Experts recommend that people lose no more than 1kilogram per week, otherwise, you may be losing water and lean muscle mass. The math is quite simple. For each pound of fat, there is 3500 calories. 3500 divided by 7 days a week means 500 calories a day; if we eat 500 less calories per day, or exercise enough to burn 500 calories, then we will lose 1 kilogram per week; therefore, the amount of kilograms that you want to lose is exactly the number of weeks it will take to lose that number kilograms.

Here is where it can get a little complicated. Muscle burns calories faster than fat. In order to build muscle, you need to perform weight resistance training in addition to cardio strengthening activities. One pound of muscle will burn 350 to 500 calories per day; resulting (at 500 calories) in a lost pound of fat per week. So should you start with cardio, or weight training, or both? I have read that starting anywhere is a good start. Taking walks everyday can build up muscle and give you come cardio training, but you must be within your target heart rate to burn calories. I have found when I walk, I come home with more energy. Walking can be a way to boost your confidence into trying more challenging fitness activities; a gateway exercise 🙂

I found a great website where people talk about their personal experiences with weight loss. They support each other and give advice. I have read that the minimum caloric intake for an adult should be 1200 calories per day; this is the amount that your body needs to perform its normal metabolic functioning. This is called the Basal Metabolic Rate. Another source that I found gives a specific way of calculating exactly how many calories you need. For men, your BMR can be calculated by multiplying your current weight times 10, then adding onto that double your current weight. A 200 pound male would then need 2400 calories per day to maintain their current weight. For women, multiply your body weight by 10, then add your body weight to the total. A 150 pound woman would need 1650 calories per day to maintain current weight. These numbers don’t allow for any additional activities; meaning, that these are the bare numbers to sustain you if you were sitting on a couch all day doing nothing. There is a really cool website that calculates how many calories you will burn by doing various activities. You put in your weight and a duration of time, and it will produce a long list of things you can do and how many calories you will spend doing them.

The images included here show three different types of connective tissue. The middle one is fat. Each globule is one fat cell.