Exercise and diet plan for weight loss

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Exercise and diet plan for weight loss
Eating nutritious foods, combined with exercise, can help you look and feel better. (healthy salad image by Liz Van Steenburgh from Fotolia.com)

Since there are so many weight loss plans available, it can be frustrating to wade through the bevy of choices to find the best. Exercise and diet plans should be safe, healthy, practical and effective on both a short-term and long-term basis. A reliable plan with results that are backed by numerous medical institutions involves a combination of regular exercise and a healthy, low-calorie diet.

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Plan

The plan involves a series of lifestyle adjustments that gradually lead to better health. Since most changes involve taking in fewer calories or burning more, weight loss is a result. Over time and at their own pace, participants begin eating more nutritious foods and fewer processed, high-calorie or high-fat items; their overall calorie consumption drops. They adopt a regular exercise plan, attempt to become more physically active and gain strength as well as energy.

Exercise

A healthy and effective exercise routine for weight loss should be varied, balanced and tailored to your ability level. The American Council on Exercise recommends participating in aerobics, stretching and strength training for the best results. The combination of those three activities will build muscle, burn fat, burn calories and produce a leaner, stronger body with greater capabilities. According to the ACE, people who want to lose weight should work up to exercising for about 45 minutes at a time on five or six days each week.

Diet

Nutrition and healthy eating are essential components of an effective weight loss plan. In most cases, your average calorie consumption needs to drop for you to lose weight, so it’s important to seek low-calorie foods that encourage feelings of fullness. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends forming a healthy, well-balanced diet with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, nuts, legumes, fish and low-fat or fat-free dairy products. These foods meet daily nutritional requirements, which may reduce cravings for unhealthier options. Most of the foods are also high in protein or fibre, which provide extended satiety.

Tips

A healthy diet and exercise plan works reliably to take weight off, but its progress is slow. Maintain motivation and track daily and long-term results by using a fitness journal, as the Mayo Clinic suggests. Record goals and ideas as well as what you eat and the exercise you do. The Clinic also recommends personalising a weight loss plan so that it fits your budget, lifestyle, schedule and preferences, thus increasing your chance of success.

Results

Pacing and results vary from person to person, depending on the details of a plan as well as physical and health factors. The U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention report that a healthy pace for weight loss is about a half to one kilo per week. Track your own pace by weighing yourself prior to starting a plan and checking the scale again every couple of weeks thereafter.

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