How to Lose Weight and Keep It Off

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Losing weight seems like a pretty easy concept when you think about it. You eat less, exercise more and the weight is supposed to come off. The fact is, I'll bet you already know how to lose weight. If you're like most of us, you've probably lost weight many, many times...so many times, you're an old pro at it. You may even have your 'go-to' diet or exercise program, powering up your old Weight Watcher's account or starting back to the gym whenever the weight starts to creep up.

But what happens when you go off that diet or stop that workout program? You gain it right back, sometimes with a few extra pounds thrown in.

So what you really want to know isn't how to lose weight, but how to lose it and then make it stay lost...forever. There's no real secret to losing weight. The real challenge is making it permanent.

By the Numbers

Weight loss is such a complex process, the only way we can really wrap our heads around it is to drill it down into a bunch of numbers. You already know these numbers, probably as well as any weight loss expert: You know that to lose one pound of fat, you have to burn about 3500 calories over and above what you already burn each day. You don't really want to burn 3500 calories in one day, but rather to cut that down into daily calorie deficits, say cutting 500 calories a day with a combination of diet and exercise.

To go by the numbers, you have to go through a few calculations:

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Article Sources
  • Donnelly, J.; Blair, S.; Jakicic, J.; et al. Appropriate Physical Activity Intervention Strategies for Weight Loss and Prevention of Weight Regain for Adults. Med & Sci in Sports & Ex: Feb, 2009. Vol 41, Issue 2.
  • Kelly, Mark. "Resting Metabolic Rate: Best Ways to Measure it - And Raise it, Too." ACE.