One pound of fat is equal to about 3,500 calories. Conventional wisdom states that to lose one pound we must reduce calories in and boost calories burned to create a deficit. Experience has shown most of us that this is easier said than done.
One reason is most of us don’t have a good grasp on the ideal number of calories we need each day. Men generally need somewhere between 1,900 and 2,500; women between 1,600 and 2,000. Actual needs are based on a number of factors including activity levels and age.
You will lose about one pound per week if you burn 500 calories more or take in 500 calories less each day. Here are 15 ways to do that.
1. Watch what you eat
• Choose water or brewed, unsweetened tea instead of coke. Calorie savings = 150.
• Choose an English muffin instead of a hamburger bun. Calorie savings = 100
• Use a spritzer instead of salad dressing. Calorie savings = 200
• Enjoy fewer croutons on your salad. They are around 10 calories each. Calorie savings = 50.
2. Pump out a 90-minute elliptical session.
3. Jump rope for 40 minutes
4. Take a long hike (you’ll need to keep it moving for about 2 ½ hours).
5. Dance the night away (about an hour of moves to fast beats should do it.
• Above listed activities burn about 500 calories.
6. What to drink while you’re dancing the night away
• Go for light beer and save about 100 calories over the regular version.
• Skip the mixers and opt for club soda with your alcohol to save up to 200 calories.
• Mix wine with club soda to save about 100 calories.
7. The morning after
• Scramble up an egg white omelet and save 200 calories
• Have an English Muffin instead of a bagel to save 100 calories
• Trade fancy coffee drinks like flavored cappuccino for a regular cup of coffee and save at least 200 calories.
8. Wear a fitness tracker and aim for 10,000 steps. You’ll burn about 500 calories.
9. Head to the gym for a Tabata session (high intensity interval training exercise). You’ll burn about 500 calories in 30 minutes.
10. Practice hot yoga for about 50 minutes to burn 500 calories.
• Enjoy roasted cauliflower instead of brown rice for dinner to save 200 calories
• Eat veggie noodles instead of pasta to save about 150 calories
• Have fish instead of beef and save about 200 calories.
• Savor berries and light whipped cream instead of ice cream to save at least 200 calories.
12. Get your house in order. Scrub, vacuum and mop for about 2 hours to burn 500 calories.
13. Shovel snow for 50 minutes
14. How does your garden grow? Tend it for about 90 minutes to burn 500 calories.
15. Need a stress buster? Hula hoop for 50 minutes, you’ll burn 10 calories a minute.
There are countless ways to burn calories all day long. Countless ways to count calories and still enjoy eating, too. The key is to combine movement and meals in a way that supports your weight loss goals. Be creative so you don’t feel deprived. Be realistic, too. Even if the scale doesn’t move you may notice that your clothes fit better or you have more energy. When it comes to physical health, victory isn’t only measured in (scale) numbers.