Lose 50 Pounds in 25 Weeks – Week 1

Making the decision to lose 50 pounds is the first of many steps on the journey to a healthier and happier you.  Weight loss requires time, perseverance, determination, dedication, and hard work but it is worth the effort required to be successful.  By losing 50 pounds not only will you decrease your risk for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, but you can also see a decrease in your blood pressure and cholesterol levels.  Weight loss can also increase your self esteem and self confidence which in turn can reduce the risk of depression and certain other mental health conditions.

The acceptable rate of safe and healthy weight loss which is sustainable is 1 to 2 pounds per week.  Not only do you want to be able to lose the weight in a safe and healthy manner but you want that weight loss to be sustainable meaning that you can keep it off long term.  This means that losing 50 pounds will take a minimum of 25 weeks.  In this day and age of instant gratification 25 weeks sounds like an eternity, however, you did not gain 50 pounds instantly so you should not think you could lose it instantly either.

When considering weight loss there is a number of habits which will require retraining.  As you begin a weight loss program you will need to trade your unhealthy eating habits for healthy eating in a calorie restricted amount with multi-vitamin and mineral supplementation.  You also will need to trade your chronic dehydration with adequate water consumption.  Additionally, you will need to weigh in and track your weight every day instead of shying away from the scale.  The final big habit change will be trading your sedentary lifestyle for one in which you exercise regularly.  Remember it takes 30 days to build a habit whether good or bad.  Most likely you have had your bad habits for more than 30 days which is why you need to lose 50 pounds in the first place.

One of the first steps in beginning your weight loss program is to do a few simple calculations.  These numbers will be used to figure out your acceptable calorie consumption level and the necessary amount of calories to be burned through exercise in order to see a 2 pound per week weight loss.  The first calculation which must be done is to find the BMR or basal metabolic rate.  The basal metabolic rate is basically the number of calories required to sustain a sedentary lifestyle.  There are separate formulas for men and women.

  • Men’s Formula: { [(Weight in pounds * 6.23) + 66] + (Height in inches * 12.7) – (Age in years *6.8)} 1.2 = BMR
  • Women’s Formula { [(Weight in pounds * 4.35) + 655] + (Height in inches * 4.7) – (Age in years * 4.7)} 1.2 = BMR

For this weight loss program the default example will be a 225 pound woman who is 5’10” in height and 30 years old.  The BMR for this example would be calculated as { [(225 * 4.35) + 655] + (70 * 4.7) – (30* 4.7)} 1.2 = 1,822 calories.  The second step is to determine the appropriate levels of calorie consumption and calorie burn in order to have the calorie deficit required to lose 2 pounds per week.  The calorie deficit required to lose 2 pounds is 7,000 calories.  The following formula is used to calculation the weekly calorie deficit = [(BMR * 7) + Total Calories Burned] – Total Calories Consumed.  To calculate calorie deficit for this example the calculation would be [(1,822 * 7) + 2,700] – 8,400 = 7,054.  This means that 1,250 calories may be consumed daily with a weekly calorie burn of 2,700 calories.

While considering calories it is important to understand what is necessary in order to burn 2,700 calories weekly.  Possibly the best way to accomplish this task is to burn 675 calories over four days each week.  The suggested days of the week to be scheduled for exercise are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.  Burning 675 calories can be accomplished for the 225 pound example through 70 minutes of walking at a 4 mph pace.  The required calorie burn can also be accomplished through 50 minutes of jogging or 50 minutes of stationary biking at a moderate pace.  Feel free to choose any exercise or physical activity you desire so long as the required calories are burned.

Another important aspect of calories while following a weight loss plan is the level at which calories may be consumed.  For the program example, 1,200 calories is the allotted calorie level.  Following is a menu plan showing 1,200 calories spread over 6 meals.  For breakfast you might enjoy a hearty egg white omelet consisting of 4 egg whites filled with 1 cup fresh spinach, ½ cup fresh sliced mushrooms, 1 ounce soft goat cheese, and 1 tbs chopped fresh chives with 1 slice reduced calorie wheat bread for a total of 205 calories.  A mid morning snack might be a medium fresh orange and a medium fresh apple for a total of 143 calories.  Lunch might consist of ½ of a whole wheat pita pocket stuffed with 3 ounces grilled boneless skinless chicken breast, 2 slices tomato, 6 slices fresh cucumber, a ½ ounce slice of low fat cheddar cheese, and 1 tsp Dijon mustard for a total of 221 calories.  Your mid afternoon snack might consist of a small baked potato filled with 2 tbs black beans, ¼ cup salsa, 2 tbs shredded low fat cheddar cheese, and 1 tbs reduced fat sour cream for a total of 217 calories.  Dinner might consist of 3 ounces of baked cod and ½ cup cooked frozen peas with 1 ½ cups cooked cauliflower mashed with 1 tsp butter and 1 tbs grated parmesan cheese for a total of 244 calories.  The final meal of the day might be 1 cup fat free chocolate pudding with 1 cup of sliced fresh strawberries for a total of 170 calories.  The grand total for this menu plan is 1,199 calories.

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