we gain weight as we age. A few pounds over the years are not a problem, but people who gain more than 20lb compared to their weight as an 18-year-old will rapidly increase their risk of health problems due to that extra weight. In particular, women increase their risk of heart attack and double their risk of dying from cancer.
It may seem like these are problems to worry about in the future, but time flies by and tomorrow becomes today. By keeping your weight in the healthy range, you're less likely to be troubled by illnesses in your later years.


hallu forte

Are you trying to lose weight?
There’s nothing wrong with that. Weight loss is a goal for millions of people every year.
However, what most people tend to forget is that weight loss is a side effect of living a healthy lifestyle. If you can stop focusing on the day to day struggles of losing weight, and instead focus on changing your body from the inside out, you’re going to be much more successful in the long term.


You might not be able to see it yet on the outside, but every time you turn down processed food, drink a glass of water, go for a walk, or do any other healthy activity, you are changing your body on the inside. That is where weight loss starts – on the inside. This isn’t liposuction where you suck the fat off your body without changing what’s going on inside of it. True change happens internally – mentally and physically.
You might not be able to see the fruits of your labor yet, but every time you exercise you’re improving your hormonal profile. You’re improving your insulin sensitivity. You’re priming your body and creating a favorable metabolic environment for fat loss. You’re reducing stress, and you’re improving hundreds of other health markers like cholesterol and triglycerides.
Every time you choose whole foods over processed foods you’re reducing your risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease. You’re making your joints, bones, and ligaments stronger. You’re giving yourself more energy, and you’re setting good examples for the people around you.


So you’ve been eating healthy and exercising for a month and you haven’t lost a pound? So what. The weight will come off when it’s ready, but not a moment before then. However, it will come off. It always does when you’re living a healthy lifestyle. Your body is a reflection of what you put into it and how you use it. Eat processed foods and be sedentary, and that’s what your body is going to reflect. Eat whole foods and be active, and your body will become its function.
Put your weight, fat, and every other external marker of good health out of mind for a while.
It’s hard.
I know it is.
Focus your efforts on making good decisions. Get active on a daily basis, even if that means just going for a walk. Do more than what you’ve done in the past. Make a single better nutrition choice every day. Do better. Make progress. Don’t try to be perfect. Every step in the right direction you make, your body will react and make a positive change both on the inside and out.
Before you know it, someone is going to make a comment about how you look healthier, and looking healthy is 100 times more preferable to looking skinny.
I say again, forget about trying to lose weight.
Make a goal of getting healthy. With good health comes fat loss. Feed your body the fuel it needs and get active, and it will start to transform from the inside out.
I promise you this.

The 20 Best Weight-Loss Foods

Weight-Loss Foods

Many runners would like to lose a pound or 2. Maybe 5. Maybe more. Why? That's easy: to feel better, look better, improve their health, and run farther and faster.
However, losing weight can be surprisingly difficult. In fact, national health surveys show Americans in general are getting fatter. Sure, regular runners should be ahead of the pack, but many are still losing the weight-gain war.
What you need is a simple plan. Here it is, in just two parts: (1) Make a little more time to run; (2) Concentrate on a handful of dietary changes that, over the course of a year, can produce significant weight-loss results.
Below we've listed 20 great diet changes that you'll find easy to achieve. Many of them will help you cut 100 calories or more from a single serving. Now do the math. Say you eat this particular food or meal three times a week. That's 100 x 3 x 52, or 15,600 calories saved in a year. Which comes to almost 5 pounds, since you'll lose one pound for every 3,500 calories cut from your food intake.
Make another food substitution, and you're up to 10 pounds. Beyond that, the sky's the limit. Here's your meal-by-meal planner. Don't skip breakfast. A good breakfast is the most crucial part of any healthy weight-loss effort, as it revs up your energy level and metabolism for the full day.
Homemade raisin bran
Description: Mix one cup of Total cereal, a packet of raisins, and 1 cup nonfat milk. This simple home recipe with 244 calories fortifies you with 100 percent of the Daily Value for most vitamins and minerals, boosts your protein intake by 12 grams, and gives you a sweet, natural fiber and sugar source.
You'll Save: 50 calories, 6 teaspoons of sugar, and 5 grams of fat compared with ready-to-serve raisin bran doused with a cup of 2-percent milk.
Scrambled whites with greens
Description: This low-fat, scrambled-egg alternative provides 54 grams of high-quality dietary protein in just 255 calories. First, spray your frying pan with fat-free Pam. Then pour the equivalent of four servings of Eggology egg whites (or Second Nature or Egg Beaters egg whites) in a bowl and blend with 1/2 cup spinach and 1/2 cup mushrooms. Heat the pan until the Pam starts to bubble, pour in the eggs, and fry until the eggs are nearly dry.
You'll Save: 40 calories, 100 milligrams of cholesterol, and 13 grams of fat compared with two normal scrambled eggs.
Balanced Diet Shake
Description: For something cool, tasty, and nutrient-filled in the morning, try a shake or smoothie. The Balanced Diet nutritional drink provides 180 calories with lots of complex carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals in a naturally flavored French vanilla or chocolate royale. Each serving includes 5 grams of dietary fiber and 10 grams of soy, or 40 percent of the daily minimum now recommended by the American Heart Association.
You'll Save: 60 calories daily and nearly 6 grams of fat compared with many other similar drinks.
Frozen fruit smoothie
Description: You can prepare your own personal antioxidant-filled fruit smoothie like the following one that runner Bruce Shapiro used to lose 30 pounds over the last few years. Combine and blend: one cup frozen, unsweetened blueberries; 1/2 banana; 1/4 cup wheat germ; and water.
You'll Save: 200 calories for each 2- to 3-cup serving, compared with many store-bought and canned smoothie beverages.
Toasted plain Lender's Bagel with natural jam
Description: Sure, a frozen bagel can't match a fresh one, but it's easier to obtain for many people, and a little toasting brings it to near perfection. Just spread with your favorite natural jam.
You'll Save: Anywhere from 160 to 360 calories and more than 10 grams of fat compared with similar bagels bought at Dunkin' Donuts and other outlets where the bagels are spread with cream cheese.
Lunch is the second-most-important meal of the day in your weight-loss plan. It boosts your energy level and regulates your metabolism to keep you on an even keel.
Boca Burger Grilled Vegetable burger
Description: This zesty, soy-based vegetarian alternative to the high-saturated-fat American BBQ staple contains hints of zucchini, red-bell pepper, garlic, onion, and even a couple of cheeses. It tastes great and provides a good dose of protein. Add some lettuce, tomato, ketchup, or your other favorite toppings, and you'll hardly notice the difference from the traditional burger.
You'll Save: Up to 180 calories and 19 grams of fat compared with a typically-grilled 3-ounce beef burger.
Alvarado Street sprouted wheat tortilla
Description: It's easy to make your own delicious wrap and save hundreds of calories. With this tasty, organic, whole-wheat tortilla you'll have no trouble fixing a quick, hearty lunch. Boost your vitamin and mineral intake by loading on a handful of greens, shredded carrots, tomato, and peppers along with grilled chicken, lean meat, turkey, or a bean-based filler.
You'll Save: Anywhere from 50 calories and 5 grams of fat to much more if you customarily buy a commercial wrap drowning in mayo, oily toppings, or greasy chicken.
Subway roast beef sub sandwich
Description: Can't live without meat? You don't have to. Meat is a great source of protein, iron, and several important minerals, and the Subway lean 6-inch roast beef sub contains just 264 calories and 4.5 grams of fat in a meal perfectly balanced with lettuce, tomato, and vegetables.
You'll Save: Nearly 100 calories and 12 grams of fat compared with a tuna salad sub, and more than 20 grams of fat compared with the classic meatball sub.
Health Valley chili
Description: The right soup is always a great part of your weight-loss arsenal. This can of fat-free chili is tasty, easy to prepare, and filled with healthy fiber.
You'll Save: 200 calories and 22 grams of fat compared with other prepared and restaurant chilis.
Tossed salad with croutons instead of salad dressing.
Description: You know that green salads make an important contribution to your day's eating, but you've probably never thought of them as an expression of art and adventure. Here's your chance. Instead of drenching your salads in high-fat dressings, decorate them with croutons, beans, or fruit.
You'll Save: 100 calories and 28 grams of fat when you add 1 ounce of croutons and 1/2 cup of beans, peas, and raisins to your salad in place of 1 ounce of an oil-based dressing. You'll also increase your intake of iron, folic acid, Vitamin C, and fiber.
Everybody has a snack attack at one time or another, and there's no reason to fight it. Research shows that those who snack when hungry eat less later and control their weight better. Just be sure you eat healthy, low-fat snacks such as the ones that follow.
Frozen grapes, blueberries, and/or bananas
Description: Frozen cold sweet fruits are refreshing, satisfying, nutritious, and taste "smooth" or even creamy like many fat-filled desserts. They're easy to store in your freezer, whether store bought or picked-by-you-and-your-family and then frozen. Because of their texture, temperature, and consistency, they taste sweet, and alert your body to stop eating before you've overdone it.
You'll Save: 80 calories when you compare a whole 12-ounce bag of frozen blueberries to a small serving of TCBY frozen yogurt, and 200 calories and 14 grams of fat when you compare a frozen banana with a 1/2 cup of Ben and Jerry's.
Dried papaya, mango, and/or dates
Description: For a sweet taste that mimics a piece of candy, try a dried-fruit snack. Raisins are the most popular, but these papayas, mangos, and dates will provide your daily dose of vitamin C, plus some vitamin A and iron. They require more chewing time than raisins, and will satisfy most people in a smaller quantity than raisins, which are easy to overeat.
You'll Save: 100 to 150 calories for 4 to 6 pieces when compared with a handful of raisins or other dense, sugary foods and candies.
Glenny's Apple Cinnamon Low-Fat Soy Crisps
Description: Available in two-serving bags, these crunchy cinnamon treats will satisfy your sweet tooth while setting you back just 150 calories for 28 crisps. Also available in lightly salted and onion flavor, each bag contains 10 grams of soy protein (The American Heart Association recommends 25 to 50 grams of soy protein each day for heart health) plus 200 percent of your daily vitamin C need, 20 percent of your iron need, and 10 percent of your calcium need.
You'll Save: 150 calories and 15 grams of fat compared with graham-cracker snack treats.
A satisfying dinner will help you avoid a late-night pigout. The best dinners are high in complex carbohydrates, and low in fat. The carbohydrates will help you sleep better, and also fuel your morning workout.
Spaghetti squash
Description: When prepared, the spaghetti squash actually resembles a plate of spaghetti, so you can add all your favorite sauces and toppings. Rich in fluids (about 92.3 percent water), carbohydrates, fiber, potassium, Vitamin C, and pantothenic acid (a B vitamin), spaghetti squash makes an ideal, low-calorie entre that's still filling. (Note: This is not, however, the best way to carbo-load for a marathon, or resupply your leg muscles after a hard workout. For that, you'll want a traditional plate of pasta, heavy on the spaghetti, and light on the sauces.)
You'll Save: 200 calories compared with 2 cups of wheat spaghetti.
Papadini, hi-protein, pure-lentil bean pasta
Description: This delicious, wheat- and gluten-free pasta has a unique, appealing taste, and shouldn't trouble runners whose stomachs are sensitive to regular pastas. It also has 5 more grams of protein per serving than traditional pasta, and is richer in iron, folic acid, and other B-vitamins necessary for metabolizing carbohydrates, proteins, and fats for energy. When you prepare Papadini pasta as a vegetable primavera, tossed with peas, beans carrots, tomatoes, and corn, you get as much protein as a chicken or steak dinner without the excess fat, cholesterol, and calories.
You'll Save: 20 calories per 2-ounce serving compared with traditional wheat pastas.
Idaho Supreme potato pasta
Description: Here's another wheat- and gluten-free alternative to the real McCoy. Potato-based pasta is a delightful, high-complex-carbohydrate, high-fiber wheat alternative. The Idaho Supreme pasta is made from organic potatoes to help preserve the Vitamin C, calcium, and iron necessary for strong, healthy running.
You'll Save: 20 calories per 2-ounce serving compared with traditional pastas.
Advantage\10 pizza
Description: This delicious pizza alternative featuring grilled vegetables was designed by low-fat health guru Dean Ornish. You can practically eat the whole pie for the same number of calories you get from one or two slices at your local pizzeria.
You'll Save: 250 calories and more than 20 grams of fat compared with most restaurant or supermarket pizzas.
Barbara's Mashed Potatoes
Description: They're not a full meal, of course, but these easy-to-prepare mashed potatoes in a box make a great, high-carbohydrate, low-fat "comfort" dish to go with your meal. Prepare them with nonfat milk, water, a little salt, and nonfat margarine.
You'll Save: 50 calories and 6 grams of fat compared with a 1-cup serving of traditional mashed potatoes.
It's normal and natural to want something sweet after dinner. Especially if you've been training hard. Since chocolate has recently been shown to contain powerful antioxidants, why not indulge a little?
Haagen-Dazs chocolate sorbet
Description: Who ever thought Haagen-Dazs would make it into this article? But it does. This richly chocolate frozen treat manages to taste creamy without containing any fat at all. Sure, it's sugary, but at least you're getting some protein and fiber as well.
You'll Save: 100 calories and 15 grams of fat per serving compared with HD's chocolate fudge ice cream.
Chocolate Dreams cookies
Description: A meringue-type version of the traditional chocolate chip cookie, this one lets you gobble down 5 cookies for under 30 calories and no fat. Bonus: You get two grams of protein as well.
You'll Save: At least 150 calories and 9 grams of fat compared with just 3 regular chocolate chip cookies.

The 10 Best Weight-Loss Tips Ever

Losing pounds doesn't have to be torture (we're looking at you, cayenne-pepper cleanse). Adopt at least three of these behaviors — they're simple to integrate into your day-to-day routine, and all are enthusiastically backed by nutritionists — and you'll be thinner and healthier in days. (Plus, the weight will stay off.)
Grazing between meals used to be on the weight-loss hit list. But nutritionists now know that it's better to satisfy a craving with healthy grub than ignore it and risk a junk-food binge later. The best picks are filling, protein-packed snacks, such as one stick of string cheese, a tablespoon of peanut butter on a piece of fruit, or a medium-size bowl of edamame.
Dining while viewing can make you take in 40 percent more calories than usual, reports a new study. And texting, driving, or any other distracting activity during a meal can also result in your eating too much. Instead, make each meal something you put on a plate and sit down to, even if you're eating solo.
If your regular weight increases several days in a row, it's a red flag letting you know you need to cut back a little or beef up your workouts slightly.
Doing 5 minutes each of push-ups, lunges, and squats (in 30-second intervals) will help build and maintain muscle mass. The more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism will be, so you'll torch more calories as you go about your day.
Next time your mind gets stuck on a certain food, call a friend and redirect your brain by asking how her day's going. Research shows that cravings only last about 5 minutes, so by the time you hang up, the urge to devour junk will have subsided.
An a.m. meal made up mostly of carbs and protein with some fat keeps blood-sugar levels steady and hunger pangs away so you're not susceptible to pigging out come lunch, studies show. Opt for something satisfying for your stomach and taste buds — like egg whites and turkey bacon with whole-wheat toast.
One innocent-looking margarita or cosmopolitan can rack up hundreds of calories that do nothing to quench your appetite. Treat yourself just on the weekends and cut back somewhere else or stick to a glass of wine, light beer, or vodka and soda — three drinks that each have about 100 calories per serving.
Fruit has no fat and is mostly water, so it'll fill you up while leaving less room on your plate (and in your stomach) for high-cal fare. Don't freak about fruit's carb count — we're talking the good kind of carbohydrates that contain lots of healthy fiber.
Getting to bed just 30 minutes earlier and waking up 30 minutes later than you normally do can help you make better food choices, researchers report. Also, when you're well-rested, you're less prone to snacking out of fatigue or stress.
When you feel your willpower breaking, conjure up a mental picture of yourself when you looked and felt slim. The visual motivation keeps you focused on your goal weight and reminds you that it is attainable, since you've achieved it before.

How to Lose 20 lbs. of Fat in 30 Days… Without Doing Any Exercise

It is possible to lose 20 lbs. of bodyfat in 30 days by optimizing any of three factors: exercise, diet, or drug/supplement regimen. I’ve seen the elite implementation of all three in working with professional athletes. In this post, we’ll explore what I refer to as the “slow-carb diet”.

Rule #1: Avoid “white” carbohydrates
Avoid any carbohydrate that is — or can be — white. The following foods are thus prohibited, except for within 1.5 hours of finishing a resistance-training workout of at least 20 minutes in length: bread, rice, cereal, potatoes, pasta, and fried food with breading. If you avoid eating anything white, you’ll be safe.
Rule #2: Eat the same few meals over and over again
The most successful dieters, regardless of whether their goal is muscle gain or fat loss, eat the same few meals over and over again. Mix and match, constructing each meal with one from each of the three following groups:
Egg whites with one whole egg for flavor
Chicken breast or thigh
Grass-fed organic beef
Black beans
Pinto beans
Mixed vegetables
Eat as much as you like of the above food items. Just remember: keep it simple. Pick three or four meals and repeat them. Almost all restaurants can give you a salad or vegetables in place of french fries or potatoes. Surprisingly, I have found Mexican food, swapping out rice for vegetables, to be one of the cuisines most conducive to the “slow carb” diet.
Most people who go on “low” carbohydrate diets complain of low energy and quit, not because such diets can’t work, but because they consume insufficient calories. A 1/2 cup of rice is 300 calories, whereas a 1/2 cup of spinach is 15 calories! Vegetables are not calorically dense, so it is critical that you add legumes for caloric load.
Some athletes eat 6-8x per day to break up caloric load and avoid fat gain. I think this is ridiculously inconvenient. I eat 4x per day:
10am – breakfast
1pm – lunch
5pm – smaller second lunch
7:30-9pm – sports training
10pm – dinner
12am – glass of wine and Discovery Channel before bed
Here are some of my meals that recur again and again:
Scrambled Eggology pourable egg whites with one whole egg, black beans, and microwaved mixed vegetables

Grass-fed organic beef, pinto beans, mixed vegetables, and extra guacamole (Mexican restaurant)

Grass-fed organic beef (from Trader Joe’s), lentils, and mixed vegetables
Rule #3: Don’t drink calories
Drink massive quantities of water and as much unsweetened iced tea, tea, diet sodas, coffee (without white cream), or other no-calorie/low-calorie beverages as you like. Do not drink milk, normal soft drinks, or fruit juice. I’m a wine fanatic and have at least one glass of wine each evening, which I believe actually aids sports recovery and fat-loss. Recent research into resveratrol supports this.
Rule #4: Take one day off per week
I recommend Saturdays as your “Dieters Gone Wild” day. I am allowed to eat whatever I want on Saturdays, and I go out of my way to eat ice cream, Snickers, Take 5, and all of my other vices in excess. I make myself a little sick and don’t want to look at any of it for the rest of the week. Paradoxically, dramatically spiking caloric intake in this way once per week increases fat loss by ensuring that your metabolic rate (thyroid function, etc.) doesn’t downregulate from extended caloric restriction. That’s right: eating pure crap can help you lose fat. Welcome to Utopia.

//PART 2